Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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April 11, 2017

Meet the Paw-fect part of our Smarty Team! (Psst! There’s a giveaway!)

In honor of National Pet Day, CSP is celebrating our little furry companions by giving away this stylish bandana from Kiel James Patrick’s pet collection. It’s all the rage in the pet world!
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A Pawfect World-White (value $28)

Muddy paws, Blazing trails, windblown fur, setting sail–no matter the adventure, our American-made dog accessories can weather the endeavors of even the most venturesome pup.

Product Details: 100% Printed Kona Cotton, KJP Signature paw print, Woven label, 19 Square Inches, Washable, Made in the USA,
Color: White/Navy

And with this fun giveaway, we wanted to introduce you to the pets on our Smarty team! So, without further ado, meet the Smarties pets in the QC!

Smarty Jen P: Henry

Henry Plym, age 4. Cavapoo. Best. Dog. Ever.
Henry completed our family when Mom volunteered to “foster” the live auction puppy at our school fundraiser. We were “puppy shopping” at the time and we were trying to prove to Dad that we were ready, but not yet. We didn’t want to pressure Dad or anything. What we didn’t plan for is falling in love with the baby doggie when we fostered him for the six days before the auction. Well, you can imagine how that went. Henry the Cavapoo – 1, Dad – 0. Henry now sleeps on Dad’s pillow every night. Not kidding.
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Smarty Giveaway: Win a FREE week of SUMMER DAY CAMP at the YMCA (valued up to $300)!

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It’s time for an awesome DAY CAMP GIVEAWAY! One lucky Smarty will win a free week of Summer Day Camp at the Y — you choose the camp, the week and the location! Day camps for kids ages 1 to 16 run from May 30 until September across 14 + locations in the greater Charlotte area. The Y offers a huge variety of camp experiences to spark your child’s interest, excitement and creativity. Check it out:

What you might know about day camps at the Y …

You probably know the Y is a fun and safe place offering traditional day camps with tons of fun activities indoor and out for preschool and elementary ages and pre-teens and teens — and you don’t have to be a member to attend.

And because the Y stands for youth development, health and fitness, it’s a given they’d offer sports camps for baseball, soccer, basketball, volleyball, gymnastics and swimming — and even dance and cheerleading. All camps are led by well-trained and energetic counselors who are great with kids.2014-06-27_AOF_15493_CMYK Read More →

April 10, 2017

Plan a Visit: The Main Street Children’s Museum

Ready to get social with your little one? I know just the place to start! My first visit to the Main Street Children’s Museum is a one I will forever have etched in my memory. My little one was only 3 months old, but I needed to get out of the house and she needed some social interaction with other little ones. Each “Wee Wednesday” has a theme complete with story-time, songs, interactive play, instruments (sometimes), and the children are able to make the craft of the day at no additional cost! IMG_1509

Although Zoey was only 3 months old during her first visit, she still was able to participate in every aspect of Wee Wednesday. Needless to say, we have been to “Wee Wednesday” and visited the museum during normal hours several times since our first visit. I just had to tell everyone about this perfect little jem tucked in Rock Hill, SC.

In our subsequent visits, Zoey was able to participate in more features at the museum as she began to develop and grow. You and your child will find ways to interact and play in every square inch of this incredible children’s museum. There are even a few areas that are friendly for the not-yet-mobile infants as well! Which is truly a win-win if you’re looking for an activity for the entire family. Read More →

April 9, 2017

Sweet Ollie & Toys from the Heart

Alice Marleaux is one of the strongest mamas I have ever met. One year ago, her sweet son, Oliver (“Ollie”), was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy at a mere four weeks old. Alice and her husband, Evan, embraced this diagnosis with an abundant amount of grace and have documented Sweet Ollie’s heart journey. Inevitably, Ollie was in need a heart transplant to save his life…meaning he would need a donor to give their heart, for him. aliceandollie

In honor of Ollie’s One Year “Heart-A-Versary”, this incredible family wants to give back to the same community responsible for giving their son a second chance at life. The Marleaux family wishes to continue to extend their gratitude for his donor and their family through the gift of giving. They will be holding a toy drive, Toys from the Heart, until April 23rd, 2017, through Child Life at the Levine Children’s Hospital.

In describing the toy drive, Alice Marleaux explaines, “We’re going out on a limb here and hoping desperately that others want to help us celebrate the gift of life and Ollie’s heartaversary. We’re hoping that we can take a brave, selfless gift of love and make the ripples of that action extend far and wide. We’re hoping that you’ll help us say thank you in a beautiful loving way.”

In response to their wishes, Child Life at the Levine Children’s Hospital has sent the following list of much needed items for their youngest (newborns/infants) patients. ***All items MUST be new for sanitation purposes*** 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

Smarty Alert: Carowinds Spring Break Special Hours + Easter Eggstravaganza


Yippee, Carowinds is open for the 2017-18 season and has special Spring Break Hours! Spring is the BEST time to hit Carowinds – our Carolina weather could not be any better! My family absolutely lives for Carowinds, year after year!

From today, through April 16th, Carowinds will be open extended day hours just for us spring-breakers! Click here for the calendar and hours.


The littles will want to hang out in the Easter Eggstravaganza from today through April 16th, also coinciding with #springbreak2017! Who’s that hoppin’ down the bunny trail? It’s Eggward the Easter Bunny and Snoopy the Easter Beagle! Come to Carowinds during our Easter Eggstravaganza to get your photo taken with Eggward and Snoopy and take part in eggstra-special activities, crafts and entertainment! You can take your littles to Easter Brunch on Easter Sunday, April 16th. Details here. Read More →

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.


Fitness Friday: Why Flywheel is the PERFECT mom workout

By our Smarty friends at Flywheel Charlotte

Miranda King, one of our rock star FLYmoms, maintains a busy schedule each week. She’s a mom to two beautiful girls, a loving wife, and a full-time marketing analytics manager for a financial services company. For Miranda it’s hard to find the time to maintain a fitness routine and juggle many responsibilities during the week. With her commitment to maintain a healthy lifestyle and motivation to challenge herself, she’s found her passion at Flywheel with high-intensity workouts that will continuously encourage her to push past her limits and Never Coast!Miranda King_jpg

Meet Miranda, one of our rock star FLYmoms!

I’m a 38-year-old mom of two girls. It’s really like having two “only” children; one is 17 and the other is 3. I’m a manager of marketing analytics for a financial services company. Originally from Florida, we have been in Charlotte for five years and have fallen in love with the seasons, culture and food!!! Hence the need for Flywheel.

What first brought you to Flywheel?

One of my friends brought me to Shane’s Thursday night Fly Beats class. She knew I was trying to get into a workout routine and hadn’t found the right place yet so she introduced me to Flywheel. Read More →

April 6, 2017

Hop to it and get those Easter baskets ready for someBUNNY special!

As far as Easter Baskets go, I am sort of old school. A couple of things and you are good to go. The hard part is trying to figure out what those things are. Smarties, I am here to help. I have created the ULTIMATE SMARTY LIST OF EASTER BASKET IDEAS.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Easter! I can remember as a little girl getting all dressed up to attend church with my grandfather. I remember every detail of my outfit: Little pink cape, little pink shift dress, white gloves, patent leather mary janes with white knee socks, and an Easter Bonnet. That was one of my favorite days. It is forever implanted in memory. From that moment on, Easter became my favorite holiday of the year.

I am hoping this is my year to establish some traditions with my twin 4 year old boys. In years past, we have always been traveling over the Easter holiday. I want to deck them out in seersucker suits with saddle shoes and watch them hunt for Easter eggs. I just know that in a blink of an eye they will say “No, Mom. I am not wearing that.” So my advice to you, do it why they are young. Get your kiddos all dressed up and snap those perfect pics! There is nothing cuter than your little one wearing bunny ears all dressed up.

The Yummy Stuff

Best place to find candy: Candy Girl Confections: 2910 Selwyn Ave
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Smarty Pick for Best Boys Birthday Party in the QC: Knockerball Charlotte


Knockerball: The Ultimate Party Experience

I’m always stumped when it comes to a good boys birthday party venue. I get asked time and time again, “what are your favorite birthday party spots?” Until my twins’ 11th birthday party last month, I’ve never really had a good, solid reco for a birthday boy. And then we hosted a Knockerball party, which was hands down, the best boys birthday party we’ve ever hosted. Here’s why.

My boys’ birthday is on Valentine’s Day, kind of a lame date for a boy birthday. Valentine’s Day is all about girly things like pink hearts and sending love notes to your Valentine crush. If you ask any boy about stuff like that, they’d blush and want to throw up. It’s also a terrible time of year for weather which means no outside venues. We can’t just set up a game of flag football, throw some Gatorades in a cooler and send the winning team home with bragging rights. Our birthday parties need to be well thought out and perfectly executed. Or we run the risk of my boys and their buds literally bouncing off the walls. Enter Knockerball Charlotte, the perfect activity inside or out where kids can do just that and have a blast while doing it.


Knockerball is a giant inflatable sphere with handles and adjustable straps on the inside. Knockerballs allow you to bump and crash into your friends with no pain experienced at all. Organizing a game of KnockerSoccer is super fun, although people often forget about the soccer ball and find themselves knocking each other down in pure chaos. The only pain you’ll experience will be from laughing too hard!
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