Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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October 28, 2017

Smarty Mom: Erin O’Brien

I am sooooo excited to introduce you to my new friend, Erin O’Brien. As I was scrolling my Facebook newsfeed, I noticed this catching t-shirt design. It stopped me in my tracks. Literally, stopped me. I loved, loved, loved the name CHARLOVE. The t-shirt is a simple design, almost a vintage feel with such a fun play on words! I decided to investigate further. The original post was on the Charlotte Kappa Delta Alumnae Chapter page – this was my in. In my head, I am thinking we are not strangers- sending her an email won’t be awkward – she is a KD, too! This gave me the courage to reach out and I am so thrilled that I did. Erin is a super cool mom with an enormous heart. It has been fun getting to know her. The first time we met, we spend the entire morning chatting over coffee and not for one second did I feel like I wasn’t meeting up with an old friend. She is fun. She is witty. Her heart is charitable and she has a great mind for business. Without further ado, I would like to introduce to you, my friend, this week’s Smarty Mom, Erin O’Brien. family uptown

Smarty Mom Stats

Married: Eric O’Brien
Mom of: 7-year old daughter
Neighborhood: Weddington
Hometown: Gastonia
Alma Mater: Appalachian State
Career in previous life: Corporate America


Facebook & Instagram.
Charlove is a local Charlotte branded apparel, majority female owned business with a purpose. For each T-Shirt sold, Charlove donates a new, in-branded shirt to a child in need through our Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools partnership. Read More →

October 27, 2017

Smarty Fitness Spotlight: Pure Barre Instructor Jenna DaPolito

Smarties, I have a treat for you. I recently caught up with Jenna DaPolito, a Pure Barre Instructor at the Ballantyne location. You are going to love, love, love her to the core! She is patient, kind and one of the best instructors I have ever had! Her workouts are hard. Her playlists are AHmaze. (I totally want her arms!) She will guide you at the same as she pushes you to reach your best potential. You will leave her class a hot mess. But, you will feel accomplished and strong. Jenna is DEFINITELY a name you look for on the schedule! Jenna headshot (1)


Let’s get to know more about Jenna.

Name: Jenna DaPolito
Married to: Jason
Children: Dominic & Nolan
Hometown: Buffalo, NY
Years in Charlotte: 10
Neighborhood: Quellin
Occupation: Stay at home mom, Pure Barre Instructor & Owner of Christmas Lighting Supply
How long have you been an instructor at Pure Barre? 2 years in February

What attracted you to the Pure Barre workout?

When I signed up for my first class didn’t really know what I was getting into. All I knew was I had to jump back into ‘it’ after having my second child but I wasn’t sure what ‘it’ was. I tried a few different workouts around Charlotte and then I took a Pure Barre class. I loved the shake and the burn and the awesome sore feeling afterwards, I felt motivated and energized and I was hooked. I remember walking down the stairs after leaving class and my knees just buckled, it was so great to see a workout using low weights and my own resistance could be so amazing and effective. It was the best thing I’ve done for myself. Read More →

September 28, 2017

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte Mary Poppins Giveaway: Family (4) Pack

Mary Poppins 3

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte is preparing for a simply supercalifragilisticexpialidocious 70th season.

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte
300 E. Seventh St.
Charlotte, North Carolina 28202

“Winds in the East, mist coming in,
Like something brewing and about to begin.”
~ Mary Poppins

Just like the quote says, something is brewing in the air. Can you feel it? The new season at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte is upon us. Can you tell I am super excited?? Last season, was jaw-dropping, sit at the edge of your seat, laugh out loud, standing ovation AHHHHHHH -mazing. I can only imagine what they have in store for us this season. Opening night is less than 10 days from today – Friday, October 6th. They are starting off with one of my all-time favorites, Mary Poppins. Read More →

September 10, 2017

Smarty FLASH Giveaway: Two tickets to the Green Jeans Consignment Sale, Green Jeans ‘cash’ AND a personal stylist

Green Jeans Logo 2

Smarties, You are going to want to enter NOW.
This is a flash giveaway and winner will be announced tonight, Sunday evening (September 10).

It’s your lucky day, Smarties!

We’ve got a BIG giveaway for you from our friends at the Green Jeans Consignment Sale Matthews. We absolutely love, love, love the Green Jeans sales. We promise you will score BIG at this sale! It’s known for name brands like Tory Burch, Lilly Pulitzer, Ella Moss, Trina Turk, and so much more. They have designer, boutique and brand name fashion at up to 90% off retail! Best part – they have all sizes – starting from petite to plus size and even maternity. And if all this doesn’t convince you, maybe this will:Green Jeans Logo

– Loads of FREE parking.

– No fee to attend.

– Cash, credit, and debit cards accepted.

– TONS of clothing, shoes, handbags, jewelry and accessories for ALL ages & budgets.

– Private fitting rooms.

– Most items half-price on Saturday and Sunday

– Perfect Mother/Teen Daughter outing – score BIG brands like Lilly, J. Crew, and all the teen faves like Abercrombie and Fitch and Hollister. Read More →

August 13, 2017

Betsy Kingsley, My Maine Motivation….


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. betsyandjenni1

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 →

May 26, 2017

Carolina Harbor at Carowinds is a SPLASH!

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 →

May 10, 2017

Smarty Spring Pick: Strawberry Picking at Carrigan Farms


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 →

April 28, 2017

The Perfect Spring Family Outing:  Taste of the Carolinas at Carowinds

Job Well Done, Carowinds! You put on a very TASTEFUL presentation of the Carolinas!

CSP Carowinds Insta Story

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.
Asheville/Mountain Region
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!

Taste of Carolinas CSP twins ribs

Outerbanks Region
Frog Legs
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 →

April 19, 2017

Smarty Review and FLASH Giveaway: Children’s Theatre of Charlotte’s ‘Go, Dog. Go!’

“Go, Dog. Go!”Go,-Dog,-Go!-Final

** 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

From our friends at the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte:

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 →

April 13, 2017

Smarty Movie Review: ‘Gifted’

Rating: PG-13giftedmovieimage
Official Website:
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!

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