Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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February 24, 2018

Smarty Dad: Skeet Ulrich

Today I am putting a twist on our Smarty Mom feature and bringing you a Smarty Dad and not just any Smarty Dad. This dad stars in the hit series, Riverdale. Based on characters from the Archie Comics, Riverdale is set in the present day to depict Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead and their friends living in the small town of Riverdale.

Photo Credit: Not So Clark Portraits

Photo Credit: Not So Clark Portraits

I first met Skeet in 1998, we were in a wedding together. His brother was marrying one of my dearest friends. At that point in his career he was well known for his leading role in the movie, Scream (1996) as Billy Loomis, the killer. (Those masks are still all over my neighborhood on Halloween!) As a girl that loves to curl up with a good book in the evening, I’d found myself a little behind on the Riverdale following. Thanks to Netflix I got hooked just after watching a few episodes and as of last week, thanks to my CW app, I am up to date. Y’all, I love this show and all it’s characters and the actors that portray them. If you haven’t caught an episode yet, give it a try, you’ll be impressed by the diverse and talented cast. Wednesday nights 8:00 PM on the CW.

I’m happy to introduce you to Skeet Ulrich today.

Skeet plays FP Jones, an alcoholic and dead beat father to Jughead Jones, played by Cole Sprouse. (Y’all remember him from The Suite Life, right?)
Skeet could not be further from his Riverdale character when it comes to being a father. He is one Smarty Dad that has found balance being a single dad raising twin teenagers and meeting the demands of his career that is not so typical. Read More →

February 3, 2018

Smarty Mom: Annsley Ulrich

“New Year! New You!” It’s the official January slogan, Instagram hashtag, marketing means for gyms across the country. January is gone with the blink of an eye….

Who am I kidding, that was the longest January on record between snow days and more snow days and cold days, I mean freezing days. Oh, and the flu hit our house too as a bonus. annsley pic

It was a long January period.

Any chance I had at a “new” me was totally lost by the cancelation of school for the second day in a row. February will be my month; my month to refresh and reboot myself. If I have learned one thing about myself and health over the years is that a quick fix ain’t gonna do it, depriving myself of pasta ain’t gonna do it, chucking all booze to the curb ain’t gonna do it either. I need balance that is live-able for me. What works for one won’t necessarily work for another and what may have worked for me 5 years ago may need some adjustments. And, the other thing that I know is I need a little bit of help and guidance from someone that is a professional in this field.

So today I want to introduce you to one of my dearest and best friends, Annsley Ulrich. I first met Annsley in 1990 when we were pledging a sorority together at ECU. What a fun year full of friendship and love. That friendship and love has continued all these years through moves to different continents, marriage, toddlers to teenagers, sickness, destruction and many many laughs and smiles to share. I hope that each and everyone of you is as fortunate as I am to have at least one friendship similar to ours. We may not see each other often nor talk on the phone all the time, but in a skinny minute we will drop anything for one another and no time has lapsed, especially if a beach is involved! 😉

Smarty Mom: Annsley Kennerly Ulrich, RD, LDN

Married to: Geoff
Children: Helen, 19; Rudd, 16
Currently Resides: Mooresville, NC
Originally from: Concord, NC
Job: Registered Dietitian for Integrative Wellness Solutions

How did you get to where you are in your career?

I am a registered and licensed Dietitian who graduated from East Carolina University with a BS degree. After becoming a Registered Dietitian, I worked for Marriott Health Services in North Carolina and after a few years was transferred to New York City. While at Marriott I was contracted into hospitals to work with their clinical and management staff to better the health of patients. I continued with Marriott but also consulted with Equinox and Crunch Gym doing their nutritional counseling.

After leaving Marriott, I became co-owner of HealthPoint/RX, where I worked closely with a Nurse Practitioner in providing medically supervised weight loss. There were four HealthPoint/RX offices within North Carolina. Currently, I own my own company, PureHealth/RD and work to provide health and fitness in and around the area of Mooresville, NC. Read More →

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 →