Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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May 31, 2017

Check out the Red, White & You Session 4 at YMCA Camp Harrison!

Camp Harrison Green Bus

Celebrate Fourth of July with a very special RED, WHITE & YOU week at YMCA Camp Harrison! Our Camp Harrison friends will host a special Independence Day party, including a spectacular fireworks show (we hear it’s the best in the county!)! Throughout the week, campers will experience live music, a carnival night inflatable extravaganza, a live magic show and a special night zip. Come for this AMP-ED UP session or add it to another session to create a longer, unforgettable camp experience! CSP {hearts} YMCA Camp Harrison, especially during 4th of July week!! Read More →

May 25, 2017

From our Smarty friends at Signature Pediatrics: Test Anxiety

The month of May brings beautiful weather, the promise of summer, the end of the school year, and……final exams!
It is normal to feel nervous before a test—most people do. However, for some children this normal anxiety escalates into something more intense and debilitating. And no longer is this a condition that affects only teenagers concerned about GPA’s and college. With the pressure that end of year tests like the EOG’s puts on students, many of our younger children are experiencing significant anxiety at this time of year.

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

The physical symptoms are the same as with any type of anxiety. A child may have a stomach ache or nausea, a headache, feel shaky or sweaty, or complain of a racing heart, shortness of breath or light-headedness. Symptoms can even progress to hyperventilation or a full-blown panic attack, which can make a child feel like he or she can’t breathe or is having a heart attack.

Along with these physical symptoms comes the worry and negative thoughts associated with test anxiety. Children worry about doing poorly on the test, which fuels the physical symptoms of anxiety in a vicious negative cycle. The child feels worse and worse, and the negative thoughts and worries crowding the child’s brain affect his or her ability to concentrate and think about the test questions. This can lead to poor performance on the test, which then only fuels the anxiety for the next test situation.
So, how can we help our children with test anxiety? Here are some general tips:

1. Help your child prepare for the test. For younger children, this may just mean making sure they know what to expect on test day. Just being prepared for the format of the test and what types of questions to expect will help at any age. Older children may need help learning good study skills. Read More →

May 18, 2017

Smarty Alert: The JMSD Spring Company Showcase is this FRIDAY!

JMSD 2017 Recital

Smarties, it’s our favorite time of year – it’s spring recital time for all of our tiny dancers! Since my girls were little {and before they were dancers}, we have always made the Jami Masters School of Dance (JMSD) Friday night Company Showcase a Girls Night Out Plym tradition!

This year, my daughter will be in her 2nd year in JMSD Jr Company and I can’t wait to see her dance! She has been taking dance at JMSD since she was four years old, she’s now 14. She has loved every minute of it and so have we! We have had so much fun watching her grow into a beautiful young dancer, and we can thank Jami and her talented team for that. Let’s not forget, Smarty Charlotte voted JMSD “Best Dance Studio” in the 2016 Smarty Awards, very well-deserving! Read More →

April 30, 2017

Smarty Social Media Parenting Series: What you need to know about Snapchat

Smarties, you’ll want to bookmark this as part of our popular Social Media Parenting Series. Do you feel like keeping up with your kids’ social media is a full time job? You’re not alone. Parents today have it hard. We’re all playing catch up with the social media world and often feel overwhelmed by how to parent through it. As part of our commitment to the Charlotte parenting community, CSP is dedicated to creating an ongoing conversation between parents, educators, healthcare providers and law enforcement about social media and our children. Today we are hosting the first ever Town Hall on Social Media Parenting and we have an amazing panel of local experts. We plan to continue this conversation weekly on CSP and will host the 2nd Town Hall in the fall. Email us here if you have any topics or specific questions you’d like us to research. Remember, we’re all in this parenting gig together. #ittakesavillage


Today I’m talking about SnapChat. For those of you not familiar, Snapchat is a super popular app on the teen scene where a person can send photos and videos (aka, snaps) to their friends. These snaps can then be viewed for up to 10 seconds before they disappear. Kind of like magic for teens. In addition, Snapchat updates the app often with new colorful filters, geofilters, face-swapping effects, messaging, videos, live stories and more – it’s no wonder teens love it.

Snapchat can actually be a fun app for people of all ages. But due to the inherent nature of the app with photos “disappearing,” it’s important to teach your kids the golden rule of social media – there is no delete button. This is something that we will have to remind them ALL.THE.TIME. From the early days of devices well into the high school years, they just cannot grasp the concept that everything they do from texts, to instagram, to snaps, to VSCO is all part of their digital tattoo for ever and ever. For them, Snapchat is an in-the-moment lens that allows them to be carefree and sometimes take risks that they wouldn’t normally take in person. This is where Snapchat gets dicey. Read More →

Smarty Social Media Parenting Series: Cell Phones, Instagram & Social Media

CSP Town Hall on Social Media

Our first Town Hall on Social Media Parenting is TODAY, yippee! In preparation for the big event, we’ve pulled together some of our favorite blogs on social media that have been featured right here on CSP. Look for articles and resources from our partners to be posted this week. And, the conversation isn’t over today – we’ll be working with all of our partners to bring you relevant information on parenting and social media over the next several weeks.


Especially when parenting the social media generation.

Enjoy these goodies, and hope to see you today!

~ The CSP Team

What I wish I did the first time I gave my kid a cell phone

Plym Cell Phone

Here I go again. Plym #2 is up for a cell phone, LAWD HELP ME! It’s inevitable, I know. She’s entering middle school and it’s time. I’m dreading this yet looking forward to it at the same time. I’m dreading the increase in my data plan, organizing my whacked out multiple iTunes accounts, and managing yet another young person in my household who will now have access to the entire world at her finger tips. The only thing I am excited about is having instant access to two of my four children that will hopefully make my hectic life just a little easier to coordinate.

So I did not jump on the 5th grade graduation cell phone gift bandwagon because I don’t believe that a cell phone should be given as a gift. By “gifting” the phone, it implies ownership to the child. So in our household, the cell phone is presented as a communication tool for Mom & Dad to get in touch with you at all times. The primary purpose of this tool is for communication with Mom & Dad, not for social media or gaming, although these are certainly nice perks. Read More →

April 27, 2017

From the Smarty Camp Corner: Caroline Calouche & Co’s Teen & Youth Summer Camps

Caroline Calouche Ad

Smarties, we recently introduced you to the amazing Caroline Calouche of Caroline Calouche & Co. (CC&Co.). Well we just can’t get enough of Caroline and her amazing dance school! Today we’re here to talk about CC&Co.’s Teen & Youth Summer Camp Program, your dancer will twirl her heart away!

Caroline Calouche Camp

Caroline Calouche & Co., the southeast’s premier cirque and dance school, takes dance to a whole new level. Offering Summer Camps for youth (ages 6-11) and teens (ages 12-18), that will have your child dancing her heart out on the floor and in the air. These week-long camps develop skills in aerial sling, trapeze, acrobatics, ballet, jazz and contemporary dance and are taught by a highly-trained faculty in a safe, supportive studio environment. All levels from newbies to advance in cirque and dance are welcome for camps and Summer Intensive (ages 12+). 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 12, 2017

Smarty Giveaway: Win a Family 4-Pack to CC&Co.’s Star Gazer!

CCCo Star Gazer


Smarties, we introduced you to the amazing Caroline Calouche of Caroline Calouche & Co.(CC&Co.) this past weekend. Caroline and her team at CC&Co. are working around the clock to get their spring production ready: Star Gazer: A Trek Into Outer Space. This spectacular show is next weekend, April 21-23 at Booth Playhouse. In typical Smarty style, we have a giveaway for you so that you and your family can enjoy an evening of fun – perfect to wrap up your #SpringBreak2017!

Star Gazer: A Trek Into Outer Space combines dance and circus arts with powerful visual projections of planets, comets and asteroids to fly you through our solar system. Stella is a young and curious girl who gazes out her bedroom window one night at the stars and the moon wondering what it would be like to visit the other planets. This simple notion leads to a spectacular, often thrilling, performance by the southeast’s premier dance and circus arts company, Caroline Calouche & Co., April 21 – 23 at the Booth Playhouse. Read More →

April 8, 2017

Smarty Spotlight: Caroline Calouche

Caroline Calouche and tankina

Aerial dance is one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring styles to watch as it is truly an artistic interpretation of grace, strength and gravity-defying creativity. We are so lucky to have an amazing artist on the pulse of the aerial dance scene here in Charlotte, Caroline Calouche.

Caroline founded Charlotte’s only aerial and contemporary dance company and school, Caroline Calouche & Co (CC&Co.), a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring people of diverse backgrounds to explore beyond their boundaries through performance and education. Her vision is to create educational opportunities for people to experience the world from a unique and artistic perspective, which will enrich their lives and the lives of those around them.

Straight from her bio because this is just beyond impressive:
Caroline Calouche has taught contemporary dance, Pilates, Gyrokinesis and ballet at UNC Charlotte, Winthrop University, The Belmont School of Ballet, Gaston Dance Theatre and The School of North Carolina Dance Theatre. Her dance and fitness teaching background has allowed her to become a sought after aerial dance instructor. Not only has Caroline developed a safe method and syllabus of teaching Aerial Silk, Sling, Trapeze, Lyra, Corde Lisse and Spanish Web, she is able to teach students how to incorporate floor work with their apparatus to seamlessly move from the ground up and back again.

I’m excited for Smarty Charlotte to get to know Caroline through her productions, her camps, her summer intensives and also her super fun recos of her favorite things all over Charlotte.

Meet the one and only, Caroline Calouche! Read More →

April 7, 2017

Register NOW for the 22nd Annual CPCC Charlotte Skyline Run on April 22nd!

CPCC 2017 Skyline Run

Saturday, April 22nd, will mark the 22nd Annual CPCC Charlotte Skyline Run, benefiting student scholarships and other urgent student needs of the college. 1,000-plus runners are expected to attend this family fun event. The Skyline Run will feature four components: a 5K Run, a 5K Walk for Health, a Family Fun Run (1 mile), and a 5K Baby Jogger Championship, hosted by CSP! Cash prizes are awarded for the top overall male and female 5K finishers. Children and families will enjoy the Family Fun Run and spending time in the Kids Zone. Additional exciting prizes such as a baby stroller, spa sessions, restaurant gift certificates, tickets to great area events, and more will be given to age group winners.

Registration is $25 until April 16th and up to $35 on race day, so register now to get your discount! More information here.


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