Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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October 10, 2017

Smarty Podcast: Social Media Parenting – Delaying Technology and Social Media Presence


Welcome back to the Charlotte Smarty Pants podcast series, which is powered by Charlotte Star Room, Charlotte’s premier boutique music development and corporate video production studio + the best Pop Star birthday parties in the QC, AND professional voice lessons in a studio.

Today we’re talking to local mom, Anne Willette. Anne talks to Smarties Jen and Cheryl about the community she and fellow parents from her kids’ school are creating to help navigate the tricky world of social media parenting. Their “Wait til 8th” strategy is something you’ll definitely want to hear about if you’ve got kids in elementary or middle school.

You can join Anne and educators from all over our city at our Smarty Town Hall on Social Media Parenting 2.0. Click here to register. We hope to see you at Charlotte Latin School on October 29 – join the conversation!

Want more Smarty podcasts? Click here and share, share, share!

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From the Smarty Education Corner: Learn how to bring CEO success to students at the Oct. 26 Fletcher Forum!

You’re invited to attend (free of charge) The Fletcher Community Forum on October 26 to hear an engaging presentation from award winning CEO in the public and private sector, Neil Peterson!

Throughout his career, Neil learned the value of an Executive Coach in helping him achieve success. In 2005, he created the Edge Foundation with the goal of providing the same benefits to students that CEOs have been relying on for decades. He reasoned that students, especially those who have learning, attention and executive functioning challenges could excel with the support of an Executive Coach, just as businessmen do.

Since its inception, Edge has expanded to provide Edge Coaching in public, charter and private schools in the District of Columbia, California, New York, and Washington states. Specially trained Edge Coaches have helped students achieve outstanding results. For example, coaching has led to rising GPAs and has helped students learn the skills needed to survive in school and to excel in life. Neil will discuss how Edge Coaching works and the many ways that learning differences can be strengths for students, parents, entrepreneurs and others.

Date: Thursday, October 26, 2017
Time: 7:00-8:30pm
Location: The Fletcher School Gymnasium, 8500 Sardis Road, Charlotte, NC 28270
Cost: Free of charge

After a successful career as the Seattle, Oakland, and Los Angeles METRO transportation leader and founder of the awardFletcherForumSpeaker winning car-sharing company, Flexcar, Neil Peterson retired and embarked on a new career. Taking lessons learned from his years as a CEO and as the father of two bright children with ADHD, Neil created the Edge Foundation to bring executive coaching to students. He believed that personal coaching, delivered by professionals trained to work with ADHD, could help students develop fully and gain an increased sense of purpose, happiness, and self-esteem. Neil Peterson and The Edge Foundation provide students and families with a crucial edge in their struggles with the challenges of ADHD.

This workshop is free and open to the public. Registration is required. Read More →

October 9, 2017

Smarty Toddler Rainy Day Activity- Homemade Playdough

I’ve been wanting to try out making play-doh at home for a while. So recently on one of our drizzly days, I figured what a perfect time to keep my girls entertained by making some of this magical playdough (playdoh, whichever).

For me, it was important this stuff was edible, or at least safe if it ended up in one of my toddler’s mouths. I knew they weren’t going to outright eat it, at this point in their toddlerhood, but they may be curious to lick it and it would definitely be all over their hands if they were helping me make it.

Most recipes online call for cream of tartar, which we don’t have just lying around in our pantry. I simplified: Read More →

October 8, 2017

Smarty Cooking School: Pumpkin Bread with Oat Streusel


As I write this it’s 91 degrees in Charlotte, so it hardly feels like Fall. But, I saw pumpkins at the grocery store, Starbucks brought back the Pumpkin Spice Latte and the Halloween catalogs are in my mailbox, so the season is upon us!

I grew up in Southern California where the seasons simply don’t change. It can be chilly and cloudy in June and hot and sunny in February. Leaves don’t turn colors and fall from the trees. The weather doesn’t gradually change from hot to warm to cool then cold. It could be all four in one day sometimes! Your sweaters hang next to your sundresses in California because you could wear them both in the same week. I didn’t own a winter coat or boots until we moved to Charlotte. I even had to invest in socks because we never wore them in California!

But, Fall has become my favorite season. I love to drive down Colville Road under a canopy of red and yellow leaves. The humidity (finally) chills out and the air feels so refreshing. I can open my windows at night and fall asleep to the sound of crickets and wake to the sound of birds. I can get back in the garden and plant Fall colors and we can play outside without coating ourselves in bug spray!

Fall also has a significant impact on my kitchen. I can get the Crockpot out for soups and stews and chili. And bread. I bake lots of bread when the temperature drops. Of course, pumpkin bread is a Fall favorite and so I offer you this recipe in celebration of the season. I hope you enjoy it with the windows open, a nice view and a warm cup of coffee!

Just look at these spices! And your kitchen will smell soooo good while this is baking! Read More →

Smarty Alert: This Week’s School Open Houses


Don’t miss this week’s School Open Houses we’ve listed below. This is NOT the full Open House listing for each school or school system – it’s just this week’s. For our full listing of open houses, please see our 2017 Smarty School Open House Guide.

Charlotte Country Day School

October 12 (JK-K)

CCDS Logo Color Exploration Round 03 BOLDER 2

Charlotte Country Day School
1440 Carmel Road
Charlotte, NC 28226
Vimeo Read More →

October 7, 2017

Smarty Mom: Samantha Kuhr

Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 6.47.27 PM

Smarties, I am SO excited to introduce you to this week’s lovely Smarty Mom, Samantha Kuhr. We’re going off the Smarty tracks a little this week because Sam is actually a West Coast mom of two boys. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I wanted to highlight her here because she’s got such an inspiring breast cancer survivor story that resonates no matter what city, state, or part of the country you’re living in. When I sat in carpool a few weeks ago and read what she’d written about the shock of finding out she had breast cancer, the treatments, and parenting through it, I wiped my tears and knew I had to introduce her to the Queen City.

Sam and I met through my work with CSP and were, by chance, in Rome with our families at the same time a couple of years ago. It was such a delight to meet her and her precious family “in person” rather than just over email – especially when the meeting was at a rooftop bar overlooking St. Peter’s and the stunning Rome skyline. :-) My husband and I still marvel at the way she and her husband have been able to make travel a priority in their family. I’ve loved following her family’s travels on social media the last few years (I may or may not have drooled over that Taj Mahal photo above an embarrassing number of times – it looks like a fake back drop! And who looks that stylish while traveling in another part of the world?!). I hope to be able to expose my kids to at least some small fraction of those life-changing experiences travel gifts a child.

If world travel with kids seems daunting to you, keep reading. Sam’s got some great tips that will inspire you to pack those suitcases and head for the open road (make sure to click on her links!). And, if getting your mammogram seems even MORE daunting, this one’s for you. Make your appointment – it could for sure save your life. Make sure to follow Sam on her blog or on Instagram – trust me, it’s SO fun to see this mom-thing happening from another part of the country.

Oh, and make sure that when you read Sam’s answers, you do it with that “British voice” in your head. She’s British. Makes it even better. :-) Grab your coffee, relax, and enjoy getting to know this super-cool West Coast Smarty Mom, Sam Kuhr!

Smarty Mom: Samantha Kuhr

Smarty Mom: Samantha Kuhr
Married to: Tom Kuhr, married for 20 years in April
Children: Sebastian (16) and Julian (12)
Hometown: Derby, England
Currently live in: Hermosa Beach, CA
Alma Mater: Derby Tertiary College, England
Occupation: Writer

You have a very inspiring breast cancer survivor story. How were you diagnosed and what has your journey been like since diagnosis?

My world as I knew it changed on March 27, 2015. I was a 43-year-old mom of two very active boys, wife of 17 years to Hot Hubby, active, non-smoker, with no family history of cancer. I was getting ready to go on vacation, and my annual mammogram was on a large to-do list of pre-vacation prep that included things such as buy band-aids, get highlights, and put a vacation stop on the mail. I thought about rescheduling, but didn’t. You can read here the details of the whirlwind week of ultrasounds, biopsy and getting the diagnosis. My immediate concern was to create stability for the boys during this unpredictable and stressful time. This obviously rocked the whole family to the core, and I wanted to minimize the worry for my boys as much as possible. Once I was diagnosed I needed to move very quickly to determine my plan to remove the cancer. It’s a very personal decision and ultimately I opted for a double mastectomy. Read More →

October 6, 2017

Smarty Giveaway: #GoNative

Native Sample Pack

I have been on the hunt for a good natural deodorant for years. When a gal pal of mine was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma a few years ago, she told me the first thing she ditched was her aluminum deodorant/antiperspirant. Her path to reducing the toxins she was exposed to inspired me to do the same. It makes total sense – we are putting metal in our pores to clog them right next to our lymph nodes and breasts multiple times a day. There is no argument that the more natural you go with your products, the healthier you will be in the long run. But finding an all-natural deodorant that actually worked proved to be more challenging than I anticipated.

What really made me do a hard stop and think about deodorant was when my girls started wearing it recently. They begged for a new aerosol spray brand that had scents similar to a Bath & Body Works collection – sounds yummy, right? Not so much. This meant that they would not only clog their pores with metals, now they would also be inhaling the toxic spray on a daily basis. It was game on to find a better alternative for my family. Here’s when Native deodorant entered my life – I fell hard for the Coconut & Vanilla scent and my girls did too. Read More →

October 5, 2017

From the Smarty Health Corner and CEENTA: The Importance of the HPV Vaccine – A Smarty Podcast


CSP Team Note: Welcome to our Smarty Podcast Series where we talk to experts from all over Charlotte on relevant parenting topics from health to education and everything in between! Feel free to listen while you’re commuting to work, making dinner, folding laundry, exercising, or any other multi-tasking endeavor! We LOVE the podcast flexibility! We’ve partnered with Southeast Psych’s Shrink Tank and Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A. for this podcast – enjoy!

In this week’s podcast, we talk to Dr. Douglas Villaret of Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A. about something you might not associate with eye, ear, noses, and throats – the HPV vaccine. While at first glance, you might think these things don’t go together, we encourage you to take a listen to this podcast. HPV can affect many different areas of the body in different ways, and Dr. Villaret is great at bringing this real-life issue into the forefront.

Dr. Villaret is an ENT doctor and head & neck cancer specialist who practices in CEENTA’s SouthPark and Pineville offices. He graduated from Stanford University and earned his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati. He is fellowship-trained in head and neck cancer treatment and has cared for patients in both North and South Carolina.

A big thanks to Dr. Villaret for his time. Hope you enjoy the podcast, and make sure to share, share, share!

Read More →

October 4, 2017

Register now for the Smarty Pants Town Hall on Social Media Parenting 2.0

CSP Town Hall 2.0

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. Our first Town Hall on Social Media Parenting was a huge success, and now we’re back excited to host our second Town Hall on Social Media Parenting (we call it 2.0) where parents and experts in our community can come together to discuss kids and social media. This time around you’ll have plenty of time for small group discussion that will be relevant to your family’s needs – whether you’re holding off on social media and devices or all-in. We’ve got local experts for everyone.

Charlotte Smarty Pants is partnering with Charlotte Latin School on October 29th at Charlotte Latin School for this event. All parents from preschool to high school and from any school are welcome to join in on the conversation. Our goal is to bring knowledge, relief, and empowerment to navigate the iGeneration. And guest what? It’s FREE.

We hope you join us because let’s face it: what happens in my kid’s school affects what happens in yours thanks to social media. Meet the panelists here.

Event Details:

Sunday, October 29 from 2-4pm

Charlotte Latin School
Thies Auditorium
9502 Providence Rd, Charlotte, NC 28277

What to expect:
We’ll start out as one big group then (2) 30-minute breakout session blocks, (4) breakout panels. Panels will repeat for the 2nd session block. When you register, you’ll be prompted to tell us what (2) breakout session topics you plan to attend.

Register here now. Hope to see you there! Read More →

From the Smarty Education Corner and Palisades Episcopal School: Why PES

By Smarty Guest Blogger and Palisades Episcopal School parent Sashle Eslaquit

We enrolled our daughter as a kindergartner at Palisades Episcopal School because we believe in PES and its mission: a school honoring Christ and committed to providing a classical education challenging the mind, body and spirit. Halymah, who is now in second grade, is the happiest she could be and we are always captivated to hear about her day and what she learned (from classical composers to Mesopotamia to coniferous and deciduous trees). There is nothing more gratifying than watching your children love and enjoy learning.Halymah playground

In her two years at PES, Halymah has blossomed from a little caterpillar into a confident butterfly! PES has not just become her home away from home, but has become an extended family to our family. Halymah feels safe in her environment and is confident to ask questions, speak in front of others and share her opinions. This gives us peace of mind knowing that our child’s mind is being enriched with immense knowledge, but she is also being taken care of when away from home.

Happy children learn best and that was an important piece we wanted for our daughter. PES students are encouraged to find the joy in learning. Classroom lessons are active and interactive and PES’ unhurried and creative learning environment focuses on mastery of skills as the goal, rather than just memorization of facts. Students are provided time to think, discuss, process and apply their knowledge which in turn promotes intellectual curiosity and creates lifelong learners. Read More →

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