Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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September 2, 2014

What can you do this week for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month?

September 1st is the start of my favorite month of the year, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  It’s the one month of the year that I feel like my voice is heard and people actually do something to make a difference for these kids who are suffering.  One of the best things about this month is that so many fun events are organized to get the whole family involved.  It’s not longer about just writing a check or signing a petition.  Instead, you can actually have FUN while making a difference.  Take a look at some of the things you can do this week…

1. Thursday, September 4th – Triple C Superhero beer run.  The reason for the superhero costume you ask?  Triple C Beer Runners are proudly supporting ISF as they countdown the days until their flagship event on September 20th.  This year they will be running with a “superhero and princess” theme in honor and memory of their founder, Isabella Santos.  Come dressed as your favorite superhero to help build excitement for the 5k for Kids Cancer.  The run starts t 6:30 but the fun will last all night at Triple C Brewery!  For more information, check out Triple C’s Facebook Page!

triplecrun2. Friday, September 5th – Pure Barre’s Pulse for Charity – Who’s ready to tuck for a good cause??  Pure Bure Barre in Ballantyne will be hosting a Donation Only Class on Friday at 6:00pm in honor of the Isabella Santos Foundation.  New and old clients are welcome and don’t be afraid to bring your man to class.  Beer and champagne will be provided after class as motivation.  Best part?  Charlotte Smarty Pants own Cheryl Perry will be teaching!  To register for the class, call Pure Barre at 704-502-5888 or if you are a member, schedule your class online!

PureBarreLogo Read More →

How do I never see it coming?

This is the thing about getting older: it happens very slooooowly, but hits you really quickly smack-dab in the Crow’s feet when you least expect it. Sure, we’re all feeling a little older this month – what with Back to School time and all. Our babies are one year older. My Facebook feed is chocked full of the #timeflies, #howdidthishappensofast, #wheredidthetimego with every Back to School picture.

But don’t we all know where THAT time went? It passed with each sleepless night, each harried dinner prepared without a plan, each weekend soccer game, each shoe tied, and each schizophrenic tantrum of a three-year-old. We of all people should know where THAT time went. We watched it all happen. Heck, we made it happen.

What boggles my mind is how this happens:Nikki Taylor Talbots

How does Niki Taylor end up in a Talbot’s catalog?? And how dare she think it acceptable to infiltrate our mailboxes with this debauchery – this slam-in-the sun-spotted face – on a perfectly normal Tuesday afternoon while I let my CrockPot dinner simmer? There wasn’t a mirror in sight – I wasn’t even thinking about the first half of my thirties until this rolled in. Read More →

September 1, 2014

Smarty’s Yummiest Giveaway: Four tickets to the Yiasou Greek Festival

Yiasou, Smarties! Back for its 37th year, The Yiasou Greek Festival is quickly approaching. It’s THIS weekend – September 4-7 at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral (600 East Boulevard). This is one of Charlotte’s largest cultural festivals and one you do NOT want to miss. Come for the food, stay for the festivities – there’s so much to do, see, and taste.GreekFest13 And, yep, we’ve got a giveaway for four (4) lucky Smarties – this one is QUICK so make sure you enter right this minute :-) !

Use these Smarty tips that the Festival’s own gave us as the must-see-and-do’s of the Yiasou Festival:

- Pick up your “Festival Guide” at entrance of festival.
- Make the best of your visit by dressing comfortably and travel with compact strollers.
- Learn the history of the Greek orthodox religion by taking part in a church tour.
- Enjoy live Greek dancing on 2 stages every 15 minutes.
- Enjoy the sounds of the Mediterranean as you indulge in Greek cuisine.
- Hot dogs and pizza available for picky eaters
- Traditional Greek meal served in average home can be bought inside the Fr C hall
- Don’t have time to stay? Drive up and pick up your favorite Greek foods on Winthrop Ave. between East Blvd. and E. Worthington Ave. For faster service, print the drive-thru menu (located at bottom right corner of their home page), fill it out, and present it to an attendant servicing the drive-through line. Read More →

What To Expect When Moving From Elementary To Middle School And Middle To High School

Whether your child is “graduating” from elementary school to middle school or from middle school to high school, the transition is a major one. Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center reminds parents that any time a student changes schools can be overwhelming—and particularly when the expectations of the student are higher in his or her new environment. “It’s critical for students to successfully navigate these leaping off points,” says Huntington. She offers several tips for parents whose children are making such a transition:student studying

From elementary to middle school

Stay organized. If your child is disorganized, it will rear its ugly head when he or she moves into middle school. Students in middle school must get used to taking classes from up to eight different teachers for the first time—and keeping track of assignments, projects and homework for each of those classes. Arm your child with a simple, but effective homework organizational system, such as a notebook in which to record assignments for each class each day. Hang a calendar in a central place in the home where your child can record upcoming assignment and test due dates so you can help him or her stay on track.

Hand over the reins. In elementary school, many parents stay closely involved in their child’s homework, but middle school is a whole new ballgame in terms of accountability. Your child must learn to take ownership of his or her academic life. Talk with his or her teachers about how to build and foster independence while still guiding your child toward school success. Read More →

The true meaning of Labor Day

According to Wikipedia, Labor Day is a celebration of the American labor movement and was first celebrated in 1887.labor_day_poster

To me, Labor Day has come and gone twice in my life. One resulting in my daughter and more recently, my son. Labor, in the literal sense, isn’t anything worth celebrating. There are things that happen during “Labor Day” that they just don’t tell you during your birthing prep classes.

Here are a few points of Labor Day that anyone should know:

Contractions: At first, it feels like PMS. Then out of nowhere it feels like your uterus is being used as one large stress ball. You try to move out of it but it just won’t stop. One minute feels like five and when it’s over, all you can do is wait and count until the next wave to hit you.

Water Breaking: My water didn’t break with my first delivery, but it sure did with the second – all over our brand new mattress. At first I thought I just peed the bed, but after talking to a nurse while being unable to stop “peeing”, I realized that I was in labor. That and the fact that my contractions came on in full force (reference the above point).

Sense of humor: I’d like to think I have a pretty good funny bone. As I lay in the hospital bed trying to breathe through my contractions, waiting for the Anesthesiologist to come bring his magical medicine, I lost all sense of humor. My poor husband tried to lighten the mood by cracking jokes, but at that point I was possessed by contraction pain and turned into an evil human being. Read More →

August 31, 2014

CSP & SHARE Charlotte: Education-Based Charities

Note: This is a joint effort from CSP and SHARE Charlotte

Education helps define the next generation’s outcomes. - Rebecca Wofford, Executive Director of The Lunch Project, and mom of two

Education is one of the best tools our children have in creating a happy and healthy life, but some kids and families in our community need a little extra help getting that strong start – whether it be tutoring, school supplies, or just a mentor.Classroom Central

We’ve listed some local organizations that are doing amazing work for today’s youth – both here in Charlotte and in places around the world. Some just need financial donations; some need volunteers; and, some need a little of each. Take a look and think about how you can make a difference.

This list isn’t final! If you know of an organization that isn’t listed, please feel free to add it in the Comments section below with a link to its web site!

Education-Based Charities

The Learning Collaborative – Provides a tuition free, high quality preschool education to at-risk families through a unique partnership with our children, families, parents, staff and community. Their annual fundraiser is coming up September 16th at Myers Park Presbyterian Church. Is a free lunch to learn more about getting involved or donating. Click here for more information on the annual fundraiser.

The Lunch Project – Through school-based and individual programs, The Lunch Project encourages kids to problem solve around some of the more difficult questions facing our community and the world. They also develop and support lunch programs for schools in Tanzania. Read More →

August 30, 2014

Smarty Mom: Matiland Danner (pssst! A bonus giveaway is included!)

I’m super excited to re-introduce you to Smarty Mom, Maitland Danner. For those of you loyal, longtime CSP readers, her name might sound familiar because she was a Smarty Mom waaaaay back in 2008 when little ol’ CSP was in its infancy (and so were many of our kids!!). Today, as development director for the Isabella Santos Foundation, she is just one piece in an amazing purple puzzle of dedicated teammates that is working to put an end to childhood cancer. I’ve been lucky to see this group in action, and let me tell you – their loyalty, positivity, creativity, and enthusiasm for what they do is MIND BLOWING. Danner Family at ISF Race

I’ll let her explain more about her job, what the organization is doing today, and how you can be involved, but most importantly, I’ll first tell you to mark September 20 on your calendar. The ISF 5k and 10k Race for Kids Cancer. Many more details are here on their site. Read Maitland’s interview today, get inspired to run, volunteer, or just donate. And, as a major bonus, scroll all the way down and enter to win one of FIVE ISF race entries that are up for grabs. Yep, 5. Details below, but first, let me proudly re-introduce you to Maitland!

Smarty Mom Maitland Danner

Smarty Stats:

Married to: Chad for 13 years
Children: Tyler (10) Hayes (8)
Years in Charlotte: 18
Hometown: Asheville, NC
‘Hood: Tax office says Marvin …post office tells me Waxhaw..I live 2 miles from the Charlotte city limit and 15 miles from Waxhaw. No clue. Ha!
Occupation: Development Director, The Isabella Santos Foundation
Alma Mater: Appalachian State University Read More →

August 29, 2014

Smarty Back-to-School Giveaway: The Best Water Bottles EVER by Contigo!

Contigo AUTOSEAL Cortland Family

Smarties, we’re really excited about this giveaway – it’s practical and perfect for back-to-school. Meet the best water bottles ever – Contigo!

The Contigo brand is now a leading innovator of Travel Mugs, Water Bottles and Kids Bottles. Their first innovation was a patented AUTOSEAL technology which was designed to automatically seal between sips so you never have to worry about spilling another drop. They originally launched this revolutionary feature on a travel mug (to tackle the coffee dribble down the shirt issue) and because of it’s popularity they came up with new ways to apply it a variety of stylish water bottles and kids bottles. AUTOSEAL is now America’s #1 Selling* line of travel mugs.

What I love about Contigo Kids Water bottles is that they are BPA-free and they are simple with no random parts that will get funky over time – no extra straws, rubber spouts and such that will inevitably collect mold. Our fam has a ridiculous collection of Camel Bak bottles and they drive me absolutely crazy. They either have a zillion different sizes that get lost as soon as you wash them once, or they get mold in the hard-to-clean areas. Not to mention, Camel Bak bottles cost a small fortune at around $20-ish a pop. Contigo bottles have one top with revolutionary technology and they cost at most $15, and that’s for the mac-daddy coffee mugs. Contigo water bottles for my kids cost $8.99 (less 20% off with our CSP code!) with no need to order lost replacement parts. And the Gracie fits PERFECTLY in your lunch boxes. I’m IN! Read More →

Fitness Friday: Pure Barre – Personal Training in a Group Setting

Gettin’ your fitness on now that the kids are back to school? We highly recommend heading straight over to one of our fave places: Pure Barre. A few Smarties on our team have been lift, tone, burning for over three years now (check out Smarty Cheryl’s review from way back in 2012 – she became so addicted she became an instructor!), and we must say, we love it more today than we ever have.

PB ladies 2

It’s because we feel tighter, leaner, and stronger.  It’s because every class is incredibly hard but incredibly fun every single time. It’s also because every time we leave the studio we feel like we got a taste of personal training but in a group setting – a really inspiring group setting of women in all stages of life and fitness. We’ve met fellow moms, (sickenly) young college students, grandmothers, empty nesters, doctors, nurses, and sales women. We’ve met women whose flexibility should land them in Cirque du Soleil and women who are just getting back into shape from a fitness break.

Pure Barre has them all, PLUS a group of amazing instructors whose sole job is to make sure you get a great work out. We love that part. One of the things that makes Pure Barre really unique is that, rather than actually “doing” the class with you, Pure Barre instructors spend most of the class making sure every client is working to her full potential – whether it be correcting the client’s form, pushing her heels a little higher, or sending her “seat” (that’s the Pure Barre term for…well, you know) a little lower, the instructors make sure to squeeze every little inch of strength and determination you have right out in those crazy small movements. Read More →

August 28, 2014

From the Smarty Health Corner: Escape the Pain from Varicose Veins

By our Smarty friends at Charlotte Radiology

Charlotte Radiology Veins

Varicose veins can be unsightly and unpleasant. But you don’t have to live with the pain. The Charlotte Radiology Vein & Vascular Center offers the latest in minimally-invasive procedures for the treatment of varicose veins.

What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen, tortuous veins associated with faulty valves in underlying, unhealthy veins. In the case of someone with healthy veins, the valves within them stop the blood from remaining stagnant or flowing back– they open and close so that the blood can only flow in one direction. If the valves are damaged or weakened, this may cause the blood to leak and accumulate, or pool, in the vein.

What are symptoms of varicose veins?
Patients often describe a feeling of heaviness in their legs. Also, tiredness, aching, cramping, burning, restless legs and night cramps can all be a sign of varicose veins lurking beneath the surface. And, it’s possible to have NO visible varicosities. Read More →


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