Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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December 28, 2017

Smarty Fitness Interview & Giveaway: Pure Barre Charlotte

*****THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED! OUR WINNER IS LINDSAY DYER*****

We’re continuing our New Year’s resolution fitness giveaway today with Pure Barre Charlotte! Today we talk to Casie Petty, owner of Pure Barre Charlotte, on what makes Pure Barre different. Enjoy getting to know Casie, and keep checking back with CSP for more fun fitness giveaways (if you missed the first one, check it out here!).

Pure Barre Charlotte: Casie Petty

Tell us a little bit about Pure Barre Charlotte.

We first opened almost eight years ago in Myers Park! We are a 50 minute workout focusing on toning and lengthening the muscles. We also just started a new 50 minute cardio class called Empower.IMG_8478

Many first-timers are scared of barre classes. What should a first-timer expect at Pure Barre Charlotte and what would you tell them to calm any first time nerves?

Just to have fun! Don’t take your first class to seriously. Every client is in there to get a good workout and to support each other. Just relax and the teachers guide you though the rest.

What makes Pure Barre Charlotte different from other workout classes?

We encourage you to do what you can! We never want to push anyone to hard so that they have a bad experience. We want to create a comfortable environment and support system for the clients to only grow stronger. Read More →

September 29, 2017

Smarty Giveaway: ‘Just Perfect’

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I recently had the chance to get my hands on an adorable new children’s book, Just Perfect, by Kimberly Mohns Roberts. Kimberly is a local Charlotte mom on a very important mission. Her book, Just Perfect, is a story about a little ballerina who doesn’t like way she looks. Her loving mother reminds her that all of her parts are perfect and she is perfect just the way she is. This sweet picture book shares their story.Just Perfect Cover

As a mom of two girls, I know very well how tough little girls can be on themselves. I mean, even as adults we are so hard on ourselves. I always say to my girlfriends: “If only we can see ourselves the way our friends see us.” It’s true. We are our own worst critics in life. This book will help us remind our daughters (and sons!) that they are indeed perfect and beautiful just the way they are. Maybe that lesson taught early on will save them angst as adults. I wish I’d had this book when my girls were toddlers. It’s essential to build up our girls in a world that can often be harsh and mean. Read More →

June 24, 2017

Smarty Moms: Kim Jackson & Adrienne Mauntel

Kim and family

Kim and family

Adrienne and family

Adrienne and family

I am so honored to present not only one but, two Smarty Moms today, Kim Jackson & Adrienne Mauntel. Adrienne, I have known since high school and I’m privileged to learn more about Kim recently. These ladies’ came to know each other because of their son’s, Jacob & Ford. Both boys were born with heart defects and underwent multiple open heart surgeries. Each family was looking to connect with other families who had children with heart conditions. Their friendship continued and grew through the creation of Camp LUCK in 2010, a Charlotte-based non-profit serving families with children with congenital heart disease (CHD). As the organization’s name implies, Camp LUCK offers a medically supervised Family Camp and Kids Camp for CHD kids each summer. However, Camp LUCK is “More Than A Camp” as it provides a variety of non-camp related outreach programs for the entire heart family. They include Baby LUCK (for heart kids younger than age 7), an Annual Conference, Parent Support Network and Discharge Packets for kids who have recently had surgery. And the best part of all is that all programs are free of charge to CHD kids and their family! Camp LUCK strives to improve the lives of kids and families coping with congenital heart disease by empowering them to live life to the fullest. Read More →

January 21, 2017

Smarty Mom: Mary Ann Ciciarelli

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to one extraordinary Smarty Mom, Mary Ann Ciciarelli. Mary Ann has a vibrant personality, a huge heart, and the skills to accomplish anything. She is a wife, a mom, a friend to so many, a director of product marketing, a jewelry designer, the co-founder of the Timothy Syndrome Alliance (TSA) that she started in 2015, and much more. Wow! This is one busy lady. MaryAnn

Mary Ann is actively raising money for TSA and the Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome (SADS) in honor of her late son Lee Ciciarelli or as many know him “Super Lee.” “Super Lee” touched so many with his sweet smile and energy for life and he is dearly missed. Mary Ann has experienced something few mothers can even comprehend, losing her son, Lee, and yet she continues to give of herself day after day to help others. Mary Ann is always hosting a benefit or fundraiser or sale to raise money for TSA and SADS. Her spirit shines bright to all that know her just like her son Lee. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Mary Ann over the past few years, but also had the honor of talking with some of Mary Ann’s friends and they describe her below.

“Mary Ann has open arms and a open heart. It’s like she never meets a stranger”

“Mary Ann is someone with a creative spirit and unwavering strength…an amazing mother to Evelyn Ann and a great friend.”

“Mary Ann is the type of person the world needs more of. She has a huge heart. She is a great listener and is passionate about creating positive change in our community and beyond…not to mention she has the best belly laugh.”
“Mary Ann is so strong and so determined.”

Read on to find out more about Mary Ann and her family, interests & passions. And yes, you’ll totally want to hang out with her after you read more. She’s that kind of person.

Smarty Mom: Mary Ann Ciciarelli

Married to: P. Christian Ciciarelli
Children: Evelyn Ann age 2, Lee in heaven would be 7 on April 5th
Years in Charlotte: 10 1/2
Originally from: Raleigh (but lived in SF for 4 years while my parents lived in AZ for 15 years)
Occupation: Director of Product Marketing for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Alma Mater: Elon University

We were thrilled to include you in our recent Smarty Pants Holiday Giveaway where we shared your fabulous line of jewelry, Leela and Lee Designs. Tell us how you got started in jewelry making and what inspired your beautiful line of jewelry, Leela & Lee?

In June of 2015 I held “Style with Heart”, a Pop up Shop at my home as a way to raise money for Timothy Syndrome under the SADS (Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome) Foundation in honor of Lee. Dr. Anitha Leonard, a local Charlotte pediatrician, was one of the vendors with her line of Beads for Babes necklaces and bracelets. She and I quickly hit it off after she learned more about Lee’s condition and knew she wanted to support a charity with some of the money she was making from her jewelry. She and I stayed close over the summer of 2015 and I helped with designs for her jewelry line. After a long night of beading together we decided to give jewelry designing a try as a business partnership. We knew that to be taken more seriously as a business, we needed a new name. Anitha’s daughter is named Leela, and she also shares a love of making jewelry. So it was a no brainer, Leela & Lee had to be the name of our company. With Anitha’s knowledge of how to make jewelry from her Indian heritage and my eye for design, it has continued to be a fun partnership. We are proud to give 10% of all sales to the Timothy Syndrome Alliance under the SADS Foundation. Moxie Mercantile on Commonwealth Ave in Plaza Midwood carries our jewelry and you can also find us on facebook and instagram. We hope 2017 will be the year Leela & Lee is carried in more boutiques through out the country as well as create an online shop. Read More →

October 9, 2016

Local Charlotte author releases book for middle schoolers & up (moms, too!)

Kim Love Stump, a local Charlotte author is releasing her debut fantasy novel, A Clearing in the Forest, targeted for sixth grade reading level and up. We haven’t yet had a chance to read this yet, but can’t wait to get our hands on it. We are hearing fabulous things, and if your child likes Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire, this should be on par with that. We’ve also been told there is nothing inappropriate for younger readers. Yay! Always what a mom wants to hear – especially if you have one that reads above grade level :-). img_3595

Kim is the ultimate Smarty mama. Originally from Asheboro, NC, she and her husband of 30-plus years and their family live in Charlotte. I met Kim years ago when she was speaking at a bible study that I was attending. She was the key note speaker and sharing some valuable truths with our group. I immediately could tell this lady was very special. She shared form the heart, but backed up everything she spoke with multiple biblical references. She knew exactly what she was talking about. I later learned Kim had her MBA and worked in finance for many years, but always had a huge love for writing and reading. I am so thrilled to see Kim pursue her love of writing in her new book, A Clearing in the Forest, the First in the Journeys from Ayrden Series. I can’t wait to read this myself although I might have to fight my 4th grader over who reads it first! Read More →

October 7, 2016

Fitness Friday: Why do you Fly?

If you’ve ever had the chance to take a Flywheel class, you know there’s something totally magical about the place. It’s not just the state-of-the-art equipment or amazing playlists. It’s the people. The instructors. And one of the best instructors in all the Flywheel land is the superfly Sarah Stankavage Pitts. I was lucky enough to interview her recently on what SHE loves so much about Flywheel and what she believes the Flywheel magic to be.

Thanks so much to Sarah for taking the time out of kickin’ tails all over the QC to sit down and answers these questions. Smarties, get to one of Sarah’s classes PRONTO – her energy is contagious and her playlists are solid. Check out her and her teammates’ schedules right here. See you on the bike!

Why should someone choose to come to Flywheel?

Flywheel is not just a workout, it’s an experience! We pride ourselves in giving riders and pulses a positive, fulfilling atmosphere from the moment they walk in the door, through their workout and onto the rest of their day. Flywheel is appropriate for people of all different fitness levels. We love our riders/pulsers who walk in saying they’ve never been on a bike/been to a barre class before, we motivate our riders/pulsers who have health/fitness goals they want help to accomplish and we push our riders/pulsers who are already strong athletes and need that extra intensity.

Sarah Stankavage Pitts, Southeast Lead Trainer, Flywheel Sports

Sarah Stankavage Pitts, Southeast Lead Trainer, Flywheel Sports

What makes it so special?

Flywheel is special because of the people. Not only our instructors, facilities/club coordinators and managers, but also our riders/pulses make what we like to call “FlyFam” so special. There’s a sense of family, community, team atmosphere when you come to Flywheel. We have so many members who have become best friends after seeing each other in class day after day. I, personally, have grown very close to many of our riders/pulsers after developing relationships with them in each of my classes. There’s a confidence that grows in those who make the commitment to themselves and to us, as instructors, to better themselves by showing up and pushing out of their comfort zone that you can’t find in many other places. The “FlyFam” atmosphere makes Flywheel so special. Read More →

July 23, 2016

Smarty Dad: Nathan Lanning

I am so pleased for you to get to know this Smarty Dad, Nathan Lanning. I met Nathan a few years ago when my youngest started kindergarten at Dilworth Elementary. I met many great parents in the hallways that year at school, but you start to recognize the ones who are always there. Nathan was one of those parents…always there, always picking up, dropping off, always eating lunch, always volunteering, etc. I soon learned that he was a regular volunteer and on the PTA board. Fast forward a few years to this year when I heard Nathan was our PTA President. I thought it was so great that we had a dad in as PTA president, and I knew he’d be great. It is so could easy to see the devotion Nathan has for our school and the students there. He worked so hard this year to accomplish so much, and we were blessed to have his time and energy. It is wonderful when parents get involved in schools, and in CMS it’s truly needed. Nathan, thank you for setting such a good example to all of us on your involvement and leadership! Parents, if you are not yet involved, start this fall! There is always a place to help. Nathan Lanning

Smarty Dad Stats:

Married to: Angela Lanning for 18 years
Children (age): Nathan William Lanning (not a junior) (10 years old)
Hometown: Lexington, NC
Alma Mater: UNC Charlotte
Years lived in Charlotte: 31
Occupation: Once upon a time I was in sales for a process control company and then went part-time for a couple years when Nathan was born. When he turned two years old Angela and I decided that I would be a full time stay at home dad.
Neighborhood: Freedom Park
Favorite things about Charlotte: The weather. I like that we can have a 70 degree day in February and a 50 degree day in May.

You have taken a very active role in your son’s school, Dilworth Elementary, over the last few years. Tells us what prompted this.

As a stay at home dad I had the time to help so I started out as a room parent when Nathan was in kindergarten and also volunteered on a lot of committees.

Was it hard to start volunteering and getting involved?

No. It was very, very easy to get involved. Read More →

April 16, 2016

Smarty Mom: Casie Petty

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I am thrilled to present to you today Smarty Mom, Casie Petty. She’s a new mom and we’re thrilled to highlight her today. I met Casie shortly after she moved here six years ago. I was meeting with my sales teammates at Panera and noticed a new workout studio going in right behind it. I dropped by after my meeting and met a cheerful studio owner who encouraged me to come in for a class. It was Casie.

I quickly learned that she had moved here from Nashville to start and manage this Pure Barre studio in Myers Park. I was in awe of her entrepreneur skills. I later learned that not only was Casie great at running her business, but she also was a killer (in a good way) Pure Barre instructor and a sweet and kind friend. It was been so wonderful to watch Casie in her success in the studio, but also see how her life has changed. She is married and has a precious baby boy and continues to manage Pure Barre Myers Park excellently with great classes, fabulous teachers, fun apparel and more. There’s just something about going to a place where your comfortable and you know you will always be challenged. Casie continues to make that happen year after year, but now I get to see her precious baby Stokes photos along the way. She is a true testament that as moms, we can still do it all and enjoy ourselves a long the way.

Smarty Mom: Casie Petty

Smarty Mom Stats:

Married to: Mayson Petty for 1.5 years! 🙂
Children: Stokes, 7 months
Hometown: Nashville, TN
Years lived in Charlotte: 6 years
Occupation: Co Owner – Partner, Pure Barre Charlotte
Neighborhood: Cotswold
Philanthropy you love to support: Bee Mighty – They provide funding for medical therapy and equipment for NICU graduates.
Favorite things about Charlotte: When I first moved here I feel in love with the skyline and beautiful trees. It really is just beautiful.

We love hearing about our local female entrepreneurs. Tells us about your business.

We are about to celebrate six years in our Myers Park location and just celebrated five years in our Ballantyne location. SouthPark just opened in November. Wow, time flies when you’re having fun and are very busy. I love managing and running Pure Barre. It is always rewarding to see my clients get stronger. What we teach is always changing in order to challenge our clients more to see results. Just recently, we added a new Platform class to our normal Pure Barre schedule. It’s an hour of full cardio! The basis behind is small isometric movements to lengthen and tone the body. If you haven’t tried it, you should. It’s great and it will definitely get your heart rate up. Read More →

April 1, 2016

Fitness Friday: Being Intentional and Challenging Yourself – It’s so worth it.

Fitness Flywheel

To kick off the New Year this January, I decided to do the Flywheel Get Fit with FLY Challenge. I thought this would be a great time to burn off those extra holiday indulgences that I enjoyed too much. (I know you spurged on them too, don’t deny it:-). So off I went. I kept thinking this was going to be easy. I had done one Flywheel Challenge before so I had this one in the bag….. 4 Flywheel classes a week for 4 weeks and follow the custom daily nutrition plan. No biggie….I had Meghan Lee as my fabulous coach to encourage me and this amazing clean-eating plan to guide me. It started off great. I was more aware of my eating and loved the flywheel classes but then, LIFE happened. Yep, you know it. It happens all the time. Our amazingly planned out schedule falls apart. Over these 4 weeks of my challenge, that’s exactly what happened.

First, I took on additional work which made me much busier. Then, I caught a really bad cold. Yep, just a virus. I had to ride it out…. Next, (a little fun) I had planned a much overdue trip with my mom to NYC. We had a fabulous time together and did our best to stay on the clean-eating plan, but it was New York, people, and I was out of town for 4 days. After that my husband got the flu. You know how sickly our men are? I spent that week trying to help him get better, avoid him, and keep the rest of us healthy. Yes, Lysol was my very best friend. Then it was that Super Bowl party. I tried to eat healthier, but it can be tough at parties. After that, I promised I would attend the first grade field trip and volunteer in both classes that week. The next week, more work & school meetings than I could handle of course. Then my husband had a 5 day meeting over a weekend. Yes, so when I normally get my workouts caught up over the weekend, I couldn’t make that work because I didn’t have anyone to watch the kiddos. One day I did get a babysitter so I could make it to class. (I know I’m not the only one who’s done this before.) Lastly, I had a sick child one week during that time too. Read More →

February 19, 2016

Fitness Friday: Pure Barre’s New PLATFORM, a must try!

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I had a chance to try Pure Barre’s new Platform class this week at Pure Barre Charlotte in Myers Park. You could tell this was the hottest ticket in town – the class was packed on Monday! It started out similar to other Pure Barre classes in that we started with a warm up on the floor, but it quickly turned into Pure Barre in fast forward! Whoa! I am so used to making small, isometric moves in Pure Barre, but Platform is totally different. While you are still working your core, arms, legs, and seat, the instructor kept encouraging us to make BIG movements. The point here is to not only work all the muscle groups, but to get the heart rate up and SWEAT. It was so fast-paced, and I was breathing heavy quickly!

While your making those BIG moves working each muscle group, you get the platform involved (somewhat similar to the step classes that I took years ago). The platform is easily moved forward and backward and each part of class is easily modified if you need it to be. While it’s much faster than a normal Pure Barre class, the instructor is still there making sure you are doing it “right” and not hurting yourself (one of the things I love about Pure Barre!). At times you use the ballet barre to hold on to, and other times you pull off the barre. My legs were sore – a good sore – the next day (always the sign of a good workout!). Read More →


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