Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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October 26, 2016

Smarty Review: Children’s Theatre of Charlotte gr-ACED it with ‘Grace for President’

Presidential Performance! Star-Spangled Singing! Official-ly Outstanding!

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, you outdid yourself with this musical! I am not even sure if I am going to be able to put into words how A+MAZING it is. You even had my husband captivated. It is a MUST see. grace-for-president

Smarties, stop what you are doing, click on the link and purchase tickets. It is that good. Standing ovation good. My twins are still talking about it. They learned so much on opening night. What an amazing teaching tool! If this was out during my time as a fourth-grade teacher – this would be our field trip. TEACHERS, IF YOU ARE READING THIS — THIS SHOULD BE YOUR FIELD TRIP. The entire audience was engaged from start to finish. I loved seeing all the children’s faces during the campaigning scenes. It was so much fun. We all left with an overwhelming sense of happiness that the best person for the job was elected. You could hear the kids all talking and cheering for Grace as they exited the theatre. Another thing, we all left with a full understanding of the electoral college. Do you know how many years it has taken me to understand the electoral college? I even campaigned for a presidential nominee and worked in Washington, DC for a Senator and it wasn’t until last Friday night that I can finally say, “I get it!” Read More →

Smarty Scoop on Weekend Events: October 28-31

Discovery Place

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

Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions
Time Warner Cable Arena
333 East Trade Street, Charlotte, NC
October 28, 7:30pm, All ages, $29 and up
Summary: Members of the 2012 and 2016 U.S. Olympic Team will kick off the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions on Sept. 15. The country wide tour runs through Nov. 13 and will make stops in cities big and small across the United States.

Bad Boy World of Outlaws World Finals
Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Mills Pkwy. South, Concord, NC
October 27-October 29, See website for schedule and ticket prices, All ages
Summary: The most prestigious dirt racing event in the country, the Oct. 27-29 Bad Boy Off Road World of Outlaws World Finals, returns for three days of heart-pounding, clay-slinging action on the lightning-fast, four-tenths mile oval. The Bad Boy Off Road World of Outlaws World Finals brings together the top series in the sport, the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, the World of Outlaws Late Model Series and the Big-Block Modifieds of the Super DIRTcar Series, for a full weekend of racing culminating in the crowning of all three series champions.

Read More →

October 25, 2016

Presenting the 2016 Smarty Award WINNERS


Smarties, the results are in, and, just like in years past, the competition was fierce!

We asked you, Smarty Charlotte, to give us your input on your favorite digs all around Charlotte.

The votes are in! We’ve tallied all entries and here are the results.

Let the tweeting, facebooking and pinning begin…

Best Maternity Boutique

Destination Maternity
Sharon Corners, 4716 Sharon Road, Charlotte

Best Place to Find a Baby Shower Gift

Shower Me With Love
Shops at Morrison, 532 Governor Morrison Street, Charlotte

Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant

4310 Sharon Rd X05, Charlotte

Best Brunch Place

Cafe Monte
6700 Fairview Rd, Charlotte

Best Gal Pals Lunch Spot

Ilios Noche
8426 Park Rd,  Charlotte

Read More →

October 24, 2016

Middle School Parenting Offenses

Since Facebook and every other media outlet seems to be obsessed with lists, I proudly give to you my top 4 worst middle school parenting offenses. My disclaimer here is that not all of these have happened directly to me as a teacher (ok, that’s a lie). But I do promise if you did commit one of these “mis-steps” you are in the majority! And I do not remember personally who you are nor do I hold it against you. These are the no-nos, step away, just STOP mistakes we all do. Yes, me too…..

1. Never ever start an email to a teacher in the beginning of the year (or at any time of the year) with “I promise I am not that parent but…..” .

Oooooooh. You are that parent. Despite your cleverly disguised introduction, I get the sense you are about to launch'Son, your teacher told me that you're having trouble focusing and other things that I zoned out on...' into a well-crafted expose of exactly who your child is, what he needs and all of your hopes and dreams for what he may become. It is tempting – trust me I know! Every year I want to just give a little heads up about my two – just a few insights into their learning styles, areas for improvement, their nicknames, favorite color, best place to sit in class (up front – duh!). Hard as it is, don’t. Why? Kids change. Give your kiddo a fresh start without any baggage. Let him have a go at this on his own. One of the best parts of the new school year for teachers is this fresh start…..give them the gift of a clean slate, too. Oh, and did you know all kids are schizophrenic? They are different people at school then they are at home. You don’t know their school persona – or personas as the case may be. Plus you will earn an ugly red mark by your name in the teacher’s notes….. true dat! Read More →

October 23, 2016

From the Smarty Education Corner and Charlotte Country Day: Role Modeling Good Digital Citizenship Habits

By Smarty Guest Blogger Adele Paynter, Head of Lower School, Charlotte Country Day School

Last year, Country Day became the first school in the area to be “Common Sense Certified,” which means we met all the requirements for teaching our students how to thoughtfully, safely, and independently navigate their digital lives. Our reasons for incorporating digital citizenship were simple but compelling:ccds-digital

– Students live in a world in which technology and social media play a huge role and we want them to be more mindful and more skilled users of technology than we are!
– Technology is an important tool for our students’ learning and productivity; we have a 1:1 iPad program in 3rd grade and up.
– While our children are very comfortable with technology, they are not necessarily skilled or savvy users.
– Digital spaces/communities require different—and usually more sophisticated—social and relational skill sets to navigate them.
– Students need to learn, practice, and mess up with these skills in a more controlled environment long before they are expected to use them independently.
– Our children have more access to more information/messages/images than any other generation, and we need to help them develop a critical lens. Read More →

Sunday Smarty Share from SHARE Charlotte: More Treats, Less Tricks

By Addie Rising,, a free, easy and local website that makes it easy to learn about and engage with our local nonprofits.

“I believe that treating other people well is a lost art.” – Tim Gunn

Right on, Tim Gunn! I tell my kids all the time … “Be kind. Just, be kind.” At the end of day, while I want the best for my kids — success and happiness — what’s more important to me is that they learn to treat everyone with kindness and dignity. I believe by doing that, the rest will come.

So what better time of year to hit that point home? Thanksgiving? Of course. But how about a few weeks earlier? There’s a day of the year where children in neighborhoods across the country run door to door, elbowing friends in disguise to get the “good” candy. It’s a race to accumulate massive amounts of sugar. Then, sometimes, a race to eat as much as possible before they are caught. It’s a day of bragging about the amounts of candy collected and then stealing from sibling’s stashes. But oh, yeah, it’s FUN! *eyeroll*

Read More →

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 2016 Smarty School Open House Guide.

October 23, 2:00 pm – Charlotte Prep – Pre-Kindergarten-8th Grade
October 24, 9:15am – Trinity Episcopal
October 25, 6:30 pm – Providence Day (TK-5th)
October 27, 9:30 am – Charlotte Prep – focus will be on Montessori Early School, ages 2-5

October 22, 2016

Smarty Mom: Kennedy Vaughan

I’m excited to introduce this week’s Smarty mom-to-be! I have the privilege of working with Kennedy in our wild, wild world of advertising and it’s been fun to watch as she grows her family.

Smarty Mom: Kennedy Vaughan

Married to: Dan Vaughan
Due date: November 1, 2016
Years in Charlotte: 31, minus 4 years of college in Raleigh, the 2 years I spent living in New York and 2 years I spent in Chapel Hill, NC
Originally from: Charlotte
Occupation: Project Manager

Tell us how your pregnancy has been?

I honestly can say it has not been too bad. I had the typical nauseas feeling for about 3 months but once that subsided, I felt like a normal person again. As I am getting closer to my due date the discomfort has set in, but that is to be expected as you carry around a small bowling ball all day, every day. I have been able to work out throughout my pregnancy, still attending my powerful flow yoga classes on a regular basis. I am hopeful this will help aid in my labor process making it easier (one can hope, right!?).

What has been the biggest surprise during your pregnancy?

How quickly your body and mind knows you are pregnant. Intuition woke me up early one Saturday morning and told me to take a test. Low and behold, it was positive and the rest is history.

Tell us about your gender reveal.

I never wanted to do a gender reveal because I thought they were kind of cheesy (no offense to anyone else who does them). But there is a certain kind of cake a local baker makes that has ombre layers with salted vanilla frosting that is any pregnant girls dream. I agreed to let my mom host a gender reveal party if this cake was a part of it. We invited our closest friends and family and cut into the beautiful cake to reveal all shades of pink. I am glad I ended up doing a reveal because it turned out to be a really special moment for me and my family. Read More →

October 21, 2016

Smarty Halloween Giveaway: 4 Tickets to Scarrigan Farms Halloween Weekend!

Smarty Scarrigan Farms

Smarties, we are SUPER excited to share the scariest of scary Halloween giveaways with you! Our friends at Scarrigan Farms want to scare the tar out of one lucky (or unlucky:-) Smarty family on Halloween weekend (Thursday to Monday).

The Smarty teen crew checked out Scarrigan Farms to see what it’s all about. I’m telling you, this is a GOODIE! It is perfectly scary, if that makes any sense at all. The haunted trail begins with goggles to enhance the effects and walking through a winding maze with haunted clowns and perfectly executed scenes out of some of your favorite horror movies. I personally was creeped out when Jason Voorhees chased me for three solid minutes breathing down my back in the dark and scary woods. I’ve had nightmares about Jason since I was 12, and I just revisited them at Scarrigan Farms! The best and scariest part in my opinion is the Terror Bus setting. You have to walk in through the back while all the scary people are hiding in the seats and waiting for you at the front with chainsaws. It’s legit and 100% scary – it’s AWESOME!

The biggest question that I’ve gotten asked is this: “is it scarier than Scarowinds?” My answer is yes, but it’s not too scary for anyone who can handle Scarowinds. I’m sticking with Scarrigan Farms reco below:

This is not a trail for kids. If you’re under 12 come back when you’re old enough. We’ll be waiting. If someone hasn’t peed in their pants by the end of the night we know we haven’t done our job. ~Scarrigan Farms

You know your kid. If he/she is afraid of his own shadow, then this is not the place for you. Read More →

Smarty Movie Review: The Girl on the Train

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Directed by: Tate Taylor
Run time: 112 minutes
Rated: R

Based on the best selling 2015 novel, The Girl on the Train tells the sad tale of Rachel (Emily Blunt) a woman who has completely spiraled out of control since her divorce from husband Tom (Justin Theroux). Unable to move forward from her past life, Rachel drinks herself into oblivion as she rides the train past her old home during her daily commute to New York City. She is devastated that her house is now occupied by Anna (Rebecca Ferguson), the home wrecker who stole her husband and now proudly wears a ring on her finger as she cradles a beautiful baby in her arms. To dull the pain, Rachel focuses on an attractive couple that live a few houses down from her ex. Rachel projects all of her desires for a happy relationship onto this seemingly perfect couple she spies on every day imagining the wonderful life they share. Rachel’s fragile grip on sanity becomes untethered on the day she realizes the perfect couple she obsesses over is not so perfect after all. She sees the woman embracing another man and it rekindles all of the anger at the deception she faced in her own marriage. That evening, the inebriated Rachel gets off the train in a rage in her old neighborhood and heads down to the train tunnel. When we next see Rachel, she is bloodied and bruised in her apartment, and has no memory of the previous night. She quickly learns that the woman she has been spying on is named Megan (Haley Bennett), and her husband has reported her missing. What happened that night in the tunnel? Did Rachel have something to do with Megan’s disappearance? Read More →

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