Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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December 9, 2017

Smarty Mom: Dr. Ana Maria Temple

Welcome Home Dr. Temple!

I can’t exactly remember how many years ago it was, let’s say more than 5 less than 12, but I will never forget the conversation between my neighbor’s husband and mine. Our children were little which meant, we all “lived” at the pediatrician’s office with some sort of funk. Upon my neighbors return from the Saturday Sick Clinic one day he eagerly explained to my husband that, “Salma Hayek was our doctor!” If having “Salma” as your doctor meant you were going to take the kids to the doctor, go, please, go take them! I’ll be at home sitting on the couch binge watching HGTV. I immediately knew who he was referring to and was hopeful that my husband would want to jump on the “Salma” bandwagon and take the kids to the Saturday sick clinic as needed. Who was I to explain that “Salma” is not there every Saturday, it was just her on call weekend, let the boys take their chances.IMG_6484

Fast forward to my oldest was in 7th grade a few years ago and she came home to tell me she has been invited to, “Jake’s house for a pool party”. I had never heard of Jake, but I was learning fast that after your children have exited elementary school, you learn a new classmate’s name here and there, if you’re lucky. Our conversation went something like this:
“Jake who?”

“Jake Temple, Mom. He’s a kid at my school, gosh.”

“Where does he live? Will his parents be there? What other girls are going? What times? Is it his birthday, do we need to buy him a present? Who is this kid, you have never mentioned him before?”

Her answers were filled with sighs and much eye rolling and when she said, “Mom, stop being so overprotective, like his mom is a doctor or something, so I’m sure it will be fine.”

Ta Da! Yes, my darling, his mom is a “doctor or something”, a pediatrician to be exact, and she has helped you and your sister out in the past. You go and have fun, but I’m still walking you to the door.

Y’all, when I met Jake, I told Molly later that he looked like a young Keanu Reeves, she had to google Keanu…. and I got some more eye rolls.

The Temple family is beautiful on the inside and out. Enjoy getting to know Ana Maria Temple and the adventure the Temple family has been living the past 14 months. Read More →

February 25, 2017

Smarty Mom: Carrie Hanson

You never know where a friendship will turn up. You never know where you will find someone that you have been missing and not even know it until you meet. When my oldest, Molly, made her middle school cheer team last year, it never crossed my mind that I may gain new friendships. I also didn’t realize that I would be sitting through weekly football games and then followed by four basketball games a week!IMG_7492

Last year I dreaded the arrival of basketball season and the many hours I would accumulate in a middle school gym that was loud (very loud) and sometimes a bit smelly. A group of us “cheer moms”, (did I just refer to myself as a cheer mom, for real???) began sitting together and chatting it up to help the time pass by. As the season progressed, the games became much more enjoyable to attend. This year I actually looked forward to games where I could sit and share with my “cheer mom” friends. We compare middle school teen stories (actually nightmares) that we are living, shared recipes and travel recommendations. Lots of laughing and appreciated advice all around.

Today I am sharing with you my “cheer mom” friend, Carrie Hanson, Executive Director of Girls On The Run Charlotte. I love this organization and what it stands for and how it is received in our community. I love how their message of empowerment and strength is mental and physical. The happiness and love that all of their volunteers hold is unique. Cheer season is officially over and the girls will be going to different high schools next year, but our friendship will remain; we spent way too many evenings in a sweaty gym or on the sidelines of a football field to let that diminish.

Smarty Mom: Carrie Hanson

Husband: David, works at Bank of America and trains for Ironman races like it was his job.
Kids: Kira (6th grade) Kylie (8th grade) Andrew (11th grade)
Dogs: Watson & Sonny (2 year old Whoodle brothers) and Casey (14 year-old grumpy Shih-Tzu)
Hometown: I grew up in Ann Arbor, MI and lived in Atlanta, GA for 15 years before moving to Charlotte. We currently live in Providence Springs.
Job: Executive Director of Girls on the Run Charlotte.

Tell us about your job.

Girls on the Run is a positive youth development afterschool program for girls in 3rd-8th grade. Started in 1996 right here in Charlotte with just 13 girls, GOTR is now in all 50 states serving over 200,000 girls each year! We inspire girls to recognize their inner strength and celebrate what makes them unique. Trained coaches lead teams of 8-15 girls through our research-based curriculum which includes character development and life-skills lessons and of course running. Over the ten-week season, the girls develop essential skills to help them navigate their worlds and establish healthy habits. Each season, the girls complete a community service project showcasing their teamwork and empathy skills. They come up with the idea for the project and execute it themselves. Projects my teams have done include hosting collection drives for local animal shelters, making cards and gifts for Levine Children’s Hospital and creating goodie bags and guides for new students coming to their school mid-year. The program culminates with a celebratory 5K event where the girls realize that they can accomplish more than they ever imagined, giving them a tangible feeling of accomplishment. Read More →

August 13, 2016

Smarty Dad: Chic Cariaga

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
~Victor Frankl ~

You probably already know this Smarty if you frequent one of my fave coffee stops in south Charlotte. I am putting a twist on Smarty Mom Saturday today and introducing you to Chic.0810161942c

Yep, Chic.

I first met Chic earlier this year. My youngest, Grace, introduced us. Grace’s BFF’s parents tutor at Starbucks and I was dropping said BFF off after a playdate. Grace was so excited for me to meet her new buddy Chic and later asked me in secret if that was really his name. I told her that I didn’t think so and he probably doesn’t want anyone to know his real name. I was wrong, he is Chic and he holds a fascinating story.

The first thing that I loved about meeting my new friend was that he held a genuine smile. A smile that was not false, a smile that came from within, a smile that spread to others. Smiles are contagious.

He told me how he had written a book and it was about to be published. Cool. But then he told me about this book. I have always said, things happen for a reason, people are put in front of you for a reason and follow your heart.

The book: Molly the Manatee, my oldest first name, Molly, and I have been fascinated with the Manatee for many many years.

The story: A manatee’s quest for self-discovery. Molly’s adventure leads her away from her family along waterways and seaways. She interacts with all sorts of animals and eventually, she meets a wise fishing captain that helps her understand her true identity.

Over many visits for our after school “Chic Specials”, I got to know Chic better and we shared stories about one another in passing. We are far apart in age, but have a lot in common. Both from Charlotte, both attended ECU, both had connections with the Phil Hughston story.

One afternoon Grace became a little impatient while we conversed and declared to Chic, “My Mom is an artist!” He got a twinkle in his eye and proceeded to tell me about his next book about a flamingo. A flamingo, the favorite bird of my favorite 5 year old, Evie. Evie has had flamingo themed birthday parties for the past 2 years and last year I even painted Evie a flamingo to hang in her room, but I do not consider myself an “artist”. Chic wanted to see some of my work, and after a few weeks of his hounding I shared. That is how our story started…… Read More →

May 14, 2016

Smarty Mom: Donna Casey

Good morning Smarties! Not sure about your house, but we are officially counting down to summer vacation at my house. With only 17 days left in the school year, we are definitely in the home stretch. I always look forward to summer vacation and extra time with the fam, but then reality hits after a week I am bombarded with, “I’m bored!” “What are we doing today?” “I don’t want to go to the pool.” “I’m bored!” ( I hear “I’m bored” a lot.) Donna Casey Fam

These kids don’t know what being bored is. As kids we created our own fun with our imaginations. We had six TV stations and only one color TV. You had to hoist your rump off the couch to change the channel – that is, if your little sister wasn’t available. We rode our bikes, skateboards and roller skates around the neighborhood. There weren’t electric means of motoring for kids. I loved my simple summers of the 70s, I wish my children could embrace those simple carefree days where, unless you were physically with your friends, nobody knew what and where you were up to.

Today I want to introduce you to Donna Casey. I first met Donna many years ago when my friend told me about a day camp in her neighborhood where the emphasis was on old fashion fun with some educational activities snuck in. My kids loved it, and they hated when I arrived to pick them up each afternoon after a fun-filled day. Please enjoy getting to know Donna and her wonderfully simply fun Camp KC.

Smarty Mom: Donna Casey

Jobs: Literacy Resource Assistant at Beverly Woods Elementary; Owner of Camp KC~Kids Connect!; Tutor for elementary and middle school students
Family: Ashley and Allie Casey.
Ashley, 26, is a Technology Specialist at Lexus and a huge animal rights advocate.
Allie,19, is a rising Sophomore at UNCC and aspires to become a Dual English/Spanish Speech
Originally From: I am originally from deep south Georgia , around the Okefenokee Swamp Park, but have lived in Charlotte for 31 years (doesn’t that make me a native)! Read More →

April 19, 2016

My Anxious Child

Last summer was a summer that will never go unforgotten.  Moments that will be etched in my memory forever, and unfortunately the challenges that we faced as a family held heartache and stress.  I did my best to keep positive in front of my children, limit what conversations were shared with them or they overheard, but we both knew that we could not totally shield the girls from the life changes that we would be facing as a family.  The girls were also mentally preparing themselves for the new schools they would be attending come August.  Molly was not too concerned about her middle school change, which shocked me because I hated middle school, but Grace, that is where we knew that we were going to prepare and be at our best.

Grace is a mini me, inside out.  She is a caring, loyal, emotional and loving soul who can suddenly turn angry and impatient, if circumstances arise. She thrives on routine and is not fond of change, she is happiest at home with her family hanging out on the couch watching a good movie. She hates to be in a large crowd of people and prefers a small group of peers.  boxset

As the first day of school grew closer, her anxiety levels grew as well.  She became fearful of the daily unknown and did not want to leave the house somedays.  What kid does not want to go to the pool and play when it is 90 plus degrees outside? Grace.

At times I viewed her as obstinate and simply manipulating any given situation to get her way, but at other times I saw and felt the panic inside her that was so heart wrenching as a mom to watch.

It got bad, very bad for us. I knew that we had A LOT going on, and  I found myself anxious and panicked at times. This was summer vacation, time of carefree fun, sleeping in, playing outside, swimming, going to camp, easy days, but this was not our household. Read More →

March 12, 2016

Smarty Mom: Michelle Musialowski


Happy Saturday smarties. Today I am excited to introduce you to Michelle Musialowski. I meet Michelle years ago at the softballs fields. Spent many sweltering afternoons getting to know her and her sweet family. Michelle’s “day job” is a medical transcriptionist but “on the side”, if you can call it that, she “IS” Arroyo’s Attic. Enjoy getting to know Michelle and her creative business.

Smarty Mom Michelle Arroyo Musialowski

Smarty Mom Stats:
Family: Michael (husband), Michah (13), Maximus (5)
Hometown: Boca Raton
Current ‘hood: Wesley Chapel
Favorite family activity: Boating
Day job: Medical Transcriptionist for 20 years.
What makes her Smarty:Arroyo’s Attic (unique personalized gifts.) Read More →

September 26, 2015

A day in the life of Smarty Mom Celeste Bailey

Happy Fall morning Smarties! I just absolutely love this time of year, and especially after the HOT,HOT, HOT summer we just experienced. I am in love with our Smarty Mom, Celeste Bailey. I have know Celeste forever it seems, but I can not remember how we met because our paths have crossed in so many places over the years. Celeste has always inspired me to better myself. She is the Early Childhood Development Director at the Harris YMCA, and the growth that department has seen over the past few years is in part due to Celeste and her drive. Enjoy getting to know our Smarty Mom Celeste!

Smarty Mom: Celeste Bailey
Name: Celeste Bailey
Originally from: Richmond, VA
‘Hood: Sharon Hills
Family: Jason- Hubby, Caroline (11), Cole (9), Colin (7) and Luna and Zoey (the dogs)
Job: Early Childhood Development Director at the Harris YMCA Read More →

September 8, 2015

Erase the last ten years with Providence Plastic Surgery AND a Smarty Steal

A few years ago I thought bangs would do the trick. My hairdresser begged me not to make her do it. Curly hair and bangs are not a good combo, unless the year is 1980 something. I rocked my bangs then, and only then.

I was desperate for bangs to hide my lines …. AKA wrinkles. Horrible mistake, horrible. I’m also a BIG scaredy cat when it comes to needles, as in faint to the floor.

So, I never considered Botox. For quite sometime I have been jealous of friends that erased their lines with the help of Botox and equally horrified of photographs of celebrities that had a little too much done.

As my lines have gotten deeper and multiplied over the past few years, I have shied away from being photographed. I look old and tired in photographs that have not been photoshopped, and let’s be real 99% have not been altered. Well, I did it, I got injected with Botox and here are a few things that I learned: Read More →

July 4, 2015

Smarty Mom: Carrie Kaschak

Smarties I am excited to introduce you to Carrie Kaschak. I first met Carrie in 2013 when we ran the Palmetto 200 (We Don’t Run… We Fly!) and she was one of my van mates. I am excited to feature her for many reasons today, but what brings a smile to my face is a memory of a delirious heat and sleep deprived conversation the van girls had at our rest stop; child birth. Carrie was not a member of the “mom’s club” then, and after our graphic shared stories on child birth, I didn’t think any of the non-moms would cross that line… EVER. Thank goodness that she either forgot that conversation or disregarded us all. When I first met Carrie, I was intimidated. The girl is a power house, fit, young, beautiful, and did I mention fit? I quickly learned that she was super sweet and my intimidation was put to rest… a little bit. I love/hate to pulse with Carrie at Flywheel! One of my favorite workouts that the QC has to offer by one of the best fitness queens! I dare you to take one of her classes and not love it and all that it does for you.

Smarty Mom: Carrie Kaschak

Married to: married to AJ for 4 years.
Children: Daughter, Kendall (6 months old)
‘Hood: Mint Hill
Years in Charlotte: 3 years
Home Town: I am originally from Timberlake, NC.
Job Title: Southeast Training Manager and Master Instructor for FlyBarre Read More →

March 14, 2015

Catching up with Smarty Mom Mary Lacey

We first introduced you to Mary in 2012. A lot has changed in her life since then and we wanted to share with you all the great and inspiring things Mary has going on.  In 2012 she was the owner of The Prenatal Picture, where she provided 3D / 4D ultrasounds to expectant moms.  Read on and catch up with Mary!Mary Lacey

Smarty Mom: Mary Lacey – Dr. Mary Lacey, Counselor

Married to: Bob Lacey syndicated radio personality on 107.9 The Link

Child(ren):My bonus- Landon and Ally; Bob’s Bonus-Madison (16) & Hampton (11)

Since our last interview with you, a lot has changed. What are you up to these days?

I run a private practice in Ballantyne working with adults, adolescents and children.

December of 2014, I graduated from Arizona State University with a Doctorate in Behavioral Health, and immediately began working with teen and tween girls. Children have so many pressures with social media and Photoshop to be perfect.I enjoy working with girls to provide them with a toolbox of positive coping skills so they are able to navigate these unrealistic expectations. Groups are held weekly at my office for girls to acquire and practice skills necessary to process these pressures.

I also works with adults with anxiety and depression issues as well as children with problematic ADHD symptoms. My passion is instilling self esteem in young girls and assisting them in creating a positive self image that will carry them into a productive adulthood. I lost my mother when I was 14 so I know the huge influence that self esteem plays in a girls life and the consequences of not having any.   I have a 16 year old daughter and have witnessed the immense pressures of today’s world.

I already had a Masters in counseling so it took me an additional 2 years to obtain my doctorate.  I love school- I could be a professional student! I just love learning so school has never been a stressful endeavor for me. What I wanted more than anything was for my kids to see me in school and challenged. I had homework and papers and projects just like they did so we were able to connect on that level during that time. When school demands got exceptionally frustrating (especially around dissertation time), everyone rallied together and helped me get stuff done. My husband even became the carpool king! Read More →

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