December 15, 2016

Presenting the Smarty Favorite Things Giveaway Winners!


The moment we’ve all been waiting for is here. We have winners, and lots of them!! If you see your name by one of the prizes below, please email us by noon on Sun, December 18th.

Merry, Merry!!

First up is FASHION!


Gretchen Scott Suede Swing Top

Gretchen Scott has supported every fashion giveaway we’ve done and each season, we love her pieces more and more! Every time I wear a Gretchen Scott piece, I smile. And that is absolutely part of her mantra:


Finding inspiration from her travels across the world, Gretchen’s’ designs reflect a global perspective:

“India is a big part of what I design. The Indian sense of color, proportion and incredible embroidery is amazing. Gretchen travels there often. Indian simplicity informs even the most complicated design elements. Hand printed, festive fabrics and vibrant inks define Gretchen Scott Designs’ look. Our colors are true and often times intense.”

This year, we’re crushing on suede and ruffles, so Rachel & Meredith get to win not one but TWO perfect party outfits:

A Suede Swing Top paired with Gripeless Pull-on Pants, a $238 value:

Gretchen Scott Suede Swing Top

Gretchen Scott Gripeless Pull-On Pants

AND the Ruffleneck Jersey Dress, a $149 value:

Gretchen Scott Ruffleneck Jersey Dress

*****Gretchen Scott herself is asking you to like Gretchen Scott on both facebook and instagram (if you are on these platforms, of course). We will check both to make sure. Thank you in advance!*****

Where can I find Gretchen Scott Designs locally?

We encourage you to shop locally to find Gretchen Scott’s beautiful line of clothing:

Charlotte’s in Charlotte
901 Providence Road, Charlotte, NC 28207

Paul Simon for Women
4300 Sharon Rd
Charlotte, NC 28221
twitter: @psimoncharlotte

You can also find Gretchen Scott Designs on facebook, pinterest and instagram.

Elizabeth McKay: KATIE COLEMAN

Elizabeth McKay Stone Dress

I first discovered Elizabeth McKay a few years ago and absolutely fell head over heels in love with the simple feminine detail on every piece. Whether it’s the perfectly ruffled Elizabeth top, or the signature Scotland dress, Elizabeth’s designs make you feel special. I have acquired a nice collection of Elizabeth McKay pieces and I kid you not, every single time I wear one, I get stopped and have to give the names of all of the Charlotte boutiques who carry her! The lines in every Elizabeth McKay piece fit as if I had them custom tailored for me – absolutely stunning! Her fabrics are luxurious and her pieces are timeless. You will want to build this collection for years to come.

Elizabeth McKay designs are full of color, bold prints and sophistication. CSP {hearts} Elizabeth McKay!

Katie won the Stone Dress, a $285 value!

You can find Elizabeth McKay at:

High end boutiques across the QC and…
Make sure you sign up for her newsletter, they are always running special discounts and you don’t want to miss out on a great Smarty deal!


Have you seen a souped up Airstream cruising around town lately? Or maybe parked at your favorite fitness boutique? That’s Meg Herrington’s baby, the Silvy D. She and her husband spent almost a year fixing it up to create the coolest pop-up boutique in the QC: The Usual. It’s filled with some of the cutest yoga and barre attire, clever tees, cozy sweatshirts, accessories, and so much more. Meg’s got an incredible eye for fashion that’s totally on-trend but super wearable.

Don’t miss the chance to check it all out when The Usual pops up. Here are a few upcoming dates. All pop ups will be posted on The Usual’s social media pages.

11/26 – Small Business Saturday at the Bonz barking lot on South Blvd
12/3 – Cycle barre on Kings Blvd
12/10 – Girl Tribe Pop Up at Sugar Creek
12/15 – Triple C
12/16 – Solis Dilworth image9


Alison won a $40 gift card to spend in the Silvy D, a wrap bracelet made from baseball glove leather that says “the Usual”, a mason jar that says “When life hands you lemons, pray they are lulu”, koozies and a Usual tote. Valued at $80.

The Usual

Find The Usual on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Lauren Gold: MARY ASHLEY

Lauren Gold Smarty Dress

Lauren Gold was first introduced to me this summer from my friend from High School, Alan. Knowing I am a Florida girl with a taste for all things preppy, Alan knew I would instantly fall in love with Lauren’s Designs. And right he was! She is currently running in first as one of my favorite clothing designers. Lauren’s designs are sunshine in a dress! They make me smile every time I see one. I love all the colors & patterns. They remind me of home. They remind me of summer. They remind me of vacation. They remind me of all things that make me happy! Lauren Gold likes to refer to her brand as “Preppy with a Twist.”

Lauren Gold is a traditional resort brand that takes inspiration from the Eastern Coastal Lifestyle. Founded in 2012, you can find her designs in more than 75 retailers across the country.

Lauren has graciously agreed to give Ashley one of my favorite dresses, The Lulu (even the name is fun) Ruffle Dress in Navy Ikat. Sizes 00-12. 100% cotton poplin, lined. Value: $184.00


You can find Lauren Gold at:


La Senorita Jolie: SHANNON DEITZ

La Senorite Jolie (LSJ) “A Beautiful Girl”: A Charlotte created label by the beautiful Jennifer Dixon. A lover of glamour, albeit a self-professed “t-shirt and jeans” girl found that women tend to spend more time in casual clothing these days. She saw an opportunity for a casual twist in the social selling marketplace and from the LSJ was born!

My bestie, Caranna O’Melveny, grabbed the opportunity to represent Jennifer’s designs and ran with it. She is an executive sales associate and model for LSJ. If you haven’t been to one of her trunk shows, you are missing a fun outing – good wine, beautiful clothes, fun opportunity to catch up with friends and make new ones, and did I mention beautiful clothes?

She always, always, always looks amazing and she is always sporting an LSJ outfit. I was stopped in my tracks when Caranna showed me her recent photo shoot and she was wearing this top!


First of all, Caranna is GORGEOUS in this photo!

Off the shoulder tops are all the rage right now. The Janessa is just that — and it is designed to flatter all body type and it can be worn off the shoulders or as a scoop neck. Who wouldn’t want this in their closet? It comes in seven different colors – one of each, please!

Well Caranna, decided to AMP up her LSJ giveaway by including the Choker she is wearing in this picture.

Janessa Top: A fun flirty look that flatters a multitude of body types. The Janessa can be worn off the shoulder to accentuate your shoulders or as a scoop neck if you prefer to cover up. Rayon/Spandex. Available in Sizes S-3XL. MADE IN THE USA

Nile Choker: The 90s are back and we are loving it! Just like the great Nile River, with our Nile Lariat, the possibilities are endless! Tie as a choker, wrap around to make a layered look, use as a bracelet, or even use as a belt. The Nile is a great new essential accessory. Faux suede metal bar end lariat necklace. Length: 74”

Shannon won both LSJ items: the Janessa ($69.00) top & Nile Choker ($22.00)! Value total: $91.00

Find La Senorita Jolie on Facebook and Instagram.

Allegra & Luca: SUSAN O’NEILL


Allegra & Luca is an affordable Boho brand for baby, kids and mom. A little bit preppy, a little bit Boho.

I can’t even begin to put into words my obsession with this dress. I wore it all summer. I am not exaggerating — just check my Instagram account. Everywhere I went, I was complimented on it’s amazing colors and design. There was never a moment that it wasn’t admired. Allegra worked with me on color, length and design. Her work is AH-mazing! I plan on filling my closet with every color available. It is no-pressure dress. You can put hair in a bun, wear cute sandals and you are ready to go and it looks FAB and you look FAB. Allegra & Luca also makes little girl versions of this dress… and lucky us, Allegra has agreed to give one lucky Smarty a “mommy and me” set of dresses – your choice of color and length!


More details: Traditional Mexican design with bright and cheerful embroidery. Perfect as a tunic or dress. Each is fully hand embroidered in the Mayan Communities of Mexico. They are 100% cotton. Hand Wash Warm. Each piece is handmade so colors and embroidery may vary slightly. Her entire website is fantastic.

Value: (Adult) Above the Knee Length Dress, with Hand Embroidery, $48.00; (Child) Tunic with Hand Embroidery, $25.00

You can find Allegra and Luca at:


Smathers & Branson: WHITNEY FORD


Smathers & Branson: The quality and design of their products is impeccable – top notch! I am so impressed that I, for sure, am going to be a lifetime customer. If you want to impress your husband, boyfriend, grandfather, grandson, nephew, or son, buy him one a Smathers & Branson belt, wallet, hat, etc. I can guarantee they have a design you will like. They have a HUGE selection. I become a deer in headlights when trying to make a decision. They are beautifully made and not to mention their amazing packaging. Each belt is 100% hand-stitched. Right now, I am totally crushing on their BRAND-NEW (just came out this week) Boston Red Sox Fenway Needlepoint Design Bifold. HUGE, HUGE RED SOX FAN! But then again, I am crushing on everything on their website. If you are Cubs fan- they have got you covered, too.

Smathers & Branson has agreed to give Whitney their famous nautical knotsf heathered needlepoint belt valued at $165.00. It’s one of my faves for sure!

You can find Smathers & Branson at:




I am not even sure what first led me to Vivi Et Margot’s website. Whatever or whoever it was – THANK YOU, because J’ADORE everything she has for sale. It is such a treat when one of her Instagram photos pop up on my feed, for a minute I feel like I am escaping into the countryside of France and I want to see more. Click here — see, I told you! Simply gorgeous.

“Our inspiration came from our dream of someday buying and renovating a house in France as an escape for us and our daughters to get away from all of the “hustle and bustle”of our city life in Los Angeles. Five years ago, we finally took the plunge, bought a 150 year old rural property and have been restoring it ever since. In that time, we have traveled back and forth countless times and our love for French life has grown. Needless to say, during those travels we have stumbled across countless brocantes, textile shops, and various French markets. It seemed like every time we went to France we were bringing home more and more things every trip. Visitors to our home always ask “where did you get that?” We thought to ourselves, why not open a petite shop of our own and make some things accessible to everyone?” ~ Charlotte, Vivi Et Margot

My ABSOLUTE favorite items on her website are the Authentic French Market Baskets. They are several designs and sizes and they are GORGEOUS! Take one look at them and your mouth will drop to the floor. The craftsmanship and style embody such simplistic beauty. This basket will make you want to visit the farmer’s market just to have an excuse to carry it. My favorite and Vivi Et Margot’s giveaway item is the Authentic French Market Basket with Long Leather Straps . It’s a beauty!

Smarties, this giveaway is a real treat. It will change your mind about going to the market. This giveaway is for Vivi Et Margot’s Authentic French Market Basket with Long Leather Straps valued at $75.00.


Now on to a li’l bling that will “finish” that holiday outfit…jewelry is up next!

Perle by Lola: KATHY BREWER

perle by lola

Every time I come back from a Florida visit, I bring a little piece of the ocean home with me. This time, I came back with a set of boho-chic pearls that I absolutely adore. Perle by Lola is the beautiful creation of a fabulous mother/daughter duo, Dominique and Lola Malortigue, out of Delray Beach, FL. How fun would that be – to do what you love alongside your favorite person on the planet, your mom?:-) I promise you Smarties, you are going to love them just as much as I do! I recently met with these beauties at a trunk show at TRC W in Phillips Place. Take a look at these eclectic pieces, all of them are on my holiday wish list:

Perle by Lola Mom Daughter

Perle by Lola Lariats

perle by lola necklaces

Perle by Lola

The inspiration behind Perle by Lola jewelry is simple: to provide wearable, fun, everyday yet chic jewelry pieces that can go from day to night. Dominique and Lola Malortigue started Perle by Lola to express their love for nature’s beauties. All pearls are either freshwater or Tahitian, handpicked and chosen for their luster and shape. Each one is unique in its own way and perfect in its imperfections. All of their cording is made from the most superior skins available. All dyes are certified 100% lead-free. Semi-precious and precious stones: Handpicked and chosen specifically for the piece it will be placed in to bring the utmost elegant and special look to the item. Organic raw materials: Bone, horn, wood. Perle by Lola has a perfectly bohemian style, inspired by their roots at the beach.

Kathy won my absolute favorite Perle by Lola piece and one of their signatures, the Lariat necklace, valued at $178:

Perle by Lola Lariat necklace

You can find Perle by Lola locally at:

Perle by Lola logo

We encourage you to stop by TRC W to browse their Perle by Lola collection, you will want to hold these amazing gems in your hands!

6907 Phillips Place Court, Charlotte, NC 28210

You can also find Perle by Lola on their website Facebook, Instagram, Twitter


Mila Rose CSP Necklaces

I first discovered Mila Rose Jewelry at one of my favorite stomping grounds, KK Bloom Boutique. I could not decide with necklace to go with my new top – they were all so amazing. So I decided to pick the necklace FIRST, and then pick a top that complemented it best. Mila Rose pieces will make your outfit – you’ll find yourself styling your outfits around the necklace because they make such a statement, instead of the other way around.

The oh-so-talented gals behind the gems are these GORG designers, Molly & Isla, who decided to follow their dreams and do what they love, and we’re sure glad they did:

The gals behind Mila Rose

Each Mila Rose piece is made with love right here in Charlotte. Their trademark is the creative use of semi-precious beads and stones from all over the world – my favorite stones are druzy, hematite, mother of pearl and moonstone and they are even more fab when paired with wood accents. All of their chains, clasps, and components are gold-filled and made with the highest quality. You’ll find yourself gifting all the fab ladies in your life once you discover Mila Rose!

Allyson gets this beautiful necklace made of hematite beads, a dark grey druzy pendant, and gold filled chain – valued at $98:

Mila Rose CSP Fav Things Necklace

You can find Mila Rose pieces at:


etsy shop:

The following boutiques:

KK Bloom
2823 Selwyn Ave, Charlotte, NC 28209
(704) 919-1142

The Cheeky Bean
14835 Ballantyne Village Way #115, Charlotte, NC 28277
(980) 585-1243

Pink Hanger
Providence Plaza, 2935 Providence Rd # 103, Charlotte, NC 28211
(704) 366-7272

LA East
Blakeney, 9852 Rea Rd D1, Charlotte, NC 28277
(704) 341-5962

Lavendar Boutique
Mooresville Town Square, 279 Williamson Rd # F, Mooresville, NC 28117
(704) 663-2880

Traveling Chic Boutique (Hilton Head, SC)

Forbes Jewelers (Wadesboro, NC)

Plum Goose (Charleston, SC)


Maya Brenner Montage

When I first laid my eyes on a Maya Brenner North Carolina state necklace, I knew I HAD to have one. I seriously almost ripped it off my girlfriend’s neck! This state necklace is perfect for layering or shines beautifully on its own, totally your choice. State jewelry is so hip right now, but this is my favorite, hands down. Maybe it’s the perfectly delicate outline of my state charm sitting at just the right length on my neck. Or maybe it’s the option to get a diamond placed just right over my hometown. Most of all, I think it’s because it represents just how much I love living in this amazing state of North Carolina! Whatever the reason, I’m confident you’re going to add this necklace to your holiday wish list!

Maya Brenner is a jewelry industry veteran with an inspiring list of accomplishments since the launch of her collection in 1998. A native of California, her designs are simple and classic, yet bold and modern. Maya’s signature jewelry style is to inject a sense of fun and whimsy into timeless 14k gold and sterling silver bijou.

Susan won this North Carolina state necklace in sterling silver on a 16″ chain, valued at $140:

Maya Brenner North Carolina State Necklace

You can find Maya Brenner at:


Maya Brenner

Ellison James: JACKIE SMITH


I’m obsessed with fringe. I’m convinced it shaves off ten years any time you wear it. So when I stumbled upon the Ellison James jewelry line, I knew immediately that I needed it in my life. For me, for my fashionista teenager – together we wear these hometown gems with pride!

These Landslide Fringe Earrings are nothing short of F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S! They are the perfect weight and length, not too heavy and make any outfit look amazing!

Ellison James Fringe Earrings

On Ellison James:
Preston Bowles is the creative genius behind Ellison James jewelry. Born and raised in the QC, Preston has a passion for her hometown and the Panthers. While on a quest to find the perfect game day accessories, she decided to make some herself with a bright blue pair of shimmery Panthers earrings back in 2013. That’s when Ellison James gems were born. Preston is known or her use of fringe and leather – and every piece is handmade by the artist herself. We are super proud of this adorable Charlotte entrepreneur!

Jackie won a pair of the Landslide Fringe Earrings in gray, valued at $66.

You can find Ellison James at:

Ellison James

Locally at:
Fresh Boutique
813 Providence Rd, Charlotte, North Carolina 28207

Doll Boutique
2902 Selwyn Ave Suite B, Charlotte, North Carolina 28209

21341 Catawba Avenue, Cornelius, NC 28031

Punch Vintage Style: NICKY NESTOR

Punch Vintage Style CSP

Smarties, this is one of my latest and greatest local finds! Known for her died cow-hide cuffs, Punch Vintage Style pieces are made with heart and soul by local artist, Amy Crawford. Amy oozes cool – she lives on a huge farm and is a lover of the Lord and a hippie chick at heart. She has a variety of vintage cuffs that you can either follow her lead with her bible verses and notes of inspiration. OR, ask her to stamp your cuff with your own words of wisdom, kind of like mine here. I love it so much, I think I need 10 more!

Nicky won this set of custom cuffs, designed especially for her! Valued at $90.

Punch Vintage Style CSP Giveaway

You can find Punch Vintage Style:
facebook, instagram, and pinterest

Kristin Hayes Jewelry: MARIA BERGER

If you’re looking for something totally unique to give to a fellow mom, friend, sister, or YOURSELF, look no further than Kristin Hayes’ exquisitely vintage line of jewelry. Kristin uses different types of metals – brass, silver, rose gold, and more – to create one-of-a-kind necklaces, KH-bracelets, and earrings that are totally customizable and unique, but 100% wearable.

I recently met with Kristin in her Charlotte studio and completely fell in love – with her outgoing and friendly personality, amazing talent, and her desire to create jewelry that makes people happy. She’s got an entire line you can check out here, but what I really l.o.v.e. is her custom charm necklaces from the Signature collection. It’s called the Signature collection because each piece is as unique as your own signature and declares your singularity. Dress it up or down, wear the charms together or separate, make it completely your own.


Maria won a 5- charm customizable necklace. You will work with Kristin to make it your own. Valued at $240. Here is an example of a few – but yours will be your OWN!


Find Kristin Hayes Jewelry on their website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Erin McDermott: BETSY BEIRNE


One of my absolute FAVORITE jewelry designers is Erin McDermott. Not only is she one of the nicest (and cutest!) people on the planet, but she creates some of the most spectacular and wearable pieces I’ve ever seen. Her pieces are my go-to for holiday gifts for anyone on your list, special occassions, and little sercies to myself :-). We’re lucky that she’s local – she has been designing her custom jewelry in Myers Park for several years.

More on Erin McDermott:
Erin McDermott Jewelry

Erin McDermott’s jewelry has been featured in fabulous fashion magazines including Real Simple Magazine, Martha Stewart Weddings and more. She lives right in our backyard and is on her way to celeb ranks! Erin’s gem business was born when she took jewelry design classes and fell in love with the process of creating jewelry. She uses semi-precious stones, sterling silver, organic forms, textures, glass, freshwater pearls, wood, and unique materials to create her amazing jewelry. These materials help Erin create jewelry, which is classic but also modern and unique.

Betsy won the City Rooftop Suede and Gold Necklace, a $75 value!

You can find Erin on facebook, twitter, pinterest and instagram and in local boutiques all around Charlotte.


If you haven’t been to Kiel James Patrick’s (KJP) website, you must go and check it out. There is nothing on this website that I would not want to add to my closet – NOTHING! It is full of timeless classic pieces… jewelry, apparel (Men’s and Women’s Oxfords and Flannels), boat shoes and accessories. All American Made!

“Each product has a story, a season, and a rich heritage in American Craftsmanship. Through vibrant, idyllic lifestyle imagery, the Kiel James Patrick brand awakens memories of carefree days by the coast wearing sea-shrunken rope bracelets, crisp fall nights around a bonfire layered in plaid shirts and sweaters, celebrating holiday traditions in bowties and pearls, and seaside jaunts in boat shoes on the first day of warm spring.”

It takes me back to the Kennedy Era of iconic style. I just love, love, love it!
I have my fingers crossed they will come out with a little boy’s line. I would just love to deck out my twins in their dapper style of clothing.

Just this past weekend, they launched their pets line. You better believe the Smarty Team of pups are going to be decked out with their new Adventure Bandanas. They are OVER-THE-TOP cute. (Be sure to stand by, a little birdy told me there will be a flash giveaway later this week:-)).

Smarties, I know how incredibly classy you are — so, I just know you are going to love this giveaway as much as I do. Kiel James Patrick has agreed to give these two Lucky Smarties an Atlantic Peal bracelet.

First up: Jackie on the Cape – The pearl of the sea, the latest addition to their pearl collection is perfect for casual days on the water or elegant nights on the town.


Product Details:
-4 strands of hand-knotted 8 mm glass pearl
-Shell clasp is sold bronze coated in 14K gold
-Made in Rhode Island
– Value: $84.00

Second up: Swan Lake


We are firm believers that everything is better with an anchor, and the classic pearl bracelet is no exception to this belief. Locally produced our pearl bracelet is the perfect everyday accessory. Wear it alone or stack it with your favorite bracelets. * You can also wear this one as a necklace.

Product Details:
-Hand-knotted 7 mm glass pearl
-Gold plated brass anchor
-Made in Rhode Island
-Value: $78.00

You can find Kiel James Patrick at:


Leela and Lee Designs: KIERSTIN BOUJLIL

I fell in love with Leela and Lee for many reasons. First, was how this jewelry line was created. It came about because two moms shared a love for designing jewelry and a passion for helping children with chronic conditions. Another obvious reason is that Leela and Lee Designs creates beautiful necklaces and bracelets. Their lovely unique style caught my eye and then I saw that some of their creations include an oyster shell and this lowcountry girl was even more in love. Another extremely special thing about Leela and Lee is that 10% of all their sales go to the Timothy Syndrome Alliance under the SADS Foundation in memory of Lee Ciciarelli (co-owner Mary Ann Ciciarelli’s son who lost his battle just a year ago) Lee is loved and remembered by so many in the Charlotte area and supporting Leela and Lee allows more research to be done for Timothy Syndrome.

Our Lucky CSP Winner won a beautiful hand painted beaded necklace with a gold oyster with a gorgeous matching bracelet. ($100 value)

These are carried locally at Moxie Mercantile in Plaza Midwood. Find them on Instagram, Facebook, or contact them via email.

Port of McCall Watch Co.: CATHY KORNBLUTH


Port of McCall Watch Co. “Executive style with a relaxed attitude”: I first discovered Port of McCall Watch Company on my Instagram News Feed. It was an “instant” attraction. I fell in love with the simplicity of design, classic face, and the different colored interchangeable bands. Me personally, I am obsessed with the style: Captain POMS42 v.1.

The more I learned about the company, the more I fell in love with their watches. It is a husband and wife team – high school sweethearts from Raleigh, NC. On a trip, abroad to Germany during college, they kept noticing a watch design void of any excess ornamentation. They later learned that style mimicked the concepts behind the school of Bauhaus.

Anytime someone refers to Art History in their style I am smitten – that was my first love, my major in college and my all-time favorite art period was Modernism.

The school of Bauhaus believed art should for harmonious in form and function. In better words, it believed creativity should be reunited with manufacturing. Functional things can be works of art, too. For example, Port of McCall watches!!!

Curious about where the name came from, McCall is a family name combined with a play on words from “Port of Call.” Port of Call is where a ship stops on a voyage to rest, reload and relax. Why associate with ships — they used to spend summers on the NC coast watching some of the largest ships in the world coming to port. They imagined how a boat captain must feel when he enters port after a long journey they would like their customers to gain the same sense of calmness when they look down on their wrist and see the simplistic design and uncluttered timepiece. I love, love, love this watch!

One lucky smarty won a Port of McCall watch valued at $129.00. Check out their website, because if you win you can pick from 16 different color bands.

You can find Port of McCall at:



I heard about Tah Tah Studio years ago from a friend who was using their makeup which I loved. I learned that Tah Tah is a female owned and operated business focusing on helping women acknowledge, love and accentuate their own natural beauty. They know makeup can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! Tah Tah Studio offers makeup lessons where they show you techniques on one half of the face and allow you to practice on the other half. I haven’t done this yet, but definitely want to!! Tah Tah says no one has to wear makeup- but it can make you feel even more beautiful and confident- it’s all about enjoying what you do and feeling empowered by the finished product. Don’t you love them already?? Heather Richardson, the owner of Tah Tah has been a professional hair and makeup artist for more than 20 years. Her philosophy and experience is reflected in her signature makeup line. While Heather keeps busy with her production career doing makeup and hair on set, she always makes time for her clients.

Our lucky winner receives these amazing sets with super cute names from Tah Tah! One can be for you and one for a friend as a gift! Now the question is which one do you keep? They are both fabulous!

Warm Wishes, a great collection of shimmering neutrals with a hint of warm green
$54 value
– Indelible Gel Eyeliner in Ivy League w/Perfect Liner brush
– Velvet Touch Shadow in Matte Coconut
– Super Silky Shadow in Prophecy
– Illuminating Cheek Stick in Ignite
– Hydrating Lip Balm in Berry Nude

Santa Baby, perfect smoky eye combo with a smoldering red lip
$44 value
– Indelible Eyeliner in Pitch Black
– Velvet Touch Shadows in Indulge and Frisky
– Ultimate Lipstick in Classic Red

Tah Tah Studio
2727 Selwyn Ave, Ste 206
Charlotte NC 28209

Next up is art & home gifts – the PERFECT holiday gift ideas!


Jens Twins Lauren Thrift Map

LP Thrift Originals by Lauren Payne Thrift are known for the use of bright colors, clean shapes and so much joy! You may be familiar with some of Lauren’s angel and family paintings. Her art is featured in galleries all over town and they are guaranteed to bring you to your happy place. What I especially love about Lauren is that she is a dear friend and also hails from South Florida. We were totally meant to be kindred spirits from the very first time we met!

Lauren’s paintings are ‘One of a kind’ family portraits that capture the love & laughter of children, families, and friends.

My fave paintings of Lauren’s are “Figures on Maps” — Your favorite peeps on a map of your favorite place. These are mini-painintgs on 5×5 blocks of wood. Each map is hand selected to represent a favorite spot…whole state, specific city, island, golf course or mountain range. Figures are then painted on the map with details to compliment the memories and fun that go along with the location.

For example- Map of Florida with boys and snorkel gear. Map of Aspen with girls all bundled up with skis. Map of Augusta with boy and golf club. The possibilities are endless.




These are great ways to capture memories from a vacation. They are great gifts after traveling to see friends or family. The wood blocks are sturdy and look great on a windowsill, on a book shelf, or with a group of photos. They can also be wired for hanging, and look fantastic as a large group. One client ordered a map for each child and grandchild in her family. She now has a fabulous wall covered in 17 blocks at her beach house. Each map has one figure depicting their favorite beach activity…fishing, paddle boarding, sitting with the cooler, etc.

Maps are available with 1, 2, or 3 figures.

Kristin won a Figures on Maps painting with up to 2 figures, value $150.

You can find LP Thrift Designs at:
facebook & pinterest

Let’s Talk Towels: LISA FARLEY

I recently discovered the Let’s Talk Towels line of gorgeous Turkish towels, blankets, robes, and hand towels at the Southern Christmas Show (one of the best ways to usher in the holiday season ;-)). The minute we saw the booth, Smarty Rachel and I stopped to oooh and ahhhh over each beautiful piece. We got to talking (no pun intended) to the Let’s Talk Towels’ owner’s adorable daughter and son-in-law who showed us every which way you could use these gems. The towels can be used on the beach, picnics, as table runners, OR as the cutest scarves ever. The versatility is SO Smarty!



Let’s Talk Towels tell us that the Turkish towels are inspired by the original towels worn in the Hammam baths in Turkey. Imported directly from Turkey, they are 100% cotton and machine washable, making for easy care. They are available in an array of colors, patterns and weights – we promise once you see and feel them, you’re going to want one in every size and color!

Lisa won the orange diamond stripe towel here on the right. Valued at $35.


Find Let’s Talk Towels on Facebook, Instagram, or through email inquiries. Their website is coming soon!



Ella B Neighborhood Candles

My go-to gift this season are Ella B. Candles. Whether it’s a neighborhood candle or one of the three holiday fragrances, they make the perfect gift for teachers, neighbors, and girlfriends!

Ella B. Pure Soy Candles are known for the clever neighborhood names, like SouthPark, Myers Park, Foxcroft and more. They are hand-poured with love right here in Charlotte at the “Hive”. Each candle bears a distinctively “Charlotte” name and boasts a delightful, unique fragrance and exceptionally long burn time.

Founder of Ella B., Smarty Mama Julie Tassy, started the Ella B. Candle line to show her children how to create a product line. She has always enjoyed business, and wanted to pass that on to her girls. What started as a small side gig in just 6 local stores has grown into a thriving business of in retail stores across the country. I couldn’t be more proud of Julie and her crew. I’m so lucky to call her “friend”.

Be sure to check out Ella B’s limited edition holiday fragrances: Carolina Christmas, Christmas in Charlotte and Queen City Holiday – these are so festive!

Also new to Ella B is the sorority line – these are the PERFECT holiday gift for your daughter, niece, aunt and more!

And for those who are on your REALLY Nice list, consider a customized candle from your family. Ella B. Candles customizes candles for corporate gifts, party favors, and holiday gifts.

Our Three lucky Smarties won an Ella B Treat:

1) Angie won (12) Personalized Candles from the Custom Candle Collection, valued at $384:

Ella B Holiday Candles CSP GA

2) Jen Alessi won the Neighborhood Candle Giveaway: A collection of her favorite Neighborhood candles, valued at $100:

Ella B Neighborhood Candle GA on CSP

3) And Martha won the Sorority Candle and Diffuser of her choice, valued at $82.

Ella B Sorority Line CSP

You can find Ella B candles at:

Retailers across the city and country.

Or check them out at the hive on Monroe Road (9517 Monroe Road, Suite C Charlotte, NC 28270)- you just might meet some of the candle artists fast at work!


The Buoy Guy/Buoy Sports & Buoy Bats & Welcome Buoys: ASHLEY HUNSUCKER


THIS IS A MUST-HAVE NOVELTY ITEM!!! Every year, I volunteer with my dad at the Rockland Lobster Festival and every year, I stop and admire the Buoy Bats. My kids are finally old enough (4) to be able to play with them. So, this year, I stopped and talked to Buoy Bill. He explained to me how the bat works, he showed me all the different designs, and told me it could be personalized with my boys’ names. It was a no-brainer — this was the perfect gift for my kiddos. We go to the beach every chance we can get. This is a MUST HAVE in your beach bag! This is a MUST HAVE for your backyard! This is a MUST have for the Lake! This is a MUST HAVE for a trip to the park! It will provide tons of fun for your little ones. Everyone can hit the ball with a buoy bat. It’s light with a giant sweet spot. Played like baseball, Wiffle ball, or stick ball. It comes with a face-friendly ball that doesn’t hurt if it hits you and BONUS – it doesn’t break windows. The Buoy Bat also makes a cool thumping noise when you hit it. Perfectly balanced so that every hit feels like a home run.

He also introduced me to one of their hottest sellers – the Welcome Buoy. He called them “Coastal Living Cool.” Buoys are everywhere in Maine. You constantly see people pulling out their cameras and snapping pictures of a Lobsterman’s House adorned by his family signature buoys hanging on the side. Who wouldn’t want a decorative buoy with your families address or name on it? They offer designs for everyone and everywhere – the beach, the lake, sports, destinations, pets and patriotic designs. It’s so much fun and always reminds me of summer. Each buoy is new, not salvaged, made in Maine by Buoy Bill himself.


Buoy Bill is giving away one of each of his products to Ashley – she picks the design, she picks the personalization. Up to a $56 value. Thank you, Buoy Bill!


Alright, Smarties, let’s get organized in 2017!

Simplified Planner by Emily Ley: JAIME GRAHAM

Just one look at this happy planner makes you want to make a list and check it twice. I found Emily Ley’s line of planner and stationery a couple of years ago and totally fell in love. Not only are her planners and stationery absolutely beautiful, but they’re filled with such heart. And the title of her new book, Grace Not Perfection, has seriously become my silent motto. Emily says “joy is truly found in the journey – in the mess, in the change, and sometimes in between the sixth and seventh load of laundry.” This is EXACTLY what I need to be reminded of as another busy year approaches.

Jaime won an August 2016-December 2017 {Smarty} pink Simplified Planner bookbound weekly edition and a set of coffee mug shaped paperclips. Valued at $70.

You can find Simplified Planner by Emily Ley on their web site, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Find her book, Grace Not Perfection on her site.

Emily Ley logo


If energy could be packaged up in a planner, it’d FOR SURE be coiled up in the STARTplanner. Just flip through it and you’ll be inspired to take action no matter how lofty your goals – I know am inspired every time I look at mine. I often think that as moms we get so muddled up in the day-to-day that we forget to map out some goals. They don’t have to be huge…or they can be ginormous. If dreaming big or actually getting it done is part of your 2017 plan, you’ve met your new best friend.

The STARTplanner’s flagship planner is called the Hustle. I love the whole idea. They call it a way of life, and I guarantee you the minute you open up the Hustle, you’ll subscribe to it. There’s plenty of room to dream, plan, organize, and create – all while getting stuff done. Check out their entire line of gorgeous planners here.

Becky won a 2017 START Hustle original planner, valued at $60. The planner comes in a nifty pouch – perfect to for storing as memorabilia.


Find STARTplanner on their web site, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.


The Organizing Pro: JAMIE TEAGUE

I met Julie Bertram and her sweet team at the Organizing Pro about seven years ago through a mutual friend. When I say these ladies are #lifechanging, I am not exaggerating. They are some of the hardest working, smartest, and most creative people when it comes to space planning and organizing that I’ve ever met. And, they are the 2016 Smarty Award winners for Best Organizers (so happy for them!!).

The Organizing Pro team can take on any challenge with kindness and grace – I mean, who wants to show their hoarder closet(s) to a stranger?! These ladies don’t judge – they just get the job done. They are the best way to freshen your slate in 2017. Here are some pics of their work:






Jaime won three (3) hours with one of the amazing professional organizers at The Organizing Pro. Valued at $195.

You can find the Organizing Pro on their web site, Facebook and Pinterest.

Now for some fun gift ideas for your fave people!

Alphabet Soup Gifts: CATHY SWANEY

Alphabet Soup is one of my favorite spots for adorable gifts and monogrammed items. They always have the cutest things. Conveniently located in Morrocroft Village, I often pop in to see what’s new. Whether I am looking for my kiddos or myself, they seem to have it all. You can also bring in anything you want for them to personalize. And we all know…everything looks better with a monogram.

Cathy won 1 Monogrammed linen pillow and 1 monogrammed hand towel. Included is either the antler design or pagoda design. Winner gets to pick the thread color and design. ($78 value)


Alphabet Soup Gifts
4724 Sharon Road
(704) 554-1616

Providence Gift Company: KYLA HESS

Providence Gift Company has the cutest and most up to date monogram items for you and your family. Owned by a friend & former coworker of mine, it is so fun the see how this business has grown and what adorable things they are creating. Providence Gift Company began with a passion for personalized, fun, and meaningful gifts. They strive to provide the highest quality products and service to customers at a fair price. They take pride in their dedication to ensure that every custom order exceeds expectations. No matter the occasion, Providence Gift Company has something for you. I cannot wait to get a few gifts from them for family & friends this Christmas!

Kyla won this awesome bundle from Providence Gift Co. This includes a personalized 30oz RTIC tumbler with lid, a set of 2 monogrammed, acrylic, stemless wine cups, a monogrammed sweatshirt, a personalized ring dish, a personalized ornament, and a personalized pillowcase. All items can be personalized in any monogram, name, color or pattern that the winner desires! Total giveaway value – $120

Find Providence Gift Company on Facebook and Instagram.

Maven Gift Design: VICTORIA BAILEY

If you’re looking for the PERFECT hostess gift, party favor, girls’ weekend accessory, or way to spruce up your own family’s drinkware, look no further than Maven Gift Design. Local Smarty Mom Heather Ravenscroft’s new online store is THE place for the cutest plastic and foam cups in the QC. Choose from in stock or custom options – we promise you’ll want a set for every holiday. And, don’t forget, if you’re hosting Thanksgiving or headed to family or friends, now would be the PERFECT time to order a set of in-stock flex or foam cups – how cute are these?! They’ll be on my Thanksgiving table (set for 25!!) for sure.


And there are a million different ways to customize – seriously perfect for any occassion (or just everyday!).


Victoria won a Christmas party package with a sleeve of 12 frosted flex cups and a sleeve of 12 foam. Valued at $40.





Find Maven Gift Design on their Website, Facebook, and Instagram.

The holidays aren’t complete without something for the foodies!



Carolee Sinton and Jen Nowak, two Charlotte moms and good buds of mine:-), established Takes the Cake in 2012. Motivated by compliments and interest for their incredible tasting pound cake, they have taken what was once a simple and gracious gesture between two friends and turned it into an exciting baking venture.

Their pound cake, made from a decades-old family recipe, is made from scratch with only 8 natural ingredients. They never use anything artificial and never use preservatives, resulting in a delicious (and many say addictive) pound cake. Wrapped beautifully, these cakes make a gift that leaves an impression not only because of the amazing taste! I give these DELISH poundcakes as hostess gifts, teacher gifts, birthday cakes – the list goes on!

Takes the Cake Delish

These TWO lucky Smarties won a Takes the Cake pound cake flavor of choice, valued at $35 each.

You can find Takes the Cake at:

Takes the Cake Logo

Follow Takes the Cake on Instagram and Facebook. Orders can be placed by emailing Carolee and Jen at

Regular size: $35
Mini: $25
Individual Box w/wooden fork: $12

Sunflour Baking Company: JENNA KRAMER

Sunflour Baking Company is my favorite spot to pick up bread, biscuits, treats, and more. My kids love it. I love it. It is just delicious. We often stop by to see what’s in their counter and we always leave we cheddar biscuits, a family favorite. I also cannot stop thinking about the Caramel Cake I had them make for me for Christmas last year. It was amazing!!!

Sunflour is celebrating this festive season with a Special Holiday Menu for advance orders. They have Wreath Bread, Pecan Pies, and famous Butter Rolls that will all be available for pick up during the holidays. Customers are encouraged to order early because they get busy! Stop by one of their two locations for these tasty items and so much more.

Jenna won a $50 gift card to stock up on goodness at the Sunflour Baking Company.


Elizabeth Location:
2001 East 7th Street, Suite H
Charlotte, NC 28204
Tel: 704-900-5268

Dilworth Location:
220 East Boulevard, Suite 100
Charlotte NC 28203
Tel: 704-332-5222

Find Sunflour Baking Company on their website, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen: KRISTY DUNKER

I always thought Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen classes looked fun. I signed my husband and myself up to go as a date night one weekend this summer. He was totally dragging his feet. Not only was it fun for us both, but the food we cooked was AMAZING! Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen hands-on cooking classes focus on healthy, sustainable ingredients. I keep telling everyone that they should go and I can’t wait to go back again. It is surely an experience you will love. Chef Alyssa has recently launched a line of condiments that I am excited about too.

Kristy won a Cooking Class Certificate and 1 Gift Pack of her new condiments: Champagne Jam and Smoked Chili and Rosemary Mustard. ($83 value)

Find Chef Alyssa on their Website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or via e-mail.

Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen is located in Atherton Market in Southend.


I tried Fit You Meals a year ago and fell in love. Their meals are simply delicious. Fit You Meals’ mission is to cook wholesome fresh and delicious meals using locally and organic grown products, free-range poultry, grass-fed beef and wild seafood. They also use power foods to improve your health and substitute unhealthy ingredients from traditional dishes to transform them into delicious healthy meals and snacks. Their meals are delivered fresh to you on Sunday and Wednesday and their menu rotates very week to offer you variety and seasonal options. Each item to order comes fresh and all you do is reheat and eat! Such a win for this busy mom on weeknights!

Michelle won a $75 Gift Card to use at Fit You Meals.

Find Fit You Meals on their Website, Facebook, or call 980-829-8547.

Lobster Anywhere: MELISA KLINK


“You don’t have to travel to Maine to enjoy fresh lobster or Cape Cod to host a clambake.”

It’s about that time of year when I really, really, really start to miss my New England summer and all that offers. Especially, the seafood. Especially, the lobster. Thank goodness for Lobster Anywhere. I can order fresh Maine lobster anytime of the year, anywhere I might be. I have a delicious treat for you – with a chill in the air I think it’s perfect timing for some Lobster Bisque. Who doesn’t love lobster? Who doesn’t love a bowl of warm Lobster Bisque? I certainly do! Yum! Yum!

For over ten years LobsterAnywhere has earned an unparalleled reputation for its consistently fresh, sensationally superior seafood.

Our lucky Smarty won a special gift pack includes 4 packages of lobster bisque ready to freeze and enjoy anytime. Value: $84.00.

You can find Lobster Anywhere at:



Gifts Like Sugar from Candy Girl Confections: ANGELA HENDRICKS

Candy Girl Confections is definitely known as the Queen City’s “Sweetest Spot” with more candy than a girl could ask for… but they are so much more than a candy store. Candy Girl is also known for whimsical and seasonal gifts, jewelry, adorable accessories and more. I’m always stopping by for kids birthday gifts or gift cards or for my friends too because they have the cutest and most creative things. There is always a necklace or two I am eyeing every time I am in there. They also have their online gift service, Gifts Like Sugar, that takes their signature style of combining tasty treats with unique and super cool items. What’s more, if you don’t see what you are looking for in the store or online, they can create something specifically for your gifting needs. They do all the hard work for you when they put something together and it looks adorable with their wrapping and presentation.

Angela won a Gifts Like Sugar box called “Mama’s Comfort & Joy” It’s a care package filled with wine accessories, a holiday bath bomb and tons of other goodies to pamper Mom so she can relax and enjoy the holidays. The value is $100 and the box includes:
– “All Mama Wants is a Silent Night” Foiled Cocktail Napkins
– “Awesome Water” Stemless Wine Glass
– Gold Glitter Bottle Opener
– Merry Wine Stopper
– Jolly Bomb Bath Fizzer
– Santa Puppy Ankle Socks
– Milk & Cookies Creme Filled Candy Cane
– Milk Chocolate Stocking
– Milk Chocolate Ornaments


For more info on care packages, click here.

Candy Girl Confections
2910 Selwyn Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28209

Moving onto our Fitness Faves!

Carolina Barre & Core: JESSICA WARDLAW

Carolina Barre & Core Sport

Carolina Barre & Core was founded by Charlotte fitness circuit legend, Amity Whalen, in 2013. Tucked right in the heart of Myers Park, at Shops on Selwyn Avenue, this barre studio has the best of both worlds – yoga and barre fused together.

So what will you find at Carolina Barre & Core? You’re guaranteed to find and embrace your core, strengthen and lengthen your muscles and create a greater sense of peace, love and community. We love their motto: 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.

Our lucky Smarty won one Month of UNLIMITED Classes at Carolina Barre & Core, a $200 value!

You can find Carolina Barre & Core at:


Carolina Barre & Core
2901 Selwyn Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28209
Phone: (980) 207-1046
Click here to register for classes!


Flywheel is my favorite place to get my cardio on for sure. It feels great for my body, but it also clears my head every time I go. It truly does amazing things for my physical and mental health. Each Flywheel class is a super high-energy and fast-paced. The best part is … I know all I have to do is show up. The fabulous instructors will do the rest! I will be entertained, pushed, invigorated and distracted through it all with their off the charts music.

Catherine won a 5-pack of Flywheel class, a headband, and socks – all the essentials for your ride (a $115 value)

FlyWheel Sports Charlotte

FlyWheel/FlyBarre Charlotte
2907 Providence Road, Suites 103 & 104
Charlotte, NC 28211
(980) 819-8501


I have been going to Pure Barre Charlotte since they opened over 6 years ago and I still love it. Yes, I do! I see results time after time and adore the teachers & staff. Pure Barre is a total body workout that utilizes the ballet barre to perform small movements set to great music. The workout lifts your seat, tones your thighs, abs, & arms and flattens your abs in only 55 minutes. Need I say more? The more I go, the more results I see and it still is super challenging every time. It truly helps this almost 40 mama stayed toned as I know each year it gets harder and harder to do so.

These THREE lucky Smarties won a month of UNLIMITED classes at one of the three Charlotte locations, a $225 value – lift, tone, burn, Smarties! Wendy won Myers Park, Erin won SouthPark, & Danielle won Ballantyne.


You can find Pure Barre at:


Pure Barre Charlotte: Myers Park
603 Providence Road
Charlotte, NC 28207
(980) 329-4640
Facebook & Twitter

Pure Barre Ballantyne
8430 Rea Road Suite 120
Charlotte, NC 28277
(704) 502-5888

Pure Barre SouthPark
6401 Morrison Blvd Suite 7A
Charlotte, NC 28277

Congrats to all of these ladies! Merry, merry everyone!


4 Responses

  1. Rachel says:

    Booyah, chicken dinner! Thanks ladies! My birthday is the 28th, so this is a double present! I’ll email as directed:)

  2. Angie says:

    What a fun surprise to wake up to after a yuck night on call!!! Thanks!!

  3. Betsy Beirne says:

    YAHOO! Thanks what a treat!!!!

  4. nicky says:

    Cuff/bracelet set came today – LOVE them! THANK YOU!!! Merry Christmas!

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