Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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May 22, 2015

Summer is coming! That means 2 things to us: Ice Cream & Mosquitoes

By BJ Bacha, co-owner of The Mosquito Authority, the Polka Dot Ice Cream Truck, and MORE!

What if I told you that your friendly neighborhood mosquito man is also your friendly neighborhood ice cream man? Hi! My name is BJ Bacha and I am co-owner of The Mosquito Authority and the Polka Dot Ice Cream Truck and My Gym Children’s Fitness Center of South Park and The Junk Champions Junk Removal Company. Along with my beautiful wife, Heather, and our terrific business partners, Ryan & Beth Hahn, we enjoy providing great services in the Charlotte area and we love what we do. image1 (2)To answer your question: no, we do not sell ice cream while we are out treating for mosquitoes. We are fearful that the mosquitoes will eat all of the ice cream, get even bigger and then really become a problem. (That would make for a great B-Movie though) Anyway, The Mosquito Authority has been in operation for 6 seasons now and we have created a buzz (pun intended) with our terrific Repel Plus Treatments and our outstanding customer service so we know that we are going to busy from April-October. We wanted to offer something else that would coincide with that time period and we started tossing ideas out and nothing was sticking. What else could we do during that time period that would go well with no mosquitoes?? So on a sunny Sunday afternoon last June, I was sitting on a park bench uptown and watched as a creepy white van roll by that had the words “Ice Cream” hand painted on in runny red paint (also something that would come from a B-Movie). There was my sign and at that moment I knew that we needed an ice cream truck… (a not-so creepy ice cream truck). So within 24 hours I found one and within 48 hours we owned it. Within the next few days we were fully operational and started “offering warm smiles and cool treats”. Read More →

A little May-cember perspective

It’s mid-May, so of course I’ve become an emotional mess. Do you do the same thing? It happens to me with every first day of school, every Christmas night, and every May. Those are the points in the year when it makes the most sense to assess how I am doing as a parent and to assess how quickly time is whizzing by. Have the right memories been made? Are the kids headed down a path to success or incarceration? Am I parenting them or royally screwing them up?11177278_800


My emotion is coming from a solid place. Times are changing for my family. Wednesday was the last day at a preschool where we’ve spent the past ten years (and my alma mater!); I have a middleschooler come August; the thought of my tween daughter on Instagram keeps me up at night; and, I am a lot closer to 40 than 30. I’m in the midst of a Mommy Midlife Crisis, and I can’t even fit my entire carpool in a jazzy red two-seater to ease the pain (reality really does bite at times).

Oh, and I’m staring at 2 ½ months of mostly uninterrupted mom+kid-time (called “summer”) where I know my constant battle will be between electronics and non-organic snacks. I am teetering on the edge of wanting to slow down while simultaneously speed up time (just to see once and for all if I passed or failed at this parenting thing). I’m racked with guilt over the memories we didn’t make versus the quality of the memories we did make.

And, it’s not helping that every time I log onto social media, I see another post about how terrible Gen X is doing at parenting. According to all the blogs out there, we’ve overscheduled, babied, and smothered our kids. To be a kid of the 70s and the 80s was perfection, and to be a kid in the new millennium is a sentence worse than death. (Because of the parenting, of course.) All of this talk almost makes me wish I was born in the ‘50s rather than the ‘70s. At least I would’ve been able to raise carefree children, right? Instead, if the posts are true, I am raising entitled lazy bones. Read More →

May 21, 2015

From the Smarty Health Corner: Pelvic Pain, Cramping, and Heavy Bleeding. Oh My!

From our friends at Vascular & Interventional Specialists of Charlotte Radiology

Blasting Out Uterine Fibroids.

Charlotte Radiology Fibroid

If you’ve had the displeasure of dealing with uterine fibroids, then you’re quite familiar with these delightful symptoms. You may have discussed them at length with your OB/GYN and close friends. You know that these tumors are non-cancerous, but you also know the discomfort you experience won’t go away on its own. You have to deal with those hateful pests. Blast them out somehow. Luckily, a hysterectomy is no longer the only option on the table. After all, some studies say that 70% of us will have them by age 50. And I think I speak for all of us when I say that we’d prefer to keep our uteruses. Read More →

A decade of perfect vision, thanks to LASIK & Dr. Mozayeni

The Providence Eye & Laser team approached me to chat about being over 10 years lens-free, thanks to my LASIK surgery in November of 2004. That date blew my mind! It made me realize that I can’t even fathom waking up and not being able to see. Having LASIK surgery by Dr. Mozayeni at Providence Eye & Laser Specialists was the best decision I have ever made for myself.

My PELS interview:

Q. Tell us what you remember about the day you had LASIK? Nervous, excited? How old were your kids? Did you nap that afternoon? Did hubby help out at home that night?

I remember going into LASIK surgery feeling pretty nervous and excited at the same time.

At that time, I had to wear glasses or contacts 24/7. I was blind as a bat, seriously almost legally blind. My contact lens boxes were a -6.75 and -8.0 – I could not drive a car, could not exercise, could not watch TV, basically could not do a single thing without lenses.

There were two things that really scared me about being this blind: I was stressed out about delivering in the middle of the night. Would I have time to get my contacts in before labor? Would I get dry eyes if I had them in too long? Silly questions, I know. But they were real fears of mine. Secondly, at the time, I was an avid scuba diver and was absolutely terrified of getting my mask knocked off at 100 feet – I could not see my hand in front of me without corrective lenses, so I thought for sure I would be a goner! Read More →

May 20, 2015

The Lunch Project’s Summer of Service

By our Smarty friends at The Lunch Project

the lunch project

How would you like a free, flexible program that fills up an “I’m bored” day with learning a new culture and the value of service? A fun, hands-on way to encourage empathy in your children this summer?

Check out The Lunch Project’s 3rd annual Summer of Service and register now!

The Lunch Project is a local non-profit (run by some Smarty Moms, one who happens to be our 2K14 Smarty Mom of the Year:- ) that empowers kids everywhere.

In Tanznia, The Lunch Project supports community-run lunch programs at primary schools with few resources. It’s a win-win-win because food is purchased from local farmers, cooked by Maasai mamas who earn a living wage to cook a traditional meal for their community’s own children, and Maasai kids get the fuel to learn in school!

the lunch project 2

In America, kids can participate in Summer of Service to help kids just like themselves…but on the other side of the globe! Past SOS projects have included lemonade stands, bake sales, a talent show, soccer tournament, fun run, read-a-thon, tea parties, neighborhood movie night…and more! But each family brings their own creativity to Summer of Service. Read More →

Smarty Scoop on Weekend Events: May 22-25

Discovery Place

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



Charlotte Hounds vs. Boston Cannons
310 North Kings Drive, Charlotte, NC
May 23, Gates open @ 6:00pm, Faceoff @ 7:00pm
All ages, Parking $5, Ticket $13.41 and up
The Foxes will be passing out roster cards as you enter the Stadium. Hang on to them and get some autographs after the game! Post-Game Fireworks! Kids Zone – featuring the Carolinas HealthCare System Target Shot Booth and Brine lax walls. Dentistry of the Carolinas Tent – Stop by to learn more about basic dental services, custom mouthgaurds (same ones worn by the Hounds!) and swag. Post-Game Autographs – Fans are welcome to come down to the wall at the end of every game for autographs and high fives.

Read More →

Smarty 2015 Summer Camp Guide: Pre-summer jitters? My Gym can help!

Preschool is out May 26th (in 2 weeks), but the last day of CMS is June 11th! What to do with the youngsters during this transition time? My Gym SouthPark has such great camps for your little ones ages 2.5-11.

You can go just one day or all week long. It’s so flexible and such a great place to pop into throughout the summer. I still take my two there sometimes on weeks we don’t have any camp. They just love it and I get a little time for appointments, errands, etc. It is so nice to have this option for a lot of us that work part-time and need to get something done or just a little time alone! Thank you, My Gym.My Gym Summer Camp 2015

See all the details below about My Gym’s great summer camps.

My Gym to the RESCUE!

If you have some nerves about being back at home full-time with your kiddo, then My Gym’s Morning Mini-Camp (9:30-12), Afternoon Fun Camp (1-3:30) and Combo Camp w/Noah’s Art (12:30-3:30) are for you!  You can rely on My Gym’s incredible staff to entertain with dynamic activities and ever-changing themes that keep your kids active and engaged for hours! The convenient part is that there is no week-long commitment. You can choose the days and times that fit your schedule! Monday and Friday? Okay! Tuesdays? That works! All week long? You bet! When your older children get out they can join the My Gym Upper Crowd in more challenging Afternoon Fun. It’s a one-stop activity source for Fun. Convenient. Drop-off Adventure.

Smarty tip:  1- Purchase the 10 spot camp card and save $50.  The card can be used among siblings and throughout the entire summer (through Sept. 4th). Read More →

May 19, 2015

Camp Highlander – A Place Like No Other

Denise Morrison 1

Choosing the right summer camp for your child is such an important decision for your family. Camps are so much more than campfires and sing-a-longs. They are about developing life-long friendships that often are passed down from generation to generation.

Such is the case with Denise Morrison. Her camp alma mater is Camp Highlander and she is the biggest fan you’ll ever meet! I had the privilege of sitting down with Denise to learn of her camp story and it was such a treat!

Denise started her Highlander roots in South Florida where she grew up. She was a counselor at the Camp Highlander’s Day Camp partner (Pinecrest Day Camp) as a teen and then decided to try “the mountain” in Mills River, NC just outside of Asheville. This is where her true love of Camp Highlander was born.

Denise Morrison 2

Denise’s eyes lit up as she talked about her experience, along with her sister, as young teens up on that mountain. They fully embraced Camp Highlander’s Cabin Culture, where cabins stay together and work together as a unit throughout all camp activities. This teaches you how to be a team player and co-exist with all personality types. It also teaches you inclusive behavior, rather than exclusive behavior which often shapes teen interactions in the real world. Denise and her sister had the time of their lives at Camp Highlander, you can sense it after every sentence rolls off of her tongue. Read More →

From VERITAS Community School: Early Adopters—Footloose Folks or Visionary Risk-Takers?

By Katy Ridnouer, M.Ed., Founder and School Leader, VERITAS Community School

Over 2,000 years ago, Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi opined, “Leap into the boundless and make it your home.” He never explained how to convince oneself that the boundless is indeed the place one needs to be; however, his words could be humans’ earliest reference to our modern-day title for people who see the value in something new right before it takes off. We call these people “Early Adopters.” These are the people who are considered the lighthouse in a community for non-profits and businesses alike. These Early Adopters shine a light on a new opportunity, a new product, or a new restaurant, and they recommend it friends, colleagues, and neighbors to follow their lead.Early Adopter Photo

Early Adopters are often viewed as edgy trendsetters with a certain “it” factor, yet only 14% of the general population falls into this group. If the new and untested makes you cringe, you are not alone. Read More →

May 18, 2015

A Healthy Meal for those Nights you feel like you work for Uber

From the moment my kids began eating off of a dinner plate, I began to explain to them what the intention (or benefit) of the food was in front of them. Maybe I have been graced with good eaters by happenstance or maybe they actually listened. Now believe me, the broccoli “scrub brush” analogy didn’t always work, but ninety percent of the time they would eat at least half of their serving to “clean out their body”. At nine and eleven, they still love to impress me with their healthy choices (and beg me for TCBY in their next breath: they are no where near perfect and nor do I expect them to be).FullSizeRender

So how do you cook a healthy (and quick) meal on those nights when you are getting home late from baseball and swim team practice, feeling like an Uber driver? And include vegetables with the carbohydrates and protein that they need? Try cooking my favorite go to soup! The main ingredient is Tolerant’s Organic Red Lentil Rotini. Not only does it taste like regular pasta, it also contains 21 grams of protein and 13 grams of fiber per serving. The only ingredient listed is non-GMO organic red lentils. That’s it! So if you family is gluten free, keep reading! Read More →

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