Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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November 2, 2016

Don’t Miss EpicFest Teen Night – An epic event for students in grades 9-12

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By our Smarty friends at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

New this year, EpicFest introduces a teen-only event on Friday, November 4 from 7-10 p.m., for students in grades 9-12.

This special evening will feature two EpicFest young adult authors as featured guests: Adam Silvera, New York Times best-selling author of More Happy Than Not and fantasy writer Jessica Khoury, author of the Corpus Trilogy and The Forbidden Wish.

The authors will speak at 8 p.m. and be available to sign their books. Each teen will receive a copy of their latest release. Read More →

October 18, 2016

From our Smarty friends at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library: Epic Fest

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By Smarty Guest Blogger Melanie Baron, communications and marketing specialist for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation.

My kid loves to read. But until recently, I think she believed that books just hatched.

Until she wrote to her favorite author…and the author wrote back! My daughter wrote again, and received another handwritten reply. And another…and now she thinks they’re pen pals.

Bringing together kids and authors is a magical thing, and it’s what the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation’s EpicFest is all about. Read More →

October 9, 2016

Local Charlotte author releases book for middle schoolers & up (moms, too!)

Kim Love Stump, a local Charlotte author is releasing her debut fantasy novel, A Clearing in the Forest, targeted for sixth grade reading level and up. We haven’t yet had a chance to read this yet, but can’t wait to get our hands on it. We are hearing fabulous things, and if your child likes Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire, this should be on par with that. We’ve also been told there is nothing inappropriate for younger readers. Yay! Always what a mom wants to hear – especially if you have one that reads above grade level :-). img_3595

Kim is the ultimate Smarty mama. Originally from Asheboro, NC, she and her husband of 30-plus years and their family live in Charlotte. I met Kim years ago when she was speaking at a bible study that I was attending. She was the key note speaker and sharing some valuable truths with our group. I immediately could tell this lady was very special. She shared form the heart, but backed up everything she spoke with multiple biblical references. She knew exactly what she was talking about. I later learned Kim had her MBA and worked in finance for many years, but always had a huge love for writing and reading. I am so thrilled to see Kim pursue her love of writing in her new book, A Clearing in the Forest, the First in the Journeys from Ayrden Series. I can’t wait to read this myself although I might have to fight my 4th grader over who reads it first! Read More →

September 30, 2016

From our Smarty friends at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library: Lynda.com

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By our Smarty friends at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Did you know that Charlotte Mecklenburg Library offers account holders free access to lynda.com’s library of instructional videos? Normally, using lynda.com requires a paid subscription, but Library cardholders can access lynda.com content with just their library card number or ONE Access account and password.
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What’s available with lynda.com? Over 4,000 courses in Business, Technology and Creative Skills taught by industry experts. Most tutorials last several hours but are broken into multiple chapters. Read More →

September 15, 2016

From our Smarty friends at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library: Community Read in October offers Frankenstein-themed activities for all ages

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From our friends at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Each year, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library hosts a Community Read, in which librarians select a book to be read and discussed by everyone in the community. This year, the Community Read takes place in October, and the Library recently announced that the book adults will be reading and talking about during this spooky month will be Frankenstein, the classic novel by Mary Shelley. But it’s not just about grown-ups! Librarians have also picked age-appropriate companion titles to become the focus of fun teen and children’s activities—everyone is invited to Community Read!

The companion titles for younger readers this year are: This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel (for teens), The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm (for children) and Frankencrayon by Michael Hall (a picture book for young readers). We’ve provided book summaries and links to the titles below. Read More →

August 28, 2016

From our friends at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library: Reinvent yourself with your library card and Universal Class

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By the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Have you always wanted to learn more about aromatherapy? Need to improve your Excel skills? Want to present your best professional face at a job interview?

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library offers many free online resources to assist you in self-guided learning throughout your lifetime. If you have a Charlotte Mecklenburg Library card, you have access to Universal Class’ lifelong learning courses in over 30 subject areas, many of which offer continuing education units (CEUs). More than 500 courses are available, and all are designed and led by professional instructors to build deeper understanding and mastery of subject matter. Universal Class includes video, assignments, quizzes, tests and options for social media interaction with other learners. Students may take multiple classes and learn at their own pace.

From technical courses on computer software to digital photography to babysitting 101, a huge range of topics is available. Universal Class offers courses in Exercise and Fitness, Entrepreneurship, Arts and Music, Home and Garden care, Cooking, Computers and Technology, Health and Medicine, Homeschooling, Job Assistance, Law and Legal, Parenting and Family, Pet and Animal Care, plus hundreds more.

The classes are both self-guided and instructor-led, meaning that you can progress at your own pace, but an instructor is always available to answer questions and offer guidance. 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 →

July 27, 2016

Smarty Giveaway and Interview: Jennifer Close’s ‘The Hopefuls’

CSP team note: This giveaway is held through Smarty Kimmery’s Web site http://www.kimmerymartin.com, 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). Thanks, Kimmery, for sharing the giveaway with CSP readers!

You gotta love our civil, logical political system. Wait, no! I have that exactly backwards. But here’s an unanticipated benefit to our national dysfunction: it provides for some interesting behind-the-scenes reading. Exhibit A: Jennifer Close’s fresh, smart, realistic portrayal of two young Washington couples is a must read for West Wing junkies. In the aftermath of Obama’s first campaign, newlywed Beth is reluctantly uprooted to D.C., where her husband lands an administration job. But when Beth and Matt meet a charismatic Texan couple with intense political aspirations, everything is suddenly at risk: their marriage, their careers, their friendships.The Hopefuls

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Jennifer Close about her book, one of the buzziest new novels of the summer. If you’d like a FREE copy from the publisher, Penguin Random House, please visit www.kimmerymartin.com and leave a comment at the bottom of the review of The Hopefuls. Three winners will be chosen on July 30th.

KM—Like your protagonist, you moved from New York City to Washington, D.C. resulting in an unsought exposure to the world of politics. How did your characters emerge in your imagination, and was there any concern that your acquaintances might attribute them to real people? Have you had any feedback from politicians?

JC—When my first book—Girls in White Dresses— came out, everyone assumed (as they often do about debut novelists) that it was based on me. And like most debut novelists, I had to reassure everyone: it’s fiction, it’s fiction. Because the beginning of this novel mirrored my own experience —the switch from New York to D.C., the proximity to a political campaign—I knew the same questions would come up, but the temptation to write this story was too great to ignore. I thought people would find the intricacies and backstories of D.C. to be interesting, and there’s an inherent drama in political campaigns that was too good to pass up. The novel is inspired by my move to DC, but completely fictionalized. I haven’t yet run across anyone who thinks it was about them. Read More →

July 19, 2016

From our Smarty friends at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library: You can get that at the Library?

By our Smarty friends at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

You love the library. You enjoy taking your children to storytimes, appreciate the convenience of checking out materials for your entire family in one trip, and are constantly using our new website to place holds and check our updated catalog for your next favorite read. Man using a tablet computer while his girlfriend is listening to music

But, did you know that the Library also has an extensive collection of FREE digital downloads for e-readers and smartphones, including e-books, audiobooks, e-magazines, music and movies?

Here is a run-down of some of our most popular digital services and what they offer – all available for FREE with your library card:

Overdrive offers e-books, audiobooks, music and e-flicks. There are also reading rooms within Overdrive for Kids and Teen collections.

Freading  offers no waiting! This service allows for multi-user downloads so they are always available; you never have to wait for a title. Cardholders receive three downloads per week. Read More →

June 22, 2016

Smarty Steal: Half off enrollment fee through the end of June

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Is it just me or are the “lazy days of summer” a complete fabrication? We’re just a couple of weeks into summer, and not only am I completely harried by the crazy schedule my kids insist on keeping :-), but I’m finding it hard to eek out the time to make it to the grocery store, let alone the farmer’s market. My kids are snacking me to death, but having fresh produce around is seriously hard to do when schedules are tight. Who has time to hit a bunch of stores? BUT, who wants to miss out on the best time of year EVER for fruits and vegetables?!

Enter the Produce Box. If you haven’t tried this home delivery produce service yet, it’s the perfect time. Not only will you have a bounty of deliciousness at your footsteps with zero effort, but you’ll be supporting 70 North Carolina farmers and getting the freshest fruits, veggies and more (local meats, chicken, cheese, bread!) – all while saving half off the annual enrollment fee through June 31, 2015. Plus, you choose what you order and you can skip a week anytime – perfect for vacation schedules.

I mean, check out this pic of what could be at your doorstep this month. Beautiful!
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