Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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September 23, 2014

Smarty Alert: Sky Zone Charlotte Indoor Trampoline Park Grand Opening on Saturday!

Smarties, there’s a new gig in town that the entire fam can enjoy! Meet Charlotte’s newest indoor trampoline park, Sky Zone Charlotte!

Here’s Sky Zone Charlotte:

Sky Zone Charlotte

Sky Zone is the world’s first indoor trampoline park. We’re the inventors of “fun fitness” and the makers of trampolines as far as the eye can see. We give you one of the greatest workouts ever combined with awesome, healthy fun. We’ve been voted the number one “out of the box” workout and the “best party ever.” Experience WOW – the weightlessness of bouncing, flipping and landing in a pit filled with 10,000 foam cubes.

We are dedicated to providing you with the pure joy that comes with flying. We are sky lovers, thrill seekers and people who believe that jumping is freedom. We believe fitness can be fun and play can be smart. We are healthy and bursting with energy. We fly high and keep it safe. We are Sky Zone.

Sky Zone Charlotte offers open jump, a SkySlam court, Foam Pit, and Ultimate Dodgeball (when available). For just about any age, shape or size, Sky Zone Charlotte also offers Birthday Party and Corporate Event Packages. Sky Zone Charlotte is the ultimate 3-D play experience!

Team Smarty Hit Sky Zone!

CSP Sky Zone

We had the privilege of getting a sneak peak at this AWESOME trampoline park and my kids are forever hooked. This Smarty Mama is too due to the safety factor. “Have Fun, Fly Safe” is Sky Zone’s most important mantras. You’ll see that in everything they do. Sky Zone has highly trained court monitors stationed strategically throughout the park to monitor all guests and ensure they are following all the rules and make sure large and small jumpers stay a safe distance apart. We loved the Sky Socks (required for safety reasons), and at a Smarty Steal for only $2 a pair. I went ahead and bought an extra pair for my barre classes – these are the grippiest socks I’ve ever worn! My waterski barre moves will be perfect with my new super grip Sky Socks! Read More →

Smarty Review & Giveaway: Children’s Theatre of Charlotte’s ’101 Dalmatians’

I grew up doing theater and truly believe that a passion for the arts is one of the best gifts we can give our children! I was thrilled to have the opportunity to go to 101 Dalmatians at The Children’s Theatre of Charlotte this past weekend (which is located inside ImaginOn). I hadn’t heard much about the theater and am now vowing to go back for every show. I have never been to a true “children’s theater” and as such had pretty low expectations.

Annie and I met up with a friend for pizza and a cupcake at the 7th Street Market before zipping over for the show (a very fun outing). The theater greeted us with paw print stamps on our hands and the girls were in hog-heaven! We had general seating, which made it really nice for the kids. Since our girls are only two we found a seat on the very back row in case we needed to make a quick exit (the theater welcomes all children but recommend the shows for ages 5+). I loved looking around and seeing all of the squirming kids in their seats. The anticipation was high and I was excited to see their faces. It was the “world-premiere” of this version of 101 Dalmatians so the writers and composers were in the audience. This made it especially exciting!CTC 101 Dalm

The show started and I couldn’t help but get butterflies as I watched the grin on Annie’s face! She LOVED every second of it. The show was only 75 minutes long – perfect for kids! It had humor made for children. The show was written from the dog’s perspective and the kids thought it was hilarious. All of the “humans” had masks on and were made to look even taller so that the “dogs” looked small. It was darling. Our favorite scene was when the puppies were born. Their creativity in plopping the puppies down and having an actor pop up was hysterical. Even my two-year-old laughed out loud.

I was blown away by the quality of acting, singing and décor. These were professional actors. This was not what I was expecting… it was SO much more! I had a ball right along with my child! I was a bit worried that Cruella would scare the children but she did an excellent job! She was the perfect amount of feisty, but not scary. She drove a zippy red car on to stage and had an incredible mask that reminded me of the masks in the Lion King on Broadway. There wasn’t a single flaw or mess up the whole show. Just as the children seemed to be getting antsy, they threw in a fun song at the end and viola, the show was over at the perfect time! Read More →

Campout! Carolina encourages you to get outside and get unplugged

Wouldn’t it be great if your family could shut down your computers, switch off your smart phones, put your iPads aside, and get back to the basics? Easier said then done, right? Well, a network of nonprofit regional environmental groups called EarthShare North Carolina (ESNC) wants you to do just that this October. They are organizing the 8th annual statewide campout to celebrate our state AND give families the excuse to just get outside and get unplugged. We love this Smarty idea!Tents12

Campout! Carolina will be held the weekend of October 10-12 all over North Carolina. ESNC encourages people participating to turn off electronics, unplug non-essential appliances and camp out in their backyards or favorite camping spots. Campout! Carolina is for everyone; from nature lovers to first-time campers, families, friends, kids young and old and everyone in between, to show support for a healthy environment in North Carolina.

Last year, more than 4,000 North Carolinians participated. People camped in the Smokies, at Hammocks beach (which sounds like it would be our fave spot) and many of the NC’s favorite spots that have been preserved to retain NC’s natural character. Read More →

September 22, 2014

From our friends at CEENTA: Smarty Tips on Allergy Treatment Immunotherapy

By our Smarty friends at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates

CEENTAAllergy300250Final

What are allergies?
Allergies are due to your immune system over reacting to harmless substances in the environment. When you breathe in a substance such as ragweed, your immune system perceives it as something harmful and causes your nose to run and sneeze in an attempt to get the ragweed out of your nose.

What is immunotherapy?
By giving you small amounts of allergens (i.e. the substances to which you are allergic), immunotherapy attempts to alter your immune system so that it no longer over reacts to those harmless substances. Therefore, immunotherapy is an allergy therapy of the immune system.

What are the advantages of immunotherapy?
Medications are simply treating the symptoms associated with allergies, while immunotherapy is addressing the underlying cause of the problem. Instead of just putting a band-aid on the situation, immunotherapy holds the potential of providing more long-term control of allergy problems. The vast majority of patients, but not all, need less medication and get more relief of symptoms than with medications alone. After being on immunotherapy for a few years, most patients can stop it without having their symptoms redevelop.

How do I know if immunotherapy is a good choice for me?
Immunotherapy is appropriate if your allergy symptoms are severe and/or frequent, and if they persist despite the use of avoidance measures and medications.

Immunotherapy is not an option if you are taking a beta blocker medication. It should also be avoided if you have severe or unstable asthma, a history of anaphylaxis or serious cardiac issues. During any pregnancy, you can continue maintenance immunotherapy but no changes should be made with it. Read More →

DIY: Mercury Glass Vase

jars2There is always something in my yard that I can find to put in a vase.  Even in the dead of winter, I put plain (or spray painted) tree branches in a vase.

I like to find reasons surprise a friend with a vase of something on their door step…maybe a thank you,  happy birthday, welcome to the neighborhood, or an “I’m thinking aboutcha”.

I save glass jars so that I always have “vases” on hand that I can dress up with some ribbon and have ready for my next ding-dong-ditch-vase-leave-behind.

This truly cool mercury glass DIY transformed my empty jars into something a little more.  This was easy and high impact.  Maj!

Materials:

- empty spray bottle

- white vinegar and water

- glass jars or vases or any glass container (glass jars with writing or etching on them are really neat – think Smuckers)

- Krylon “looking glass” spray

- rubber gloves, paper towels, newspaper (if you don’t have newspaper, then cut the sides of an empty trash bag to make a tarp)

jars3Directions:

-Mix ¼ cup water with ¼ cup white vinegar and put in spray bottle.

-Place all glass pieces upside down on newspapers.  (do this in the middle of the yard as far away from your house as possible so you don’t get the paint on your cars, on the driveway, on your white garage door, etc. – not that any of this has ever happened to me)

-Lightly mist the glass with the vinegar solution. You want little drops of water.  Don’t get crazy – it’s not supposed to be running down the glass.

-Immediately spray a very thin coat of paint, Krylon Looking Glass, lightly coating the entire outside of the glass. (I did not have that kind of paint and couldn’t find it at Lowe’s or Walmart or Michael’s, my 3 least favorite stores in America, so I gave up. Maybe try Hobby Lobby or Joann’s or Amazon?  We had some Krylon Original Chrome spray paint in our garage cabinet so I went with that.)

-Wait 1 minute.  (you know, 60 seconds…or so)

-You are ready to “blot”.   The purpose of this is to “remove” some of the vinegar so that you have some markings that look like mercury glass.  You will want to “press” in some places.  You will want to use a slight “press” and “twist” motion in other places. Vary your technique and also do it very lightly in some places and heavier in others.  You can’t mess this up.  It used to be a pickle jar for crying out loud.

-Wait 30 seconds to 1 minute.

-Repeat 2 times. (or 3 or 4 if you mess up or if you are having so much fun and don’t want to stop at 2)
-At some point, remember to turn the piece over to spray around the top of the piece to get the opening of the jar.

Boom.  Mercury glass! Read More →

September 21, 2014

Meet the Produce Box: Now signing up Charter members in Charlotte with FREE enrollment!

The Produce Box brings the farmers market to your doorstep!

The Produce Box Logo

Smarties, we’re super excited to introduce you to a new food delivery service – The Produce Box. In 2007, Courtney Tellefsen was a stay-at-home mom in Raleigh, NC, asking herself – “Am I really supporting farmers here in NC when I buy from the local grocery store? I’m trying, but I can’t seem to get to the Farmers Market…..or at least not every week!”

That’s when she thought … if it could be easy and convenient, more busy families like mine would be able to buy local and eat healthy. Soon she had contacted farmers and was delivering produce boxes to friends and neighbors with her 2 and 4 year old in tow! In just a few short years, The Produce Box has grown to support more than 40 farmers across the state. And from one stay-at-home mom in her garage to 200 moms and dads delivering boxes to their neighbors in the Triangle, Wilmington, Triad and NOW the Piedmont. Read More →

SUNDAY SMARTY SHARE from SHARE Charlotte: Classroom Central

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

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” ― William Butler Yeats

On the stage sat 23 children, all nervously waiting to start the all-school spelling bee. Among them was Molly. As a third grader, she was one of the youngest in the group. Everyone sitting on stage with her had worked hard to get there, but for Molly the path had been particularly difficult.Sunday Share 9.15.58 AM

When she arrived in the U.S. with her parents from Burma just three years before, Molly spoke no English. Although she’d tried hard to catch up, she was still reading below grade level. But Molly’s teacher, Jessica Kilbride, saw that her student had a lot of potential. She just needed the right materials and resources.

The things Molly needed to study the spelling bee words at home were simple, like note cards, markers and pencils, but they were out of the reach of her family budget. Determined to help Molly succeed, Jessica turned to Classroom Central.

Classroom Central equips students living in poverty with school supplies. They serve 135,000 students, 9000 educators, in over 200 schools within 6 districts. Last year alone they distributed almost one million pencils. For Molly, they provided the basics like a notebook, note cards and a pouch to keep everything together.

By the thirteenth round of the spelling bee, only Molly and a fifth grader remained on stage. When her turn arrived Molly misspelled a word, coming in second place. In spite of her loss, though, Jessica saw a new confidence in her student. Soon after the spelling bee, Molly was reading at grade level. As Jessica says, “She was given the resources she needed to meet new levels of achievement for herself.”

Her real name isn’t Molly. But Molly is a real student in the Charlotte area, and the donations someone made to Classroom Central made all the difference to her. Interested in getting involved? Here are a few ideas to get started. You can find more at SHARE Charlotte. Read More →

Our Smarty Teen’s High School Mission Trip

By Smarty Teen Blogger, Clare Gibbons

Smarty Clare Jamaica

Images of white sand beaches, crystal blue water, tropical fish and birds, luxurious resorts, and happy tourists instantaneously appear when you google search ‘Jamaica.’  However, when I visited this exotic country over spring break, I saw a completely different side of Jamaica.  I saw poverty, sickness, and famine; but even in the midst of that, I saw happiness, and I saw hope.

Every year, my school offers a mission trip to Kingston, Jamaica that allows students to work and stay with the Missionaries of the Poor.  Initially, I thought this would be a great opportunity to meet new people, travel to a different part of the world, experience a different culture, step out of my comfort zone, make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate than I am, etc.  But, it was so much more than that.  So when I stepped on the plane the morning of April 14th with 16 of my peers and 3 chaperones, I truly had no idea what was in store for me over the next week.

On my first full day in Jamaica, I went to The Lord’s Place, a center established by the Missionaries of the Poor for women who had been abandoned by their friends and family or who had mental and/or physical disabilities.  My friends and I asked the brothers working there what they wanted us to do, expecting that it would be some form of manual labor, but in turn we were told to “just be with them.”  I soon realized that I wasn’t there to “help” these people, but to make them smile.  These women had no belongings besides the clothes on their backs, and the only thing they wanted was human companionship.  Bereft of friends or families aside from the brothers and the other women living in the center, it would truly make their day when someone showed a genuine interest in them and a willingness to just sit and talk to them or listen to them.  These women helped me to realize that all anyone ever needs is human companionship or someone to show them that they care, and a small, random act of kindness can go a long way.  The people who I served in Jamaica were the happiest people I have seen in my life, and they had nothing.  In spite of this, one of the things they loved the most was getting their nails done.  What seemed like a meaningless task was enough to put a smile on their face for the rest of the day as they picked out their favorite color nail polish and got to be “spoiled” by the volunteers. Read More →

September 20, 2014

Smarty Mom: Jennifer Putnam

I am very pleased to introduce you all to Jennifer Putnam. I met Jennifer through a colleague of mine and as an added benefit, moved into our great neighborhood in Matthews. She’s one amazing working mama – tackling married life with a toddler, all while expecting baby number two! Let’s get to know Jennifer and how she gets it all done!PutnamFamily2 copy

‪‪Smarty Mom: Jennifer Putnam

‪‪Name: ‬‬ Jennifer Putnam
‪‪Married to: Aaron Putnam for 7 years
‪‪Children: Landon, 2 years and baby brother due late Jan 2015!
‪‪Years in Charlotte: 6
‪‪Originally from: Twin Lakes, Wisconsin
‪‪Occupation: Marketing Assistant/Graphic Designer/CrossFit coach

Share your pregnancy story/tell us what it’s like being pregnant the second time around!

Like a number of other women I know, we had some trouble getting pregnant. Our journey pales in comparison to so many others, but it took us a year and a bit of help the first time, so 6 months seems like a victory this time! This time around, I’d say pregnancy is a bit more tiring since I can’t just prop my feet up after a long day, but it’s going by so much faster since life moves in warp-speed with a toddler!

What advice do you have to help get your first child ready for baby number two?

So far Landon seems to really enjoy the idea of being a big brother. We’re hoping that won’t change when the reality of sharing everyone’s attention sets in. We’ve found that using his friends who have siblings as examples has been helping him grasp the idea of what it means to be a big brother. Landon is a big helper and loves being involved in just about everything, so we’re emphasizing how much he will be able to help when little brother arrives. Read More →

September 19, 2014

Smarty Alert: HOLST+LEE for Loft benefiting breast cancer research in stores today!

We are so thrilled about the latest partnership between one of our favorite jewelry designers, HOLST+LEE, and one of or fave stores, Loft – for a limited time a special line from HOLST+LEE will be sold at Loft stores nationwide with 70% of the purchase price going to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. You read that right – 70%! That’s huge! Check out the beautiful necklace and earrings that HOLST+LEE designed for Loft that go on sale TODAY!

loft8

We’ve been obsessed with HOLST+LEE for awhile – we first introduced you to them back in last year’s Fall Fashion Giveaway then again in the Summer Jewelry Giveaway. We absolutely love how unique yet wearable each piece is. Wear a HOLST+LEE piece, and you will instantly feel chicer. And, how amazing is it that for the month of October, we find HOLST+LEE at a Loft store. Love this partnership!

HOLST+LEE’s co-owner and Charlotte native Natalie Holst explains what was behind all of it: Read More →


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