Smarties, I want to introduce you to Betsy Kingsley. I have had the pleasure of getting to know Betsy this summer (4 days a week for two months to be exact) during my New England adventure in Maine. If you are ever in Mid-Coast Maine, I highly recommend taking one of her classes. She is not only an amazing personal trainer, she is beautiful and the most fun person to be around. She comes across as a soft-spoken lady with a gorgeous smile – and then it happens, her voice becomes firm, her Maine accent comes out as she encourages you to go lower, lift higher, try harder, etc. She is good. She is really good! Betsy continually pushed me out of my comfort zone, no two workouts were ever the same. In her classes, I have met the most amazing women – some local, some summer – it has been so much fun! I refer to us as #betsysquad.
Betsy was featured in the magazine Maine, Boats, Homes and Harbors. In the article, she gives ideas on how to incorporate a workout as you are cruising around on your boat. However, these workouts can be applied to any vacay or long weekend you may go on – hiking, at the beach, a day on the lake, in your back yard, etc.
Without further ado, here is Betsy’s article. Read More →
Carolina Harbor is open for the season! Have you ever been there? It is tooooooooo much fun. Saturday was my family’s first time visiting the waterpark and we were very, very, very impressed.
Carolina Harbor has its own entrance. Thank Goodness, nobody wants to walk through the park in their bathing suits. Once you enter, there is beach music playing over the speakers and all around you are the most amazing water rides and attractions. Read More →
I am so, so, so, so excited that it is strawberry season. Who’s with me? I mean come on, they are the sweetest, tastiest berries out there. Strawberry picking is one of my favorite things to do. I used to go with my mom as a little girl. I can remember it like yesterday. Walking up and down the rows of the field picking the biggest, juiciest strawberries. It was our special time together.
This year, I am passing on that tradition with my children. As I started planning our strawberry picking adventure, I kept seeing advertisement after advertisement about various farms already open for their U-Pick. After doing some research, we decided to hold tight and wait for Carrigan Farms to announce they were ready to open their strawberry fields to the public. Smarties, it was worth the WAIT! Their strawberries were big, red and delicious! Honestly, I have to say, they are the BEST strawberries I have ever had.
Carrigan Farms is located at 1150 Oak Ridge Farm Highway in Mooresville. (Click here for directions.) It is about an hour drive from South Charlotte. (It is totally worth the drive). The twins and I made a day out of it and it was AHHHHMAZZZZING! Read More →
Job Well Done, Carowinds! You put on a very TASTEFUL presentation of the Carolinas!
Taste of the Carolinas is my favorite time to visit Carowinds. Let’s face it, anytime time of the year is my kiddos favorite time to visit. But for me, I love the springtime weather, the excitement of the park, the energy of the people and BEST OF ALL THE FOOD. Southern Food is my all-time favorite and Taste of the Carolinas puts on a mouthwatering display.
For those of you that are not familiar, Taste of the Carolinas showcases the BEST OF THE BEST from seven distinctly different regions of North and South Carolina. There is a little bit for everybody to enjoy. (For me, I enjoyed it ALL!) Click here for more menu information.
Smoked Egg and Pork Belly Salad (Gluten Free)
Mushroom Ravioli with Wild Herb Butter (Vegetarian)
Pecan Cinnamon Bread Pudding with Cream Cheese Icing (Vegetarian) YUM!
Fried Catfish with Calabash Hushpuppies
Seafood Potato Croquette
Lexington Region *SMARTY FAVORITE!
Beer Braised Pulled Pork Slider: Yummmmmmmmmy!
Barbecue Chicken Slider: Double Delish!
Barbecure Ribs: MMMMMM, good!
All items served with Lexington Dip Slaw: BEST. SLAW. EVER.
Upstate South Carolina Region *SMARTY FAVORITE
Sweet Potato Popover (Vegetarian): BIG fan!
Spring Onion Bread Pudding with Pickled Peaches (Vegetarian): What a combo of flavors!
Butterbean slider with Pimento Cheese and Arugula (Vegetarian): The flavors harmonized perfectly! Read More →
** This giveaway is closed. We have chosen a winner **
Children’s Theatre of Charlotte
Recommended for ages 4 and older
Adapted by Allison Gregory and Steven Dietz
Adapted from the book “Go, Dog. Go!” by P.D. Eastman
Every dog will have its day. And at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte this April, every dog will have its party, too!
The long-beloved P.D. Eastman book, Go, Dog. Go! comes to life on Children’s Theatre of Charlotte’s stage from April 7 to April 23 in a zany, madcap musical version. This rendition comes courtesy of the genius playwriting minds of Steven Dietz and Allison Gregory and is sure to have audiences howling in their seats with laughter.
“The classic picture book has captivated multiple generations since the first edition hit book stores in 1961,”Mark Sutton, director, said. “Yet, amazingly enough, the energy leaping off each page is as powerful today as ever.”
Originally written as an introduction to reading with a collection of mostly monosyllabic words, Eastman’s classic introduces young children to the joys of literature through big dogs, little dogs, black dogs and white dogs, as well as the familiar faces of Red Dog, Green Dog, Yellow Dog and Blue Dog. Read More →
Official Website: www.GiftedMovie.com
Official Hashtag: #GiftedMovie
Directed by: Marc Webb
Written by: Tom Flynn
Produced by: Karen Lunder, Andy Cohen
Cast: Chris Evans, Mckenna Grace, Lindsay Duncan, Jenny Slate and Octavia Spencer
Movie Synopsis: Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy – his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) – in a coastal town in Florida. Frank’s plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year-old’s mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank’s formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary. Octavia Spencer plays Roberta, Frank and Mary’s landlady and best friend.
Jenny Slate is Mary’s teacher, Bonnie, a young woman whose concern for her student develops into a connection with her uncle as well.
Smarty Review: Thumbs Up! I really enjoyed this movie. I found it to be a very touching story. From start to finish, I was invested in the characters. I am not sure I would take my husband to see it, but, it is a great movie to see with my girlfriends.
I definitely will be buying the soundtrack to this movie!
As far as Easter Baskets go, I am sort of old school. A couple of things and you are good to go. The hard part is trying to figure out what those things are. Smarties, I am here to help. I have created the ULTIMATE SMARTY LIST OF EASTER BASKET IDEAS.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Easter! I can remember as a little girl getting all dressed up to attend church with my grandfather. I remember every detail of my outfit: Little pink cape, little pink shift dress, white gloves, patent leather mary janes with white knee socks, and an Easter Bonnet. That was one of my favorite days. It is forever implanted in memory. From that moment on, Easter became my favorite holiday of the year.
I am hoping this is my year to establish some traditions with my twin 4 year old boys. In years past, we have always been traveling over the Easter holiday. I want to deck them out in seersucker suits with saddle shoes and watch them hunt for Easter eggs. I just know that in a blink of an eye they will say “No, Mom. I am not wearing that.” So my advice to you, do it why they are young. Get your kiddos all dressed up and snap those perfect pics! There is nothing cuter than your little one wearing bunny ears all dressed up.
Children’s Theatre of Charlotte has once again AH-MAZED me with another performance. I can’t believe that I almost missed this one! Somehow our family schedule cleared up and we could go. I swear every kid my twins know was born in March and early April- Sheesh, it’s been a busy month. Honestly, I think it was divine intervention. Hands down, this is my FAVORITE performance of the season. The cast brought this story to life in a way I haven’t seen before. Let’s face it, we all know that the book is better in most cases than the movie/play. In this case, you not only have an excellent novel —you have a novel performance!
The stage design was brilliant. It was very minimal. Forcing the audience to focus entirely on the characters and the story. It was captivating!
The cast brought their A-game! Devin Clark (Bud) stole the show. His expressions said it all. He was Bud! You immediately fell in love with this character. From the start, you were routing for him. Read More →
The Boss Baby
Director: Tom McGrath
Written By: Michael McCullers (based on the award winning picture book by Marla Frazee)
Cast: Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Miles Bakshi, Tobey Maguire
DreamWorks Animation and the director of Madagascar invite you to meet a most unusual baby. He wears a suit, speaks with the voice of Alec Baldwin, and stars in the animated comedy, Dreamworks’ The Bossy Baby. The Boss Baby is a hilariously universal story about how a new baby’s arrival impacts a family, told from the point of view of a delightfully unreliable narrator, a wildly imaginative 7 year old named Tim. With a sly, heart filled message about the importance of family, Dreamworks’ The Boss Baby is an authentic and broadly appealing original comedy for all ages.
My crew loved, loved, loved it! Alec Baldwin is superb! If you were a fan of 30 rock, you will totally get it! Imagine Jack Donaghy as a baby. HIL-AR-IOUS! I had several LAUGH OUT LOUD moments. In my mind, I am still laughing. My kids, who have no idea who Alec Baldwin is, loved it, too. They were mesmerized by all the action packed scenes. So much so, that a week later they are still talking about pirates, the cool talking alarm clock and learning to ride a bike without training wheels. Oh yeah, and they want me to teach them how to write a memo just like Boss Baby talked about in the movie. Read More →
**This giveaway is closed. We have a winner!**
Meet Sarah, owner and baker at Sweetness Squared. She’s a stay at home mom to three kiddos. In August 2013 she and her husband were blessed with sweetness squared! Twins!! They went from being a small family of two and doubled into an active family of four. While she stays at home, she is pursuing one of her passions…baking. Cakes, cupcakes, cake pops, cookies – she custom makes it all from scratch in her home.
And guess what, we’ve got a box of amazing, homemade cookies with your name written ALL over it (and go ahead, put your name on them before serving them to your mother-in-law at Easter brunch – we won’t say a THING! ;-)).
One luck Smarty wins a Sweetness Squared Cookie Decorating Box (value at $12.00 per box). The box will include one dozen cookie with 2 buttercream icings (all made from scratch). Winner can choose from 4 different cookie shapes: flowers, butterflies, bunnies or Easter eggs. Read More →