Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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February 24, 2017

Fitness Friday: Join in on the Pure Barre ‘Carolina Shake-Off’


We’re headed straight for March Madness, and our friends over at Pure Barre Ballantyne, Pure Barre Myers Park, and Pure Barre SouthPark have made the month fun even for those who don’t follow basketball. From March 1-31, Pure Barre is challenging Y-O-U to complete 20 classes in 31 days (according to our calculations, that’s just 5 classes a week – that’s lay-up easy). Those who successfully complete the challenge get their next month for $125.

And there’s a fun twist on it, too. Studios from across the state will be competing against each other in a “Carolina Shake-Off.” The studio with the most completed challenges wins the big trophy (and maybe a tiny bikini to show off the new summer bod?).

If you’re a new client, you can buy a 1-month unlimited package for just $99. If you’re an existing client and are not already in a monthly package, you can purchase one month for $150. You never know, that one month might just be the jumpstart you need to be summer-ready.

C’mon – get in on the fun. We HAVE to beat Raleigh at the VERY least, y’all! 😉 Read More →

Smarty Movie Review: And the Oscar Goes To….

It’s that time of year—the Academy Awards! Oh how I love awards season and the Oscars are the biggest and brightest show of them all! I can’t wait to see the stars, the dresses and the big winners! There really are some terrific films nominated this year. If you want to do some last minute binge watching to get ready for the big day, here are the nominees for Best Picture.


MV5BMTExMzU0ODcxNDheQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU4MDE1OTI4MzAy._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_One of my favorite films of 2016, Arrival is anything but some mindless sci-fi action flick. When twelve alien spaceships appear on Earth and spread around the globe, there is worldwide fear and confusion—why are the aliens here and what are their intentions? Linguistics professor Louise Banks (the always amazing Amy Adams) is brought in to advise the military on how to communicate with the aliens. Louise is joined by physicist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) as they meet the squid-like creatures (dubbed heptapods) and begin the difficult job of creating a common language. At the same time, experts in other countries are using other strategies to communicate, and tensions increase when China and Russia have differing views on the heptapods’ motives. Ok—I am betting that you might be rolling your eyes at this point thinking that you would never be interested in this film but I can’t tell you much more of the plot without ruining it for you. Just give it a chance—it’s out on DVD and it’s a brilliant film. In my humble opinion, Amy Adams was completely robbed of an Oscar nomination as she is my pick for Best Actress of the year. I watched this movie with my 13 year old space loving son and we had the most amazing conversation afterwards—it’s a movie that you will be thinking about for weeks and you’ll want to analyze and discuss with anyone and everyone who has seen it. Read More →

February 23, 2017

From the Smarty Health Corner and CEENTA: what are laryngitis and hoarseness?

By our Smarty friends at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A.

Vocal hoarseness is something that can affect people of all ages. But what is hoarseness and how do you treat it? Otolaryngologist Darrell Klotz, MD, of Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A. joins us this month to talk about it.

It’s a common occurrence: your child has been playing with sick children or has been running around yelling a lot, and before you know it they’ve lost their voice.

When people talk about losing their voice, many use “laryngitis” interchangeably with “hoarseness.” However, they’re not the same thing. Laryngitis is the inflammation or swelling of vocal folds, and is the most common cause of hoarseness. Laryngitis can be caused by a cold or the flu, acid reflux, overusing the voice and having bad vocal habits, and irritation. However, hoarseness can also be caused by benign lesions on the vocal folds, or possibly even cancer.TeengirllaryngitisWeb

While no single age group is prone to voice disorders, people who use their voices the most – parents, for example – can have more issues with hoarseness, Dr. Klotz said. They are unable to rest their voice when they have even a mild case of laryngitis because many people depend on them to keep up their responsibilities.

If you or your child does come down with a mild case of laryngitis – caused by a cold, flu, or upper respiratory tract infection, for example – the best thing to do is stay well hydrated and rest your voice, Dr. Klotz said. Laryngitis is the equivalent of injuring your ankle and having it swell. You wouldn’t run on a swollen ankle, so you shouldn’t speak when you have laryngitis. Read More →

Smarty Giveaway: Win a FREE week of TRY CAMP at YMCA Camp Harrison, a $450 value!

Camp Harrison Giveaway

It’s time for an awesome CAMP GIVEAWAY! Today we bring you a free week of TRY CAMP at YMCA Camp Harrison – woot, woot! One lucky Smarty will win one week of TRY CAMP from May 31-June 3. Read on!

If you’ve got a child who is interested in trying resident camp but feels a little nervous about going away for a week or more, YMCA Camp Harrison offers a TRY CAMP session. Specifically designed for first time campers, this four-day, three-night session will allow your child to see what camp is all about. Campers will sleep in cabins, make new friends, and experience the fun of mountain biking, climbing walls, water inflatables and more! This mini-camp is a great way to test the waters and prepare your child for a longer camp session in the future. Even in this shortened session, you’ll be amazed by the incredible development your child will experience.

More on YMCA Camp Harrison:

Camp Harrison Climbing Wall

Located between Lenoir and North Wilkesboro in North Carolina, YMCA Camp Harrison offers exciting opportunities for all who come through our gates. Campers choose from a broad range of activities empowering them to create adventures which fit with their unique interests and personalities. All campers spend time enjoying God’s creation, building relationships and challenging themselves as they learn new skills.

As a Christian organization, we desire that each camper understands what it means to have a relationship with Christ. Morning watch, vespers services and nightly cabin devotions highlight our Christian values through the study of God’s Word, worship songs, testimonies and more. Read More →

February 22, 2017

From the Smarty Health Corner and Levine Children’s Hospital: Heart to Heart: Two Families Journey Together to Transplant

CSP Team Note: February is National Heart Month, and we’ve teamed up with our partners at Levine Children’s Hospital to bring you a patient story that will definitely leave a lasting impact on you. Meet Ayden and Travis, two little boys whose paths crossed while waiting for new hearts – read on to see how their journey has affected both families…for the better. Take a minute to watch the awesome videos – they will give you chills! Note – this post was originally published on the Carolinas Healthcare System’s blog.

By the time Aydan and Travis were admitted to the hospital – just weeks apart – the two little boys had what doctors determined to be days to live before their hearts gave out.

Aydan was 3, and Travis was a mere 3 months. Both had serious heart failure that put them in danger of losing their lives.

The pediatric cardiology and heart surgery team at Carolinas HealthCare System’s Levine Children’s Hospital suddenly had two young patients in need of heart transplants. Their job: to keep both boys alive until transplant, with no way of knowing how long it would take for a heart to become available for either of them.

Doctors recommended an interim solution called a mechanical heart, which would essentially pump their blood and keep all their organs functioning until a new heart was available.

“I’ll never forget when the doctor told me that the only way that Aydan would live is if we did a surgery to get him on a mechanical heart,” says Miriam, Aydan’s mom. “But he also told me that there was another mom, Allyson, just a few rooms down, whose little baby was just put on that same mechanical heart, and that I should meet her.”

A Bond Forms

Miriam and Allyson — Travis’ mother — met, and the two moms struck up a friendship that soon developed into what Allyson calls a sisterhood.

At first, they’d check in when they saw each other in the hallways. Then, they started sitting in each other’s rooms. As time went on, they’d look in on each other’s son even when the other wasn’t there. Read More →

Smarty Scoop for Weekend Events: February 24-26

Discovery Place

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

Southern Spring Home & Garden Show
The Park Expo and Conference Center
800 Briar Creek Road, Charlotte, NC
February 24 – March 5, See website for schedule and ticket prices
Summary: You are invited to celebrate 57 years of the South’s Salute to Spring. The show is new and fresh each year – yet, one thing has never changed, and that’s the Magic. It’s your annual opportunity to discover  ideas and creativity, plus find quality products and people ready to make your homes and lives even better.

WestEnd Chili Cook-off
Blue Blaze Brewing
528 S. Turner Ave., Charlotte, NC
February 25, 1:00pm – 5:00pm, Kid friendly options available, Free
Summary: The best of the WestEnd chili cooks are going head to head in a chili challenge. The catch: Blue Blaze Brewing beer must be incorporated into the recipe. Admission is free and vegan and kid-friendly options will be available.

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
Fullwood Theater
100 McDowell Street East, Matthews, NC
February 25 – March 5, See website for schedule, All ages, $11-$13
Summary: This new dramatization of C.S. Lewis’ classic faithfully recreates the magic and mystery of Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy’s journey into Narnia. With the help of Aslan the lion, the siblings are charged with the great task of defeating the evil White Witch and rescuing the magical creatures from an eternal winter. This story of love, faith, courage and friendship, is a celebration of the power of goodness and its ability to triumph over darkness.

YMCA of Greater Charlotte Event Calendar
19 Locations throughout the Greater Charlotte Area
Summary: Most people know their neighborhood “Y” because of its incredible sports, camps and fitness programs but the “Y” has so much more to offer. Spend some time (it will take a while) on the website and learn about all the opportunities the “Y” provides. I promise, you will be amazed.

Charlotte Hornets
Time Warner Cable Arena
333 East Trade Street, Charlotte, NC

Charlotte Checkers
Bojangles Coliseum
2700 East Independence Blvd., Charlotte, NC

Discovery Place
301 N. Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC (704) 372-6261
Summary: Step into a world where science is brought to life through interactive exhibits and explosive experiments during daily programs. Connect with the past and visit the future with groundbreaking exhibitions, larger-than-life IMAX Dome films and hands on activities that let you explore more. Plan your visit today. Click on the links below for detailed information on special events, featured exhibitions, featured shows and IMAX.

Featured Exhibitions: For information on all exhibitions click here.
Featured Shows: For information on all featured shows click here.
IMAX: For information on all featured movies and showtimes click here.

Discovery Place Kids – Huntersville
105 Gilead Road, Huntersville, NC (704) 372-6261
Summary: Explore the theme of I CAN at Discovery Place KIDS-Huntersville. The children’s museum features developmentally-appropriate experiences that encourage imagination and offer the opportunity to build confidence while testing skills by trying new things. The exhibits, themed around a small town, allow children to learn through play.

Theme Areas: For a complete description of all nine theme areas click here.
Featured Shows: For a complete listing of all featured shows click here.
Current and Upcoming Events: For all current and upcoming events click here.

Charlotte Nature Museum
1658 Sterling Road, Charlotte, NC (704) 372-6261
Summary: Bring little ones for just an hour or the whole day and experience wildlife through live animal exhibits and interactive education programs. The Museum is easy to navigate with fun surprises around every corner. Kids can roam The Great Hall and visit Beginnings, an area filled with young animals and information on their lifecycles.

Featured Exhibitions: For complete details on exhibitions and exhibits click here.
Featured Shows: For a complete schedule of show times click here.

ImaginON: The Joe & Joan Martin Center
300 E. 7th Street, Charlotte, NC (704) 416-4630
See website for hours of operation
Summary: This collaborative effort between the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and Children’s Theatre of Charlotte is a 102,000-square-foot facility recently ranked by as the No. 1 children’s library in the United States. ImaginOn features two state-of-the-art theaters, a dedicated library space for kids 11 and under, four multi-use classrooms, a teen-only library, a multimedia production studio, and interactive exhibit space. 

Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road, Huntersville, NC (704) 875-6521
Summary: Carolina Raptor Center is dedicated to environmental stewardship and the conservation of birds of prey through education, research, and the rehabilitation of injured and orphaned raptors. As a charitable 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, CRC relies on public financial support to fulfill our mission. Supporters can release a raptor, adopt a bird, make a charitable donation, purchase a membership or sponsor a capital improvement project. CRC’s environmental education programs reach approximately 40,000 students each year. Our Raptor Trail hosts more than 35,000 visitors a year. Visit our calendar page for event times or just come and enjoy our nicely maintained trails and see all the amazing birds of prey.

The Schiele Museum of Natural History
1500 East Garrison Blvd, Gastonia, NC (704) 866-6900
Summary: The natural wonders of North America and North Carolina coupled with the rich history of our region are all reflected in The Schiele’s exceptional exhibitions and diverse programming. Whether you’re indoors or out, with the kids or your colleagues, by bringing you a lot closer to nature, The Schiele will bring you a little closer to yourself.

Featured Exhibits: For a complete listing click here
Planetarium: For a complete schedule click here
Events Calendar: For all events click here

February 21, 2017

Smarty Alert: RSVP now for Hunstad Kortesis’ After Hours Event

Hunstad Korstesis Plastic Surgery + MedSpa (HK) will host their After Hours Mommy Makeover event next Tuesday, February 28.HK_AfterHours_FB-ads_FEB-1

This RSVP-only Mommy Makeover event includes wine, appetizers, mingling with actual patients and an opportunity to meet their board certified plastic surgeons, renown for their leadership within the cosmetic plastic surgery field. Feel free to event other moms who could use some pampering!

HK surgeons will be there to discuss breast augmentations and tummy tucks. Consult with leaders within the global breast augmentation specialty to discover choices that are meant for you and learn more about their industry-leading experience in removing excess or loose skin for a more confident you.

Check out this great video of patients talking about their surgeries – including one mom of three who feels like her old self again after surgery!

There’s no fee to attend but space is limited. You must RSVP online attend. Complimentary valet parking at Del Friscos is available.

Event Details

HK After Hours: Mommy MakeoverHK_combo logo_cmyk_print
Tuesday, February 28 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM EST
Del Frisco’s in Piedmont Town Center (SouthPark)
4725 Piedmont Row Drive
Suite 170
Charlotte, NC 28210
RSVP here

Call 704-659-9000 or email for questions.

February 19, 2017

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.

February 23, 9:15 am: Trinity Episcopal School (Super Tour)
February 24: Palisades Episcopal School Storytime Adventure – Reading and art workshops for parents & children ages 3-5 years. All Storytime Adventure events begin at 10 a.m. Please RSVP to 704.583.1825 or Space is limited.

February 18, 2017

Smarty Mom: Jennifer Taylor

Jennifer Taylor is a perfect example of the proverb, “Good things come in small packages.”

What can I say about “Miss Jenny.” The truth is, what can’t I say about Miss Jenny… she is the heart and soul of St. John’s Preschool. She is there to greet you in the morning and bid you farewell in the afternoon. She is never without a tremendous smile. What I love most – she puts your children first! In the carpool line, my twins pray that she is the one that is going to open their door. They LOOOOOOOOOVE her! Her kindness, grace and warmth is felt throughout the entire school. I feel so incredibly blessed to have her in my children’s lives. It is the most amazing feeling to be able to drop off your children and know they are safe and loved.

Let’s get to know a little bit more about this week’s Smarty Mom Jennifer Taylor. image5

Smarty Mom: Jennifer Taylor

Name: Jennifer Taylor
Married to: Jeff
Number of years married: 25
Number of Children & Ages: 19 and 22
Neighborhood: Olde Providence
Career: Preschool Director

Are you a Charlotte native?

If not, where did you move from?
Jackson, Michigan

What is your favorite date night place to go?
The Lodge Read More →

February 17, 2017

From the Smarty Education Corner and Charlotte Latin School: The Balmy Days of Winter


by Mary Yorke Oates, Director of Admissions, Charlotte Latin School

February and January are usually a time of snow days, ice storms, and “late starts.” Instead, I have seen boys and girls in shorts and windbreakers, skipping in and out of the school yard. Outdoor play has been delightful, and the children are engaged in an even more meaningful way with these balmy days of winter. With Chinese New Year, Martin Luther King day, the Inauguration, and our Global Studies focus on Egypt, this time of year is full of great learning opportunities. Our youngest students cement skills and acquire impressive tools for the academic journey ahead. In grades TK through 1, while students read, write and actively engage in math thinking; they also weave current events into historical moments. Lower School halls are filled with art projects such as Robert Indiana’s LOVE design so familiar to us this Valentine time of year, Paul Klee’s famous cats, and impressive face jugs help children understand the connection between self-portraiture, expression and pottery. The face jug collection alone celebrates the influence of Chinese and English cultures on society linking our own American roots to the tradition from our backdoor neighbors in Catawba County. Read More →

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