Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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April 25, 2015

Smarty Mom: Molly Hammonds

Molly Hammonds Family

Smarties, I’m super excited to introduce you to our Smarty Mom this week, Molly Hammonds. I first met Molly last year when she was working for a client. I slotted one hour on my calendar to meet with her and am pretty sure we hung out for two, in the blink of an eye. Molly is the type of person who you immediately trust and want to hang out with for days on end!

Molly has her hands on the pulse of pretty much everything in Charlotte. She is a sales extraordinaire, a go-getter, and a networker by nature. Not to mention, she has read CSP from day 1. She had me at “day 1″…Our sales approach is soft at best, I mean because seriously, if we sense that you are hesitant about our pink & green fabulousness, we will run like the wind! But this is a business, and we need a strong sales force. I knew instantly that Molly would be a perfect fit in our Smarty family.

Join me in welcoming Molly to our ‘lil CSP fam and let’s get to know her favorite digs. Let me tell ya, she has some GOODIES!

Meet Molly Hammonds, super mama, super wife, and super Smart(y)!

Molly’s Smarty Mom Stats:

Mom of: Clare (11) and Kate (10)
Married to: Bill ( 14 years)
Years in Charlotte: 8
‘Hood: Cotswold/Eastover area
Hometown: North Augusta, SC
College Alma Mater: Georgia Regents University
Occupation: Building markets as an Independent Consultant for Rodan + Fields Dermatologists, Freelance marketing work. Read More →

April 24, 2015

Fitness Friday: How Pure Barre helped this Boston Marathoner

Smarties, meet Heather Carpenter. She and her husband, Rich, are busy raising three boys: Tyler, 17; Jackson, 10; and, Grayson, 6. In between a busy family and work schedule (she’s a paralegal), Heather qualified for the Boston Marathon this past year. She raced on Monday and finished the 2015 Boston Marathon with a personal record of 3:26:28.  Heather says that one of the reasons she is such a strong runner is that she’s a devoted Pure Barre fan – she takes classes 4-5 times per week at Pure Barre Ballantyne. We chatted with her recently about what makes Pure Barre her go-to cross training workout, and here’s what she had to say.

Congratulations, Heather!! You make us SO proud!

Heather (L) and her friend Susan at the 2015 Boston Marathon

How long have you been doing Pure Barre?  Since February 2014

What made you decide to come take the first class?  I was healing from a running injury and needed a low-impact option that was easier on my bones to balance out my return to running.  A friend asked me to come to a Pure Barre class with her.  I thought the first class was so incredibly hard – it was like nothing I had ever done.  It felt so hard and I was sore for 2 days but I was hooked.  I immediately signed up for the one-month of unlimited classes and haven’t looked back since. Read More →

April 23, 2015

Father-Son Weekend at Camp Highlander Creates a Lifetime of Memories!

By our Smarty friends at Camp Highlander

Father Son Weekend Camp Highlander

“A father is a son’s first hero.” – Unknown

These days, families are busier than ever. With chaotic schedules packed with work, school, after school activities, social clubs, travel teams and so many commitments, fathers and sons are finding fewer opportunities to share quality one-on-one time together. Camp Highlander has the perfect solution that allows fathers and sons to bond in an incredibly unique and memorable way.

Established in 1957, Camp Highlander, a summer camp for girls and boys ages 5-16 located in Mills River, North Carolina, is listed as one of the 50 Most Amazing Summer Camps for Kids in the United States. Known as CH to thousands of current and former campers and staff, this magical place in the Blue Ridge Mountains offers a variety of sessions and events each year to give kids the opportunity to experience nearly 40 exciting activities.

Father-Son Weekend at CH invites fathers and sons from all over the country to bond through fun and adventure. There’s no need for electronics or TV here! With action-packed activities like riflery, archery, canoeing, horseback riding and The Crow’s Nest – our brand new high-ropes course that resembles the mast of a pirate ship – you’ll both love having the chance to unplug and tune in to each other. You’ll have a chance to explore western North Carolina through a fantastic off-site trip, enjoy our terrific evening programs and make s’mores around our campfire. Have a blast while bonding like never before! Read More →

Smarty Giveaway: Win a FREE week of Discovery Place Camp, up to a $350 value!


It’s time for another CAMP GIVEAWAY! Today we bring you a week of camp from our Smarty friends at Discovery Place. One lucky Smarty will win a free week of Discovery Place Summer Camp, your choice. Camp dates based on availability and for campers who are rising 4th grade – 9th grade.

Discovery Place Summer Camps offer summer fun and learning for all ages! School may be out in the summer, but education and adventure are always in at Discovery Place! Discovery Place Camps offer something for everyone who is interested in combining learning with FUN! In the Pilot’s Academy, your camper will be surrounded by more than 20 real aircraft from helicopters to an F-4 Phantom Jet and will listen to air traffic controllers communicate with pilots. Your investigative teen can study crime scene investigation to see if she has what it takes to be a criminalist in Crime Scene Investigators Camp. Or your future engineer will learn to build and program robots that sense light, follow commands, trace a path and avoid obstacles in Robotics Camp. You can find all of these camps and more! Read More →

April 22, 2015

Smarty Scoop on Weekend Events: April 24-26

Discovery Place

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



Purposeful Parenting Conference
Southeast Psych
6060 Piedmont Row Drive S., Charlotte, NC (704) 552-0116
April 24, 9:00am – 12:00pm, Parents, Free
Summary: We are excited to announce the Purposeful Parenting Conference! Join us for a morning of FREE expert parenting advice. The conference will be held at our SouthPark location on Friday, April 24th. There will be hour long presentations collectively covering a variety of parenting topics. We invite you to come spend the morning with us. You can drop in for one or stay the morning! There is no registration required and the conference is free. However, space is limited so come early.

Ballantyne Village: Art in the Village
Ballantyne Village
14825 Ballantyne Village Way, Charlotte, NC (704) 369-5000
April 24, 6:00pm – 9:00pm, All ages, Free
Summary: The Village welcomes the best in local art every fourth Friday. This month, art has sprung with spring and we’re going to be outside as we enjoy the Music in the Middle music series.

Read More →

April 21, 2015

The importance of learning a foreign language early

By our Smarty friends at Foreign Language League

FLL Alice

“To have another language is to possess a second soul” ~ Charlemagne

Did you know the best time to learn a second language is between birth and age 7? Did you know that learning a foreign language can help boost a child’s reading and science skills? Evidence shows that learning a second language early in life can increase your child’s cognitive abilities. Foreign Language League (FLL) offers Spanish, French, Mandarin and Italian to children ages 18 months all the way to adults. FLL teachers have a passion for helping your child get a head start on learning a second language.

Learning a second language provides benefits, such as:

-Boosting memory
-Enhancing cognitive development in children
-Providing the opportunity to learn about different cultures
-Offering the chance to study and work abroad Read More →

Put these parks on your Spring/Summer bucket list

If Spring Break is just a trial run for summer, then I’d say I must get my summer game plan in order right away. How do I always forget that the lazy days of summer don’t include being lazy? My family doesn’t sit still for long, and I bet yours doesn’t either.

One of our favorite things to do in the summer is to hit some of our amazing local parks. One of my super-hero talents is my ability to kill time at a park. My husband lacks that talent (his is the ability to take the kids to arcades and actually enjoy it). I can literally spend HOURS at a park watching my kids play (as long as they are up for it, which doesn’t always happen). I also love that most of our parks are free – a major perk for a family of six.

I’ve listed my family’s top five parks of the moment. If you see us at one of these spots this summer, make sure to say Hi! I’d love to hear what yours are so we can check some of them off of our bucket list as well. Here they are in no particular order!

Romare Bearden Park

300 S Church St
We first went to this new Uptown park last summer. Nestled directly across from the Knight’s stadium, this ingeniously designed park skyrocketed to the top of my kids’ lists quickly. I’m pretty sure their dream day entails a day at Discovery Place, the Mint Museum’s kids’ room, Romare Bearden park, and Mellow Mushroom. In that order. Spend a day at this park, and you will feel like you’re living in the best city in the world (because you are, of course). It’s the perfect blend of urban funk and kid-friendly fun. Check out all of the scheduled activities. I’m determined to make it up there for one of their summer lunch music series.Romare Bearden

What to bring:
A ball. It has a HUGE field to run wild and is the perfect football field.
A bathing suit and towel in the summer. Perfect fountains for splashing.
Sunscreen. Not a whole lot of shade at this park – hence the perfect fountains. Read More →

Keeping Kids Safe this Summer

By Smarty Guest Blogger Janet Harmon, Director of Prevention and Education, Pat’s Place

Temperatures are climbing and summer can’t be far behind. Perhaps you have already registered your child for camp or other recreational or enrichment activities. These can offer opportunities for positive early experiences which are important for healthy development. Experiences – and relationships – actually impact the architecture of the brain, creating either a strong foundation, or one that may be unstable. Some experiences, like exposure to sexual abuse, can create toxic stress that disrupts development and may lead to problems with learning, behavior and health, even into adulthood. These harmful experiences happen much more frequently than most imagine. Approximately one in ten children will experience sexual abuse before turning 18, most victimized by someone they know and trust. Fortunately, sexual abuse is preventable and there are simple steps you – and organizations – can take to increase children’s safety.field of pinwheels 14

Ask camp and program administrators about policies and procedures designed to ensure safety from sexual abuse. These should include proper screening of staff and volunteers, guidelines regarding interactions between individuals, monitoring and supervision – of youth and adults, environmental assessments and strategies, procedures for responding to concerning behavior or disclosures of abuse, and training for all who will come into contact with youth. Programs should reduce risks by eliminating isolated, one-on-one situations involving a child, alone, with an individual adult or older teen/child. Expect staff ratios that allow for at least two adults or an adult and teen to be supervising children in tandem, and interactions that are observable and interruptible. Share your ideas about ways to strengthen policies or consider alternative activities if safety is lacking. Read More →

April 20, 2015

Hit the 20th Annual CPCC Charlotte Skyline Run this Sat!


Presented by Northwestern Mutual, the 20th Annual CPCC Charlotte Skyline Run on THIS Saturday, April 25th, is a great event for the whole family. Featuring a 5K run, a 5K Walk for Health, the Baby Jogger 5K Championship and one mile timed run.

Following the run, the whole family can enjoy the Kids Zone, Health/Fitness Zone and Food Zones where vendors will be on hand to discuss everything from weight management and healthy food products to the hottest trends in running gear. Back again this year will be WTVI PBS Charlotte’s Curious George and Seemore Goodstuff mascots.


Race participants will receive a T-shirt and a virtual race bag with great deals from local vendors, and be entered into a drawing to receive great prizes following the race. As always, proceeds from Charlotte Skyline Run go toward student scholarships and other student needs, so your participation will help ensure CPCC meets the needs of deserving students who need financial assistance in order to achieve their academic and vocational goals. Read More →

Why a Limited Liability Company is Often Better than a Sole Proprietorship

I received a call recently from a woman who was thinking of starting a home-based business. She had planned initially to operate as a sole proprietor for simplicity’s sake. Then she read an article about the legal protection that limited liability companies offer. Talk about dodging a bullet.corporate shield

Operating a business as a sole proprietorship rarely makes sense because your personal assets are fully exposed to potentially unlimited business liability. For that reason alone, if you are starting a business, you should consider operating as a North Carolina limited liability company instead.

In fact, limited liability companies are the most popular type of legal entity in use today. A large reason behind their popularity is that if formed and maintained properly, a limited liability company can shield your personal assets from business debts and other potential liabilities. If maintained improperly, however, this protection may fail. When that happens, lawyers say that the “corporate shield” or “corporate veil” has been “pierced,” and personal assets become exposed to business debts. Read More →

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