Rachel Lee is charming. The first time you meet Rachel, you want to know her story. She has a soft spoken voice and a calm personality. Rachel always listens, truly listens (a rare trait in this wild world). While juggling two small children, starting a charitable fund and managing football season and travel, Rachel stays focused and optimistic. Leaning on her faith and personal goal to honor her daughter (Madelyn), Rachel is making strides across the Charlotte community. Giving back seems to come naturally to Rachel and she is taking loss and love to a new level. I’ve learned so much for this incredible leader.
Meet Rachel Lee. Mother, wife, philanthropist and friend.
Keep Pounding? You couldn’t stop Rachel if you tried. She is a mom on a mission and we are honored to feature her as this week’s Smarty Mom.
Married to: Andy Lee (#8 of the Carolina Panthers)
Mom of: Ryan (6-almost 7), Adam (5) and a daughter, Madelyn in Heaven
Years in Charlotte: 4+
Hometown: Columbia, SC
Occupation: Stay-at-home mom & non-profit founder, Madelyn’s Fund
Alma Mater: Clemson University
We met when Andy was visiting his brother at Clemson (where I also was attending) at Tiger Town Tavern. Go Tigers! Read More →
For years, artist Sarah Hanna has penned stunning personalized letters to your little ones from Santa Claus, and this year she will be here in person! She has joined with Paper Twist in Myers Park for THE RED ENVELOPE EVENT. Sarah will be in-store on WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18th from 11am to 4pm calligraphing personalized letters.
A special addition this year is the Charlotte letter – which highlights The Queen City in all kinds of magical ways! It has the same beautiful lettering on white linen paper and Santa’s wax seal. This is a must see! How Santa knew about Hillside sledding, I will never know!? Read More →
While hanging at a toy store one afternoon, I started browsing the Playmobil catalogue. After reading for only a few minutes, I quickly determined the toy makers at Playmobil to be seriously sick people. I started a list of the most inappropriate products and decided insanity like this needs to be shared.
I present you with my personal WTF products. I’m not making any of this up. Each and every toy is currently for sale online. I’ve included links for all you non-believers.
Sit back, enjoy and get ready to question humanity . . .
Start their Lululemon obsession off early! It’s the perfect time to force your dolls to shed some pounds! Oh, is that a boom box? The toy sized scale is ideal for early self esteem skills. On the website it says this toy is available in August. Damn, isn’t summer what we want our toys getting in shape for? Bad move Playmobil.
Every year, without fail, I start questioning my awesomeness on New Year’s Eve.
Why am I not wearing a full length gown and sipping champagne?
Why didn’t I get invited to that party?
How come my husband doesn’t own a tux?
Should I be watching fireworks or is that just on the Fourth of July?
What stupid resolutions will I ignore this year?
Why am I on the couch and not in a limo?
What the hell year is it again??
What crap did I promise to accomplish and why didn’t I? Read More →
Let me begin by saying, what the hell?
Your propaganda makes me vomit. You were once a cute elf sold in adorable stores that smelled of hot apple cider sprinkled with lovely memories. You were understated. You politely stared at the wrong doings of my children from a proper distance. You didn’t have a pet, a movie, a collectible book series or an attitude.
Now your smug face is plastered everywhere. How many shelves at Target are dedicated to your commercialism? For the love, you aren’t Buzz Lightyear or a Disney Princess, you’re an elf. You shouldn’t even be in Target. You should be in the North Freaking Pole or a quaint shop where you are one of a kind. What exactly does selling out taste like? I imagine peppermint candy canes laced with mass marketing?
Your magic is tarnished my friend.
When did the luster fade? Probably when you started selling tiny clothes and other crap. Riddle me this, how does one put a skirt on you? Per your legend, you can’t be touched. Get your story straight you publicity hog.
This year, you require a pet.
Yes, a pet.
Apparently, you have a reindeer who helps you fly to the North Pole. The hell? How do we explain to our kids that their elf never came with a pet so he has no assistance flying home? You can’t just change the entire story! It’s ridiculous! Next year you will probably sell an Elf of the Shelf for your Elf on a Shelf. Similar to American Girl Dolls for your American Girl Doll (dumbest idea ever). Just evil. You are confusing the hell out of children. And for what? A lousy buck. You’re better than this.
Why don’t you title your next best selling book, ‘Hey Kids, There is no Santa’. How are parents going to explain this bull to our kids? Look at all these elves, aren’t they cute? They fly and talk to Santa. But, first they need mittens, a reindeer, a sports jersey and a good kick in the face. You may be able to pull this with toddlers, but what about older children? Your antics are blowing the secret of Santa. Older kids figure out your truth way too early. And for good reason, your marketing yourself to every big box store in the United States. They get it.
So, focus up you over sensationalized cheeky little dwarf. I hope you take a long look at yourself and fly back to Santa for forgiveness. Kids are now bowing down to your shrine while the Big Guy is doing all the work. I’m sure Santa just shakes his jolly beard when he catches a glimpse of you flying into the workshop with a Chicago Bears jersey. Who do you think you are?
Finally, stop creating chaos in my house. Bench pressing marshmallows? Taking down lights? Leaving chocolate for the kids? Enough. First you steal Santa’s thunder and now your acting like a leprechaun? Have you no shame? And honestly, what the hell are you looking at???
Keep this nonsense up and you’re going to find yourself in the clearance rack of a dusty Tuesday Morning. Soon, all of American is going to wake up and realize you’re nothing but a bully and a spy. The Benedict Arnold of the Holiday Season. Take my advice, stop. Hurl yourself up on the tallest shelf you can find and move. That’s it. No flying reindeer, no craptastic coordinating mittens and scarves, no mischief. Just move. Give families a reason to love you again.
Stick to the program. Because if not, I’ll put that stupid jersey on you right in front of my children. I’ll watch as your magic oozes out because you’ve been “touched” and they will no longer believe in your silly rules. So, find yourself a nice boutique, warm up some apple cider and smile.
Be smart, leave the propaganda to the pros, their parents and Walt Disney.
Yes, and apparently he has really lovely handwriting!
The highlight of my Holiday season is opening our annual letter from Santa. No, not a typo. He does writes back. Once a year a gorgeous piece of mail arrives like magic in our mailbox. Tucked between the bills and junk mail arrives a crisp red envelope with a hand-calligraphied address that looks as if it was painted by angels. The letter is our annual response from the Santa. It arrives with stunning hand calligraphy (Mrs. Claus would have it no other way) and carefully highlights details only Santa himself would know. It is lovely, it is personalized, and it defines the spirit of Christmas. Watching my daughter open her whimsical letter reminds me how beautiful a child is when they “believe”.
Ballet is a competitive world filled with beauty, grace, poise and determination. Think that’s tough? How would you describe soccer, football or field hockey?
Exactly . . .
I am the mom of a dancer. A young, hardworking and focused dancer. She tackles ballet like a sport and honors the tradition of dance as an art. Where did she learn this drive? From the Charlotte School of Ballet, a studio right here in town that fundamentally believes in all dancers, no matter their passion or level.
For our family, dancing with The Charlotte School of Ballet has been a gift. At the age of eight, our daughter dances several times a week. Not because we make her, because she makes us. She twirls, points and achieves levels of athleticism we never expected from a tutu. She doesn’t earn a snack or a trophy at the end of class or ‘season’. She earns more than a shiny gold statue, she earns pride.
The Charlotte School of Ballet approaches dance differently than other local studios. CSB uses teaching techniques and syllabus skills from The Royal Academy of Dance, one of the world’s most influential dance education and training organizations. Membership in The Royal Academy of Dance is difficult and constantly evolving. The Charlotte School of Ballet upholds hours of training to maintain a RAD membership. With decades of experience, CSB is the oldest studio in The Queen City and their Artistic Director (Gay Porter) is a true dancing legend.
Sounds intense. Right? Read More →
My Mother and Oprah are liars. They told me that I “could have it all”,
and, well . . .
I can’t have “my cake and eat it too”. I can barely have cake without my thighs revolting.
I can’t have a shower the same day I workout.
I can’t have a nap in the middle of the day.
I can’t easily transition back into the “working world” after being home for ten years raising children.
I can’t sleep solidly at night, ever. Someone always calls for me.
I can’t have a wicked party evening without feeling like I want to die the next morning when the kids scream for Lucky Charms.
I can’t live without guilt when I am away from my kids.
I can’t have a career without having a nanny to help raise my family.
I can’t be skinny and drink wine every night.
I can’t wear those Lululemon shorts that I love.
I can’t enjoy the “terrible twos” without wanting to scream into a pillow.
I can’t just “let it go”. Do you know what happens to laundry rooms when you just “let things go”?
I can’t feel sexy when I’ve been thrown up on.
I can’t feel sexy when I don’t feel sexy. Read More →
No more wishing that the perfect sitter will just “magically” appear. This isn’t Disney… Mary Poppins isn’t going to make a gentle landing on your doorstep. This is Charlotte, and our city has a major need for quality and (let’s face it) FUN sitters! Don’t you want a sitter that makes your kids run to the door when they arrive and push you out the door seconds later? Don’t you NEED a sitter that leaves your house clean, plans fun events, and PLAYS with your kids? Well, imagine a full blown LIST of these perfect fairy sitters at your fingertips! Imagine never needing to make more than one phone call or send one email before you score a sitter for the night. Imagine the ability to call a sitter last minute when school is cancelled because all the snow has melted and kids really COULD be in class. Sorry, I digress…
Well, look no further Smarties…something BIG just arrived in Charlotte and is taking the babysitting world by storm. Introducing Hopeful Nannies and the company’s AMAZING “Babysitter List”!
So, what’s the “Babysitter List”?
It’s like Charlotte’s mini version of “care.com”. A complete list of sitters that have been hand selected after background checks and references AND have previous childcare experience. Oh, and most of them are so upbeat and precious that my three year old thinks they are princesses. Uh, score! Maybe Disney is somehow involved in this?? Read More →
Polly was created by Mattel to torture mothers.
Polly Pocket has a head smaller than Barbie’s credit card (American Express Black, if you were wondering). Polly’s shoes are the size of a single grain of sand. Her accessories require tweezers and the patience of a Nun.
Polly, like Barbie, has everything.
Tropical Party Yacht? Yes.
Party Time Mall? Hell yes.
Tree Party House? Highflying yes.
Party Time Coffee House? Caffeinated yes.
Party Time Candy Shop? Chocolate covered yes.
Pet Shop Party? Bow wow yo yippie yo yippie, yes. Read More →