Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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February 23, 2017

Smarty Giveaway: Win a FREE week of TRY CAMP at YMCA Camp Harrison, a $450 value!

Camp Harrison Giveaway


It’s time for an awesome CAMP GIVEAWAY! Today we bring you a free week of TRY CAMP at YMCA Camp Harrison – woot, woot! One lucky Smarty will win one week of TRY CAMP from May 31-June 3. Read on!

If you’ve got a child who is interested in trying resident camp but feels a little nervous about going away for a week or more, YMCA Camp Harrison offers a TRY CAMP session. Specifically designed for first time campers, this four-day, three-night session will allow your child to see what camp is all about. Campers will sleep in cabins, make new friends, and experience the fun of mountain biking, climbing walls, water inflatables and more! This mini-camp is a great way to test the waters and prepare your child for a longer camp session in the future. Even in this shortened session, you’ll be amazed by the incredible development your child will experience.

More on YMCA Camp Harrison:

Camp Harrison Climbing Wall

Located between Lenoir and North Wilkesboro in North Carolina, YMCA Camp Harrison offers exciting opportunities for all who come through our gates. Campers choose from a broad range of activities empowering them to create adventures which fit with their unique interests and personalities. All campers spend time enjoying God’s creation, building relationships and challenging themselves as they learn new skills.

As a Christian organization, we desire that each camper understands what it means to have a relationship with Christ. Morning watch, vespers services and nightly cabin devotions highlight our Christian values through the study of God’s Word, worship songs, testimonies and more. Read More →

February 16, 2017

Must-See Video for Parents of Tweens & Teens: SCREENAGERS

screenagers teens

A few weeks ago, I went to the JCC for a screening of a parenting documentary on screen time and video games, SCREENAGERS. I left feeling a little anxious but also somewhat proud of my social media parenting approach. Screen time and social media are not going away, so we need to figure out how we are going to guide our children through their digital lives.


Award-winning SCREENAGERS probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including the director’s own, and depicts messy struggles, over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through surprising insights from authors and brain scientists solutions emerge on how we can empower kids to best navigate the digital world.

The take-away for me is that we as parents are in a new world of parenting, and screen time and social media are at the heart of it. We need to be aware and be present in our teens’ lives now more than ever and come up with a realistic family digital citizenship program, which is unique to each family.

This film is a great way to create conversation with your family on social media and what is happening in their lives. I would highly recommend you watch it with your kids at a future screening. I can promise you, changes will be made immediately in your household. After our family watched it, we immediately implemented a Tech Talk during Sunday night dinners. This is our chance as a family to openly discuss what’s going on in their social media world. We’ve already had two “Plym Tech Talks” and I was floored by some of the things my kids were sharing. Read More →

February 7, 2017

Smarty Alert: Springfree hosting a Valentine’s Day Party THIS Saturday!


Bring the whole fam and celebrate Valentine’s Day with Springfree Trampoline in Blakeney Shopping Center! There will be lots of fun goodies, and of course, jumping on trampolines.

Join the Springfree crew at the best Valentine’s Day Party in the QC! Your kids will enjoy face-painting, Valentine crafts, plenty of sweets with a whole Candy Bar and delish Pink Lemonade. Oh, an did we mention a Princess appearance? Yep, you read that right! Every princess in your family will adore meeting Ariel AND Elsa! What a treat!

About Springfree Trampoline:

A Springfree trampoline is the perfect gift for the entire family, not to mention they are pioneers of safety in the trampoline category. Here are a few of the amazing features that Springfree trampolines have:

tgoma®: Designed for one-at-a-time play – eliminating the risk of multiple jumpers.

No springs: Springfree’s design uses flexible composite rods instead of springs, which lie beneath the jumping surface out of harm’s way.

FlexiNet™: Springfree’s flexible safety enclosure is made from a strong, but soft material that cushions jumpers and prevents falls to the ground.

Hidden Frame: The metal frame is located well beneath the jumping surface where you can’t land on it.

SoftEdge™ Mat: Springfree’s shock absorbent edge allows jumpers to experience the freedom of jumping across the entire surface of the mat.

The Smarty Scoop on Springfree’s Valentine’s Party:

Springfree CLT Valentines Party

February 11,2017
11:00am-2:00pm Read More →

January 26, 2017

Smarty Alert: YMCA Camp Thunderbird Early Bird Discount Ends 1/31!

Summer fun at Camp Thunderbird on Lake Wylie, SC

Smarties, get your summer calendars ready and start mapping out your kids’ plans – YMCA Camp Thunderbird has an early bird discount that will expire on January 31st! Every dollar helps, so don’t forget to register NOW!

YMCA Camp Thunderbird is the BEST! It’s close to Charlotte, hosts day and resident campers, and is one of the few places in the QC that can boast generations of camp alum. There’s a lot to be said for that. Plus, it was voted Best Day Camp in the 2016 Smarty Awards!

For more info on YMCA Camp Thunderbird:

Camp Thunderbird new logo

YMCA CAMP THUNDERBIRD is a co-ed resident camp on 1.7 miles of beautiful Lake Wylie, SC shoreline. Your child will learn new skills, make lifelong friends and grow in confidence on Thunderbird’s ultimate water playground and diverse land activities. Wakesports, paddleboarding, horseback riding, high ropes, and archery are just a few of the programs your child can experience this summer.

Smarty tip #1: Members of the YMCA of Greater Charlotte receive a $100 per week discount when registering for resident camp.

Smarty tip #2: Take advantage of Thunderbird’s easy payment plan. Make a $200 deposit and five additional payments beginning in February. Read More →

January 19, 2017

Must Attend Event for Parents: ‘SCREENAGERS’ at the JCC on January 29th!


Our Smarty friends at the JCC are hosting a MUST ATTEND lunch & learn screening for parents of all ages – SCREENAGERS, Growing up in the Digital Age!

SCREENAGERS probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including the director’s own, and depicts messy struggles, over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through surprising insights from authors and brain scientists, solutions emerge on how we can empower kids to best navigate the digital world. Following the film there will be a panel discussion with Michelle Icard from Michelle in the Middle, Melanie Hempe, Founder of Families Managing Media, Nicole Levine from Jewish Family Services and Justin Ashely a Charlotte-Mecklenburg teacher. Lunch provided. Children 10 and up welcome to attend. Read More →

January 5, 2017

Top 5 Local Smarty Picks for where to ski, snowboard and snow tube!

Get your NC Ski/Snowboard on! It looks like our very first #snowmageddon2017 is upon us, especially in the mountains! That makes for AWESOME ski weather this weekend – fresh snow and powder! Lucky for us, we have a few ski resort areas just a hop, skip and a jump from the QC (well, maybe a little further:-). And this weekend is the perfect weather for a spontaneous family ski outing – if you can get your SUV out of your hood!

Keep this list handy throughout your ski season since it goes through mid-March. As always, make sure you check resort websites and call ahead for weather reports and slope closures. Smarty Tip: It’s easier to get your ski and snowboard rentals in Charlotte so when you get to your destination, you’re ready to go. Our favorite spots are Alpine Ski and Ski Country Sports.

In typical Smarty fashion, we’re bringing you our Top 5 tried and true Smarty favorite local ski spots based on proximity to Charlotte and best options.

1) Beech Mountain Resort

CSP Beech Ski Read More →

January 3, 2017

Smarty FLASH Giveaway: 4 tickets to the Monster Jam® truck show at Spectrum Center this Friday!



This flash giveaway is comin’ in HOT!!

If you have a house full of boys (or girls!) who thrive off the BOOM! CRASH! of Monster Jam® trucks (I have three of those at my house!) today is your lucky day. We’re giving away four tickets to the Monster Jam® truck show in Charlotte this Friday, January 6th. No snoozing at the wheel here, we’re announcing our winners tomorrow!!

Monster Jam® is the most action-packed live event on four wheels where world-class drivers compete in front of capacity crowds in both monster truck racing and freestyle competitions. Celebrating 25 years of adrenaline-charged family entertainment, Monster Jam combines spontaneous entertainment with the ultimate off-road, motorsport competition. Monster Jam features the most recognizable trucks in the world including Max-DTM, El Toro Loco®, Monster Mutt® and many more. Monster Jam events leave you on the edge of your seat as these competitors thrill fans with jaw-dropping displays of gravity-defying feats. The Charlotte area will welcome Monster Jam this Friday, January 6th and Saturday, January 7th at Spectrum Center (formerly Time Warner Cable Arena). Click HERE for ticket information. Read More →

December 30, 2016

Smarty Alert: Early Bird Discount for YMCA Camp Harrison & Thunderbird

Camp Harrison Green Bus

Smarties, get your calendars ready and start mapping out your summer plans – YMCA Camp Harrison & Thunderbird have early bird discounts expiring soon! Every dollar helps, especially when you have four kids like I do!

Read up on my experience as a Camp M.O.M. at Camp Harrison – and guess what? We’ll be there again for Session 6A, I love this place! New this year to Harrison is Try Camp and Parent & Me Camp for first time campers to get a taste of what camp is all about. You’ll be happy to hear that YMCA Camp Harrison was voted “Best Overnight Camp” in our 2016 Smarty Awards! Read More →

Vote for the 2016 Smarty Mom of the Year

When I think of one person who epitomizes all things mommyhood, I think of Jen Bunich, Co-Founder of CSP and the biggest angel in heaven:-) In her two and a half short years as a new mommy, she embraced that role like no other. Jen immersed herself in all aspects of being a mother to her sweet Claire in her work, home life and play life.

On Saturday, January 13th, we’ll crown one 2016 Smarty Mom the “Jennifer Lisman Bunich Smarty Mom of the Year” in honor of our favorite Smarty Mom ever.

Our Smarty Mom of the Year will be selected after Smarty Charlotte casts their votes! We selected 8 Smarty Moms based on a variety of reasons, whether it’s a mom who battled breast cancer, one who is pulling all the amazing women entrepreneurs of Charlotte together, one who is the executive director for a powerful  nonprofit, one who gives selflessly to her child (or children) and the community, or one who is just plain living the Smarty Mommy lifestyle. We love all of our Smarty Moms equally and it was hard to select just a few! The winner will receive a $100 gift card from our favorite spa, The Spa at Ballantyne.

We present the 2016 Smarty Mom candidates (in alphabetical order:-)): Read More →

December 7, 2016

Smarty Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Tweens & Teens

The 2016 Smarty Holiday Toy Gift Guide is sponsored by our favorite local toy store, Toys & Co in Cotswold. Find everything on your child’s wish list and then some at Toys & Co! And guess what? They will wrap every gift BEAUTIFULLY and oh-so-expertly – so you don’t have to pull an all-nighter on Christmas Eve! Check out Toys & Co’s 2016 100 Best Toys List – you’ll have everyone covered on your list!

This is our BIG week here in Smartyland – our annual holiday toy gift guide. We divvy ’em up by ages and our Smarty bloggers get to work helping Santa figure out who gets what.

We bring you our Gift Guide for Tweens & Teens (these terms are totally interchangeable!), by our Smarty tween & teen team, Smarty Ansley, Isabel & Ava – and a sprinkle of the #momsquad! We brought in the teen experts themselves for this bad boy!


It’s all about technology for the tween in your household…

If your teen is begging for an iPhone upgrade, the holidays is the perfect time to give it to him or her. P.S. We hear the iPhone 7 camera is getting RAVE reviews, kinda worth the upgrade.

Actually, anything with an “i” in front of it…start out with an iPad mini 4


OR go big with the iPad Pro

iPad Pro

The Apple Watch is getting SUPER popular for all ages, tween and up:

Apple Watch Trip

Beats by Dre Headphones:

Beats Dre

Beats Pill+:

Beats Pill Plus

Springfree Trampoline. This will be the BEST.GIFT.YOU.WILL.EVER.GIVE.YOUR.KIDS {besides a puppy}:

Springfree Medium Oval Trampoline Read More →

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