I’m no food critic, but I am a foodie…A junk-foodie at heart, but sweets have become irresistible since giving birth to my now, 11-month-old. Yes, I am well aware of other donut establishments in the area and I have tried them all. I have tried them all with my tiny tornado and I promise you, Your Mom’s Donuts is the BEST place to go meet with a friend (or two) and enjoy some delicious donuts with your little one.
The first experience I had at Your Mom’s Donuts, was with my doula and several of her other clients. Our little ones had each been born within months of one another. We were tired, sleep-deprived, in need of adult interaction and what better place to meet than a donut shop?!? I remember driving quite a distance (40 minutes) with a screaming 4-month-old thinking to myself, “this better be worth it!”
I remember walking in and smelling the sweet aroma of freshly baked dough and chocolate (two of my favorite things!). I remember seeing a mom, hard at work behind the counter, wearing her baby on her back while she worked. Their menu was an abundant chalkboard full of tasty treats, and literally THE BEST hot and cold-brew coffee. The trip was beyond worth it. In fact, we’ve made the drive several times just to experience these delectable donuts. To put it plainly, these donuts are simply heaven on earth and a MUST-DO in the Charlotte/surrounding area. Read More →
Fellow smarties, allow me to introduce, Melissa Powell! She is an extremely musically inclined, rockstar momma of three kiddos. She currently teaches Music Together classes in the greater Charlotte area, but had quite a journey to get there. She immersed herself in theatre and the fine arts in her early middle-school years and developed an immense passion for acting. Having the opportunity to discuss her theatrical past, she described acting as:
“Not only a wonderful way to play “pretend” all the time, but as an actor, you are given the intense responsibility of making the audience FEEL something. I loved that…. loved being able to give people something… whether it was getting them in touch with emotions, making them laugh, or helping them learn something new.”
Being youthful and courageous, she and her now husband decided to “take the plunge” and move to NYC following their undergraduate studies at Troy University. While in NYC, she attended a musical theater conservatory and soaked up every ounce of theatrical training possible. She even performed in a few Broadway plays, though she humbly states, “in teeny-tiny theaters”. She also performed in venues such as the Children’s Theater at Circle in the Square on Broadway, as well as a few indie films! So incredibly adventurous, right?!?
Her journey eventually led her to fall in LOVE with teaching Music Together, after she and her husband decided it was time to start a family of their own. She began training in 2006 and was elated to learn she was pregnant with their first son. She began teaching Music Together in 2007, when they moved to North Carolina and states, “I loved acting (and still do commercials with my boys occasionally around Charlotte), but the opportunity to see the same faces week after week, and hear the stories of how music is bringing joy to families, is the BEST!”.
Let’s get to know Melissa better… Read More →
I have made it my mission to find the most practical, comfortable, but also stylish “mom” gear out there. Although LulaRoe is not only specific to mothers, it definitely makes for an extremely practical wardrobe for the everyday mom. From tunics and flowy tops, to wraps and dusters, the most adorable and comfortable dresses out there, AND…LEGGINGS!!! ALL THE LEGGINGS!!! Aside from the heavenly leggings and the unique names for each article of clothing, the oh-so-very reasonable price tag attached truly sets this brand apart and above any other similar brands currently on the market!
If you have heard of LulaRoe, I’m sure you first heard of their insanely incredible leggings. These buttery-soft, super scrumptious, “I feel like I’m not wearing pants” leggings come in SO many stylish prints and solids! And yes, it gets better…LulaRoe has not only made the most incredible leggings in the world, but they are extremely affordable and they last for an extremely long time (if you wash/dry them correctly). Read More →
Have a baby? Are you a co-sleeping parent? Has your child outgrown your bedside co-sleeper??? Look no further! I have found an amazing product that EVERY parent should have! Allow me to introduce you to Dock-A-Tot.
I truly do not know what we ever did without this amazing product. We co-slept with our daughter for seven months…and still co-sleep occasionally with her. The first three months were easy breezy! When she started to roll, nights were somewhat interrupted, but our bed was still a mutual sleeping ground. It was around month five that I started to LOSE MY MIND. She was trying to roll and sleep on her tummy in our bed. Of course, I this made me extremely anxious and I could no longer sleep. Sure, we had tried other “co-sleepers”, but they are not the same “squishy” surface that Zoey was used to sleeping on. Additionally, not all other co-sleepers are 100% breathable on the entire surface. We needed something comfortable for her that was safe to give everyone peace of mind and SLEEP! Read More →
Delightful. If I had to use a single word to describe my experience with Music Together of Charlotte, I would use the word “delightful.” From the beginning of the nine-week program until the last minute of our final class, my daughter and I were involved in a fun, stimulating, community-centered, and interactive program that our family will continue to participate in for years to come.
Prior to beginning our Music Together classes, I had the privilege of speaking with the founder of Music Together of Charlotte, Carrie Banwell. I cannot begin to express the joy that filled my heart as our conversation progressed. She explained that the program focuses on building and fostering a sense of community, especially for new parents! Specifically, I asked her to describe the community in a Music Together classroom. She responded by saying:
Many of us at Music Together have been or are young parents. We understand, as an organization, that the years when you have a baby or toddler are precious, scary, frustrating, magical, exhausting, and blissful. They are the years when you experience so many different emotions. And everyone doubts themselves as moms and dads because they are new at it! So, our hope is that from the time families walk in the door of a Music Together class until the minute they leave, they feel supported, understood and treasured. We hope they rejoice in forty-five minutes of singing, laughing, dancing, being silly, being with people that are going through the same things they are, and that they feel a genuine sense of community with all the other families in the room. –Carrie Banwell, Music Together of Charlotte
This was beyond exciting to hear for numerous reasons. First, I was absolutely feeling ALL the “feels” as a new mom. Second, I was in the process of building and fostering new relationships with other new or first-time moms. Ultimately, I was searching for age appropriate, meaningful activities for my then-seven-month-old daughter and an environment that would meet both our needs. Read More →
This Smarty Mom is being introduced at a perfect time! I have known Leslie since our college years. We attended Queens University of Charlotte together and, apparently, we went to high school together too! I have watched Leslie bloom into an incredible photographer in the greater Charlotte area. We had a session with her in October and she was simply amazing. Having three kiddos of her own, she came very well prepared and we were even able to do some fun shots of just our little one. I’m sure many of you mommas are looking into booking holiday sessions soon. I could not recommend Leslie highly enough!
Married to: Aaron Mason
Children: Beritt, 6; Brecken, 3; and Bodhi,7 weeks
Hometown: South Boston, VA
Years in Charlotte: 19 years
Area in Charlotte: South Charlotte
Alma Mater: Queens University of Charlotte
Undergrad study: Business Marketing
Tell us about Leslie Mason Photography.
What services can you provide? Family, Newborn, Engagement, Senior, and Maternity Photography
Why did you become a photographer? I started photographing my daughter as a baby. After posting photos on Facebook, I had people reach out to me to photograph their families. After doing a few sessions, I knew it’s what I wanted to do…start and grow my own photography business. My mother always said I was a shutterbug Read More →
I am beyond excited to share this incredible Smarty Mom with you! Sarah is a rock-star mama of four amazing children. She entered our lives last November, during my second trimester of pregnancy. She was a Godsend from the moment we met her and we knew immediately we wanted her involved in our first birth. My husband and I truly enjoyed her two home visits and the ongoing support throughout my pregnancy and birth. I was blessed to have two birth experiences: 32 hours of labor/pushing and then a cesarean birth. Sarah remained by our sides and even came to visit our little one after the extensive labor. It doesn’t end there. She was available to help me with PP needs and questions, AND breastfeeding/supply issues!!! Sarah remains extremely communicative, as an incredible source of support although I am now seven months postpartum. If you are in search of an outstanding partner in your pregnancy, birth, and PP needs, you found her!
Married to: Bob Cowherd, who loves good coffee, wearing green shirts and collecting vintage guitars
Children and ages: Ruby, 9, Clayton, 7, Story, 4 1/2 and Silas, 2.
Hometown: Hamilton, NY
Years in Charlotte: 1
Area in Charlotte: Steele Creek
Alma Mater: Russell Sage College
Undergrad study: Creative Arts in Therapy and Women’s Studies
What is a doula?
“Doula” is an ancient Greek word meaning “a woman who serves,” now used to describe a modern profession. A Doula is professionally trained and experienced in childbirth and provides guidance, evidence-based information, unwavering emotional support, and physical comfort to a mother before, during, and just after childbirth. Doulas support all birthing choices (natural, medicated, c-section) in all birth environments – home, birth center and hospital. While care providers such as nurses, midwives and doctors focus on the clinical/medical aspects of mother and baby’s care, doulas are present to offer empathy, reassurance, suggestions and guidance for better comfort and coping in labor, and an overall umbrella of support to help make your experience becoming parents a positive and empowering one. Read More →
I start my day with snuggles in bed and an extremely happy baby smiling at me. I breastfeed on demand, and will continue to, as long as my daughter needs me to. I rock and nurse my daughter to sleep. I co-slept with my daughter for 7 months. I’m lucky if I get to shower three times each week. Blowing my hair out has become a thing of the past. My daughter learns through exploration, everyday.
If I get three consecutive hours of sleep, it was a “good” night. Brushing my teeth always happens after breakfast. I believe in a holistic medical approach and homeopathic remedies. I make my own laundry detergent. Most days, I run on coffee and Jesus. I am painstakingly aware that I need to make time for myself. My favorite part of the day, is watching my seven-month-old crawl to her daddy and investigate everything in her surroundings. My husband is my best friend and partner. My “village” of mommies is incredibly supportive and reminds me of what this “Mom Life” is really all about. More often than not, my home will look like a tornado threw up.
In my home, laughter can cure just about everything. As much as I laugh, I still have tearful moments…almost always, happy tears. Chewing food is a luxury…inhaling it is necessary for one’s survival. Unsolicited mommy advice is not welcome here. I planned for natural birth. 36 hours later, I had an emergency cesarean, which caused an internal infection, which lasted until my daughter was six weeks old. I’m proud of that scar. If you see me “out-and-about”, I’ll probably look like a hot mess, but my kiddo will be dressed to the 9s. Read More →