Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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October 18, 2017

From the Smarty Health Corner and CEENTA: Is Vaping Harmless?

By Smarty Guest Blogger, Darrell Klotz, MD, Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A. This was originally posted on their blog. We thank them for the opportunity to share with Smarty Charlotte!

You see it more and more these days: people inhaling vapor from a thin metal cylinder that emits a smoky mist. Shops with names like “Vapor Smoke Shop,” “Queens Crave Vapor,” and “Vaporium” seem to be springing up everywhere you turn. Vaping has seen an explosion in popularity in recent years. Electronic cigarettes or “e-cigarettes” are battery operated devices that heat a nicotine-laced liquid (in addition to a number of chemical additives – glycol, glycerin and usually some type of flavoring) into a vapor so that it may be inhaled like a cigarette, and “vaping” is the act of inhaling the flavored nicotine fog. Vaping has been marketed as a healthy alternative to smoking because it does not contain tobacco, but are e-cigarettes and vaping really harmless?CEENTA doctorwithecigaretteweb

Cigarettes vs. e-cigarettes

The danger in traditional cigarettes comes primarily from the tobacco as it burns, creating carcinogens (carbonyls) and particulates that cause well-established health issues such as head and neck cancer, lung cancer and chronic debilitating lung disease (e.g., COPD). Tobacco smoke is also an irritant to the breathing passages of the smoker and those around them (second-hand smoke), which can lead to a higher rate of respiratory illnesses, ear infections, asthma exacerbations, chronic sinus conditions and chronic hoarseness. However, vaping gives off less “second-hand” smoke and 1,000 times fewer toxic carbonyls than cigarettes, and in that way, may seem safer than normal cigarettes. Nonetheless, e-cigarette emissions still cause increased heart rate and blood pressure, atherosclerotic disease and insulin resistance. The chemical additives found in the e-liquid that is vaporized may have yet untold adverse effects on our breathing passages. In addition, the ratios of the glycol, glycerin and nicotine in these liquids vary widely, with the number of toxic byproducts also fluctuating. When combined with the ease of keeping one of these “smokeless” puffers in your hand most of the day, the amount of toxins to which one is exposed could be substantial. Read More →

Smarty Podcast: Technology and Early Education


Welcome back to the Charlotte Smarty Pants podcast series, which is powered by Charlotte Star Room, Charlotte’s premier boutique music development and corporate video production studio + the best Pop Star birthday parties in the QC, AND professional voice lessons in a studio.

Today we’re talking to educator Mary Yorke Oates, Admissions Director at Charlotte Latin School, about early education and technology. Mary Yorke has great insights into the positive and negatives roles technology can play in lives of young children. You’ll love her candor and enthusiasm for children!

You can join in on the conversation and meet educators from all over our city at our Smarty Town Hall on Social Media Parenting 2.0. Click here to register for this FREE event. We hope to see you at Charlotte Latin School on October 29!

Want more Smarty podcasts? Click here and share, share, share!
Read More →

Smarty Scoop On Weekend Events October 20-22

Scarowinds Ad CSP

14523 Carowinds Blvd., Charlotte, NC

Great Pumpkin Fest CSP

The Great Pumpkin Fest
14523 Carowinds Blvd., Charlotte, NC

Scarrigan Farms CSP Banner

Scarrigan Farms Haunted Trail
Carrigan Farms
1213 Oak Ridge Farm Hwy, Mooresville, NC
October 7 – October 31, See website for schedule, Ages 12 and up, $25
Summary: On select October nights (highlighted in red on the right sidebar / schedule page) our 170 acre farm is transformed into the scariest haunted trail in the region. If you are looking for a new and out of the ordinary way to get your heart pumping and adrenaline rushing this October, Scarrigan Farms is the place for you. This is not a trail for kids. If you’re under 12 come back when you’re old enough. We’ll be waiting. Read More →

October 17, 2017

From the Smarty Education Corner and CJDS: Why CJDS?

soccer kippah

By Smarty Guest Blogger, Mariashi Groner, Director, Charlotte Jewish Day School

What skills do students need to navigate the 21st century, and how can the elementary school years best prepare them for success? The dual secular and Judaic curriculum at Charlotte Jewish Day School is the perfect formula for success in this ever-changing world. Rote memorization of facts, neat handwriting and mastering the Dewy Decimal System will not be indicators of success for our kids, when they now have ready information at their fingertips!

So what are the skills every 21st century student should possess?
1. A strong moral compass. Doing the right thing. Being a mensch (an overall good person.)
2. Believing in themselves. Having a strong identity.
3. Critical thinking skills. The ability to apply reasoning and logic to unfamiliar ideas and situations.
4. Multilingual skills. Children who speak more than one language have better problem-solving skills and think more creatively. Read More →

October 16, 2017

From the Smarty Education Corner: PES Equestrian Program receives top distinction

PES student Caroline Breslin

PES student Caroline Breslin

Our Smarty friends over at Palisades Episcopal School (PES) just announced that its Equestrian Program has been added to the United States Hunter Jumper Association’s (USHJA) Recognized Riding Academy list.

For those who aren’t as familiar with the equestrian world, the USHJA’s Recognized Riding Academy program “promotes a safe, beginner-rider introduction for individuals seeking entry into the hunter/jumper disciplines. These academies demonstrate the value of equine education, promote safety of horse and rider, and offer hunter/jumper riding lessons taught by qualified instructors.” Programs approved for the Recognized Riding Academy list must demonstrate competency in operations and safety, as well as meet facility requirements.

What an honor for PES and all over their riders. Such an amazing opportunity to be a part of. A big Smarty hoof high five! Read More →

October 15, 2017

Smarty Alert: This Week’s School Open Houses


Don’t miss this week’s School Open Houses we’ve listed below. This is NOT the full Open House listing for each school or school system – it’s just this week’s. For our full listing of open houses, please see our 2017 Smarty School Open House Guide.

Charlotte Christian School

Charlotte Christian 2017 Fall Open Houses

Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 9:30 a.m.

Please click here to register for an open house.
Early Education Enrichment Opportunities
Prospective students ages 4-6 and their parents are invited to be our guests and experience the Charlotte Christian Early Education program through 45-minute, discovery-based learning/play events.

Music and Movement – Oct. 17 at 3:15 p.m. – Led by our lower school music and physical education enrichment teachers, activities will promote gross motor development, imagination, and intellectual curiosity through music and play.

Please contact the admissions team to tour the campus, reserve your space at an upcoming open house or enrichment activity by calling (704) 366-5657, e-mailing or visiting

Charlotte Christian Logo

Charlotte Christian School
7301 Sardis Road
Charlotte, NC 28270
(704) 366-5657
Twitter: @charchristiannc
Instagram: @charlottechristianschool Read More →

October 14, 2017

Smarty Mom: Christina Cottingham


By Smarty Guest Blogger Lisa Farley

Last Thursday, on October 5th, 200+ women (and a few good men) gathered at Charlotte Country Club for a breakfast gala in support of one of Charlotte’s amazing charities: Arts for Life. This annual fundraiser, the Rise and Shine Breakfast raised money and awareness to help sick children have a spark of hope. I sat down with event Chair, Christina Cottingham, to learn more about how she got involved. Her story goes back almost 15 years and it’s neat to connect the dots looking back.

Smarty Mom: Christina Cottingham

Married to: Daniel Cottingham, 10 years
Mom to: Nora Jane, 6 years and Joseph, 4 years
Years in Charlotte: 12 years
Hometown: Asheville, NC
Part of Charlotte you call home: Myers Park
Alma Mater: UNC Chapel Hill, Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Photography
Occupation: Artist and Volunteer

What is Arts for Life and how did you get involved?

Arts For Life supports pediatric patients and families through arts education and engagement. We provide art lessons to patients, siblings, parents and even grandparents. As you can imagine, creating art not only enriches patients’ lives, it also nurtures their minds and spirits. Arts For Life helps children in four communities across North Carolina including at Levine Children’s Hospital here in Charlotte.

I actually caught wind of Arts For Life when I was studying at Chapel Hill in 2005. My mom introduced me to this great organization. When I moved to Charlotte years later, I joined the Junior League and got re-connected with Arts for Life. I volunteered in the hospital about once a week for about 2 hours at a time. I went room to room doing art projects like painting or crafts with patients. I also celebrated the holidays with Arts For Life patients in the rooms designated for kids to come for lessons and create beautiful art pieces. Read More →

October 13, 2017

Fitness Friday: Meet CycleBar (and get two exclusive Smarty Steals!)


We are SO excited to introduce you to our brand-spankin’ new fitness partner, CycleBar, located in Midtown and Waverly. If you think you’ve taken all the spin classes the city has to offer, think again. CycleBar is like no other cycle class and no other studio. Cyclebar is a premium indoor cycling experience (seriously, y’all, it’s an experience!) designed for all ages and fitness levels. We’ll be bringing you tons of CycleBar fun in the coming months, but first up are TWO really great Smarty Steals. Keep on reading for details!

Why We {Heart} CycleBar

One of the most important parts of a fitness studio (in our Smarty opinion) is the staff and instructors. CycleBar has, hands down, the friendliest, most welcoming staff and Cyclestars (their instructors) in the QC. We love that they call you by name to encourage you in class; we love the warm atmosphere and community focus; and, we love how good we feel after class (especially after a couple of swipes of those post-workout fresh body wipes in the community room! #smartymust).rsz_cb_theater

Not only is CycleBar super friendly, but they’ve got some serious technology to help you perform your best every single class. Their theatre has incredible lighting, amazing sound that they call ‘cyclebeats’, and state of the art technology that provides riders with real time class stats. Classes are a 50 minute full-body sweat sesh full of energy and positivity. Cyclestars guide you through class to not only be working at YOUR best, but to also be mindful and centered. We absolutely love this “zen” twist on spin! And get this, when all of your workout stats hit your inbox after class, your ride’s playlist is included – how fun is that?! Read More →

Smarty Movie Review: My Little Pony

My Little Pony: The Movie
Directed by: Jayson Thiessen
Rated: PG (I can’t even fathom why this was not rated G)
Run time: 1 hour and 39 sugary sweet minutes

Because I take my love of movies extremely seriously, I sometimes venture out to films that aren’t exactly in my wheelhouse in order to broaden my horizons. I didn’t really want to walk into the theater of My Little Pony all by myself, so I coerced my 12 year old daughter to join me by promising a nice lunch date afterwards. Besides, she loves horses and once upon a time watched the TV series about these sparkly high-pitched voiced magical creatures so why not? After all friendship is magic! My_Little_Pony_The_Movie_Poster_2

Ponyville is preparing for their first ever Friendship Festival hosted by Princess Twilight Sparkle. She is joined by her besties Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy and Rarity. Together, these are the “Mane 6” (get it? horse humor!) that are featured in the TV series. The ponies work together to finalize the details for the big event, even booking the famous Songbird Serenade (voiced by singer Sia) for the evening. Unfortunately, things go horribly awry with the arrival of the villainous Tempest Shadow, a bitter unicorn who turned to the dark side when her horn was broken. Tempest Shadow (voiced by Emily Blunt) freezes Ponyville’s leaders Princess Celestia and Princess Luna and attempts to also freeze Twilight Sparkle, but Twilight manages to escape in the nick of time. She then begins a long (and I mean long!) journey with her fellow ponies to find help and save the day. Read More →

Top 3 Charlotte Parks for Kids’ Cross Training

Hunt Park Road Park

CSP Team Note: In conjunction with the Chick-Fil-A Charlotte Kids Marathon, we’re bringing you a list of parks around town that are perfect for taking a day off of marathon training!

When you’re looking for something to mix up your kids’ cross-training workouts during the Chick-fil-A Charlotte Kids Marathon Program, we’ve got just the thing for you. We’ve hand-picked three different playgrounds we think are perfect for strength, agility, endurance, and cardio training – the perfect way to mix it up and stay injury-free!

Freedom Park: A sure-thing when it comes to variety, Freedom Park’s lake loop is a perfect place to bike, rollerblade, rollerskate, or skateboard on cross-training days. There are also basketball courts, tennis courts, volleyball nets, and more to make a family game-day a real thing. Also check out the Carolina Panthers Play 60 KidZone for an obstacle course, 40-yard dash with an automated timing device, climbing structure, and more. Read More →

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