Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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August 19, 2017

Smarty Moms: Lara Fleming & Traci Andrews

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I first met Lara Fleming three years ago at a local gym. Our boys had just signed on to do competitive gymnastics and the two of us were like two mama deer in headlights. We had ZERO clue what we were doing and felt like we were not cut out to be the aspiring Olympics moms that our boys wanted us to be. We spent our first away weekend meet together and knew instantly that we were soul sisters. Our approach to sports, parenting and life were very similar. Lara is one of the smartest, most stylish and most hilarious moms I’ve ever met. Her humor is dry and very sarcastic, I found it refreshingly familiar – umm, well exactly like mine. We would often complete each other’s late night text threads (probably after a glass or two of wine:-) with an even funnier one-liner. I absolutely adore this woman – she makes me laugh out loud every time I hang with her!

Noah and Walker

Lara’s son, Noah, fell right off his mama’s tree. He is super smart and witty and a fierce competitor. I had no idea that he was facing daily lifelong struggles. I did however, catch a glimpse of his super anxious mom at each stressful gym meet, and I couldn’t figure out why she was such a nervous wreck after each rotation. I chalked it up to just being a regular gymnastics mom – it’s a very frightening sport to watch your kid compete in.

Fast forward a year later. Noah had recently quit gymnastics and I really didn’t understand why. His previous year was huge for him and he had gotten so good at the sport. Lara said it was too stressful for Noah and his anxiety level was too high. I didn’t press for more information. A few weeks later, I ran into Lara at Flywheel. She said she wanted to chat and fill me in on Noah. It was that moment that I knew something was seriously wrong. She shared her journey that I’m about to share with you. But she also shared something very personal and very terrifying. She shared an audio of Noah having what I thought was a really exaggerated tantrum. Until I listened a few seconds longer. That audio still haunts me to this day, knowing Lara and other moms like her have to face that every single day. It brought me to my knees in prayer – for Noah, for Lara, and for every other family dealing with a very misunderstood disease called PANDAS/PANS.

Recently, Lara invited me to dinner with Traci Andrews, another mom with a child battling PANDAS. They shared their journeys with me as well as information about an upcoming race to raise awareness for the disease. I knew exactly what I needed to do to help them – share their stories with all of Smarty Charlotte in hopes that we can help them make great changes for this disease. We need to support these amazing Smarty mamas and attend their first ever PRAI Awareness Walk & Fun Run on September 16th and shout from the rooftops about PANDAS/PANS. They need our help, Smarty Charlotte. They need us to pay attention to the signs they outline below and create conversations – with educators, healthcare providers and other moms. You’ll be surprised that once you start talking about PANDAS, you’ll find that you know quite a few families who have been silently struggling with this disease. It’s time to end the silence.

Meet Lara & Traci – the biggest warriors in all of the QC. These women are strong and brave, and I couldn’t be more proud to introduce them to you today. Read More →

August 18, 2017

Smarty Giveaway: Win a 6-piece organic cotton towel set from Grund + get 20% off organic cotton home goods!

grund towels

Team CSP was lucky enough to try some of Grund’s super soft organic towels this summer and we instantly fell in love! And guess what? You will too because one lucky Smarty will get to try a 6-piece cotton towel set, valued at $149.99 – and they are offering a super Smarty Steal on all home goods through the end of August! Read on!

About Grund Organic Cotton Home Goods:

At Grund, we believe what you put on your body is just as important as what you put in it. That’s why we offer high quality, all natural products that are better for you and better for the planet. As parents, we have many things to worry about, but with Grund’s organic cotton rugs and towels, you can have one less worry on your list. All of our products are made from non-GMO organic cotton and possess ZERO toxic chemicals. We validate every step in our entire supply chain to ensure no harmful chemicals are used from field to finished products. So, you can feel good knowing each towel and rug is responsibly made to the highest social and environmental standards.

The Grund® Organic Towel collection is made of 100% certified Organic Turkish cotton that has been spared pesticides and other toxic chemicals from production through processing. To create these luxurious towels, the Organic Cotton is spun into five separate yarns then loomed into long, two ply, double loops. The end result is uber-plush towels with a soft, fluffy pile that feels good to the touch, is lightweight, and absorbs water easily. They are available in sizes ranging from face towel to bath sheet, and in white, ivory, driftwood, sage, and slate grey. Read More →

August 10, 2017

Plan now for your next private swim party at the Quarry at Carrigan Farms!

Smarty Quarry Sweet 16

Y’all know how much we LOVE the Quarry at Carrigan Farms! We recently hosted our Smarty Sweet 16 Party at the Quarry and it was seriously the best.party.ever!

Team Smarty revealed Charlotte’s Best Kept Secret two summers ago and it has been so much fun to see so many familiar faces all summer long at the Quarry Open Swims. You can guarantee you’ll bump into someone you know on any given Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday at the Quarry.

AnzCSP

When our Smarty Ansley was turning 16 this summer, we knew we wanted to celebrate her big event Smarty style and do something unique and special. So we called in the big guns at the Quarry and decided to host a private swim party. This was the P-E-R-F-E-C-T venue for a Sweet 16 party – it’s the coolest place around for a bunch of teenagers looking to do some cliff jumping, floating, and vegging on a hot summer day.

The weather cooperated and it was nice and hot, so everyone loved being in the water and they also loved that they had it all to themselves. The best part for the hosts: All we had to do was show up with our cake and balloons. Everything else was done for us, and it was AH-MAZING! We had homemade burgers grilled to perfection and a spread with a delicious burger bar, chips and drinks for days. We brought our own spotify list and you could hear the tunes all throughout the quarry, even in the bathrooms! Our lifeguards made it super fun with good vibes and kept everything safe and flowing smoothly. Read More →

August 9, 2017

FINAL LAST CALL!! YMCA Camp Harrison End of Summer Session 9 NEXT WEEK!

This is the last reminder for your very last chance at the most amazing summer camp in our state! Our Smarty friends at YMCA Camp Harrison saved the BEST for LAST! And at a Super Smarty Steal – $350 for Aug 13-16 and FREE activities!

Session 9 is perfect for a first-time camper or just for fun to extend summer a little bit longer. We LOVE Camp Harrison – best summer tradition ever!

Camp Harrison Session 9
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August 3, 2017

LAST CALL for Summer Camp: YMCA Camp Harrison Hosting End of Summer Session 9 Aug 13-16!

Our Smarty friends at YMCA Camp Harrison saved the BEST for LAST! And at a Super Smarty Steal – $350 for Aug 13-16 and FREE activities! Sign.Me.Up.

Session 9 is perfect for a first-time camper or just for fun to extend summer a little bit longer. We LOVE Camp Harrison – best summer tradition ever!

Camp Harrison Session 9
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July 31, 2017

Hit the Ella B. Candles Hive and load up on Sorority Candles & get 15% off!

Ella B Sorority Candle

Six years ago, my Smarty friend Julie Tassy started a customized candle line out of her home-based personalized gift business, Ella B. Candles. Naming lovely fragrant soy candles after Charlotte neighborhoods, she found a niche in the local retail market. A friend encouraged her to expand into other cities with the concept. So, with a cooler in her trunk and the full support of her hubby, she pitched the idea to stores in Nashville, Birmingham and Atlanta. It was evident that this neighborhood candle concept was a hit. So two years into the adventure, her handsome husband left the corporate world to join her. In Julie’s own words, “He had put up with my crazy business ideas for over ten years. Finally, he could benefit from one of them… he doesn’t have to travel or wear suits to work anymore.” It was a no-brainer. Fast forward to today, and you’ll find her Neighborhood candles across the country in hundreds of specialty stores in big cities and little towns. But every last one of them is made with love right here in the QC.

Christopher and Julie have continued to expand their candle business, and recently launched a beautiful line of Sorority Candles and Diffusers. Here’s Julie: “I’m kind of obsessed with details. It’s not enough to just make a candle. I wanted to create something beautiful. Something new. Something that no-one else has made.” Well, this Sorority line is just that. The fragrances, ΩΜΓ (Greek translation: OHHH-EMMM-GEEE)! Read More →

July 13, 2017

Host your next summer {or fall} bash at the Quarry at Carrigan Farms!

private-swim-header

One of our favorite local gems is the Quarry at Carrigan Farms, located just outside Charlotte in Mooresville. Nothing beats the summer heat than the cool blue water at the Quarry at Carrigan Farms – it is absolutely stunning!

What many people don’t know is that you can host your own private swim party at the Quarry – this is perfect for a family reunion, a big birthday party, or corporate team building event. The Quarry has no age barriers and is fun for everyone with cliff jumping, swimming, lounging, volleyball and more.

Quarry Smarty Ava

The Quarry is warm enough to swim comfortably from mid-May until mid-September and swim parties can be scheduled on Monday-Thursday evenings from 4:30 PM until 9:00 PM, depending on availability. Swim parties can also be scheduled from 9:30 AM until 3:00 PM on Mondays-Fridays; however, now through August 24, 2017, open swim will be hosted every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. So, from now through August 24, 2017, morning times are only available on Mondays and Fridays. Swim parties are by advance reservation only, for groups of 25 or more. Read More →

June 19, 2017

Smarty Alert: Beverly’s Gourmet Foods Hosting Frozen Food Sale on Thursday, 6/22

Mecklenburg County Market

A piece of Charlotte’s farmers market history resides in the Mecklenburg County Market near uptown. Beverly McLaughlin and three generations of her Charlotte family have been running this farmers market since the 1920s. I have been buying my produce from Beverly for the last decade. Her heirloom tomatoes are the juiciest and best tomatoes that I’ve ever bought, and that says alot coming from this Florida girl who grew up on the best tomatoes on the planet.

My true life changing moment was when I discovered Beverly’s Gourmet Foods. Beverly and her culinary team cook recipes rooted deep in her family and every single one is delicious. I feel like I have my own personal vegetarian chef! As a busy mama of four very active kids, I never have time to slow down, much less cook a healthy meal, even in the summer. My kids love Beverly’s foods as much as I do. Our favorites are the planet burgers, any and all soups, quiches, breakfast casseroles, salad dressings, pimento cheese – well, I can honestly say all of it! So, here’s the good part. And I’ll be honest, I’ve been hesitant to share this with Smarty Charlotte because it’s one of Charlotte’s best kept secrets. Read More →

June 15, 2017

Get your summer dance on with Jami Masters School of Dance Summer Technique Classes and INSPIRED Summer Intensive!

JMSD Jr Co Dancers May

Do you have a rising 4th or 5th grader looking to raise the barre on her dance technique? Look no further, we bring you the best dance technique classes at our Smarty favorite, Jami Masters School of Dance!

Our friends at Jami Masters School of Dance (JMSD) offer technique classes all summer long for dancers of all levels age rising 4th grade all the way up to adults. They offer ballet, tap, jazz, modern, hip hop, funk, contemporary, body conditioning/stretching, pointe and more. This is the perfect time for your dancer to try something new and see if she likes it before registering for fall classes.

Also, join JMSD this year for their popular summer intensive, INSPIRED! This summer intensive is offered to dancers ages 8-18 and is sure to be an amazing weekend of beautiful dancing! Read More →

June 14, 2017

Summer Happenings at the Quarry: Open Swim Schedule

Quarry Open Swim 2

Our FAVORITE local gem is the Quarry at Carrigan Farms. Smarties, we kid you not, this is the best kept hidden secret in the Greater Charlotte area. CSP {LOVES} The Quarry!

Located just outside Charlotte in Mooresville, The Quarry is fed by an underground spring and rimmed in rock that rises to 70 feet – it’s absolutely stunning. The water is emerald green and blue with gray granite cliffs and a white, sandy beach – it’s perfect for a family picnic and swimming on a hot Carolina day. What I love about the Quarry is it has no age barriers – kids ages 4 (I recommend this outing if all of your kids can swim) all the way through high school and college will enjoy the Quarry just as much as you do. Your entire fam will enjoy cliff jumping, swimming, lounging, volleyball, and more.

This is also a fun birthday party spot – think 13th birthday, 16th birthday, family reunion, etc. My go-to activity when we have company in town is to pack up a cooler and haul everyone up to the quarry – it gets everyone out of my house and good and tired from a full day of fun in the sun!

Quarry Open Swim 3

For those of you not familiar, read our Smarty tips on how to do the Quarry here. Read More →


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