Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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November 22, 2014

Smarty Moms: Kelly Brooks and Kimberly Paulk

We are absolutely thrilled and honored to introduce you to two ladies doing incredible things here in Charlotte – Kelly Brooks and Kimberly Paulk. By now we’re sure you’ve seen (and hopefully used!) our weekly Smarty SHARE Sunday posts from SHARE Charlotte. They are an absolutely gem on our site – every single week, SHARE Charlotte (a free, easy and local website that makes it easy to learn about and engage with Charlotte’s local nonprofits) introduces us to nonprofits in our area. If you’re EVER looking for a way to get your family involved in our community, start with SHARE Charlotte.SHARE team-edited

These two Smarty Moms are working on something big this holiday season – #GivingTuesdayCLT. We’ll let them explain more, but look for Smarties all over Charlotte to be participating the Tuesday after Thanksgiving! We love the idea and can’t wait to see the good it will do.

Smarties, Meet Kelly and Kimberly!

Smarty Moms: Kelly Brooks and Kimberly Paulk

Smarty Mom Stats:
Married to: Paul, 13 years
Children: Olivia, 11 & Kasey, 10
Occupation: Small Business Owner: Founder, SHARE Charlotte
Hometown: Horseheads, NY
Years in Charlotte: 7
Alma Mater: State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany
‘Hood: Foxcroft

Married to: Shawn, 16 years
Son: Ethan, 12
Occupation: Partner, SHARE Charlotte
Hometown: St. Petersburg, Florida
Years in Charlotte: 9
Alma Mater: University of Denver
‘Hood: The Forest Read More →

November 21, 2014

Making HUGE strides with the Ballantyne Reading Academy for the Very Young (& a Smarty Steal)

The school year is in full effect. Things seem to be running smoothly and then you get your preschool calendar and there it is, January conferences. For preschool children this January conference is when you meet with your teachers to determine if your child should be taking the Transitional Kindergarten fork in the road, or sent directly to Kindergarten. My last child at this crossroad was a boy with a late summer birthday – no brainer for TK; but my youngest child is a bright little girl with a November birthday. My gut is telling me that she will be scooted right along to Kindergarten. (Crossing my fingers!)BRA Soph and Lisa

For parents of these children, you find them in Kindergarten classes with half of the kids attending TK and already reading. My son was this child and it gave me some comfort knowing that he was ahead of where he should be. My daughter will be on the opposite path, or actually right where a Kindergartner “should” be. So to make us feel a little better going into school next fall, we began researching some early reading resources to get the leg up that we wanted for her.

So with that in mind, I found the Ballantyne Reading Academy for the Very Young and the owner, Ms. Lisa Palladino.

I instantly fell in love with Lisa. She immediately made Sophia feel at home and secure. She conducted baseline testing on Sophia’s pre-reading skills. She tested her identification of both upper case and lower case letters as well as the matching sounds. She investigated her print awareness and reading comprehension skills and made notes of areas of improvement. She talked with me about discoveries and the personalized program she wanted to develop based on Sophia’s unique needs.

Since Sophia is very much a “girly-girl,” Lisa’s lesson materials often involved books and activities that appealed to her personality such as “Beatrix Potter’s Appley Dapply Nursery Rhymes” for the short A sound and a “Tea party” for the letter T. “Frozen” was of course used for letter F activities too. Read More →

Fitness Friday: Title Boxing Club – When Crunches Aren’t Enough

From our friends at Title Boxing Ayrsley and Charlotte

Unfortunately, in order to improve posture, balance, and positioning — all of which are crucial to boxing — you actually need to go beyond doing crunches to build your core muscles. But before you go running the other way, you should know that since punching actually requires you to engage your abs, back, hips, and thighs, strengthening your core will only give you an advantage. Luckily we have plenty of ways to easily work on your core either from the comfort of home or at the gym. And you do want to add more power to your punch, right? Well then, listen up!Title Boxing Nov 21

– Grab a medicine ball and do 10 to 12 seconds of chest passes.

– Do press-ups with your feet on a stability ball. It may take extra effort to keep your balance but try to perform 10 of these to work out your abs, shoulders, back, and arms.

– Use your ankles to pick up the stability ball and lower it without letting it touch the floor. Lift your legs and aim to repeat 20 times. Feeling the burn, yet?

– You can also do planks with a stability ball. Start by holding for 30 seconds and built up to a minute. You can do it! And if you don’t have a stability ball, a regular plank or side plank will also do the trick. Read More →

November 20, 2014

A MUST Event for Parents of 4th/5th graders: Girlology & Guyology on Dec 7

Our Smarty friends Girlology & Guyology will be hitting the road and heading to Charlotte on December 7th. Not familiar with this AMAZING program for moms & kids, then read on!

melisa_trish Girlology

What began in 2003 as a grassroots outreach of busy clinical practices, is now a growing national brand with the voice parents trust for age-appropriate, medically accurate, engaging and cringe-free messages about growing up safe, healthy and informed, especially when it comes to sexuality. Girlology and Guyology are helping kids face puberty and growing up with knowledge and confidence. And they are helping parents start conversations that matter. Join this crew on December 7th and learn everything about puberty and staying healthy (and nothing more!). There’s no discussion about exactly how babies are made, but all the other stuff and in a super fun and safe environment. I took my oldest to a Girlology event a few years ago and it was so amazing. My daughter left actually wanting to get her period, they made it sound that cool! These ladies are fun, funny and informative – no awkwardness about it! I will definitely be taking my 5th grader to a Girlology event in the near future! I hope you’ll join me! Hurry, spaces for this popular event fill up FAST! To register, click here. Read More →

November 19, 2014

Smarty Scoop on Weekend Events: November 21-23

Discovery Place

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


Our Soccer Shots Fall FUNfest will be on Saturday, November 22nd. This FUNfest will be our biggest and best yet; you do not want to miss it!

It will be held at the soccer fields at Calvary – 5801 Pineville Matthews Rd., Charlotte, NC 28226, and we’ll be there from 11:00 – 2:00. We will be finishing up our Saturday morning seasons that day, so be sure to come celebrate with us after your session ends. There is plenty of parking, restrooms, and places to hang out, plus all the activities are FREE! We’ll also have plenty of cool food options for purchase, and we’ll be raffling off several free seasons and Soccer Shots gift packs.

THURSDAY, November 20

UniverSoul Circus

Old Freedom Mart
3146 Freedom Drive, Charlotte, NC (800) 316-7439
November 18-23, See website for schedule, All ages, $15.
Summary: A must see… enjoy one of the most entertaining and interactive circuses in the world.

Charlotte International Auto Show 
Charlotte Convention Center
501 S. College St., Charlotte, NC (704) 364-1078
November 20-24, See website for schedule, $10, Kids under 12 free
Summary: Over 400 vehicles…nearly 6 football fields in the display area! Experience the latest in automotive technology! Fun for the whole family.

Read More →

November 18, 2014

Smarty Alert: Soccer Shots Fall FUNfest This Weekend

The Soccer Shots Fall FUNfest is THIS weekend, Saturday, November 22nd. Soccer Shots promises that this FUNfest will be the biggest and best yet – definitely one you do not want to miss it! Anyone is welcome – you do NOT have to be a part of Soccer Shots to join in on the fun.Soccer Shots Banner

FUNfest will be held at the soccer fields at Calvary Church from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm. There is plenty of parking, restrooms, and places to hang out, plus all the activities are FREE (the best part yet!)! They’ll be plenty of food for purchase, including Vic the Chili Man and two new food trucks: The Chrome Toaster and The Southern Cake Queen. They’ll be raffling off several free seasons and Soccer Shots gift packs.

And get this, there will be bubble soccer by Carolina Bubble Soccer at this year’s FUNfest – we have no idea what this is, but it looks super fun (check out the video on their web site). They’ll be offering fun FREE bubble soccer games for children AND adults!

See you there! Read More →

Register now for Camp Harrison’s Winter Weekend

Peep THIS, Smarties! Camp Harrison is hosting a Winter Weekend – past and future campers can come together for a full weekend of winter fun. Maybe your camper had a blast at Camp Harrison last summer and can’t wait a full year to return, or maybe you know someone who wants to give Harrison a try – this is a great weekend to do it! Plus, think of all the holiday shopping you could get down in a full weekend?  Harrison SmoresWinter weekend at Camp Harrison is Friday, December 5 to Sunday, December 7, 2014. Here’s what on the schedule:

– Activities include Ropes Course, Horseback Riding, Sports, Crafts, and much more!Harrison Horse

– Enjoy cool nights with a bon-fire (s’mores included!)

– Stay in warm heated cabins with your favorite counselors

– Eat awesome camp food (Camp Harrison seriously has the best camp food ever!)

– Sing and dance your heart out after meals in the dining hall

Visit to download and print application. Cost is $99 (but we like to think of it as priceless!). Read More →

Top 5 Reasons why you need a mobile vet in your life

Henry Plym w Dr Sage

I’ve told you how much I love Dr. Alexis Sage with Mobile Equine & Housecall Service here. She has the most laid back personality, which is a good feature to have when dealing with vet services – the $’s add up really fast and you don’t want someone who is quick to order a million tests and bloodwork. Dr. Sage is really good about the less is more approach and looks at things one symptom at a time. And my animals absolutely ADORE her (cats too, see pic here!).

Me & my furry critters have been hanging with Dr. Sage for two years now and here are my top 5 reasons why you should hang with her too!

Smarty Top 5 Reasons why you need a mobile vet:

5) She’ll support you when you screw up. I did that in a big way recently, I was late in putting flea meds on my cats. Of course, we immediately got fleas, damn the luck. Our cats who never go outside got outside and it just so happened that I was late on the flea meds application. Let me tell ya, Smarties, fleas are worse than lice, hands down. Unlike lice, fleas lay eggs on and off the host. If you see a flea on your animal, you probably have 15 more. Each flea can lay up to 100 eggs, pretty much anywhere in your house. And no pesticide application will kill the eggs, they are in a super protected casing. So when they hatch (and they all will at some point), they will come find an animal. This cycle has been going on in my house for 6 weeks. It is my worst nightmare. We have everything bagged up (just like lice) – pillows, blankets, sofa cushions, you name it, we have it bagged. We have the most basic linens on our beds right now, so I can wash them daily – and we are freezing! We feel like we are just about ahead of this situation and Dr. Sage has been by my side the whole time. Today is a pivotal day in this flea fight – we’re spraying for the 2nd time. Funny part is all humans and animals have to be out of the house for 5 hours. So me, my four kids, 2 dog cats and a dog will be driving around Charlotte this afternoon – yay, us! Oh, did I mention that I even shaved my cats? Yup, as bald as the hairless cat on Austin Powers. So much easier to flea comb. Fun, huh? (Look at them, they are so COLD!) Read More →

November 16, 2014

Smarty Alert and Flash Giveaway: NC Baby + Children’s Designer Warehouse Sale

Smarties, mark your calendars and get ready – the NC Baby + Children’s Designer Warehouse Sale is THIS Friday morning in Matthews. We’ve got all the deets AND a Smarty flash giveaway! Read quickly and enter today – we’re picking three winners so don’t miss out. And, need we remind you that the holidays are quickly approaching? This would be the perfect place to stock up on gifts.

First of all: the brands! Bella Tunno, Wry Baby, Tadpole and Lily, Padalilly, and Addie & Ella will be there – SUCH cute designer brands and all with ties to North Carolina. We LOVE this. More info here – and don’t overlook the free coffee and donuts part ;-). No need to even eat breakfast – get there early and get in on all the goodies!

Designer Warehouse Sale Read More →

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