Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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March 23, 2018

Smarty Podcast: The Importance of School ‘Specials’


Welcome back to the Charlotte Smarty Pants podcast series, which is powered by Charlotte Star Room, Charlotte’s premier boutique music development and corporate video production studio + the best birthday parties in the QC, the Popstar music video parties, AND professional voice lessons in a studio.

You can now find the entire Smarty podcast series on iTunes! So, please subscribe and share!

Today Smarties Jen P. and Cheryl are talking to educator Mary Yorke Oates, Admissions Director at Charlotte Latin School, about the importance of school “Specials” like art, music, and drama.

Click to listen to the podcast. Read More →

Fitness Friday: Quick! Get summer-ready at CycleBar

Smarties, you know we are in LOVE with Charlotte’s best cycle studio, CycleBar Waverly and CycleBar Midtown. We think it’s one of the friendliest, toughest, and most fun workouts in town. What you might not know (or maybe have forgotten) is that summer is right around the corner. Yea, we know it’s freezing right now, BUT you know Charlotte weather. It’s going to be hot, like, tomorrow. So, do yourself a favor and sweat out your winter sins on the bike. You’ll be so happy you did when you pull out the shorts and tank tops (please LAWD let that be soon!). CycleBar Summer Ready 2018

Think of this as your Friday motivation. Game on.

Five reasons to get summer-ready at CycleBar:

1. The instructors. CycleStars, CycleBar’s instructors, are so incredibly motivating. Even when you’re having one of those days when you just don’t feel like working out, we promise you that your CycleStar will motivate you. Each one will push you to your limits. You’ll leave feeling stronger and more powerful than when you started. Promise.

2. The music. Every CycleBar class is like a dance party – where else can you go to a dance party at 9:30 am on a Monday (I mean, besides your minivan)? You can totally lose yourself in each song and just ride. We also love their super creative themed rights (can we get a Usher vs. Justin Timberlake next?). Read More →

March 22, 2018

Our Devices Are Telling Us We Should Turn Them Off… And Embrace The Silence

By Tom Holland, Director Wilderness Adventures


This morning, the podcast I was listening to on my smartphone was playing a story about disconnecting from our devices. The irony of the moment was not lost on me. As I worked out and listened to the story about how we should take breaks from technology, I looked around and observed that everyone else in the gym was also listening to their headphones or staring at a device. It was in this moment of awakening that I began to miss the silence.

After the story ended (and I was anxious about living in a world where silence no longer exists), I unplugged and let my mind wander. And it felt great. Running on a treadmill with no sounds or videos, my brain took a few moments to remember what to do… and then it just wandered. Read More →

Smarty Summer Camp Guide 2018: Charlotte Prep

Charlotte Prep Summer Camp 2018

Summer’s Coming—Are You Ready?

Maybe this recent burst of warm weather has you dreaming of summer. Perhaps you long to give your kids a summer like you had—full of fun, new friends and time to play. Now is the perfect time to consider Camp Prep for your rising 1st-rising 7th grader and to make plans to join us this summer.

We designed Camp Prep with busy families in mind—those who may be looking for a week or two of summer fun or those who need full-time summer care. Each week we focus on a different theme and offer developmentally appropriate activities that give campers an opportunity to play and experience new things in a safe and nurturing environment. From Hawaiian Luau to Galactic Adventures—there is a week that will appeal to every child. Each session includes Pizza Friday, a field trip, and the ever-popular excursion to Rama Swim & Racquet Club for swimming fun.

Click here for all the Camp Prep details and start planning your summer of fun right now. Read More →

March 21, 2018

Smarty Scoop On Weekend Events March 23-25



The Big Spring Clean 2018
Various locations (see website)
March 24, 9:00am – 1:00pm, Ages 5+, Free
​All children 14 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Everyone under the age of 18 must have a guardian waiver signed
Summary: Help clean up streams and lakes by participating in a one day event called The Big Spring Clean! Volunteers register for one of several stream or lake locations sponsored across Mecklenburg County. They gather on a Saturday morning to spend a few hours working together to collect trash out of streams and lakes. All supplies are provided. Each year, about 500 volunteers clean up an average of 10 tons of trash! Volunteers have fun, make a big difference, and learn the importance of taking care of our local waterways. Read More →

Smarty Summer Camp Guide 2018: CSA Camps

CSA Camps, an affiliate of Charlotte Soccer Academy, offers a variety of camps open to the public. Both recreational level camps and competitive level camps are offered. CSA Summer Camp 2018

Our Summer Camp Series includes both general skill building camps and position specific camps with locations in Pineville at the OrthoCarolina Sportsplex, Concord at the Red Ventures Complex and Matthews at Davie Park.

Players of all skill levels and ages 5 and up, are welcome. Click here to register.

We offer early registration discounts! Read More →

March 20, 2018

Smarty Summer Camp Guide 2018 & Charlotte Latin School: Why Should Kids Go To Camp?

CLS 2018

By Laura Walker, Charlotte Latin Summer Day Camps Assistant Director

When kids are asked, “Why do you like camp?” the answer is typically the same, because it is fun! But what really makes camp fun? Is it the counselors? The activities? The water balloon toss? Pie Friday? Or making slime? It’s all of these things and more! At Charlotte Latin Summer Day Camps, exploration and excitement meet our campers’ willingness to take on new challenges, dive deeper into things they love and try new things. Camp is much more than just a service to parents; it is an opportunity for children to develop new friends and explore new interests and places. Camp is also about good, old-fashioned fun and games!

CLS 2018 3 Read More →

From the Smarty Education Corner: Meet Lake Norman/Davidson’s newest IB School, Coddle Creek Elementary

By Guest Blogger, Cindy Johnson


I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up, kids went to their home school. In other words, where you lived determined where you went to school. There were few, if any, charter schools, IB schools, magnet schools, etc. Fast forward to now and my, how things have changed! The options are infinite. Now, as parents, we have to make that decision too (because we don’t already have enough responsibility on our shoulders, right?) Thanks to the abundance of options, it is practically a full-time job to research the various schools in our area. Who has time for that, though? (Insert subtle reminder of the copious amounts of responsibility we have). Worry no more, though, because I have you covered (at least a little bit). I did some of the legwork for you on one of the best new school options in the Davidson/Lake Norman area: Coddle Creek Elementary School (CCE). Full disclaimer: I have a son in 4th grade at CCE and am ridiculously in love with the administration, teachers, staff, and the philosophy of the school. Let me illustrate why…

Coddle Creek Elementary (CCE) is on its way to making history in the Iredell-Statesville School District by becoming the first International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP).* According to the International Baccalaureate website, “PYP students learn how to take control of their learning, teachers collaborate to deepen student- learning and increase their confidence and self-motivation. The whole school community, including parents, are viewed as partners in learning, and actively contribute to a holistic educational experience.”

To elaborate on these concepts, I interviewed Coddle Creek Elementary Principal, Susan Fail. As an administrator of CCE, it has always been her philosophy to develop the whole child. Given the opportunity to become an IB School has allowed her, the teachers, and the staff to do just that. As an IB school, they focus each month on a different Learner Profile (see image attachment below). According to Principal Fail, “This allows us to make better humans. We are celebrating humans.” With that being said, can you think of any argument where creating “better humans,” especially in our world today, could be a bad thing? I know I sure can’t! Read More →

March 19, 2018

Storytelling through People of CLT

mailiswithcoachlamonteTwo years ago, Smarty Mom and Writer, Mai-Lis Bahr, launched PeopleofCLT. Since then, over 124 stories—and counting—have been shared on the storytelling platform, bringing awareness to causes, triumphs, talents, adversities, advocates, and honoring stories from the community.

How did you become drawn to storytelling?

Around the dinner table, I found myself in awe of my parents stories. My mom is a war refugee and my dad grew up in the foster care system of NYC after being given up by his father at the tender age of three, when his mother passed away. Their stories opened the door to my profound interest in storytelling, igniting a curiosity about others as well. I always think about someone’s story: who are they, where have they been, and where are they going? I try to imagine what it is like to walk in their shoes and it makes me engage with the world more. People become human. Disgruntled waiters are forgiven, I-phones are put down at checkouts, and we look up, we LISTEN.

What impact do you believe stories have?

Stories have POWER—they teach, motivate, inspire, and encourage empathy and inclusion. Stories help us make sense of our own worlds through the lens of another; they make us pause for reflection. Sometimes the hardest person to see is yourself. Stories offer profound teaching moments and they let us know that we are never alone. And stories weave a community together. In our often divisive world, this couldn’t be more important.

Read More →

March 17, 2018

Smarty Mom: Ashley Cox

Ashley Cox

CSP Note: We love “Smarty Mominations,” and today’s comes from CSP reader Tyler Larmee who thought Ashley Cox would make a super Smarty Mom. Tyler and I tag-teamed on this one. Tyler wrote the intro, and I did the interview. Thanks SO much, Tyler, for introducing us to Ashley, and thanks to Ashley for sharing her family and life with us! ~ Cheryl

Ashley was destined to lead Home Design & Décor magazine. As a college student, this Charlotte native began her career as an intern at Charlotte magazine. She continued to grow her portfolio as a contributing writer to area lifestyle publications Charlotte, Charlotte Wedding and Charlotte Home + Garden.

In 2013, Ashley made a huge move to New York and joined the editorial staff of Traditional Home, where she moved up the ranks to Associate Market Editor under the tutelage of industry veterans, learning the ins and outs of creating a magazine. During her tenure at the respected home publication, Ashley earned her certificate in Interior Design from the famed Parsons School of Design. But Charlotte called her home. With her new position as Editor-in-Chief of Home Design & Décor, Ashley combines her experience in lifestyle magazine production and interior design. As a mom to a young son and another baby due this spring, as well as wife to fellow Charlotte native and emergency room doctor, we know the Smarties will love getting to know Ashley.

~ Tyler Larmee

Smarty Mom: Ashley Cox

Married to:​ Married to Dalton Cox; It will be four years in August​.
Children:​ My son, Wilder, is 14 months old; Baby girl is due in May. Things are about to get real interesting! ​
Years in Charlotte:​ Although I’m a native Charlottean, I’ve only lived here as an adult for a few years.
Hometown:​ Charlotte​
Area of Charlotte you call home: ​Old Foxcroft​
Occupation:​ Editor​, Home Design & Decor
Alma Mater: ​University of South Carolina​

Tell us what you do for Home Design & Decor magazine.

I oversee all of the editorial for the magazine, which means that I manage and produce all of the creative content ​for the front of book stories, as well as the feature home articles.

How did you get started in the magazine industry?

I was one of the unfortunate many to have graduated college at the onset of the recession. So when I moved to New York, I quickly realized that my degree in just fashion wasn’t going to cut it in terms of landing a job with Vogue. To ride it out, I decided to go back to school and get my master in journalism where I focused my attention on magazine production. For my practicum, which is basically an internship on crack, I worked for Charlotte magazine and really fell in love with the industry. Read More →

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