Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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February 17, 2018

Smarty Mom: Lauren Lindberg

Okay, Smarties…feast your eyes on Smarty Mom, Lauren Lindberg (and her magnificent looking family).  I actually have never met Lauren, but I work with her equally Smarty Husband, Jason, but I have a serious Mom-Crush on this beautiful mom.  She makes having 3 kids, running a household, staying sane (and looking gorgeous while doing it) super easy.

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Since I haven’t actually met Lauren, I asked her husband to give us a little insight into what we should know about Lauren so I could give her a proper introduction before we get into her Smarty questionnaire.  Jason’s answer was so beautiful and romantic, that I decided not to paraphrase and just give you what he says about his amazing partner in life:

“I could go on for days about her:

1. Her poise and grace in unmatched. Our kids are VERY spirited to say the least. It’s a physical and mental workout all-day managing our littles. Her ability to handle all that she does and keeps a smile on her face is amazing to me.

2. She’s the most selfless person I know. It’s the family first 100% of the time. I aspire to be more like her in that aspect.

3. She’s hysterical and her self-confidence. These are the two main things that drew me to her 10 years ago. Her wit has no measure and I love it.

4. Her research abilities. The women never stops reading on all things. Her brain is like Mary Poppin’s bag. You can just keep taking knowledge and insights out. She researches everything from recalls, to kids accessories, stays up to date on health issues, kids activities, remedies for illnesses, latest in education and technology, how-to everything. She is literally a machine.

As I said, I could go on for days about her. I’m a blessed man and I thank God for her each and every day.”

RIGHT? I’m seriously in-love with this couple! Read More →

February 8, 2018

Smarty Steal: Thimble & Bodkin Mommy and Me Aprons

Thimble & Bodkin have been making hand-crafted, stylish Mommy & Me aprons since 2011 and I got my hands on some for me and my girls. When they arrived, I was really impressed with how soft they were and the quality. And, my girls didn’t want to take them off…they have been having tons of fun pretend play with them since they arrived back in November. Thimble and Bodkin

I had all these visions of cooking up a storm during the holidays together and capturing adorable photos of the three of us baking cookies. However, there was cold after cold after cold this winter and as the fevers and runny noses made the rounds around the house, pictures didn’t seem like they would be adorable at all.

Then, Grandma came to visit and we caught this adorable moment of her and my girls cooking some dinner together so I could show all you Smarties how cute these aprons are! Not only do the girls love playing in their aprons and using the pockets and ties, but the “mommy” apron stood up beautifully to Grandma’s cooking marathon for the few days she was visiting…still looks brand new! Read More →

January 14, 2018

Smarty Giveaway: Two sets of four (4) tickets to Disney On Ice – TWO WINNERS!

Smartypants will enter “a dazzling world of adventure at The Wonderful World of Disney On Ice!” and we want you to join us!

We are giving away two sets of four (4) tickets for the upcoming shows January 31, 2018 through February 4, 2018 at Bojangle’s Coliseum. WD26C-1200x628-FB-Native_Advertising_Ad-Dory_Nemo_576

Year after year, we cherish the memories that we make with our families at Disney on Ice. If you’re looking for a way to entertain little ones of all ages, this is the answer!

Come have fun with us and Mickey, Minnie, Dory & friends, Anna, Elisa, Olaf, Buzz & Woody and our old favorites: Simba, Timon, Pumbaa, Jasmine, Aladdin and Genie!

With constant, upbeat fun and dance, an intermission for a potty break and lots of goodies and souvenirs, this is a sure win with the kiddos. I know that I can’t wait to see the looks on my girls’ faces (and I’m looking forward to the stellar nap they’re sure to have after!) D29c_Jessie_Woody_Buzz_Lightyear_576

Tickets go on sale now and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 800-745-3000, at all Ticketmaster outlets or at the Bojangles’ Coliseum Box Office located at 2700 E. Independence Blvd. Tickets cost between $20 and $70 (plus applicable service charges) and are subject to change. BUT, you could win tickets right here! Read More →

December 2, 2017

Smarty Mom: Holly Dede

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This week, I am so pleased to present our Smarty Mom, Holly Dede, who I met through Charlotte Mothers of Multiples (CMOMs), an organization that supports and connects mothers of multiples in the Greater Charlotte area.

When I first moved to Charlotte, I found CMOMs and it was an amazing resource to connect me with other parents going through the same highs and lows that come with raising two or more babies at once. It helped me feel connected in a place where I didn’t have friends or family.

When I first met Holly I was in awe at how pulled together she was…fashionable, confident, upbeat and seamlessly pulling off being a mom to twins, running a successful real estate and home staging business, homeschooling her kids, traveling the world and volunteering her time to organizations like CMOMs. She’s an amazing mom and, more importantly, an amazing human being and I’m so excited to share some insight from Holly below…

Holly’s Smarty Mom Stats:

Married to: The love of my life, Bernard
Mom of: Rocco and George
Years in Charlotte: 15
Hometown: Montgomery, AL
Alma Mater: Huntingdon College
Occupation: Realtor

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Read More →

November 21, 2017

Smarty Toddler Activity: The Little Gym of Charlotte

Recently life awarded me the opportunity to be home full-time with my 2 year old twin girls for about 6 weeks. I have to admit that I was a little nervous about what was in store for me as the last time that I was their sole caregiver during the week was a year prior and they definitely weren’t as quick on their feet or opinionated back then. So, I began researching and planning activities that I felt would be fun, educational and easy for one person to execute successfully with two toddlers. So, I revisited The Little Gym of Charlotte which we had looked into a few months prior and boy am I glad I did!IMG_2924

First and foremost, the fact that it is an enclosed space covered in soft surfaces was glorious to me; I didn’t feel that if I ran after one or helped her learn to do a somersault that I would lose the other one or risk her being seriously injured. THAT was peace of mind from the second we walked through the doors.

Second, within the first 45 minutes of the very first class, I saw my kids grow in how they interacted with others and loved seeing their pride as they realized they could do all these cool new things. The classes and teachers are really amazing at helping build language skills, confidence, fine motor skills and cooperation. Read More →

October 9, 2017

Smarty Toddler Rainy Day Activity- Homemade Playdough

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I’ve been wanting to try out making play-doh at home for a while. So recently on one of our drizzly days, I figured what a perfect time to keep my girls entertained by making some of this magical playdough (playdoh, whichever).

For me, it was important this stuff was edible, or at least safe if it ended up in one of my toddler’s mouths. I knew they weren’t going to outright eat it, at this point in their toddlerhood, but they may be curious to lick it and it would definitely be all over their hands if they were helping me make it.

Most recipes online call for cream of tartar, which we don’t have just lying around in our pantry. I simplified: Read More →

September 27, 2017

Smarty Giveaway: DawnSignPress Kids Bundle to Learn American Sign Language

DawnSignPress is the most amazing producer of learning materials, for children and adults, to learn American Sign Language (ASL). The books, movies and activities they offer were instant favorites in our home. I’m still working with my girls to teach them, but the fact that they gravitate toward the books we have from DawnSignPress make it easy to teach a couple new signs a day. If you’re looking for a way to teach your kids, or maybe learn yourself, I highly recommend you check out dawnsign.com and get their materials. I’ve used lots of different books to learn ASL and I am so impressed with the DawnSignPress materials, the illustrations and how engaging they are. FullSizeRender (1)

There are, sometimes, obvious reasons to teach a child sign language; maybe they are hearing impaired or deaf or maybe their parent, sibling or other family member is hearing impaired or deaf. Sometimes, it’s none of those things and a parent feels that teaching a child some basic signs for everyday communication will allow their child to convey their thoughts earlier than they are able to speak the words.

I am not a doctor or speech therapist, so I can’t speak for the real, science-based, developmental benefits, or lack-thereof, for teaching your child to sign. However, I am a big believer that teaching your child another language is always important. Read More →

September 3, 2017

Smarty Toddler Activity: Golden Cow Creamery

Living in South End with toddlers is usually wonderful because we have tons to see and do within walking distance. However, we’re usually at least a 20 minute drive from anything specifically-geared to toddlers.
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One of our monthly traditions has become taking the girls for a treat at Golden Cow Creamery which happens to be right around the corner from us. I say monthly, but this has only started last month. We really try not to give our girls sugary snacks and just a few months ago a taste of ice cream would get mixed reviews and little excitement.

However, our almost-two, independence-seeking girls are now feeling empowered and overjoyed to enjoy their own ice cream cone once-in-a-while and we’re happy to oblige for a change of pace.

Golden Cow Creamery makes small-batch ice cream from scratch with local North Carolina ingredients. You don’t see any artificial ingredients and they offer vegan options, as well, if you or your kids are dairy-free. You’ll find your typical flavors each time you go, but there are always some “specials” that you can try if you’re feeling adventurous. Read More →

August 28, 2017

Smarty Review: SnipIts Children’s Hair Salon

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When I think about how difficult it is to get my girls to let me cut their nails, it makes me wonder how anybody is ever able to successfully cut a toddler’s hair.  All those questions were answered when I stepped foot into Snip-Its Huntersville (They have a location in Charlotte, too!)

We took this little Smarty, Jameson (20 months old), in for a haircut and as soon as I walked in, I wanted to get a haircut too!  Snip-its has created a fun, toddler haven with wonderful staff who obviously love kids.  They seem to have the patience and ability to deal wonderfully with the uncertainty of toddler moods and attitudes. Read More →

August 25, 2017

Smarty Toddler Activity Review: Tinkergarten

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Once my twin girls hit the 18 month mark, I was looking for fun activities around Charlotte for the weekends that would give them the opportunity to socialize and learn. I came across Tinkergarten via a Facebook post by a mom in NY (where we are originally from). After a quick search, I realized that Tinkergarten had classes all over the United States, including Charlotte, and the classes were all held outdoors in various parks. IMG_0592

Tinkergarten offers classes once-a-week for 8 week sessions with “Leaders” who help facilitate the activities and exploration. The classes also include a pretty wide range of ages, 18mo-8yo, which I was weary about, at first, but it ended up being a pretty fun experience. The older kids seem to take the younger kids under their wings and I enjoyed watching my little ones trying to imitate the movements the older kids were doing. It was actually a pretty cool collaboration of ages that I think benefited all; the younger kids developed new motor skills and the older kids learned patience and sharing.

This is an awesome option for parents who don’t get outside much with their kids or for stay-at-home parents who need something to do during the week, on their own, with minimal headache; This is a totally doable and fun solution. You can absolutely manage multiple children, of the same or different ages, and you can sip your coffee and mingle with other parents as your kids explore. IMG_0614

All-in-all, I love that Tinkergarten is built on fostering imagination and getting kids away from the technology that is consuming our lives. I love that kids learn collaboration and the group makes parents and kids feel safe. When I remember being home, alone, with the two girls and scared to go anywhere on my own with them, I realize that Tinkergarten would have been a perfect activity to bring them to.

Price: About $160/child for 8 weeks. Discounts offered for multiple children.
Website: https://tinkergarten.com/
Tip: If you’re afraid of getting dirty, this isn’t for you. This is a play-in-the-mud and love it activity. IMG_0795


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