Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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June 19, 2015

Fitness Friday: My love affair with Carolina Barre & Core

Carolina Barre & CoreFor the past two years, Carolina Barre & Core has been my second home.

I feel like there’s this urban legend that “barre is not hard”. I want to blow that junk out of the water.

Barre is usually described as:
“Develops long, lean muscles.”
“Helps you get a ballerina’s body.”
“Improves flexibility, balance and posture.”
“Tightens and tones.”
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This is all true however it makes it sound so wimpy and it is not wimpy.

I describe it as:
“Hard as hell.”
“Brings you to your knees.”
“Makes you want to achieve a full split again more than anything in life.”
“Full body workout and then some – like parts of your body you didn’t know you had.”
“It works – best results of any workout I’ve ever done, period.”

Carolina Barre & Core is a TOUGH workout. It is also a progression so it’s great for all levels and ages. I was pitiful in my first class (and am still a hair above pitiful in some positions) but I stuck with it and no one judged me and I felt supported in every class by every trainer.  Their tagline is: NO JUDGMENT, JUST RESULTS. And it is the essence of Carolina Barre & Core and shows in everything they do!

If you are competitive with yourself, then you will doggedly pursue the positions until you can actually do them all correctly. And, even when you can do them all correctly, it will still HURT and it will still be HARD and you will feel so accomplished and GRATEFUL that your body can do these things in the name of strength.

I’m really high on Carolina Barre & Core, can you tell? I bring my friends, I tell everyone I know, I just love it! If your interest is piqued a tiny bit, then give them a try. You say “why?” and I say “why not!” See y’all at the barre!


February 9, 2015

Passports for your kids


Recently, we applied for passports for our kids so I wanted to pass along the goods. If you need one for spring break, then you are still within the 4-6 week window so there’s still time!

Two things:

1. Children under the age of 16 applying for passports must do so in person (cannot do it online) and both parents or the child’s legal guardians must be present in person. (if only one can be present or one parent is deceased, then there’s an additional form that must be filled out and notarized).

2. Passports for adults are valid for 10 years. Passports for children under 16 are valid for 5 years. (Make a note of this somewhere. I know parents who have “assumed” their child’s passport was valid for 10 years, like theirs, and they got to the airport and only then did they find out the 5 year rule. You know what happens when you “assume”? You make an a$$ of out u and me. Ouch.)

The process:

1. Passport forms – The forms are available at the website. You will need form DS-11. It looks long but most of it is instructions so it really is only 2 pages. Fill it out before you go to the passport office. Read More →

December 29, 2014

30 Day Challenge

your_30_day_challenge-718x364Today, I’m asking for 3 minutes and 27 seconds of your time.  

I know you’ve donated a gazillion strings of 3 minute increments to watch  “Shake It Off” spoofs, dogs doing funny shiz, and the epic Jimmy/Bradley laugh-off.  This vid is not like those.  You probably won’t die laughing however you might be inspired.

This guy, Matt Cutts, works at Google.  He has a 3 minute TedTalks video “Try Something New for 30 Days” that is described like this: “Is there something you’ve always meant to do, wanted to do, but just … haven’t? Matt Cutts suggests: Try it for 30 days. This short, lighthearted talk offers a neat way to think about setting and achieving goals.”

Some of my colleagues implemented this in 2014 and each month they chose a new goal and then everyday for the month they did it. 

It doesn’t have to be mind blowing – just something.   What do you want to add to your life for 30 days?  What do you want to subtract?   Whether you take the challenge or not, the next 30 days will peel off of the calendar.  Why not do something intentional?

For example, in January maybe  you commit to drinking 64 ounces of water a day, everyday.  (Hold on – I gotta pee just thinking about the prospect.) 

Maybe in February you don’t eat any chocolate. 

Maybe everyday in March you write a note (could be a letter or a sticky note on a windshield) to a friend, family member, child’s teacher, neighbor – 31 different people – and tell them why you admire them or what  positive impact they’ve had on you.  Read More →

December 16, 2014

Smarty tips for showcasing kids’ handmade ornaments

oie_3PQxx3G6smZmIs your house covered up with paper drawings, art projects from school, and reams of random artwork – courtesy of the little artists that live with you?  

Art teachers must really love this time of year as there are so many different types of ornaments that can be made by little hands.  Starting in preschool, my kids’ art teachers introduced them to the ornament making trade and they have been perfecting their craft ever since. 

Alas, what to do with all of these freakin’ ornaments?  (some of them don’t necessarily qualify as an “ornament” however we have very low standards)

Here’s what we did.  Read More →

December 1, 2014

Kindergarten boot camp for adults

kindergarten Most of what we know about how to behave socially and professionally we learned in kindergarten.  I wonder if kindergarten behavior is a predictor of the future.  Can kindergarten tell us who will grow up to behave like a normal human being and who has solid potential to be an asshat for life? 

I bet you know people who failed the kindergarten basics; wouldn’t you like to see their kindergarten report card?

Maybe, just maybe, kindergarten happened sooooo long ago that people have forgotten these basic skills and thus why they do not know how to conduct themselves at work, at home, socially…. they need a kindergarten do-over!

I don’t care how smart you are or how much money you have, if you don’t have complete mastery over your kindergarten skills then know this: people are talking about you.  They talk about you behind your back, all.of.the.time.  They are talking about you right this minute. 

Kindergarten skill #1: Let’s turn on our listening ears!
You have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listen twice as much as you speak.  STFU.  You talk too much.

Kindergarten skill #2: Use your words.
If someone you care about upsets you or you have a delicate issue to discuss, then be a grown-up and have a conversation.  Don’t blow them off.  Don’t be passive aggressive.  Don’t be vindictive.  What is it with siblings, friends, neighbors, colleagues who hide behind text, email, fb, etc. and can’t have a conversation with their words?  How many times have you told your kid to “use your words”?  Muy importante.

Kindergarten skill #3: Raise your hand before speaking.
Stop interrupting your colleagues on a conference call and stop cutting them off mid-sentence in meetings.

Kindergarten skill #4: The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you want others to do unto you.
Relationships of any kind are “reciprocal” or “two-way” that involve both sides equally, and in a mutual fashion. Sadly, many struggle with the concept of give and take and only learned the take part of this very simple equation.   If you borrow money, repay it.  If you say you are going to do something, do it.  If someone does something nice for you when you are ill, do something nice for them when they are ill.   Easy peasy, right?

Kindergarten skill #5:  Can play independently or in small group without needing constant supervision. Shows independence in self-help skills.
Your boss would appreciate it if you could just figure it out without having to hear every step of how you did it.  No one wants to hear the play-by-play.  Make like Vanilla Ice and say “If there was a problem yo I’ll solve it.”

Kindergarten skill #6: Can take turns.
Wow – so many of us know someone whose  turn-taking is busted.   It goes something like this. We all take turns bringing a snack to the game.  I host a playdate then you host a playdate.  I take them to the birthday party and you pick them up.   Wasn’t that a simple refresher?

Smarties, we need a kindergarten boot camp where grown ass adults can brush up on the basics.  Which of these skills, when missing, gripes you the most?

November 3, 2014


Happy fall, y’all!  It has been a long time since I’ve enlightened you with my innermost thoughts.  Now, I know y’all have no time to waste on my nothingness however this junk is weighing me down and taking up valuable hard drive space.  So, goody goody gumdrops!  Let’s do this!


Dear Northbound Carmel Rd. Drivers,
When you pass Harris Teeter, get the hell over.  Stop pretending it’s your first time on Carmel and you don’t know the extra lane ends at Hillingdon. I’m onto you so quit it.

Dear Honda Odyssey leadership team,
How about getting your bumper designers together with parking curb makers for a summit?  Why not lift up the front bumper a few inches so it doesn’t scrub on everything?  In the meantime, just come rip mine off and give me a refund.

Dear Hondy Odyssey engineers,
Why does my speedometer go up to 140 mph?  When will I have the opportunity to peg it to 140?   WHEN?

Dear Victoria’s Secret,
Pssssst – here’s a secret for ya – your underwear should start at size medium.  XS and S would only fit my daughter and that is no good. 

Dear Daddy,
The next time you call me and ask, “did you get my email?”, I’m gonna say, “no but somehow I was able to REPLY.TO.IT.”  Read More →

October 25, 2014

Smarty Mom: Catherine Farley


This wonder woman has more passions than Oprah.   This past summer, she added “published author” to her long list of creative endeavors with the publication of “Mischievous Mimi Explores Seabrook Island“!

Mischievous Mimi Explores Seabrook Island” highlights the adventures of a newborn fawn, Mimi, who decides to follow some children horseback riding on a sandy trail.   Mimi meets lots of amazing animal friends while exploring the trails, marshland, and beaches of Seabrook Island.

The purpose of the book and website blog ( is to provide children and families with a unique perspective for learning about barrier island nature, conservation, teamwork, and most importantly, to appreciate the simple beauty of God’s work that surrounds us each and every day in nature. 


The Farley family’s “Gathering Table”, designed by Catherine and built by Trey with reclaimed railroad ties

Some other fun facts about Catherine… Read More →

October 20, 2014

Sky Zone

Sky Zone LogoOn Friday, some of our Smarty crew had the day off of school so we packed’em up (and some of their friends!) and spent the afternoon at Sky Zone.

Sky Zone opened on September 23rd of this year (check out our Smarty Alert) and is located in Pineville off of Centrum Parkway, which is across the road from Carolina Place Mall.  Centrum Parkway houses many retail stores such as Best Buy, TJ Maxx, Home Depot, etc.

To get to Sky Zone, you drive to the end of Centrum Parkway past the Home Depot and bam you are one step closer to entering kid paradise.  They completely overhauled the old Pet Smart located here.

skyzoneSky Zone has it all.

– For starters, they have what seems like a football field of trampolines with padded walls and many divided jump areas.

– The SkySlam court is a double basketball court on trampolines, which was a huge hit with the kids who had a blast trying their best Air-Jordan-jump-slam-dunk.

– Their Foam Pit has 10,000 pieces of foam.

– Ultimate Dodgeball is the best way to play dodgeball as you take air to avoid being hit! Read More →

September 22, 2014

DIY: Mercury Glass Vase

jars2There is always something in my yard that I can find to put in a vase.  Even in the dead of winter, I put plain (or spray painted) tree branches in a vase.

I like to find reasons surprise a friend with a vase of something on their door step…maybe a thank you,  happy birthday, welcome to the neighborhood, or an “I’m thinking aboutcha”.

I save glass jars so that I always have “vases” on hand that I can dress up with some ribbon and have ready for my next ding-dong-ditch-vase-leave-behind.

This truly cool mercury glass DIY transformed my empty jars into something a little more.  This was easy and high impact.  Maj!


– empty spray bottle

– white vinegar and water

– glass jars or vases or any glass container (glass jars with writing or etching on them are really neat – think Smuckers)

– Krylon “looking glass” spray

– rubber gloves, paper towels, newspaper (if you don’t have newspaper, then cut the sides of an empty trash bag to make a tarp)


-Mix ¼ cup water with ¼ cup white vinegar and put in spray bottle.

-Place all glass pieces upside down on newspapers.  (do this in the middle of the yard as far away from your house as possible so you don’t get the paint on your cars, on the driveway, on your white garage door, etc. – not that any of this has ever happened to me)

-Lightly mist the glass with the vinegar solution. You want little drops of water.  Don’t get crazy – it’s not supposed to be running down the glass.

-Immediately spray a very thin coat of paint, Krylon Looking Glass, lightly coating the entire outside of the glass. (I did not have that kind of paint and couldn’t find it at Lowe’s or Walmart or Michael’s, my 3 least favorite stores in America, so I gave up. Maybe try Hobby Lobby or Joann’s or Amazon?  We had some Krylon Original Chrome spray paint in our garage cabinet so I went with that.)

-Wait 1 minute.  (you know, 60 seconds…or so)

-You are ready to “blot”.   The purpose of this is to “remove” some of the vinegar so that you have some markings that look like mercury glass.  You will want to “press” in some places.  You will want to use a slight “press” and “twist” motion in other places. Vary your technique and also do it very lightly in some places and heavier in others.  You can’t mess this up.  It used to be a pickle jar for crying out loud.

-Wait 30 seconds to 1 minute.

-Repeat 2 times. (or 3 or 4 if you mess up or if you are having so much fun and don’t want to stop at 2)
-At some point, remember to turn the piece over to spray around the top of the piece to get the opening of the jar.

Boom.  Mercury glass! Read More →

September 8, 2014

DIY: Brick Bookends

Township 1 Charlotte-20140805-01011Martha Stewart is not known for crafts that are easy to implement.  What she does is not what I would refer to as “crafting”.

I don’t have any minions at my beck and call to complete her kind of  projects, which take a lot of time, supplies, and skill.  None of which interests me for a DIY.

Maybe Martha is changing her tune because I found this amazing gilded brick bookends DIY on her site.  She recommends using a hammer and cloth (to cover the brick) to chisel off some pieces to make it look uneven and natural.

It took me about 15 minutes to complete these bookends and it came out great.

If you don’t have any bricks, you can buy them at Lowe’s.  And if you want them cut in half, go to the customer service desk and tell them you want to buy some bricks and have them cut in half.  Yes, they will do it!

I had them cut plexiglass to fit a tray, another simple DIY I did months ago, and the tray is in my family room on an end table.

builtinsIf the gold painted bricks are too plain for you, here are many other examples of bricks or rocks that have been transformed into super cool bookends.

Pattern:  This brick has been painted gold with a white triangle pattern.  Chic!

Dipped:  Everything is dipped these days – baskets, stool legs – why not dipped bricks as bookends!

Rocks: We have rocks in our yard that I’m gonna transform into these bookends!

Half bricks: Love the use of half bricks (Lowe’s will cut them in half for you) and gluing an animal on top.


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