Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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April 24, 2014

Honor Someone Special this Mother’s Day with Baby Bundles!

Baby Bundles Logo

At CSP, we know being a mom is much more than a job. It’s a full-time-never-get-a-break-don’t-put-that-in-your-mouth-no-means-no-lifestyle filled with ups and downs, laughs and tears and memories by the minute. Even when you have the proper “equipment”, motherhood can be confusing and completely overwhelming. Can you imagine what motherhood feels like to those women who have nothing? No Bumbo, no posh diaper bag, no bottle warmer . . . nothing. Just a precious baby, and hope.

Meet our Smarty friends at Baby Bundles, an amazing charity formed by three incredible moms, Emily Harry, Heather Leavitt and Cat Long:

Baby Bundles Dream Team

These ladies share a common bond and a desire to give back. Together they created “Baby Bundles”, a local nonprofit dedicated to providing underprivileged mothers with newborn essentials to help alleviate some of the stresses that come with new motherhood. Baby Bundles gifts a “bundle” of new and gently used infant clothing sizes newborn to 9 months along with an age appropriate book and interactive toy to low income mothers and babies in the Charlotte community. Baby Bundles has served over 600 families in its four-year existence and hopes to bridge the gap to serve all families in our community. Read More →

April 23, 2014

Smarty Scoop on Weekend Events: April 25-27

Discovery Place

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

CPCC Charlotte Skyline Run

Presented by Northwestern Mutual, the 19th Annual CPCC Charlotte Skyline Run on Saturday, April 26th, is a great event for the whole family. Featuring a 5K run, a 5K Walk for Health, the Charlotte Smarty Pants Baby Jogger 5K Championship and new this year, a one mile timed run.

Following the run, the whole family can enjoy the Kids Zone, Health/Fitness Zone and Food Zones where vendors will be on hand to discuss everything from weight management and healthy food products to the hottest trends in running gear. Back again this year will be WTVI PBS Charlotte’s Curious George and Seemore Goodstuff mascots.

For more info about this event click here.

FRIDAY, April 25

Beach Fest Matthews
Stumptown Park
232 Matthews Station Street, Matthews, NC (704) 321-7275
April 25, 6:00pm – 10:00pm, April 26, 9:00am – 9:00pm, All ages, Free
Summary: Live Beach Music, Shagging, Boardwalk-style Food Vendors, Full-sized Carnival Rides, Hands-on Crafts & Activities for Kids, Interactive Sponsor Exhibits, and much more!

Best Buy Teen Movie Night

Morrison Family YMCA
9405 Bryant Farms Road, Charlotte, NC (704) 716-4650
April 25, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, Ages 13-18, Free for members, $5 non-members
Summary: We will be showing a different movie each month courtesy of Best Buy in Blakeney, so join us for a fun night with your friends!

Tuck Fest

U.S. National Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy, Charlotte, NC (704) 391-3900
April 25-27, See link for complete schedule, All ages, $5 parking fee
Summary: 24 hours of activities over three days, live music, 20+ competitions, and demos featuring outdoor sport recreations.

Read More →

April 22, 2014

Smarty Giveaway: Stock Your Freezer in a Snap

I am constantly searching for easy ways to make a healthy dinner for the fam, and from talking to all of my friends, relatives, and acquaintances and looking at others’ Pinterest Pins, I think every other mother (and some dads!) are, too. Well, we’ve found JUST the thing for Smarties everywhere: the Stock Your Freezer in a Snap program. I’ve tested this out in my own kitchen, and I’ve experienced these “bonus hours” firsthand, and let me know tell you: it’s totally legit. StockFreezer1

Created by a former personal chef, busy-mother-of-two, and creator of the blog The Full Plate, Eila Johnson (who lives in the Northeast but is married to a Charlottean – love those QC ties!), Stock Your Freezer in a Snap is a cook-in-bulk-and-freeze “kitchen coaching program” that will literally take the dinner time stress away. The idea is to cook ahead “in bulk” and have your freezer full of delicious home-cooked meals so that on a busy weeknight, all you do is simply thaw and cook OR go straight from freezer to oven. You can then enjoy a “bonus hour” when you would be cooking to do whatever your heart desires (or whatever your kids are demanding) – maybe you take a walk, play with the kids outside, get baths out of the way, or just enjoy a glass of wine.

Eila sent me a copy of her e-cookbook and Stock Your Freezer in a Snap guide so I could give it a test run to see if it REALLY held up to all it claimed to be. I have four picky eaters, a traveling husband, and two part-time jobs. Plus, I would never consider myself a cook or a meal planner, so I thought of this as the ultimate test. Read More →

April 21, 2014


Are we happy?  What is happiness?  Are we dying to live or living to die?   Are we living everyday or dying everyday?  Is the glass half empty or full?  Are moms and dads today happier than our parents?  Is happiness a choice?  Is happiness an illusion?

If I knew the answers, I wouldn’t be asking you.   I guess we should ask Pharrell.

I am no expert on happiness.  However, I know (from the interwebs and TV) that you can actually choose to be happy and if you make this choice then this will in fact make you happier overall. (doesn’t that sound so psychological and scientific?)

I also heard (and by ‘heard’ I mean skimmed on the net – no one reads on the internet – everyone is a skimmer) that studies show that a majority of our feelings of happiness are genetic and that biologically we return to our genetic baseline (I’m doomed) no matter how hard we swim upstream (I don’t believe that). 

The mind is a killer, isn’t it?  You always have to be one step of ahead of it to make sure it is not leading you down a negative thought path, which causes your mood to sour and your stress to increase which affects your health and outlook and marriage and professional life and how you treat others and your propensity for disease…can’t we all just get along inside there and work together as a team?

The dictionary (the online one not the real one) defines happy as:
1) feeling pleasure and enjoyment because of your life, situation, etc.
2) showing or causing feelings of pleasure and enjoyment
3) pleased or glad about a particular situation, event, etc.

I would define myself as a “situational happy person” because I excel at #3.  I aspire to improve on #1  – to have an overall sunny outlook and train my brain (stupid brain) to choose happy over something else…the ultimate re-frame.

I read this article (on the w-e-b) and it really spoke to me and I can’t stop thinking about it.  When I want to improve something about myself, I look for someone who models the behavior.  For example, if I wanted to be a better public speaker then I would seek out someone that does it well and find out their tips and then try to model their behavior.

The article, 7 Habits of Incredibly Happy People by Gregory Ciotti, provides a method (I’m a method kind of gal) that you can emulate to be happy.  For me, the profound is in the simple.
1) Be busy, but not rushed (direct quote: “You should be expanding your comfort zone often, but not so much that you feel overwhelmed.”  Say ‘no’ to the extra commitments that are just extra and only serving to stress you out and robbing you of joy!)
2) Have 5 close relationships
3) Don’t tie your happiness to external events (you gotta read this one because it totally makes sense when you get the details)
4) Exercise (duh, right?  then why doesn’t everyone do it?)
5) Embrace discomfort for mastery
6) Spend more money on experiences (there are 5 reasons why doing this make you happy)
7) Don’t ignore your itches

Go read the article – it’s worth it.   I loved this and hope you do, too.  My favorite is #5.  Which one speaks to you?

April 20, 2014

Smart Alert: Volunteers needed for upcoming Girls on the Run event!

Happy Easter, Smarties!! If you and the fam have been wanting to get in some community service time (perhaps in the spirit of the Easter season!), here is the PERFECT opportunity. Girls on the Run of Charlotte is seeking 5k volunteers for their upcoming event on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at Blythe Elementary School. We absolutely love what Girls on the Run does for our lil’ Smarties all over Charlotte and the country, and we know this will be a rewarding experience for you and your family.GOTR 2

The Girls on the Run’s mission is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. They host two culminating 5k experiences at the end of each 10-week season (fall & spring) to celebrate all that the GOTR Girls have achieved alongside their peers, coaches and family. If you’ve never been to a GOTR race, you’re in for a treat. They are SO fun and full of spirit, athleticism, and determination.

Girls on the Run of Charlotte is in significant need of 5k Volunteers to register online and help make this experience possible (did we mention this is HUGE for these girls who have been training all Spring?!). To register to volunteer, please visit their volunteer registration web site.  A few fun opportunities include face painting, happy hair, parking marshal, course monitor, water stops, mile beads, merchandise sales, and more!

Race Details:
WHEN: Saturday, May 3, 2014
WHERE: Blythe Elementary School – 12202 Hambright Road, Huntersville, NC 28078
CHECK-IN: Volunteers arrive at 6:00 AM for set-up – check-in at the Volunteer Check-in Tent to receive:
- Coffee
- Volunteer t-shirt (sizes are first-come first-serve)
- Volunteer badge including emergency contact info
- Welcome and set-up instructions
- Parking Volunteers: flags, vests, cones, walkie-talkies, etc.
WEAR:  Comfortable clothes, sneakers, rain jacket (just in case), check the weather in advance
BRING: Nothing but a positive attitude and willingness to share it with others!
5K WEBPAGE: All race information including Directions & Parking can be found at
7:00 AM: 5k participants will begin to arrive
9:00 AM: 5k begins

By supporting GOTR, you are inspiring girls to be joyful, healthy and confident. Pretty cool for just a few hours on a Saturday morning, right?!

For questions, please contact Alex Sypher, Volunteer Coordinator, at or 704-837-0088. See you there!


Sunday Smarty Share from SHARE Charlotte: Meet Alexander Youth Network

Alexander Youth Network

By Kimberly Paulk, Senior Connector at, a free, easy and local website that makes it easy to learn about and engage with our local nonprofits

“No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.”
― attributed to Abraham Lincoln

People of all ages can experience mental illness, but you might be surprised how frequently it can affect children. The U.S. Surgeon General estimates that 1 in 5 children suffer from a mental health disturbance. Here in North Carolina, 10% of those kids are estimated to have a severe emotional disturbance.

So who steps in to help? Here in Charlotte, Alexander Youth Network is one of the primary resources for families and children ages 5 to 18 struggling with serious emotional and behavioral problems. They do this through a variety of treatment programs that are combined into a Service Array – a series of programs that work together from start to finish. Read More →

April 19, 2014

Smarty Mom: Mary Bowman

IMG_20140414_00141116When you get married, you never know what kind of family you will inherit.  My husband has four sisters and I gotta say that I hit the in-law lottery with these gals.  If you hear me say anything funny, then it’s probably because I copied it from my hip sister-in-law, Mary Bowman.  She always has her finger on the pulse of NOW and the sayings and language to go with. I lifted some of my favorite phrases from her.
I first met Mary waaaaaaay back in 1997 and when I say love at first sight, I mean it.  We were fast friends.  I wasn’t even dating her brother (my husband) at the time however I knew we would be tight for life.
Over the last 17 years, we’ve laughed (a lot) and we’ve cried a lot (because we were laughing so hard).  There is truly no one who is more fun to be around than Mary Bowman.  No one.  It’s a guaranteed good time.
Smarty Charlotte, I’m bursting with joy to introduce you to my SIL, Mary!  
Engaged to: Jeremy Elliott (we refer to them jointly as “Maremy”)
Mom to: Gabriel (7 years old)
Occupation: Digital Account Manager, Baker & Taylor (leading distributor of books, videos, and music products to libraries, institutions and retailers)
‘Hood: Oakhurst
Hometown: Rochester, NY

1.You are the youngest of 5 children. Any comments about birth order and growing up as the baby of your family? Wow! Comin’ in HOT with these questions!  I suppose one would assume my answer would be about the hand-me-downs or the extra teasing I got growing up. But, honestly I think I was the luckiest to be born last. I got to be a front row spectator to 4 other childhoods, coming of age years but most importantly their adult lives. I have learned so much from watching, listening and relating to them. Although, it can be extremely frustrating having so many opinions on how I “should” be doing things I accredit almost all the things that make up my personality (that I am proud of) to them all.  I try to take the best of my siblings and strive to be THAT person.  They have been incredible “life teachers”. Read More →

Smarty Top 5 Pinterest Pins of the Week

Happy Easter, Smarties! Hope you enjoy the weekend with your family!!! Enjoy our Top 5!CSP-115.PintrestPicksC(1)

1. We’re obsessed with this bench…actually this entire room.

2. Beautiful natural-band watch

3. What a pretty balance of light and dark!

4. Because we all need just one pair of pink sparkly shoes…they might as well be running shoes.

5. Here’s a cute growth chart for your little ones.

There you have it! To stay up to date on the latest Smarty news and tips, follow us on Pinterest, Twitter (@charlottesmarty), Instagram (@charlottesmartypants) and Facebook.

April 18, 2014

Top 10 Reasons to Enjoy Summer Camps at Charlotte Christian, and a CAMP GIVEAWAY too!

Charlotte Christian School Ad jan 2014 summer camp

With the long weeks of summer quickly approaching, now is the time to make plans to keep your children engaged, active, and learning, but most of all it’s a great time to plan lots of summer fun! And guess what, we have yet another Smarty Camp Giveaway – woot, woot!

Charlotte Christian School has offered a wide array of academic, athletic, and enrichment camps at an affordable price for more than 10 years. Camps are conveniently located on the school’s south Charlotte campus on Sardis Road with nearly every camp under the direction of Charlotte Christian’s own faculty. All camps are open to the public and students in all grades are welcome.

The top 10 reasons to plan some time at Charlotte Christian this summer…

1. Get moving and try a new sport – Christian offers a variety of athletic camps for all skill levels including soccer, karate, basketball, lacrosse, tennis and cheerleading. Charlotte Christian’s state championship winning coaches also host baseball and football camps for kids as young as junior kindergarten who are anxious to learn the games.

2. Stay on top of school – Academic camps are a great way to review subjects and get a jump start on the next grade level. Charlotte Christian’s faculty make learning fun with math, reading, and writing camps featuring explorations with Singapore Math, Dr. Seuss and C.S. Lewis.

3. Meet some new friends! Campers will spend a week developing new friendships and staying connected. The wide array of camps caters to a variety of interests and grade levels so there is something for everyone. Camps are open to the public so it’s a wonderful way to make a new friend!

4. Get in touch with your creative side – Aspiring artists can spend the week exploring clay and pottery or learning about the classical masters of art and practicing their techniques. Campers can also get crafty in the kitchen and eat their edible art at the week-long Cupcake Camp or Cake Pop Camp…Yum! Read More →

We have winners!

A big pink & green C-O-N-G-R-A-T-U-L-A-T-I-O-N-S goes out to the following Smarties:

Jennifer Slosson won a week at Camp Thunderbird – woot, woot!

Jennifer Slosson Fam

Amy Harrison won our FAB Easter giveaway!

Amy Harrison Fam

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