Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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December 16, 2017

Smarty Mom: Teena Ray

I am absolutely thrilled to feature a fellow colleague of mine. I’ve known this Smarty Mom since I started working at a local ad agency, almost 13 years ago! I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know her better, and her amazing family, over the past few years. Teena is such a role model of mine as a working mom. Seeing how she rolls with it all is admirable to say the least. Watching Teena go through one of the scariest times of her life with her daughter being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes was heart wrenching but seeing how her family continues to thrive is awe inspiring. Let’s get to know Teena!20150808_1422091001

Smarty Mom: Teena Ray

Name: Teena Ray
Married to: Marty Ray
Children: Lauren and Mitchell – 17 years old
Occupation: Corporate Services Director -Wray Ward

First things first, please tell us about you and your hubby! How did you meet? How is he THE one?

Marty and I met when we were in elementary school but started dating, (going together) when we were 13. We were in 8th grade. He says he fell in love with me the minute he saw me walk into class Mrs. Anderson’s class, 7th grade. He can remember what I was wearing, very tight jeans and a purple and white striped shirt, with my hair pulled up on one side. (It was the 80’s) It however took longer for me. We became best friends, and still are today. I finally agreed to go out with him in 8th grade and here we are, will be married 25 years in July.

Tell us about the moment you found out you were having twins!

I found out I was having twins when I was 8 weeks pregnant. I knew something was up because at 8 weeks, I could not button any of my pants, and I was a size 2 then. When we had the sonogram, I could not see the screen, but I could see Marty’s eyes, and they were big as plates. We were terrified and very excited. Read More →

December 15, 2017

Smarty Fitness Friday: Twelve Days of Fit-mas at Pure Barre


Smarties, you are in luck because it is the Twelve days of Fit-mas at Pure Barre!

On the first day of Fit-mas
My true love bought for me
My FIRST week’s package of classes for FREE

One the second day of Fit-maspbstickysocks
My true love bought for me
TWO sticky socks
And my FIRST week’s package of classes for free

One the third day of Fit-mas
My true love bought for me
Three Pure Barre hats
Two sticky socks
And my first week’s package of classes for free

One the fourth day of Fit-mas
My true love bought for me
Four water bottles
Three Pure Barre hats
Two sticky socks
And my first week’s package of classes for free Read More →

December 14, 2017

Smarty Trunk Show @ the Buttercup: MADE in the Deep South 12/14-12/17

Made in the Deep South Brooch

As featured in our Smarty Favorite Things Giveaway, we bring you a super Smarty trunk show at the Buttercup featuring MADE in the Deep South that you’re not going to want to miss! (P.S. Today is your LAST day to enter that amazing fab-fest!). The MADE in the Deep South trunk show will be at the Buttercup today through December 17th. Head over asap and give your hubbies some serious winks so he knows exactly what to put under your tree this year!

On MADE in the Deep South:

MADE in the Deep South jewelry line was created with the idea of making “one-of-a-kind” pieces for women that strive to express their own personal style. We start with vintage and antique pieces that are collected all over the world, some dating back to the 1800s. The vintage pieces are then deconstructed, mixed with other pieces and other materials to create “new,” stand-out jewelry. Every MADE piece is unique and varies in style depending upon the piece itself, and the era it came from. They all have their own history and story to tell. Each MADE piece is adorned with a “story card” that provides its very own biography.

We have been in business 7 years now (can’t believe it)! It all started by accident when I found something bright and shiny in an antique store over Thanksgiving holiday. I was wearing a braided leather cuff at the time and tied the piece on with Kitchen twine! People began stopping me to ask where I bought it and so I sat down to truly figure out how to properly construct them, and the rest is history! I did my first art show with a measly 26 cuffs and in walked my first retailer asking to sell them in her boutique. I expanded into necklaces within 6 months and continuously strive to expand and evolve the line. My goal is to pass on a piece of history with these vintage pieces and make one of a kind jewelry that truly expresses each woman’s personal style. I LOVE the hunt of finding the vintage pieces and creating something “new” with them. When I get the vintage pieces I always wonder – where has each piece been? What has it witnessed and been a part of in the past? How did it’s original owner cherish it and take pride in wearing it? I love knowing I am breathing a new life into them and passing on the history they have already acquired.

I hope you enjoy our special Charlotte trunk show! Fondly, Michela of MADE in the Deep South Read More →

December 13, 2017

You’ve got MAIL! Personalized Letters from Santa Claus

Smarties, I love, love, love this idea! Lori from The Write Occasion Calligraphy has been personalizing letters from Santa Claus for little smarties for five years now. This is her way of spreading holiday happiness and she absolutely loves it (and CSP absolutely loves her)!santaletter

The letters cost $15.00 ($5.00 from each letter is donated directly to the Levine Children’s Hospital). To order your letter, it is simple, all you need to do is click here. Enter the correct amount for the number of Personalized Letters to Santa Claus that you would like to order, and, in the comments provide the name(s) to whom you would like the letter to be addressed, as well as, the address to where you would like the letter sent. Letters will be sent out within 3 days. Your letter will arrive in a festive holiday envelope (addressed in calligraphy) all ready to be opened by your super excited little smarty!

In addition to the monetary donations, The Write Occasion Calligraphy personalizes letters that are delivered to both the Levine Children’s Hospital and The Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte. Read More →

Smarty Scoop On weekend Events December 15-17

Santa Saturday! Free Photos With Santa
Black Lion
10635 Park Road, Charlotte, NC
See website for schedule, All ages, Free
Summary: Join us for free photos with Santa at BLACKLION, fun scenes for selfies and meet a few of Santa’s favorite friends. Personal cameras welcome!

PlayPlay! Theatre Presents: Children Of Eden
Jewish Community Center, Gorelick Hall
5007 Providence Road, Charlotte, NC
December 9-17, See website for schedule, Ages 5+, $12-$15
Summary: Based on the stories of Genesis, the age-old conflict of parents and children takes the stage in this epic, heartfelt musical by the composer of Wicked and Pippin. Adam, Eve, Noah and the “Father” who created them, deal with the headstrong actions of their respective children. The show ultimately delivers a bittersweet but inspiring message: “the hardest part of love… is letting go.”

Breakfast With Santa
Matthews Community Center
100 McDowell Street, Matthews, NC
December 9 & 16, 9:00am – 10:30am, , Ages 2-8, $5 per person, Advanced ticket purchase required.
Summary: Enjoy breakfast, make a holiday craft, and take a picture with Santa! Read More →

December 12, 2017

FLASH Giveaway: Win a family four-pack to CTC’s ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’

Oh Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining at the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte . Have you heard, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever the Musical is back!


The Best Christmas Pageant Ever the Musical

Runs through December 23, just added 2 more performances December 28th
View Schedule Here
Recommended for all Ages

By Jahanna Beecham & Malcom Hillgartner
Adapted from the play by Barbara Robinson

This is a musical the entire family can enjoy. Your kids will laugh out loud and you, you will be reminded of a teacher, friend, situation from your past. My memory was invoked by the Bradley family. My younger brother could have been Charlie… standing up to the Heardmans…bragging about Sunday school…not realizing what he was saying (I don’t want to give away too many details) Me, I was Beth. Standing up for my mom, believing in my mom, being swayed by the true spirit of Christmas. My mom was Grace Bradley, “Amazing Grace, “the fair and objective mom. The mom who is empathetic to other’s feelings. Read More →

Grandparents Gifting: Activities and camps under the tree

JMSD Spring 2013 Recital

Our Grandparents Gift theme this year is all about camps and activities! When grandparents ask what the kids really want for Christmas, our number one reco is camp or a session of their favorite activity. Grandparents will feel good about the experiences they are giving to their grandkids as well as feel good about helping you out. Because let’s face it, camps and after school activities can get pretty expensive.

Keep in mind, many of the camps don’t have their summer curriculum ready just yet, but they still make a great gift! So my suggestion is to get creative. Either contact them to see if you can purchase a gift card or just write an IOU. Buy a sweatshirt or tee shirt, wrap in a big bow and put under the tree. This will be the perfect gift that will keep on giving! Grandparents who give this gift will be rockstars for sure!

Following are Smarty ideas for Grandparents Gifting – some of these fall into the camp category and some are lessons/activities:

Our Education Partners (all offer summer camp to ANYONE, not just currently-enrolled students!):

Charlotte Christian Summer Camps
Charlotte Country Day School Summer Programs
Charlotte Latin Summer
Charlotte Preparatory School’s Camp Prep
Palisades Episcopal School


Jami Masters School of Dance
Caroline Calouche & Co.
Charlotte School of Ballet


Carolina Flipz
Charlotte Gymnastics Academy.
Little Gym Charlotte Read More →

December 11, 2017

Time and the teen years

With the door to 2018 opening wider each day, I find myself thinking and daydreaming about what I would like to see beyond that door. What do I want 2018’s story to be? While I don’t have the title finalized just yet, there are certain chapters that I already have written. Here’s a sneak peek into a couple of entries:th-1


If you don’t have tweens or teens yet, stick this chapter in your back pocket. Right now is the time to start emphasizing family time is the most important time. Equip yourself for the independent years – by the time they are 12, they’ll be asking to hang out at the mall with friends every opportunity they have. The prep work you do now will set you up for less of a fight when you say the dreaded word “no” and insert family plans. Read More →

December 10, 2017

Smarty Podcast: Christmas in the QC

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 Pop Star birthday parties in the QC, AND professional voice lessons in a studio.

Today Smarties Jen P., Jenni S., and Cheryl P discuss all things Christmas in the QC. For more on the topic, check our our Smarty 25 Days of Christmas. Happy listening!

Want more Smarty podcasts? Click here and share, share, share!

Read More →

December 9, 2017

Smarty Mom: Dr. Ana Maria Temple

Welcome Home Dr. Temple!

I can’t exactly remember how many years ago it was, let’s say more than 5 less than 12, but I will never forget the conversation between my neighbor’s husband and mine. Our children were little which meant, we all “lived” at the pediatrician’s office with some sort of funk. Upon my neighbors return from the Saturday Sick Clinic one day he eagerly explained to my husband that, “Salma Hayek was our doctor!” If having “Salma” as your doctor meant you were going to take the kids to the doctor, go, please, go take them! I’ll be at home sitting on the couch binge watching HGTV. I immediately knew who he was referring to and was hopeful that my husband would want to jump on the “Salma” bandwagon and take the kids to the Saturday sick clinic as needed. Who was I to explain that “Salma” is not there every Saturday, it was just her on call weekend, let the boys take their chances.IMG_6484

Fast forward to my oldest was in 7th grade a few years ago and she came home to tell me she has been invited to, “Jake’s house for a pool party”. I had never heard of Jake, but I was learning fast that after your children have exited elementary school, you learn a new classmate’s name here and there, if you’re lucky. Our conversation went something like this:
“Jake who?”

“Jake Temple, Mom. He’s a kid at my school, gosh.”

“Where does he live? Will his parents be there? What other girls are going? What times? Is it his birthday, do we need to buy him a present? Who is this kid, you have never mentioned him before?”

Her answers were filled with sighs and much eye rolling and when she said, “Mom, stop being so overprotective, like his mom is a doctor or something, so I’m sure it will be fine.”

Ta Da! Yes, my darling, his mom is a “doctor or something”, a pediatrician to be exact, and she has helped you and your sister out in the past. You go and have fun, but I’m still walking you to the door.

Y’all, when I met Jake, I told Molly later that he looked like a young Keanu Reeves, she had to google Keanu…. and I got some more eye rolls.

The Temple family is beautiful on the inside and out. Enjoy getting to know Ana Maria Temple and the adventure the Temple family has been living the past 14 months. Read More →

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