Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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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

NLW Image
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 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). 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 →

February 14, 2017

From our Smarty friends at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library: Love your Library

Love Your Library - Top Photo

By our Smarty friends at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

It’s Valentine’s Day, and love is in the air. It doesn’t have to be just about chocolate and greeting cards, why not spread love and kindness in our community while we’re at it? Charlotte Mecklenburg Library appreciates the love you show the Library every day of the year, as users, advocates, volunteers and supporters. We want to use this opportunity as a way to let you know we love you back!

During the month of February, we invite you to share the love in many different ways with special events, storytimes and community service projects. Or just visit us to check out a book – it always warms our hearts to see you.

EVENTS FOR CHILDREN

Let Off Some S.T.E.A.M.
Cornelius Library
February 18 at 2 p.m.

Let off some S.T.E.A.M. with some post-Valentine’s Day magnetic experiments, including magnetic mazes and slime. Then, put your math skills to the test with geoboard and tangram fun. To register for this K-5 program, call 704-416-3800. Read More →

January 27, 2017

Smarty Giveaway: Two tickets for the Joined in Education’s ‘How to Raise An Adult’ keynote address and parent workshop

JIEfinallogo

****This giveaway has ended. We have a winner****

Joined in Education, a local group dedicated to advancing early childhood and elementary education in Charlotte, is hosting a two-day educational symposium for parents and childcare professionals on February 8 and 9, and we’ve got tickets to give away! This is a goodie, Smarties. We are SO lucky to have JIE in our city – they’re goHow to Raise an Adulting great things. Keep reading!

The event will include a keynote address on Wednesday night by Julie Lythcott-Haims, former Stanford University Dean of Freshman and author of New York Times best-seller How to Raise An Adult. (If you haven’t read this awesome book, stop what you’re doing. Head to the library, bookstore, or your computer and pick up/order a copy for yourself. It focuses on growing successful and independent children, which, in today’s sometimes over-scheduled and over-parented world, is a good reminder for us all.)

Erin Walsh will anchor Thursday’s parent workshops. She’ll examine the impact of stress on the brain and share practical strategies for raising resilient children. Topics will include: Executive function and success in school and life, finding the “resilience sweet spot,” how to handle perfectionism in children, the power of growth mindset, and setting appropriate limits Read More →

January 17, 2017

From our friends at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library: You’re going to rock 2017

Cutting word "I can't" flat lay

By our Smarty friends at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Gyms are packed, kale is flying off the shelves – New Year’s resolution season is in full bloom. Now is the perfect time of year to turn to Charlotte Mecklenburg Library to get inspiration. You’ve been doing a great job of checking in with us already. Keep it up in 2017 by visiting us online or in person anytime you need a boost.

Here are ten ways to rock the coming year, and how your Library can help.

1. Start building a great 2017 reading list.

1 - Start building a great 2017 reading list - Photo
And if you need recommendations, come to us. (We’re really good at it.) Speaking of reading, here are the titles that were most borrowed by Charlotte Mecklenburg Library readers in 2016. If you missed them last year, you might want to add these books to your 2017 reading list.

2. Figure out how that new device works.

If you got a tablet or e-reader over the holiday and want to know how to load it up with free e-books from the Library, we can help. Find a class or tutoring session at your nearest branch. Read More →

December 15, 2016

Presenting the Smarty Favorite Things Giveaway Winners!

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The moment we’ve all been waiting for is here. We have winners, and lots of them!! If you see your name by one of the prizes below, please email us by noon on Sun, December 18th.

Merry, Merry!!

First up is FASHION!

Gretchen Scott: RACHEL EFIRD & MEREDITH BURBANK

Gretchen Scott Suede Swing Top

Gretchen Scott has supported every fashion giveaway we’ve done and each season, we love her pieces more and more! Every time I wear a Gretchen Scott piece, I smile. And that is absolutely part of her mantra:

LAUGH MORE.. GRIPE LESS.. IGNORE CRITICS.. SAY YES.. ORDER DESSERT.. LOVE LIFE..

Finding inspiration from her travels across the world, Gretchen’s’ designs reflect a global perspective:

“India is a big part of what I design. The Indian sense of color, proportion and incredible embroidery is amazing. Gretchen travels there often. Indian simplicity informs even the most complicated design elements. Hand printed, festive fabrics and vibrant inks define Gretchen Scott Designs’ look. Our colors are true and often times intense.”

This year, we’re crushing on suede and ruffles, so Rachel & Meredith get to win not one but TWO perfect party outfits:

A Suede Swing Top paired with Gripeless Pull-on Pants, a $238 value:

Gretchen Scott Suede Swing Top

Gretchen Scott Gripeless Pull-On Pants Read More →

December 13, 2016

From our Smarty friends at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library: Volunteer Opportunities for the Whole Family!

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By our Smarty friends at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

The holiday season is a time of giving, and Charlotte Mecklenburg Library offers many opportunities for volunteers to give back…even if you want to make volunteering one of your New Year’s resolutions!

Did you know that in the last year, more than 1,300 volunteers donated 59,000 hours of their time to support the Library – valued at more than $1.3 million in donated services? If you are one of those dedicated volunteers who helps the Library create a more educated community, then thank you! If you aren’t, then we hope you will consider joining us!

Become a VolunTeen

The Library’s VolunTeen initiative is a great way for teens ages 13-17 to earn community service hours! Now that the program is offered year-round, VolunTeens can earn these hours three times a year at any of our locations across Mecklenburg County. Read More →

December 8, 2016

Smarty Hostess Gift Ideas & a FAB Giveaway too!

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{Thankful, Lovely, Creative}

It’s not about the gift, it’s the whole presentation. Gifting should be joyful and filled with attention to detail. There is no substitute for a thoughtful present. A common item can become extraordinary with simple additions such as gorgeous ribbon or fresh greens.

When presenting a Hostess gift, be mindful. She has taken great time to invite you to her home. Treat her time with respect and offer something with a lasting impression.

Here are our favorite, local, beautiful, creative items – some are giveaways and some are just must-haves! And, make sure you grab a few extras to keep on hand, just in case you get invited to a few extra parties that you didn’t have on your calendar!

Merry, merry to all of the amazing hostesses in the QC!
Love, CSP and all of our fabulous friends Read More →


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