Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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March 17, 2018

Smarty Mom: Ashley Cox

Ashley Cox

CSP Note: We love “Smarty Mominations,” and today’s comes from CSP reader Tyler Larmee who thought Ashley Cox would make a super Smarty Mom. Tyler and I tag-teamed on this one. Tyler wrote the intro, and I did the interview. Thanks SO much, Tyler, for introducing us to Ashley, and thanks to Ashley for sharing her family and life with us! ~ Cheryl

Ashley was destined to lead Home Design & Décor magazine. As a college student, this Charlotte native began her career as an intern at Charlotte magazine. She continued to grow her portfolio as a contributing writer to area lifestyle publications Charlotte, Charlotte Wedding and Charlotte Home + Garden.

In 2013, Ashley made a huge move to New York and joined the editorial staff of Traditional Home, where she moved up the ranks to Associate Market Editor under the tutelage of industry veterans, learning the ins and outs of creating a magazine. During her tenure at the respected home publication, Ashley earned her certificate in Interior Design from the famed Parsons School of Design. But Charlotte called her home. With her new position as Editor-in-Chief of Home Design & Décor, Ashley combines her experience in lifestyle magazine production and interior design. As a mom to a young son and another baby due this spring, as well as wife to fellow Charlotte native and emergency room doctor, we know the Smarties will love getting to know Ashley.

~ Tyler Larmee

Smarty Mom: Ashley Cox

Married to:​ Married to Dalton Cox; It will be four years in August​.
Children:​ My son, Wilder, is 14 months old; Baby girl is due in May. Things are about to get real interesting! ​
Years in Charlotte:​ Although I’m a native Charlottean, I’ve only lived here as an adult for a few years.
Hometown:​ Charlotte​
Area of Charlotte you call home: ​Old Foxcroft​
Occupation:​ Editor​, Home Design & Decor
Alma Mater: ​University of South Carolina​

Tell us what you do for Home Design & Decor magazine.

I oversee all of the editorial for the magazine, which means that I manage and produce all of the creative content ​for the front of book stories, as well as the feature home articles.

How did you get started in the magazine industry?

I was one of the unfortunate many to have graduated college at the onset of the recession. So when I moved to New York, I quickly realized that my degree in just fashion wasn’t going to cut it in terms of landing a job with Vogue. To ride it out, I decided to go back to school and get my master in journalism where I focused my attention on magazine production. For my practicum, which is basically an internship on crack, I worked for Charlotte magazine and really fell in love with the industry. Read More →

March 16, 2018

Smarty Fitness: The Pure Barre Community

Smarties, I am going to let you in on a little secret. We have three of the best Pure Barre studios in the country. If you follow me on Facebook, you have heard me say time and time again that Pure Barre is so much more than a workout studio. It is a community! It is a family!


It has only been a year since the start of my Pure Barre journey and I feel like I have made a lifetime of friends. I am amazed at all the different women I have met. Some, I probably would of never crossed paths with if I hadn’t walked through those studio doors. Today, I can’t imagine life without them!

The Pure Barre woman cannot be generalized as a type.
~ We are all races.
~ We are all sizes.
~ We come from all different backgrounds.
~ We are all ages.
~ We are all experiencing different stages of our lives.

The one thing we have in common is we are striving for the same goal.
~ Achieve the mind body connection in class.
~ Never give up.
~ Challenge yourself to be better than the class before.

It is pretty remarkable and the comradery is beautiful. You find yourself arriving to class a few minutes early to socialize.

Read More →

March 15, 2018

From the Smarty Health Corner and CEENTA: The Truth About Tongue-Tie

By our Smarty friends at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A.

Have you or someone you know ever been called “tongue-tied” after stumbling over your words? Sure, it’s a light tease, but did you know it’s also a real condition that can affect your baby? Happy family baby

Tongue-tie – or ankyloglossia – is a condition in which a band of tissue, known as the frenulum, is too long or too tight and ties the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. At birth this can cause difficulty latching on while breastfeeding, pain for the mother while feeding, and overall decreased feeding time. At older ages it can cause children to mispronounce words while saying certain sounds.

Tongue-tie can be present at birth. While some doctors are able to identify it right away during a newborn’s exam, it may be missed and be present for many years. You can you tell if your baby is tongue-tied if they have: Read More →

March 14, 2018

Smarty Scoop On Weekend Events March 16-18


Myers Park Presbyterian Church Annual Consignment Sale
Myers Park Presbyterian Church
2501 Oxford Place, Charlotte, NC
March 10, 8:00am – 11am & 12 – 2 pm, Free
Summary: Come shop at the sale voted “Best Consignment Sale” by Charlotte Smarty Pants! We have an amazing assortment of child, youth and teen items including clothing, furniture, accessories, car seats, sports equipment, toys, even maternity clothes! Many items will be discounted 50% off after noon.

Carolina Flipz Open Gym
Carolina Flipz
11812 Carolina Place Parkway, Pineville, NC
March 17, 5:00pm – 7:00pm, Ages 6-18, $10 members, $15 non-members
Summary: Registration required, call today (704) 544-4511

Opening Game For Charlotte Independence
Sportsplex at Matthews
1505 Tank Town Road, Matthews, NC
March 17, 7:00pm, All ages, $15+

Green Jeans Consignment Sale
Levine Senior Center
1050 Devore Lane, Matthews, NC
March 13 – 18, See website for schedule, Free
Summary:Green Jeans shoppers have come to expect a huge selection of new and gently worn brand name, boutique and designer clothing, shoes, handbags, jewelry and accessories from petite to plus sizes, including maternity. Fashionistas of all styles and budgets enjoy this hugely popular and well-organized shopping event.

Doll Hair Salon Spectacular
American Girl Store
4400 Sharon Road, Charlotte, NC
March 9 – April 27, See website for schedule, Ages 8+, $25+ gratuity
Summary: Your girl can learn new tricks to style her doll’s tresses at our Doll Hair Salon Spectacular! Girls will learn how to create several cute new ’dos, plus take home bright highlights for their dolls and learn how to put them in. Afterward, each girl and her spruced-up companion can enjoy muffins, fruit and lemonade in our Bistro.

Charlotte Goes Green Festival
Uptown Charlotte
S. Tryon St. between 3rd St. and Stonewall
March 17, 10:00am – 6:00pm, All ages, Free
Summary: Thousands of spectators watched Charlotte’s Twenty-First Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade as it marched through the heart of Charlotte to the sound of pipes and the cheers of the spectators lining the streets on a perfect day. The combination of flags, floats, kids, and pipe band music made everyone smile and be Irish for a day. The parade has grown to be one of Charlotte’s biggest and best.

St. Patrick’s Day On Main Festival
Old Town
E. Main Street, Rock Hill, SC
March 17, 4:00pm – 10:00pm, All ages, Free
Summary: At St. Patrick’s Day on Main, everyone is Irish! Celebrate all things green on Main Street in downtown Rock Hill each St. Patrick’s Day. Authentic food & beer, games, music, and of course fun for the entire Family.

Charlotte Ballet Presents: The Most Incredible Thing
Knight Theater
430 S. Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC
March 10 – 18, See website for schedule, All ages, $15+
Summary: Audiences young and old are sure to enjoy this fairytale pop ballet of Hans Christian Andersen’s fable about a King who holds a competition to determine who can make the “most incredible thing.” A mesmerizing display of talent and creativity, you must see this most incredible performance!

The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe
ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center
300 E. 7th Street, Charlotte, NC
March 9 – April 15, See website for schedule, Ages, 6+, $12-$28
Summary: Travel through the magical wardrobe to Narnia in this clever two-person adaptation of C. S. Lewis’ acclaimed tale. Lucy and Peter recount their adventures, portraying each character they met in the faraway land of Narnia. Join the two siblings on their journey as they battle the evil White Witch, meet the mystical Aslan and attempt to save Narnia in this intimate and unique theatrical experience! Read More →

March 13, 2018

Smarty Summer Camp Guide 2018: Palisades Episcopal School

PES 2018 7

Written by Amie Berryhill, PES Third Grade Teacher and Camp Gryphon Director

At Camp Gryphon, Palisades Episcopal School’s day camp, we believe three vital components work together to create a perfect summer camp experience: play, reading and service. Our campers spend the majority of their days engaged in physical play. We swim daily, visit the trampoline park weekly and spend afternoons playing large group games in our recreation center.
PES 2018 3 Read More →

March 12, 2018

Bye, Bye Boobies


After spending the better part of two years breastfeeding – 6 ½ months with my now 2-year-old son Wade and five months with my twin sons Johnny and Wes – I’m weaning. With one week to go and the end in sight, I can say it: I’m ready to dropkick breastfeeding to the curb!

My husband gets credit for the “bye, bye boobies” headline, as well as the runner up: “Aloha,breastfeeding!” He knows it’s been harder for me this go-around and how hard it is in general. I tandem feed my twins, which means I breastfeed them at the same time. It’s the only way I have time to do anything else, and it also makes me a “breastfeeding beast” as my OB-gyn affectionately coined me.

Look, I’m all for breastfeeding. It’s great for your baby’s health and well-being and it’s something only you, as a mother, can give your baby, which is priceless. I’m damned proud that I breastfed all three of mine. And if I had to do it all over again, I’d do the exact…same…thing.
Read More →

March 11, 2018

From the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library: Get involved and change lives with Active Reading

CML CSP Blog Post Image

By our Smarty friends at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Active Reading involves reading a book WITH a child rather than reading a book TO a child. This evidence-based approach improves children’s language skills, vocabulary and ability to understand what they read on their own.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library has partnered with Read Charlotte to offer workshops that teach parents and caregivers fun ideas and activities that can be used to support early literacy at home. During the series of four 60-minute workshops, you will learn how to use the ABCs of Active Reading one-on-one in a fun environment with your child.

Workshops are geared towards parents and caregivers of children ages 2-5, but older or younger siblings are welcome to attend. Registration is required, and workshops take place at many locations and at various times of the day in an attempt to provide access to all. Sign up for an Active Reading workshop today! Read More →

March 10, 2018

Smarty Mom: Carissa Sawyers

Carissa Sawyers 2018 1

When my daughter wanted to try year-round, competitive cheerleading, I have to admit I was a little nervous. Our family had never done a year-round sport, and, although I grew up cheering, I knew competitive cheerleading was a whole different ball game (as in, there’s no ball game involved at all). I mean, I had a feeling I’d love it because I LOVE cheerleading, but could my daughter hang with the commitment? Or would she start complaining about the practices after one month?

We started off slow. In November 2016, we chose the half-year team at Carolina Flipz as a way to see how committed she was and how well the sport suited our family of six. Well, turns out, she LOVED it – she never complained about practice and was always excited about what her team accomplished each week. We signed her up for the full-year, competitive cheer program the next year. We’re finishing up our first full year and have had such an incredible experience (I say “we’re” because I truly believe any year-round sport is a WHOLE-family commitment.). Her teammates are amazing young women, and it’s been great getting to know the other families. Watching how far the squad has come this year has been thrilling. I know our experience is because of today’s Smarty Mom – she’s created a gym where positivity oozes from the ceilings and enthusiasm shoots up from the mat.

Meet Carissa Sawyers. Technically, she is Carolina Flipz Cheer’s All-Star Program Director and Coach, but really she’s the heart and soul of the Carolina Flipz cheer program. She’s a ball of energy who works tirelessly (and I mean, TIRELESSLY!) to turn a group of elementary, middle, and high school girls from different schools and neighborhoods into cohesive, better-than-the-sum-of-its-parts cheerleading squads.

Cheerleading is not for the faint of heart – it takes discipline, tons of teamwork, strength, and dedication. Carissa and her coaching staff manage to instill all of those qualities in their athletes every single practice. Their genuine love for the sport and their cheerleaders sets them apart, and I will be forever grateful for what they’ve given my teenage daughter.

Enjoy getting to know Carissa, and if your child is interested in competitive cheerleading, definitely check out Carolina Flipz! Maybe I’ll see you at a competition – I’m the one in the front screaming her head off while simultaneously holding my breath. Don’t ask me how I do it – it’s an out-of-body thing. #momsquad 😉

Smarty Mom: Carissa Sawyers

Married to: Alex Sawyers for 4.5 years
Children: 1 daughter named Briley. She’s 19 months old and the absolute coolest kid ever!
Years in Charlotte: all of them :)
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Area of Charlotte you call home: We recently moved to Denver, NC (Lake Norman) to be closer to family and the water.
Occupation: All-Star Cheerleading Program Director
Alma Mater: UNC Charlotte

Tell us a little bit about your background in cheer.

I started cheerleading in high school (Go South Meck Sabres!) and quickly transitioned into all-stars once I realized it meant I could cheer without having to watch other sports! At 17 I started coaching and never stopped. I was provided a life changing opportunity to run the All-Star Cheerleading Program at Carolina Flipz when it opened in 2014; I cannot imagine coaching anywhere else.Carolina Flipz Cheer 2018

How would you describe the gym’s atmosphere?

Encouraging. There is such an air of positivity in the gym that everyone feels encouraged to try new things without much fear of failure. Read More →

March 9, 2018

Smarty Summer Camp Guide 2018: Girls on the Run

Camp GOTR Primary

Camp GOTR combines the best of Girls on the Run with all the fun of camp! During each week-long session, rising 3rd – rising 5th grade girls will build friendships in a fun and inclusive setting that includes interactive games, being physically active, and expressing creativity through art & crafts and storytelling.

GOTR 2018 1

GOTR 2018 2

Camp GOTR by Girls on the Run will provide a one-of-a-kind opportunity for girls to develop self-confidence and learn life skills they can use now and as they grow! Girls on the Run will be offering two weeks of camp, Girls Have Heart which focuses on emotions, and Girls Have Power which focuses on friendship. Read More →

March 8, 2018

Fitness Friday: Carolina Barre & Core’s 2018 Bikini Bootcamp

CBC Bikini BootCamp

Smarties, if you share the mindset of many of us and decided that February is really a trial month and you’ll get to sorting your life out in March then we feel ya. However, it-is-now-March. Let’s get to sorting it out! If you’ve made a fitness commitment – we have good news for you!

The Carolina Barre & Core “Bikini Bootcamp” starts NOW. Committing in advance is hard because there are too many variables in life that may trip us up. If you are an “ask me today” kind of gal, then you will be thrilled to know that you can jump on the “Bikini Bootcamp” train because it has not left the station. There’s still time to get on board!

The challenge runs for 22 days through March 28 and with it you get unlimited classes. Let’s make the change TOGETHER ladies! It’s time to get Spring Break ready with women empowerment and a little fun competition! #meetusatthebarre Read More →

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