Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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January 22, 2018

Glorious sleep

“For those who are sick and tired of being sick and tired!” – Arianna Huffington

Do you remember the last time you weren’t tired? If you truly want to thrive, sleep is a nonnegotiable. When our babies enter our world, we focus on their sleep, our sleep, and then sleep becomes a continual subject, even battle in some households, with night terrors and bedtime disasters. A new reality of thinking about sleep all too much is born and reborn with each baby.

Once upon a time sleep was revered. Now it seems there is so much pride in how little we sleep, stamping emails at 3 AM to show how vested we are in our work. Netflix and iPhones invaded some of our bedrooms, keeping us up longer than we often realize (hello blue light and active brainwaves). Oftentimes, I stay up later than I should to have my own time to read or to just savor the stillness to decompress. IMG_0105

In my last article, I shared a little about my decade long battle to sleep well. I often wonder if I have created a self fulfilling prophecy, putting sleep up on a pedestal while fearing it at the same time. Perhaps I think about it too much? Maybe if I just stopped worrying about not sleeping, I would, well, sleep. Gosh I love sleep. So how do you love something so much and then fail at it? I have some work to do…

While searching for a few book club titles through the Mecklenburg Library app, I felt like someone from above was trying to get my attention. I have never read a book about sleep, however, I have read more sleep articles than you can imagine. When Arianna Huffington’s book The Sleep Revolution appeared in my queue, I borrowed the book immediately. Read More →

January 21, 2018

Carolina Flipz hosts Women’s Self Defense Clinic this week

Mark your calendars and reserve your spot at Carolina Flipz’s Self Defense Clinic for Women this Saturday, January 27 from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM at the Carolina Flipz gym right behind Carolina Place mall. Carolina Flipz Martial Arts

This 2-hour seminar and class is for women ages 14 and up. Topics covered include:
– Preventing attacks
– Awareness of surroundings
– Fighting back
– Surviving attacks
– And more

The class will be led by Carolina Flipz’s Martial Arts sensei Tara Frazier. This is a GREAT opportunity to educate yourself and your teens! Click here to learn more about Carolina Flipz’s Martial Arts program. Read More →

January 20, 2018

Smarty Mom: Katherine Sykes

Photograph by Little Nest Portraits Charlotte

Photograph by Little Nest Portraits Charlotte

This week’s Smarty Mom is my dear friend, Katherine Sykes. She is one of the most amazing women I have met here in Charlotte. My favorite thing about her, she is true to her personality. She is the real deal of a good friend. We all need more people like Katherine in our lives. I find her honesty very refreshing. I value it. When I am with her, we have the best conversations. She is a listener and that is rare. In this interview, she talks about love, marriage, kids, food, the importance of self-care and her passion for painting.

I feel lucky to have her in my life. If you are friends with Katherine, you know exactly what I am talking about… If you have never met Katherine, here is a glimpse into the mind of my beautiful friend…

Smarty Mom Stats:

Neighborhood: Matthews
Hometown: Vero Beach
Alma Mater: Wingate University
Husband and Kids: Jason, Max 16, Charlie 14, Evy 11
Pet: Lola, my black labradoodle

Get to know Katherine:

If you could tell your younger self something what would you say?

Your value isn’t measured in your good grades, if you think you are pretty or not, if you are popular or not, or by the many mistakes you’ve made.

If you could have lunch with ANYONE (dead or alive), who would it be?

I’d have lunch with grandfathers. Sorry there were two. One I never knew, Grandpa Max Froehlich. He was an immigrant from Germany. I think my dad is a lot like him and I’d love to have known him. My other grandfather I grew up with, Delbert Goss. He was such a huge influence in our lives. A true gentleman, a great encourager, a lover of education, and he just loved me well. I still miss him and I’d love for him to know the “adult” Katherine and meet my family. He used to write me long hand-written letters when I was away at summer camp. He included so many details of daily life. I still have those and will treasure them forever.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I’d live in the South – definitely on the coast. Perhaps the sugar sand beaches of the FL panhandle. Or somewhere in southern Italy or France on the Mediterranean Sea.

What would be your dream vacation?

Vacation to Italy with my husband, Tuscany.ks7

Last time you laughed really hard …

I don’t know when my last belly laugh was, but our daughter Evy makes me giggle most every day. Read More →

January 19, 2018

Who is ready to Lift. Tone. Burn. in 2018 at Pure Barre? Summer Bodies are made in the winter.

Smarties, we are breaking down all the MYTHS and stating FACTS about Pure Barre. We have recruited the experts: Caris Malone and Casie Petty to answer all your questions.

First and foremost, what is PURE BARRE?

Casie – Pure Barre is a 50 minute, full-body workout focusing on toning and lengthening the muscles. pbimage2

How does Pure Barre lengthen and tone muscles?

Caris: We work our muscles to exhaustion, then stretch them out; thus, creating long lean muscles.

What makes Pure Barre different from other workout classes?

Casie: We encourage you to do what you can! We never want to push anyone so hard that they have a bad experience. We want to create a comfortable environment and support system for clients to only grow stronger.

I have lower back problems, is Pure Barre a workout I can do?

Caris: Our movements are low-impact, making our classes ideal for anyone who is suffering an injury. Read More →

January 18, 2018

Smarty Pants Eats: Check out Hazelnuts Creperie!

Hazelnuts Blakeney CSP

One of our New Year’s rez’s at CSP is to check out more happening food spots for dining out with the kids, dining out without the kids (praise Jesus:-), and our favorite, gal pal lunch spots – because you know that’s where most of Charlotte’s biggest ideas get started! I can’t tell you how many times I just go blank when I need to think FAST of where I want to eat for lunch, or what’s the best take-out by neighborhood, or where should I go on a date night? Throughout the year, we’re going to compile a list of our favorites, and yours too, so please email us with your ideas!

Today I’m talking about Hazelnuts Creperie – YUMMMMMM!

With three convenient locations across the QC – Blakeney Shopping Center, 7th Street Public Market and Uptown (200 S. Tryon) – they have a spot close to you. My girls and I went to Blakeney, their newest location and we loved it!

When I think of crepes, I think of dessert with lots of whipped cream, berries and such. I was pleasantly surprised to find that crepes are served for any meal, not just the sweet treats. They have “Served all Day” options including the Americana that has Egg, Cheddar, Smoked Turkey, Avocado, Spinach, Tomato, Red Onion & Chipotle Aioli.

Hazelnuts Americana CSP Read More →

January 17, 2018

2018 Interior Design Trends

By Smarty guest blogger Brooke Cole

Hi Charlotte Smarties! It is such a pleasure to be here on the blog with you today sharing the interior design trends that I see emerging this year. Whether preparing for a renovation or coming up with a creative way to update your home, I am sure you will find some inspiration here.

White cabinetry is waning

While an all white kitchen can be a tried and true classic, in 2018 you will see a movement away from all white kitchens and white cabinetry in general. Instead you will see cabinetry painted in an array of colors from soft blues, greens and even blush tones. Black and grey cabinetry mixed with gold hardware is a look also on the rise. Stained wood cabinetry is also coming back in style in lighter more natural finishes such as cerused oak. All of these cabinetry applications are being used as an interesting change to a white sterile look.

Design by Traci Zeller Interiors (

Design by Traci Zeller Interiors | Photo by Brooke Cole

Design by Lisa Mende Designs ( | Photo by Kelli Boyd Photography

Design by Lisa Mende Designs | Photo by Kelli Boyd Photography

Bringing Outdoor Elements Inside

I think everyone loves a beautiful and inviting outdoor living space and the industry has seen an uptick in consumer outdoor furnishing purchases in the last few years. But in 2018, I see a trend towards using more outdoor elements inside in several different iterations. First up is outdoor fabrics, which have come a long way in design, texture and feel. The stain impermeability and clean-ability are hard to beat, which make these workhorse fabrics, an indoor must have. Outdoor materials such as wicker, woven, teak and metals-which are all durable and cleanable- will be integrated more into interior furnishing elements. Florals and garden motifs are also heavily trending in the world of fabrics and wallpapers. Read More →

Smarty Scoop On Weekend Events January 19-21

Snow White
Armour Street Theatre
307 Armour Street, Davidson, NC
January 19-28, See website for schedule, Ages 4+, $10 and up
Summary: The Witch was the fairest one of all first, and she will not be silenced any longer! This updated version of the classic story unveils the villain’s perspective, from her tragic childhood to her quest for revenge. So how did the story really go? Join all seven quirky dwarves, a tongue-tied prince, a sassy mirror, a dancing chicken, and of course Snow White in this tale about beauty, friendship and happily-ever-afters with a twist.

ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center
300 E. 7th Street, Charlotte, NC
January 20-28, See website for schedule, Ages 3+, $12-$15
Summary: A mischievous balloon finds its way into the home of a solitary old man, and suddenly his curmudgeonly life is interrupted. Sweet, inventive and packed with physical comedy, this play explores the power of friendship and shows how, with a little imagination and acceptance, companionship can be found in the most unlikely of places.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins
ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center
300 E. 7th Street, Charlotte, NC
January 12-28, See website for schedule, Ages 4+, $12-$20
Summary: Mr. Popper spends his time daydreaming of adventures in far-off lands while Mrs. Popper scrimps and saves to put beans on the table. When a spirited penguin arrives on their doorstep, a new horizon (and flock!) opens before them! Come along for an unforgettable adventure in this 1930s-inspired musical based on the classic book. Read More →

January 16, 2018

Smarty Save the Date: Joined in Education’s ‘Teach your Children Well’ Symposium

Mark your calendar for Joined In Education’s next parenting symposium on February 13 & 14, 2018. The keynote address this year will be delivered by Madeline Levine Ph. D., author of New York Times bestsellers Teach Your Children Well and The Price of Privilege. This event will be relevant to parents of toddlers as well as teens. JIE’s goal is to help parents ensure that the next generation can problem solve, think critically and are productive, kind citizens of the world. JIE_2018_10x7Ad_r2a print version

Here’s what the JIE says about the keynote speaker:

Levine brings together cutting-edge research and thirty years of clinical experience to explode the myth that good grades, high test scores and college acceptances should define the parenting endgame. Parents and educators are all too familiar with the escalating rates of anxiety among today’s children. Levine shifts our focus from the excesses of hyper parenting and the unhealthy reliance on our children for status and how to provide a meaningful parenting style that focuses both on academic success and developing a sense of purpose, well-being and connection. Read More →

January 15, 2018

Storytime at Morrison Library back and better than ever

The Morrison Regional Library is back open after being closed for a year and a half for renovation, and that’s great news for Mamas (and some Papas too). It reopened Dec. 16, just in time for that frigid weather spell when parents like me were desperately seeking indoor outlets for cooped-up kids. storytime1

Just a few steps into the front door and it’s immediately obvious how much the renovation was geared toward parents and pre-school children who come to the full slate of “Storytime” classes for babies, toddlers and families.

“Our largest demographic is families with preschool children,” said Susan Green, manager for the Morrison Regional Library. “…Most months we have more people at our Storytimes than any other branch, including ImaginOn.”

Green said HVAC and mechanical issues precipitated the $8 million renovation but improving the children’s area was one of its biggest benefits. Read More →

January 14, 2018

Smarty Alert: This Week’s School Open Houses


Don’t miss this week’s School Open Houses we’ve listed below. This is NOT the full Open House listing for each school or school system – it’s just this week’s. For our full listing of open houses, please see our Palisades Episcopal School

Palisades Episcopal School

Storytime Adventures
Reading, art and music workshops for parents & children ages 3-5 years. All Storytime Adventures begin at 10 a.m. Space is limited.
January 19, 2018 – Music & Movement

Every day is an Open House at PES – tours scheduled at your convenience.

Register for any of these events at

For more information, please contact Monique Gilbert at or 704.583.1825.

Palisades Episcopal SchoolPES Logo
13120 Grand Palisades Parkway
Charlotte, NC 28278
Twitter @pescharlotte

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