Our Grandparents Gift theme this year is all about camps and activities! When grandparents ask what the kids really want for Christmas, our number one reco is camp or a session of their favorite activity. Grandparents will feel good about the experiences they are giving to their grandkids as well as feel good about helping you out. Because let’s face it, camps and after school activities can get pretty expensive.
Keep in mind, many of the camps don’t have their summer curriculum ready just yet, but they still make a great gift! So my suggestion is to get creative. Either contact them to see if you can purchase a gift card or just write an IOU. Buy a sweatshirt or tee shirt, wrap in a big bow and put under the tree. This will be the perfect gift that will keep on giving! Grandparents who give this gift will be rockstars for sure!
Following are Smarty ideas for Grandparents Gifting – some of these fall into the camp category and some are lessons/activities:
1. Pet Photos with Santa at South Park Mall
December 10th. Bring your furry children for a photo with Santa!
2. Christmas in Davidson Festival
November 30, Dec 1-2, 6-9 pm. Explore Downtown Davidson with lights, refreshments, special entertainment, and activities for the kids. True Holiday spirit in this festive and quaint town.
3. Holiday Lights at the Garden
November 17- December 31st. Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. The Garden glows with holiday spirit from the twinkling trees to the sparkling fountains and is transformed into a natural winter wonderland filled with unique festive décor including a towering tree of orchids, more than 600,000 lights, and illuminated displays. One of our Smarty faves!
4. The Nutcracker
December 9-23. The North Carolina Dance Theatre displays the magic of the season with this famous ballet. The holidays aren’t complete without seeing Charlotte’s favorite holiday tradition. Read More →
Our friends at Carolina Flipz are offering stressed out parents and energetic kids an amazing gift. On December 1, they are hosting their super popular Kids Night Out. That means, for four hours the kids can jump, tumble, and swing while YOU can shop, eat, play, and relax. Happy Holidays to Y-O-U!
Here are the details:
December 1, 2017
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
11812 Carolina Place Pkwy Suite B
Pineville, NC 28134
Member – $25
Nonmember – $35
Pizza dinner included
Sign up now by calling 704-544-4511. Space is limited! Read More →
This Thanksgiving, CycleBar Waverly and CycleBar Midtown CLT are giving thanks in a big way with FREE RIDES! The Smarties are LOVING CycleBar and are beyond grateful to them for this incredible deal. Come to either studio to sweat away your holiday-induced stress, regain your sanity, and do it all FOR FREE! Bring your friends, bring your family, bring any ol’ turkeys you can find—and get ready to ride free and gobble ‘til you wobble. We will see you there!
Thanksgiving: 7:00am, *8:00am Endurance – Rock the Bird, 9:30am
Black Friday:7:00am, 8:00am, 9:30am
Saturday, November 25: 8:00am, 9:30am, 10:45am
Sunday, November 26: 9:00am, 10:15am Read More →
There’s a HUGE birthday this winter in the North Carolina mountains. Our favorite ski resort, Beech Mountain Resort marks 50 years of skiing on the highest elevation slopes in eastern America. The resort debuted in the winter of 1967-68 just as skiing was being developed in the South. It was the only North Carolina resort built around an alpine village, and has become of CSP’s favorite ski destination.
**This giveaway is closed. Winner is Cammy Smith**
If you’re one of those people who marvel at others’ Facebook pages with their holiday Elf antics but just can’t muster up the creativity, energy, or brain power to unleash your family’s Elf’s naughtiness (and I’m looking in a mirror right now), today is your lucky day. I am SO excited to introduce you to the cutest way to take a HUGE load off your plate this holiday season: the Just Add Elf™ kit.
It’s an all-inclusive answer to the daily struggle of “what the ELF?!” No more waking up in the middle of the night freaking out because the Elf got lazy, no more Pinterest fails, no more cold sweats.
Each kit includes scenes for 24 complete Elf days (they recommend Dec. 1-24), including ALL supplies (literally everything — all ready to use), fool proof set-up instructions, and letters from your Elf to your kids (personalized ones are optional). The kit also includes several tangible take-aways and fun surprises for your kid(s) to keep from various scenes. Read More →
** This giveaway is closed. The winner is Chrissie Rogan**
One of the BEST holiday events in the QC opens this week, Smarties, and we’ve got some free tickets for you! The Southern Christmas Show comes to the Park Expo & Conference Center November 9-19, and guess what? It’s turning 50 this year! That’s a half century of Christmas awesomeness.
Smarty Rachel and I make the Southern Christmas Show an annual tradition. We get crazy excited every year for it – it’s seriously the best way to get into the Christmas spirit the “Southern way.” We always pick up the coolest hostess gifts (last year I stocked up on handmade peppermint baskets!), Christmas knick knacks, and presents for the fam while we’re there (it’s always so fun to also see what the “new” chevron is – we’re taking bets now, Smarties).
There are SO many beautiful Christmas decoration ideas throughout the expo center. We promise that if you weren’t ready for Christmas when you come to the show, you will be when you leave. One of the BEST parts is the mantel and door decorations right as you walk in. This year they’ve added a new spin to it: the mantels, doors and wreaths decorating competitions will be judged by the public via social media. Love that idea.
– Visit our Teddy Bear Clinic for a child-friendly, hands-on demo of what happens to our patients inside the hospital
– Make cards and blankets to encourage and support our patients
– Enjoy food, games and giveaways, plus a bounce house and more family-friendly activities
When: Saturday, October 14 | 9 a.m. to noon, after the Hopebuilders 5K
Where: Parking Lot B, in front of the hospital on the campus of Carolinas Medical Center and Levine Children’s Hospital
1000 Blythe Blvd. | Charlotte, NC 28203
Don’t miss out on the fun!
Learn more and RSVP!
Smarties, I am SO excited to introduce you to this week’s lovely Smarty Mom, Samantha Kuhr. We’re going off the Smarty tracks a little this week because Sam is actually a West Coast mom of two boys. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I wanted to highlight her here because she’s got such an inspiring breast cancer survivor story that resonates no matter what city, state, or part of the country you’re living in. When I sat in carpool a few weeks ago and read what she’d written about the shock of finding out she had breast cancer, the treatments, and parenting through it, I wiped my tears and knew I had to introduce her to the Queen City.
Sam and I met through my work with CSP and were, by chance, in Rome with our families at the same time a couple of years ago. It was such a delight to meet her and her precious family “in person” rather than just over email – especially when the meeting was at a rooftop bar overlooking St. Peter’s and the stunning Rome skyline. My husband and I still marvel at the way she and her husband have been able to make travel a priority in their family. I’ve loved following her family’s travels on social media the last few years (I may or may not have drooled over that Taj Mahal photo above an embarrassing number of times – it looks like a fake back drop! And who looks that stylish while traveling in another part of the world?!). I hope to be able to expose my kids to at least some small fraction of those life-changing experiences travel gifts a child.
If world travel with kids seems daunting to you, keep reading. Sam’s got some great tips that will inspire you to pack those suitcases and head for the open road (make sure to click on her links!). And, if getting your mammogram seems even MORE daunting, this one’s for you. Make your appointment – it could for sure save your life. Make sure to follow Sam on her blog or on Instagram – trust me, it’s SO fun to see this mom-thing happening from another part of the country.
Oh, and make sure that when you read Sam’s answers, you do it with that “British voice” in your head. She’s British. Makes it even better. Grab your coffee, relax, and enjoy getting to know this super-cool West Coast Smarty Mom, Sam Kuhr!
Smarty Mom: Samantha Kuhr
Married to: Tom Kuhr, married for 20 years in April
Children: Sebastian (16) and Julian (12)
Hometown: Derby, England
Currently live in: Hermosa Beach, CA
Alma Mater: Derby Tertiary College, England
My world as I knew it changed on March 27, 2015. I was a 43-year-old mom of two very active boys, wife of 17 years to Hot Hubby, active, non-smoker, with no family history of cancer. I was getting ready to go on vacation, and my annual mammogram was on a large to-do list of pre-vacation prep that included things such as buy band-aids, get highlights, and put a vacation stop on the mail. I thought about rescheduling, but didn’t. You can read here the details of the whirlwind week of ultrasounds, biopsy and getting the diagnosis. My immediate concern was to create stability for the boys during this unpredictable and stressful time. This obviously rocked the whole family to the core, and I wanted to minimize the worry for my boys as much as possible. Once I was diagnosed I needed to move very quickly to determine my plan to remove the cancer. It’s a very personal decision and ultimately I opted for a double mastectomy. Read More →
Our favorite local toy store, Toys & Co., is having their 40th annual sale THIS weekend. Take 25% off STOREWIDE on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, October 6-8. Stock the birthday present closet and forget Black Friday – now’s the time to think HOLIDAYS!
Not only is Toys & Co. the best place for unique toys and games, it also has some of the most popular items like Legos, Calico Critters, Squishes, Shopkins, and more at totally comparable prices to the big box chains. But, unlike the chains, we love the personal touch you get when you walk in – the staff is so warm and knowledgable (it also helps that our kids are entertained checking out all the toys while we shop :-)). Toys & Co. beautifully wraps everything for FREE – even the small and awkwardly-shaped stuff.
And many people don’t know how much Toys & Co. gives back to our community – they support tons of local schools with their school fundraising weeks where 20% of the school’s purchases go back to the school, and they’ve donated thousands of dollars to Levine Children’s Hospital through their “forgo a bag” program. You also might not know that if you bring in the resusable Toys & Co. tote bag, you’ll get 10% off your purchase. So many reasons to shop local! Read More →