Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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August 30, 2015

Smarty Sunday SHARE: Komen Charlotte

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

Let’s play a word association game. Ready? Susan G. Komen.

What comes to mind? Probably breast cancer research, right? You might even know it’s the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit. a Komen run 1

But how much do you know about Komen Charlotte, the local affiliate? Here’s a quick primer. Read More →

August 29, 2015

Smarty Mom: Ashley Joseph

Ashley Joseph Fam

One week and counting and it’s back-to-school preschool style! We know you mamas of preschoolers are counting down the hours, actually, no seconds! Hang tight, there is light at the end of the tunnel. We want you to meet Ashley Joseph, owner of the best preschool gig in town, Gymboree Play & Music. Ashley and her staff have been the lifeline of preschool moms all over the QC.

For years, Gymboree Play & Music has been a new mom’s survival guide. Gymboree Play & Music has been fostering creativity and confidence in children ages 0-5 for over 30 years. Designed by experts, their age-appropriate activities help develop the cognitive, physical and social skills of children as they play. Team Smarty credits Gymboree for introducing us to our best mommy friends to date!

Let’s get cozy with Ashley!

What motivated you to start your business? 
I was in the corporate world for many years before my first child was born.  After he was born, I found myself wanting to spend as much time with him as possible, but I also realized that I always needed to have a project and something intellectually interesting to work on.  When I purchased the rights to Gymboree Play & Music in Charlotte, the business was in need of a complete overhaul on every dimension, and it gave me an endless set of challenges to work on.  However, I could work on ALL of them with my son at my side in a place that brought happiness and smiles to many, many families and children!
Read More →

August 28, 2015

Fitness Friday: Try AIR® today…for yourself or your kids

Air Charlotte

AIR Charlotte (Aerial Fitness), located in the heart of Myers Park at 1043-C Providence Rd, is now offering Kids AIR classes! Has your child ever wanted to FLY? Here’s her chance! Kids AIR® is an aerial fitness program designed just for kids- they will learn how to safely utilize the silk hammocks for an experience like no other. Kids will hang, swing, flip and fly, learning, strengthening and increasing flexibility along the way.

Fall sessions will start September 14th and end November 23rd. Classes will be held Monday’s from 4-5p. This 11-week program is for kids ages 8-12. Winter sessions will start January 11th. Cost is $250, register online by purchasing the Kids AIR Fall session package, or call 704-249-6757 with questions. Hurry, there are only a few spots left!

In addition to kids classes, AIR offers a variety of classes including barre, pilates, yoga, as well as the introductory classes like AIR Foundation and AIR Restore (aerial yoga) and more advanced AIR and AIR Tabata. Try your class for just $1 with promo code AIRCHARLOTTE to see what it’s all about! Read More →

August 27, 2015

From the Smarty Education Corner: Help your kids work through back to school anxieties

By: Adele Paynter, Head of Lower School at Charlotte Country Day School

First Day of JK

For most of us, underneath the excitement and joy is, at the very least, a slight tinge of anxiety. After all, newness and transitions–while fun and exciting–are also nerve-wracking. While I always loved school as a kid (yes, teacher’s pet, I know!), I still remember the “pit of dread” in my stomach the last week of summer. Even as a grown up, my end of summer was always marked with sleeplessness and the annual “I lost all my teacher power” dreams.

For our kids, the sources of their anxiety are both varied and predictable:
– Will I like my teachers? Will they like me?

– Will I have a friend in my class? What if I don’t know anyone?

– What happens if x is mean to me like s/he was last year?

– What if I can’t do the work? What if my classmates think I’m dumb?

– What if I can’t find my classroom? Read More →

Smarty Planner Picks: Emily Ley & Kate Spade from Sercie!

By Smarty Guest Blogger, Julie Tassy, Prez of Ella B Candles &

Now that you’ve posted your “first day of school” pic, and sent those darlings off to school, whatever will you do? I mean, you have spent the last three weeks with an elaborate supply list in your purse, a veritable treasure map to their academic success. It’s all checked and done. Now, it’s time to get your life in order.

And as much as we all appreciate our phones for the millions of things they can do, they just can’t replace our need for a write-it-down-on-paper planner. We need a big girl school supply list. Our two favorites are here:

The Emily Ley Simplified Planner

Emily Ley Simplified Planner

If you’ve never read her blog,, you’ll probably want to start. She’s like the Meg Ryan of bloggers. You can’t help but fall in love with her, and secretly wish you could be her. Her simplified planner is a rare jewel. August 2015 thru July 2016. It’s sold out most places, but we found some here. Read More →

August 26, 2015

Smarty Scoop on Weekend Events: August 28-30

Discovery Place

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

Memorial 5K

Save the date!

21st Annual Camp CARE 5k 

Saturday, September 12, 9:00 a.m. @ McAlpine Creek Park

Benefitting Camp CARE – a weeklong camp and year-round activities for children with cancer and their families. A child is, first and foremost, a child – not just a cancer patient. We provide support, fun and friendship throughout a family’s journey.  Continue reading…

Carolina Panthers vs. New England Patriots
Bank of America Stadium
800 South Mint Street, Charlotte, NC (800) 745-3000
Click here for schedule, All ages, Click here for ticket prices.

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. Read More →

August 25, 2015

Back to School Guide for Preschoolers

Now that the big kids are all back in school (let us all pause in a moment of silence to give thanks to the amazing teachers for taking our children back – we love school! :-)), it’s time to focus on the lil’ Smarties. Most preschools start back up next week – and yes, we hear your shouts of joy, preschool moms!

We headed over to our fave toy store in town, Toys & Co., to see what’s on their must-have list for the preschool crowd. There are seriously way to many to list here, but we did our best to find our faves!

Games and Workbooks

Toys and Co. has the BEST selection of preschool board games in town. Here are some of their faves. Click here for their full list.

Peaceable Kingdom
Board games 1

Thinkfun’s Zingo games are some of the best!
Board Games 2

While you’re there, pick up a few workbooks for home to reinforce the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, and more.
Preschool Workbooks


Jungle Jumparoo: Have you seen this yet? As seen on “Shark Tank,” it’s just the best thing to ever happen to a preschool mom who’s faced with a preschooler full of energy. Kids go CRAZY over it. Go directly to Toys & Co. for this one – quantity is limited!
Jumparoo Read More →

Smarty Alert: Camp LUCK hosts 5th annual ‘Open Your Heart’ auction


The 5th Annual “Open Your Heart” Auction & Dinner benefiting Camp LUCK, a medically supervised resident camp for kids ages 7-14 with significant congenital heart disease, will be Saturday, September 19 at Vapiano. 100% of funds raised go back to Camp LUCK.

The goal of Camp LUCK is to provide a positive experience that helps participants reach their potential by building self-esteem, friendships and character in a safe environment. Camp LUCK provides the opportunity for “heart kids” to be “regular kids” for a week and participate in activities that they might not normally be able to enjoy. One sibling has the opportunity to benefit from this incredible experience as well.11828627_1041970565821601_1458594555138267066_n

Camp LUCK is held at Camp Cherokee, which is nestled in Kings Mountain State Park in Blacksburg, SC. Campers get to participate in a wide variety of traditional and adventure programs such as swimming, hiking, athletics, canoeing, sailing, paddle boarding, archery, dancing, rock climbing, horseback riding and much more. Camp LUCK helps participants to appreciate the diversity of all people and become a part of a global community. Cabin life also plays an important role in teaching campers to be self-reliant and cooperate with others. Read More →

August 24, 2015

Smarty Alert: Register now for classes at Small Hands Big Art and get an Early Bird discount

Now’s the time to register your little artist for classes at one of the most colorful places in town, Small Hands Big Art. Classes will fill up fast PLUS register by September 1 for a 10% Early Bird discount. That Early Bird discount can be deducted for ALL classes you sign up for by September 1 – including Open Studio classes. Click here to see their full list of classes. Use coupon code EARLY to receive 10% off.

Small Hands Big Art Fall Classes

Mixed Media

Mixed Media art classes are rooted in fine art principles, fused with contemporary trends, & slathered in your child’s individual expression! Simply put, you’ll basically want to drive straight to the frame shop after pick up each week!mixed-media2

Painting, drawing, sculpture, collage, printmaking & more! Classes run in six week sessions and students are welcome to join anytime for a pro-rated fee. Ages 18m-14yrs.

Click here for class descriptions and registration info. Read More →

The importance of teaching empathy to our kids

Empathy. When a child has empathy from an early age, they are setting themselves up for a happier, more fulfilling life. When our kids learn to open their hearts to family, friends, and to strangers, their entire sense of well-being increases with each interaction. Cruelty and unkindness happens. And it is going to keep happening. But we want our own children to be advocates for the child receiving the brunt of hurtful actions and words. How many times can we look back in our own lives and think, “Why did I just watch or walk away? I should have done something to help that person”. Just think how harmonious the hallways of our schools would be if all of our children were empathetic. The more empathetic we become, the more human we become and the more human others become. Hearts expand and the ability to understand what another person is going through grows. As the new school year begins and my own kids walk the hallways and ride the bus, I pray they and their schoolmates practice empathy. Perhaps I am too empathetic thinking about my middle-schooler navigating his way, but I worry. I worry that he will encounter kids who just don’t care. Because in middle school, it is not always “cool” to care about someone else feelings. DSC_0048-2

What is empathy?
Empathy is often described as “standing in someone else’s shoes”. To quote Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird: ‘You never really understand another person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.’

Empathy is ability to understand another person’s perspective- their feelings, experiences, hopes, and struggles. Empathy is often confused with sympathy. Sympathy is feeling sorry for someone, while empathy is the effort of trying to consider what that other person is experiencing: to try and see the world through their eyes. Empathy also gives us the ability to control our own emotions, as well as help us to not assign our own emotions to others. Read More →

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