Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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July 18, 2017

From the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library: Get Set for Kindergarten

July Blog Post Image - Get Set 4 K

By our Smarty friends at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

You are either reading this article thinking, how dare they bring up going back to school – we are having too much fun this summer to think about school! Or, you are now day dreaming about the not-so-distant future when your children will finally be back in the care of their amazing teachers.

Either way, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library can be your partner in enjoying the summer with your children while preparing them to enter kindergarten. Whether your child is starting school in the fall, or the following year or two, we’ve got you covered.

Break in that new back pack by checking out some books

Kindergarten is a time when your child will begin developing the skills they need to read on their own. Check out this suggested reading list for rising kindergarteners developed by early literacy experts at the Library. This list is sure to keep your child reading for the fun of it all summer long. And check out Tumblebooks, Story Place and the Autism Reference Collection for even more titles and interactive literacy tools.

Remember, reading doesn’t have to be a solo activity – shared reading experiences with a family member are a great bonding and learning activity. And, don’t forget to log your reading for Summer Break! Read More →

June 27, 2017

Smarty Review and Giveaway: The Good Kitchen

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CSP Note: Smarties Cheryl and Jen V. tag-teamed on this one! 

If you want to eat healthy and feed your family healthy food, but have ZERO time to make it happen, today is your lucky day! We’ve got our Smarty review on the Good Kitchen, a fresh, fully-prepared meal delivery service that’s headquartered right here in Charlotte. We’ve also got a Smarty Steal and a YUMMY giveaway for you!IMG_7127 Read More →

June 19, 2017

Take the Library with you on vacation

CML June Blog Post Image

By our Smarty friends at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Summertime is a time to get away, relax and have fun! Planning a road trip, or flying to a tropical locale this summer with your family? Be sure to take Charlotte Mecklenburg Library with you to add to the fun.

Here are just a few ways to enjoy the Library while you travel this summer.

Enjoy some beach reads.

Relax with a good book, whether you are at the beach literally or just in your mind. Check out a copy of one of this season’s notable beach reads, and don’t forget your sunscreen! Read More →

June 13, 2017

What I’m reading this summer

Summer is one of my fave times to plow through some books. And, I’m happy to say that I’ve FINALLY arrived – I’ve got four strong swimmers, which means I am parking my seat in a lounge chair at the pool and reading. (Don’t worry, Smarty moms of littles, your day will come! I’ve waited 13 years for this!!) Here’s what’s in my pool bag this summer (thanks to Amazon for the book descriptions!).


Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

The acclaimed, bestselling author—winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize—tells the enthralling story of how an unexpected romantic encounter irrevocably changes two families’ lives.

One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families. Read More →

May 22, 2017

This is your brain on summer: 4 reasons for summer learning, no matter your age

CML CSP Image May 2017

By our Smarty friends at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

The countdown to the sunny season has begun, and Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is gearing up to offer you Summer Break: Read, Learn, Explore from June 1-August 13.

Here are four reasons to include learning in your summer plans, no matter your age:

1) Have a little one? Summer Break is a fun toolkit to help your tot develop pre-reading skills.

Long before your child enters school, their early literacy skills begin with the primary adults in their life. So let’s start with the youngest summer learners, those ages 0-3. The Library’s Summer Break program for this age is designed to develop pre-reading skills – the skills children need to have so they start Kindergarten ready to learn (if we want to get technical, these include skills like phonological awareness, print motivation, print awareness, vocabulary, narrative skill and letter knowledge). Read More →

May 14, 2017

Announcing our Mother’s Day Giveaway Winners!

Mothers Day GA Best one yet

The moment we’ve all been waiting for is here. We have winners, Smarties, and lots of them!! If you see your name by one of the prizes below, please email us by 8am, Tuesday, May 16.

We hope your day was FABULOUS! Happy Mother’s Day! ~xo, CSP


Evocateur Map Cuff

Our new favorite find is ÉVOCATEUR’s gorgeous gold cuffs from all over the world! You can customize your own design from your favorite travel destination which is the most amazing concept ever! Your glorious design will allow you to always wear your happy place!

ÉVOCATEUR has a stunning collection of alluring, art-driven jewelry fuses innovative design with glamorous sophistication. Featuring 22K gold leaf and sterling silver leaf, our designs reflect a love of the traditional and ancient, blended with the modern and contemporary. The jewelry’s inimitable style features striking images inspired by old world civilizations, African safaris, romantic impressionistic gardens, as well as abstract renderings and whimsical designs. Other pieces are embellished with authentic hand-set vintage treasures from the 1940’s to the 1980’s. Capturing the art and luxury of handmade jewelry, each piece becomes a modern heirloom, evoking memories and stories. Collected and coveted by women worldwide, ÉVOCATEUR celebrates modern style with an eternally chic aesthetic.

barbara Evocateur

For Founder and Designer Barbara Ross-Innamorati, the love of fashion, art and design has always been hardwired into her creative DNA. Many years ago, Barbara became fascinated with and passionate about gold leaf, particularly the way it can transform even the most ordinary objects into something extraordinary and magical. As someone who always loved jewelry, Barbara went on a mission to adapt 22K gold leaf to jewelry design. After 18 months of research and trial and error, she perfected the proprietary technique for which ÉVOCATEUR is now known. Today, these opulent designs are infused with inspiration from Barbara’s extensive travels throughout the U.S., Europe, Africa and Asia. All of the designs have a sophisticated and unique spirit.

From their Connecticut studio, Barbara and a team of skilled artisans design and individually craft each piece, wrapping them in 22K gold leaf and sterling silver leaf. Using an intricate process, the jewelry is gilded and burnished by hand and is fabricated over a period of five days, resulting in an exquisite work of art, each piece finished to a rich patina. With only the finest materials used and impeccable attention to detail, ÉVOCATEUR celebrates the compelling relationship between art and fashion.

The line, which includes cuffs, bangles, pendants, earrings and belts, can be found in premier boutiques and retail stores throughout the United States and the rest of the world.

Our winner won this Bermuda Cuff, a $328 value!

VO1080-Bermuda Cuff copy

You can find ÉVOCATEUR at:


Locally at: Amina Rubinacci
Specialty Shops in SouthPark
6401 Morrison Blvd, Suite 18A

Mill Street Boutique: RENE KATKOWSKI



Mill Street Boutique is my FAVE new online boutique. The dream child of two college friends, Lindsay Dorrier and Katie Williams, Mill Street is a boutique where you can always expect a little something unexpected. They have curated a site that can provide women, who are stylish, social and always on-the-go, with a head-to-toe ensemble. From the smallest button detail to a conspicuous pop of color, every piece is hand selected because of a unique feature that sets it apart. And will, in turn, set you apart! I PROMISE you will fall in love with one (or 10) pieces from their collection. And you can find your perfect look while in your p.j.s drinking wine. 😉

Curious about how they got their name? Well, here’s what they say:
For years, Katie and Lindsay had talked about starting an apparel and accessories brand that reflected their own styles – classic with an unexpected twist. But when the time came to name it, they were stuck. Until, one day, on her drive home, Lindsay called Katie, and they began to reminisce about their long-time friendship. From their college days at ASU in the North Carolina mountains, to vacations in the Caribbean, to beginning the adventure of adulthood in Atlanta, Katie and Lindsay had traveled many roads together. But sometimes to find the answer, it’s not about looking back to the roads you’ve been. Rather, it’s about looking forward to the road ahead. And in this case, the road ahead of Lindsay happened to be called Mill Street. So they went with it.

Our lucky Smarty won a pair of Quay Australia Sunglasses. Seen on countless celebrities, Quay Australia is the go-to accessible brand for NOTORIOUSLY COOL, AFFORDABLE sunnies for women with fearless style. Choose from one of 9 different styles/colors (Valued at $50 – 65). And in addition, one $50 MILL STREET GIFT CARD to use towards any purchase at Total value is up to $165.


Mill Street Boutique

WebsiteMill Street Logo
Lindsay Dorrier – 404.374.3594 –
Katie Williams – 678.488.4303 –

Carolina Barre & Core: SHELLEY FERNER

Carolina Barre & Core Sport

Hang with CSP at one of our favorite barres! Carolina Barre & Core was founded by Charlotte fitness circuit legend, Amity Whalen, in 2013. And Team Smarty has been with her since day 1! Tucked right in the heart of Myers Park, at Shops on Selwyn Avenue, this barre studio has the best of both worlds – yoga and barre fused together.

So what will you find at Carolina Barre & Core? You’re guaranteed to find and embrace your core, strengthen and lengthen your muscles and create a greater sense of peace, love and community. Carolina Barre & Core is a place to feel totally present, motivated, engaged and safe. No egos, no judgment, only results.

Our lucky Smarty won one Month of UNLIMITED Classes at Carolina Barre & Core, a $200 value!

You can find Carolina Barre & Core at:


Carolina Barre & Core
2901 Selwyn Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28209
Phone: (980) 207-1046
Click here to register for classes!



We are so excited to introduce you to ZAGS®, a cool business of a Charleston friend of Smarty Liz. ZAGS® business started from a love of being in the sun! Whether you are going from the Pool to a Party, the Dock to Dinner, or the Creek to the Club, you will always be covered with the super stylish and always colorful UPF 50+ sunwrap. With different colors, styles and sizes, ZAGS brings so much more to your wardrobe for living, loving, and lingering in the light. ZAGS® wraps are made with high-quality UPF 50+, 100% high performance polyester fabric. They provide wicking, cooling, and UV protection, all while being stain, odor, and microbial resistant. Each one of our ZAGS® sunwraps is manufactured by hand in South Carolina. Love that!

Our CSP Winner receives this beautiful Preppy Palmetto Shawl, an $80 value!


This shawl gives you a little something extra to go with your dress or allows you to jazz up a bathing suit at the pool/beach or in the boat, the 24″x65″ shawl is just the right size for a full length scarf to wrap, fold, flip and add some flair to your outfit for day and night.

You can find ZAGS® at:

Zags logo
Instagram: Read More →

May 4, 2017

Smarty Sneak Peek and Smarty Steal: Erin Condren 2017-18 LifePlanner

There’s NOTHING like a fresh take on the year, and today I’ve got it. I was lucky enough to receive a sneak peek at the newest Erin Condren LifePlanner™ in the mail this week. For those of you who haven’t ordered from Erin Condren before, let me just tell you: hearing the UPS truck drive up to your house then seeing the pretty package at your front door will absolutely make your day. There’s NOTHING like getting an Erin Condren box. This was no exception. Here’s what I opened:

Super fun box

Gah! So fun! And guess what, Erin Condren is pre-launching this beaut TODAY, and you can get $10 off your first order with this link.

I’ve been an Erin Condren fan for several years now (see my past review here and see my Smarty Mom interview with Erin here). Y’all know I am a pen-to-paper planner girl, despite my job in the blog-osphere (Smarty Jen P. makes fun of me all the time, but a girl’s gotta do what she loves…), and I’ve found Erin Condren planners to be some of the most functional and beautiful on the market. They’re uber customizable and functional, but just oh-so-pretty.

I fell in love with this year’s newest cover designs. Despite claiming a few years back that I would NEVER own anything rose gold, I’ve quickly found myself kinda dripping in it. (As I type this, I am wearing rose gold hoops and rose gold Tkees.) So, of course I had to follow suite with my planner. It turned out PERFECT. Read More →

April 13, 2017

Because of you, libraries transform

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By our Smarty friends at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Libraries are more about doing than borrowing – more about connecting than simply plugging in – and your local librarian is your expert guide. Whether you want to get involved in your community, find a job, get smart about money, or build your digital literacy skills, your library is the key to your transformation.

National Library Week is celebrated nationally April 9-15, but we’re celebrating all month long with hundreds of free programs and a special book drive for kids in partnership with WAXN-TV.

Experience the transformative power of libraries. Then share your story with us.

1. Find your FUN-spiration!

Science is all around us—and it’s so much fun! Join us now through April 23 for special programs that are part of this year’s official NC Science Festival, a statewide two-week celebration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Participate in events for children, teens and adults, such as Legos, plant and sea life, coding, The Great Egg Drop Challenge, robotics, Rookie Science, technology and more! Read More →

April 2, 2017

Smarty Book Review: Best books of the last year

CSP team note: We are SO proud of our very own Smarty Kimmery – she is on her way to becoming a PUBLISHED AUTHOR. Yep, her novel, The Queen of Hearts, is scheduled for an early 2018 release from Penguin Random House. She also has her own website, where she posts book reviews and author interviews. Make sure to subscribe to her newsletter to get all the latest (subscribe at the bottom of her web site). The reviews in this post of her fave books of the past year are also on her web site, and we thank her for allowing us to share it here. Kimmery – we couldn’t be prouder of you! Can’t wait to read The Queen of Hearts!

Now that we are well into 2017, it’s time to reflect back on the previous year. It was the best of years and the worst of years. For me personally, my crazy dream is one step closer to reality— I signed with a fabulous literary agent and sold my novel to the world’s biggest publisher in 2016. But someone I love died unexpectedly, the world still seethes in a stew of self-inflicted turmoil, and of course, there was the election process, which did not always showcase democracy at its finest. IMHO.

Which brings me to the bewitching thing about reading: it allows you to escape. You can visit any kind of world you choose. Looking back over my reviews this year, I was busy: I became a tech genius, a gay Manhattan writer, a guilded-era artist, a victim of quantum physics, a political hack, a twin at Auschwitz, an ex-Army black-unit Veteran, an escaped slave, and a damsel in distress, among others. I was also a scientist and Winston Churchill. That’s how I roll. Soooo….. here are some of my favorites from 2016, a year of much drama and fuss, but also a year of many excellent books.

e11406_571f482dd3b14e93aea2791c97f93eda~mv2_d_1685_2560_s_2The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

An enslaved woman makes her harrowing way through a literal underground railroad in this elegant, poetic, thought-provoking novel. This is a novel that will change the way you think. Full review HERE. Read More →

March 14, 2017

From the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library: Spring Forward with Your Library Card

Spring Forward Top Image

By our Smarty friends at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Though spring isn’t yet officially here, the signs of its imminent arrival are all around us in the colorful form of yellow daffodil blooms and pink flowering trees. Springtime can be a great time for growth and new beginnings. The sun is out, the birds are singing and it’s time to launch exciting things!
Here are a few ways to spring forward, and how your Library can help.

1. Take it from us – these books helped.

Certain books find their way into our lives and make a lasting impact. This is as true for people who work in libraries as it is for anyone else, so we asked Charlotte Mecklenburg Library staff to share a personal story of a book that helped them in some way. The stories we received were touching, funny and inspirational. Maybe they will inspire you too! Read More →

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