Seven years ago, I was introduced to Laura Mercier’s primer and tinted moisturizer (and eventually went broke getting sucked into the Laura Mercier makeup vortex). A colleague and good friend of mine educated me on Laura Mercier after spending an afternoon at the makeup counter with her friend and today’s Smarty Mom, Jen Parrish. Each time I walk by Laura Mercier at Belk, I think of Jen Parrish!
Jen and I live parallel lives and for this reason, I refer to her as my “mom twin“. Jen has shared some of her mom moments with Smarty Charlotte through these guest blogs, Let’s Go Camping and Please Go To Sleep.
Jen’s Smarty Mom Stats:
Married to: Brian, 7 years
Years in Charlotte: 14 years
Mom to: Caroline, 5 years old and Will, 3 years old
Occupation: Senior Vice President and Senior Change Manager, Bank of America
Original Home Town: Raleigh
What are some of your top gift picks for Caroline and Will this year? Will is going to be super easy. He is in the superhero phase (as evidenced by my previous blog), so anything Batman, Superman, Spiderman, or Star Wars is going to make him SO happy. I’m loving the Imaginext line by Fisher Price. They still get the superhero guys, but they are more preschool-kid friendly. To be honest, I’m STUMPED for Caroline. She just started kindergarten, so unfortunately she’s getting exposed to a lot of older kids and older kids toys. She’s obsessed with my iPad and iPod touch and seems to think those are 5 year old toys (umm… NO). I’ve been considering the LeapPad, but haven’t yet seen it in person – only online. Would love any feedback if anyone has it.
Tell us some of your family’s Christmas traditions.
Christmas traditions have always been hard for me because my parents divorced when I was 1, so for as long as I could remember, I had two Christmases and two families. Growing up, other kids thought that was so cool – double the presents, right? But what it really meant for me was that I never really had ONE set of traditions that stayed consistent. I did however, learn to take the best of both families and it means so much to me to make those memories with my own kids. My mom always hid Santa’s stockings and we had a scavenger hunt with clues every Christmas morning to find the stockings. My kids have loved that tradition so far. I’ve also started taking my daughter to the Southern Christmas Show with my stepmom in November. It really gets us excited about the holidays. And of course, we always go to church on Christmas Eve. I have wonderful memories of going to the candlelight service at my home church in Raleigh.
Who is your celebrity crush?
Keith Urban – love his music and think he is SO hot, especially now that he is a family man!
Best book you’ve read lately?
The Hunger Games series. I cannot wait for the movie to come out!
Favorite movie of all time?
Gotta be Top Gun. Brian hates to watch it with me because I quote EVERY line before it’s said. I mean, how can you not need these classic quotes in daily life:
On a night out with the girlfriends: “You can be my wingman (wingwoman) anytime.”
At home on a Saturday night: “Hey Goose (or Brian)?! Take me to bed or lose me forever!” (OK – can I say that on a public blog?)
Heading to the carpool line: “I feel the NEED…The NEED for SPEED!” KIDDING!
On telling a story involving my husband: “I just happened to …..” “WE!” “Oh sorry, Goose.. WE just happened to…”
Minivan or suv?
SUV. I have never coveted the minivan like Team Bowman. But I will say that I’m very selective with my SUV. I love my Chevy Traverse with the captain’s chairs in the second row. You get the versatility in seating of a minivan but still keep some of the cool factor (or at least that’s what I’m telling myself as I load in my two kids, dogs, and soccer mom stuff).
What is your favorite phone app?
Since I have just recently joined the iPhone party, I’m still new to it and am trying new apps every day, but I would say that my fav is Pandora.
What is your favorite CSP article?
There are so many! From a useful perspective, I go back to “Kids Eat Free (or Almost Free)” on a regular basis to determine dinner choices. I love Courtenay’s “Smarty Scoop on Weekend Activities” . And I have also referenced the babysitter/nanny blogs many times. From an inspirational and entertainment factor, Krista’s blog “I am an Athlete” made me cry and was so inspiring! Also – love Lisa’s blog on the challenges of being a working mom and sometimes wishing you could be a stay at home mom in “Me, Myself, and I” . And back in the early days of CSP, I loved the “How We Do It” series by Jenny and Tracy for working moms.
Finish this sentence: “I could not live without my”…I know it’s cheesy and cliché – but it’s family. On all levels. Of course my husband and my wonderful kids, but also our parents. We have been so blessed to have three sets of parents (2 of mine and 1 of Brian’s) that live in Charlotte or within 2 ½ hours driving distance. They are wonderful grandparents to our kids, love on them and us unconditionally, and are able to give Brian and I some needed time to ourselves on a pretty regular basis. I think that is the only thing that keeps us sane sometimes in this crazy busy life. It’s amazing what a dinner out with adult conversation or even better, a night or two away, can do for you when you need some perspective. So here’s my shout out and thank you to Mom, Dad, Gwen, Lee, Steve and Carol!
It’s our favorite time of year in Smartyland ~ that time when we give and give BIG we will! This one will put the swag in your swagger this holiday season as we kick off Santa’s Smarty Swag Bag holiday giveaway. That Claus dude and his pink & green elves were fiercely Smarty this year and put some of the B-E-S-T swag in the ‘ole holiday bag for one lucky reader. Make sure you are signed up for our e-newsletter for your chance to win $600 from our coolest Smarty friends in town! Click here to read ALL the details on this merry treat!