Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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August 20, 2014

Two Miller Street Dance Academy Dancers Named Mr. & Miss Teen Dance of America

This is big news, Smarties – two Miller Street Dance Academy dancers were recently named Mr. and Miss Teen Dance of America. We want to give a big Smarty high-five to these local teens – such unbelievable talent right here in the QC.  Brendan Moran, 14, and Natalie Rogers, 14, won their titles at the annual Dance Masters of America Grand Nationals Competition in Orlando, FL on July 9, 2014.MSDA Brendannatalie

Brendan has been dancing for eight years and competed against nine other dancers to win his title. Brendan also won the ballet and jazz specialty awards. Natalie
has been dancing for 12 years and competed against 29 other dancers to win her title. Natalie also won the tap, jazz, acro, and modern specialty awards.

We know that achieving a title like this takes YEARS of dedication and hard work by the dancers AND their families. We wanted to give them a chance to talk a little bit about why they love dancing so much and what’s brought them to this point. We sat down with both, and here’s what we they said! Read More →

Smarty Scoop for Weekend Events: August 22-24

Discovery Place

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



It’s time to Rock & Read! The 5th Annual Rock & Read 5k, benefiting The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, is returning to Charlotte’s Plaza Midwood neighborhood on September 6, 2014. Organized by the Friends Council, a component of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation, the Rock & Read 5K offers live music at every mile and a festival atmosphere once runners cross the finish line. The event attracts all fitness levels with a 5K run/walk, a 1-mile fun run, and a kids’ dash. Register NOW!

The goal of the race is to increase awareness about the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and its affiliates while generating funds for programs and services. Help us to raise at least $25,000 for the library’s books and materials budget.

Southern Ideal Home Show
The Park Expo and Conference Center
2500 E. Independence Blvd., Charlotte, NC (704) 376-6594
August 22-24, See website for times, All ages, $12-$16 includes admission and parking fee
Summary: This fall, turn over a new leaf and make the home improvements you’ve always dreamed of.  Visit the show for the latest products, services and ideas for adding value and appeal to your home. By rethinking, remodeling, and restyling your space.

Studio Movie Grill Presents: Rugrats Movie
Studio Movie Grill
210 E. Trade St., Charlotte, NC (704) 972-1062
August 22, 11:00am, All ages, $2
Summary: Tommy, Angelica, Chuckie, Phil and Lil get lost while on vacation and must find their way home.

Symphony Park Movie Series
Southpark, Symphony Park, 4400 Sharon Road, Charlotte, NC (704) 364-4411
August 22, 7:00pm, All ages, Free
Summary: Outdoor movies continue… The first four Fridays in the month of August come spend the evening watching a film and enjoying other family friendly activities.
August 22: “Frozen”

Summer Concert Series at Blakeney
Village Green Blakeney Shopping Center
August 22 & 23, 7:00pm – 10:00pm, All ages, Free
Summary: Come out and enjoy live music with the entire family and best of all it’s FREE!

Foodtruck Friday
1613 Camden Road Charlotte, NC
August 22, 5:00pm – 9:00pm, All ages, Free
Summary: Every Friday night, Charlotte’s favorite food trucks gather on the lot at the corner of Park and Camden in the Historic South End. These aren’t the roach coaches of yesteryear! The nationwide revolution of the food truck industry has hit Charlotte, and we’ve got an ever-growing community of trucks that cater to your every taste. From burgers to tacos to soul food to cupcakes to ice cream and everything in between…there’s something for everyone. Meeting every Friday night since February 2012, Food Truck Fridays have taken the city by storm. Periodically featuring entertainment as well, the crowds have swelled to over 1,000 each week. We’re family and dog-friendly, too! So bring a chair, bring a blanket, BYOB, bring the kids, take the dog…it’s a neighborhood night out in a relaxed, casual atmosphere. Most of the trucks accept credit cards as well as cash. Accessible by public transportation…take the light rail to Bland Station. A good time and great food are guaranteed!

Read More →

August 19, 2014

Miles of Perfect Vision

It was just six months ago that I got LASIK eye surgery at Providence Eye & Laser – it’s one of those things that I think about every day because I am just so grateful I did it, but I also can’t imagine ever living without.runner girl

One of the biggest things I worried about before LASIK eye surgery was how long I’d have to wait before working out again. Like most moms (and dads) I know, working out is my sanity and without it, well, let’s just say it ain’t pretty. One of my very first questions to Dr. Mozayeni in my consultation was how long I’d have to wait until I could run again. His answer:

You can run the very next day.

Say what? The very next day?

But, yep, he was right. I was running the very next morning (looking just like the picture above hee hee). Of course, I followed his guidelines the first few times I headed out the door for a run:

-  Wear sunglasses to avoid any debris jumping into the eyes.

-  Start out with a clean face so germs don’t creep into the eyes with sweat.

Easy peezy. I only had to be careful for about a week (per his instructions), but it didn’t affect my workout at all, and, goodness, it is SO awesome to not worry about contacts or glasses when I’m working out. No stingy sweat mixing with contact solution, no stopping to get a piece of dirt out of a contact, no foggy, slipping glasses. I can see street signs in the distance while running; I can see the Torque Board in Flywheel, and I have Superman vision while teaching Pure Barre (I’m sure clients appreciate this ;-) ). Those are just my everyday benefits – Dr. M’s team came up with their own list of why LASIK is awesome for everyday athletes. Check out their advice for runners, bikers & swimmers about having LASIK here. Read More →

Smarty Steal: Free Shipping with La Senorita Jolie

We have a little end-of-summer treat for you, Smarties! La Senorita Jolie is offering FREE shipping to CSP, but only for a short time. We LOVE everything in the La Senorita Jolie line – we promise you will, too. It’s so versatile. We’re wearing these pieces as “coverups” to barre, on our way to and from kids’ activities, with jeans or leggings for Girls’ Nights, and even to work layered with blazers and long cardigans. And, if you’re trying to figure out what to wear with that statement necklace you just bought, look no further. La Senorita Jolie’s pieces are so fun to dress up or down with jewelry.

Stock up on some of these summer-to-fall pieces that can easily be a base layering piece once the temps drop a little:

Jane_Top_high_Res_grandeThe Jane

LSJ 2The Layla

Read More →

August 18, 2014

Smarty Giveaway: Free registration for the Rock ‘n Read 5k

If you’re looking for a FUN 5k, look no further than the the 5th Annual Rock & Read 5k, benefiting The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. The race is on September 6 and starts at the Plaza Midwood Branch of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library (1623 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205) and weaves through the beautiful Plaza Midwood neighborhood on September 6, 2014. No couch potato excuses: we’ve got your FREE registration right here.
Organized by the Friends Council, a component of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation, the Rock & Read 5K offers live music at every mile and a festival atmosphere once runners cross the finish line – complete with beverages provided by Triple C Brewing Company. The event is open to all fitness levels with a 5K run/walk, a 1-mile fun run, and a kids’ dash. So fun!

The goal of the race is to increase awareness about the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and its affiliates while generating funds for programs and services. They want to raise at least $25,000 for the library’s books and materials budget – we KNOW that Smarties all over Charlotte use the library system. Let’s show them our support and get to rockin’ and readin’! Read More →

August 17, 2014

Smarty Cooking School: Buffalo Chicken Dip

Is it just me, or was this like the FASTEST summer break ever?!  I feel like my kids just got out of school, and here we are getting out the book bags and pulling out school uniforms to see what still fits, and what doesn’t.  I’m always sad when my kids go back to school – it reminds me that they are one year older.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely bitter sweet – it means they are thriving, growing, learning, which is such a blessing…but it also means that my babies aren’t babies anymore, and THAT is something I have a hard time with at the beginning of every school year.

Thankfully, the start of school also means that my FAVORITE season, fall, will be here before we know it!!!  I L.O.V.E., LOVE me some fall!  I love the crisp, cold air…deliciously cozy sweaters…making big pots of something hot to stave off the chill…FOOTBALL (especially college football)…fall soccer season…pumpkin latte’s…I love it all!!!  So, as a little homage to the upcoming football season, I decided to make one of my all-time favorite football watching foods, Buffalo Chicken Dip.

If you go on Pinterest these days, it seems like everyone has a different version of Buffalo Chicken Dip, and everyone swears that theirs is “The Best” there is.  I gotta say, chicken…cheese…buffalo sauce…it’s kind of hard to mess up.  My version is a combination of my friend Erin’s recipe, and my need to change things up from time to time.  I also recently started using a lil’ shortcut when I walked into Harris Teeter and saw pre-cooked roasted chicken strips on ‘BOGO’ sale, so I thought, “Hmmm, I wonder how those would work in the dip?”  Well let me tell you…frickin’ awesome!

Trust me, if you bring this to your next football party or potluck, it will be one of the first things to go and you will be asked to make it again and again!  First things first, let’s get those ingredients ready:

Reduced-fat mozzarella, light ranch dressing, blue cheese dressing, Frank’s Red Hot sauce, cooked chicken breasts and reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)

1If you’re cream cheese isn’t softened (like mine wasn’t), just unwrap it, put in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 20-30 seconds.  Then whisk the cream cheese until it’s nice and creamy.  Then add the hot sauce, whisk until it’s all incorporated, and set aside. Read More →

SUNDAY SMARTY SHARE from SHARE Charlotte: Citizen Schools

By Smarty Guest Blogger Kimberly Paulk, Senior Connector at, a free, easy and local website that makes it easy to learn about and engage with our local nonprofits

When you get, give. When you learn, teach. – Maya AngelouSHARE Charlotte 2014-08-12 at 1.05.01 PM

What if the “achievement gap” we hear about in education is due to an “opportunity gap”? According to the folks at Citizen Schools, students from affluent families benefit from roughly $8,000 per year in enrichment activities, along with 300 hours of adult guidance. However, kids from lower income families are less likely to experience enrichment opportunities beyond the traditional school day.

Citizen Schools works to remedy that by connecting middle school students who want to learn with adults in the real world (like you) who have something to teach. This expands the students’ learning time by three additional hours a day.

Getting this done takes hundreds of volunteers, known as Citizen Teachers. Each spends 75-90 minutes a week over a 9-11 week period leading project-based apprenticeship courses with a small group of students.

Interested, but not sure what would you teach? Chances are pretty good that an area you know well would make a great topic. Past courses have included a robotics project, a mock trial, business plan creation and video game design. Citizen Schools provides training and a curriculum library that covers subjects like Media & Journalism, Business & Finance, Food & Health, and a lot more. Read More →

August 16, 2014

Smarty Mom: Michelle Capizzi

Here’s one Smarty Mom we can learn a lot from: Michelle Capizzi. She’s a busy mother of FIVE (three of them are teenagers!) and a devoted wife.  She’s also a pediatric emergency medicine physician and finds time to maintain an active and fit life style. Michelle is the friend you’d want on speed dial – not only is she funny and warm, but she’s got a lot of knowledge in her back pocket – medicine, kids in all stages of life, and a balanced work/life balance (or the best realistic version of work/life balance since we all know there’s no REAL balance ;-) ). Mommy mentor in the flesh. capizzi

Michelle gives us some great practical advice that I know you’ll enjoy reading.  Have fun getting to know her. If you ever do run into her in the Pediatric ER (of course we hope you don’t), know you’ll be in good hands with this Smarty Mama!

Smarties, meet Michelle Capizzi! Read More →

August 15, 2014

Fitness Friday: Carolina Barre & Core Hosts Back-to-School Sale TOMORROW!!

Carolina Barre & Core Sport

Smarty Alert! Our friends at Carolina Barre & Core on Selwyn are hosting an awesome Back-to-School Sale tomorrow from 8a-1p. Team Smarty LOVES Carolina Barre & Core – we’ve followed Celeb Barre Instructor, Amity Whalen, all over the QC!

For those of you not familiar, Carolina Barre & Core is for you, and everyone you know. You will find and embrace your core, strengthen and lengthen your muscles and create a greater sense of peace, love and community. NO JUDGMENT, JUST RESULTS.

Barre Fusion: A calorie burning, fat blasting workout designed to strengthen and tone muscles, sculpt arms, legs and abdominals as well as lift the butt.

OM Fusion: A twist on traditional yoga class, OM fusion focuses on finding and moving from the core. Classes will combine some weight work and body weight resistance.

Sport Fusion: Discover your inner athlete in this bar-less, high intensity, full body workout that combines interval training with strength building and pylometric exercises using a resistance band and weighted ball. Read More →

The Arts Center for All – Music, Arts, Dance, Language, and More

By guest blogger Miyoung Kim Dempsey, Owner and Director of The Arts Center for All

The Arts Center for All is the place to learn music, art, dance, language, and much more – all in ONE location in Cotswold.  Children (ages three and up), adults, and all experience levels are welcome.  The Arts Our name says it all – there is something for EVERYONE at the Arts Center for All.

We believe in our students and know anything is possible. When they learn the right principles of arts, and disciplines, we believe they will brighten this world.  That’s why we teach with all the passion, knowledge, and dedication we can.  We don’t want to waste anyone’s time or efforts. In order to reinforce what we teach, we review each lesson right after the class. Our students sit down with the director or their teacher to write about what they learn. We believe that the review time is truly important so our students retain more after each class.

Arts Center for All 1Senator Joyce Waddle learns the piano at the Arts Center for All

We also provide unique opportunities for our students to perform in public. Our students have performed at Levine Children’s Hospital, Festival in the Park, retirement homes and more.  At The Arts Center for All, it is very important for us to be connected to the community and serve others with our talents. We want everyone to appreciate and love the arts as much as we do.

If you’re looking for a place where you and your children’s love for the arts can be nurtured, look no further than the Arts Center for All.

Programs Read More →

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