Smarties, we’re thrilled to add a teen voice to the pink & green team! Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a teen in this digital age? Where do they go? What do they do? And what do they really think? Meet Teen Smarty Clare Gibbons! She represents everything we wanted for our teen board – she’s smart(y), driven, successful, talented and wants to be a writer. Clare was wrapped up perfectly in a pink & green bow!
Let’s get cozy with Clare!
Clare’s Smarty Stats:
Fam: I have a younger brother Mike (14) who is a freshman, and a sister Ellie (13) who is a 7th grader! I have the best and most supportive parents anyone could ask for, and I love our two beautiful Portuguese Water Dogs Dory (5), and Dixie (3)!
Grade? I am currently surviving the infamous Junior Year in high school!
Sports? I’ve done competitive soccer, swimming, and lacrosse over the years, but in the past year I’ve realized that my favorite sport is tennis! It’s a sport I will be able to play throughout my whole life, and I’ve been really focused on trying to improve many aspects of my game!
Honors? I am currently taking 3 AP courses and 3 Honors courses at my high school. Needless to say it has been a long, hard year so far! My grades are first and foremost after my family, faith, and friends!
Interests? I enjoy tennis, piano, reading, swimming, and of course spending time with my family and friends. I love playing with my dogs, running, hiking, biking, fishing, and going on vacations (especially to Hilton Head Island)!
What is your favorite thing about being the oldest and a big sister?
I have to say my favorite thing about being the oldest in my family is when I can see how much my younger siblings look up to me. We’re all very close in age, which can be both a blessing and a curse, but in the end it wasn’t long ago when I was going through everything they are. I love talking to them about teachers I’ve had and giving them advice on school, sports, friends, or whatever. One of the favorite parts of my day is driving my younger brother home from high school everyday. In the morning we’re both drowsy (what do you expect? we’re teenagers and it’s only 7!), but the afternoon car rides are always fun-filled. We laugh, we joke, we talk about our day and listen to each others music. My siblings know I’ll always be there for them no matter what, and as long as that holds true, I know I’m being a good big sister!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
To be honest, I don’t have that much spare time right now with all of my school work! I love going to the Catholic football games on Friday nights, and just spending time with friends and family. I also love playing tennis, running, reading, playing piano, and going to the movies!
What advice do you have for parents of middle school teens? High school teens?
My advice for parents with teenagers is to communicate as much as possible! Teenagers are constantly faced with decisions in which they have to distinguish wrong from right on their own, and parents have to trust that their kids are making the right choices. Many kids won’t listen if all they hear is, “Don’t do this,” and “Don’t do that.” However, if parents talk to their kids about why something is wrong and what the consequences are they have a much better chance of getting their kids to listen and for them to make the right decisions in the future. Many times a kid might just think “Well I know thats wrong,” but not stop to think about the consequences. If parents talk to their teens about anything, good or bad, their kid will feel comfortable talking to them more too!
What advice do you have for middle school boys and girls?
Let’s face it: The middle school years are tough. A bunch of boys and girls mushed together in the same classes, all growing and maturing in different ways and at different rates will definitely lead to some difficult years. It’s the first time that a kid has to be more independent, and the first time they are faced with big decisions in which they have to be able to distinguish wrong from right. My advice is to keep your head down during all of the drama, but still hold it high! Do as well as you can in your classes so that you can be placed into higher classes in high school and find your niche of friends who will always be by your side! Be nice to everyone, you’re all going through the same experiences and you’re all in school together! Confidence and kindness are two of the best qualities you can have in middle school and in life!
Have you ever been bullied?
I have never really felt bullied so far, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t felt hurt by someone. Kids can be mean sometimes, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that can be true whatever age you are. Whether you’re feeling excluded, humiliated, or hurt, the best thing to do is just be kind to everyone (I know, easier said than done) and talk to a parent and a friend.
How do you feel about social media? What platforms do you use and what do you stay away from?
Social media can be great for communicating with friends and sharing pictures, but if it is used as a way to bully or hurt someone it is definitely negative. Social media has also ruined the social skills of many teenagers by allowing them to say anything they want online, which isn’t real life. Recently I was out to eat with a bunch of friends and I was shocked to see how many people had their phone out at the table. I never use my phone when I’m out to eat or talking to anyone. Before I post something I always think, “Could this offend anyone?” if theres even a slight chance that it could then I wouldn’t post it. I use social media purely to talk with friends and share pictures, if it is used for anything beyond that then it’s most likely not a good idea.
What is your favorite holiday tradition with your fam?
One of my favorite holiday traditions with my family is going to Washington DC for Thanksgiving when I get to stay with my grandmother and cousins who all live nearby. We’re all Irish and Italian so naturally I have relatives stuffing delicious food into my mouth every time I turn around! All 19 of us sit together and have a huge feast. My uncle is a big hunter which means that we don’t just have turkey… we have chicken, duck, goose, deer, and yes… squirrel. I usually stick to the turkey, but last year while I was eating soup, I found out that it was goose gumbo. At first I was totally revolted, but after trying it a few more times I realized how much I liked it and even had seconds!
What is your favorite restaurant?
I LOVE breakfast, and the best place for that in Charlotte is The Original Pancake House! I could also always use a trip to P.F. Changs, Cowfish, Cafe Monte, or the Open Kitchen (the first restaurant I went out to eat in when I moved to Charlotte!).
Favorite thing to do with your gal pals?
I love going to the movies and going out to eat with my friends! We all love going to the mall, the gym, football games, or just staying home sometimes! I also love playing tennis at night under the lights with my tennis friends, it makes everything so much more fun! A few weeks ago I had two of my best friends over and we camped out in my backyard after a bonfire, which was a total blast! We also love going to concerts and to the beach together!
I recently told my friend that I think I have seen every romantic comedy worth watching, and most of those that aren’t. I’m a hopeless romantic who will cry in every movie, and I love it (weird, I know but I love crying in movies!). I could never pick just one favorite! Anything that is a good mix of action, comedy, romance, or drama is a great fit for me! If I had to pick, The Titanic, The Notebook, This Means War, and Get Smart would probably be at the top of my list!
The app I use the most is probably Twitter or Instagram, but I was really into the Temple Run and Candy Crush trend for a while!
Most definitely the Harry Potter series. I’ve read the books countless times! I also love the Hunger Games, The Penderwicks, any Nicholas Sparks book, Gallagher Girls, and Peak!
What’s on your latest playlist?
My music taste ranges from country to pop to rock to alternative rock and everything in between! Some of my favorite artists are Justin Timberlake, One Direction, Taylor Swift, John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, Michael Buble, Lady Antebellum, Train, Imagine Dragons, Cody Simpson, Luke Bryan, Bruno Mars, Maroon 5, and Ed Sheeran!
Funniest thing your siblings have ever said/done?
This is a tough one because there is not one dull moment in my house! I have to say that when my sister came home from the hospital after breaking her arm a few years ago was hilarious. Although it was awful she had broken her arm, the pain drugs that the doctor’s had her on caused her to say such funny things! She was on a scooter in our driveway (which has a HUGE hill), and she tried to go down it. She ended up catching too much speed and crashed into my neighbor’s fence (don’t worry, at least she was wearing a helmet!). My parents took her to the hospital where she had surgery on her elbow, and when she came home she was acting so weird. We were all talking to her, and then all the sudden she reached across the table and tried to grab my tongue. At this point she demanded everyone stick out their tongues telling us that hers was gone. We tried reassuring her that it was still there but she would not give up! She also had this blank look on her face, and then would burst into hysterical laughter for no reason at all. She said the weirdest things, and many of them in Spanish for some reason! One phrase she kept repeating was “uno, dos, ZAPATO!” (one, two, SHOE!). The whole family was in tears because we were laughing so hard!
My friends always joke that I have too many celebrity crushes! I love Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Justin Timberlake, Luke Bryan, Ryan Gosling, Zac Efron, Channing Tatum, Ryan Reynolds, Chace Crawford… need I go on?
I could not live without my…
hmm well aside from family and friends of course I would have to say my tennis rackets or my laptop. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have tennis, but my life would be much more boring! If can’t even remember how I did well in school without a laptop! It’s so helpful when I’m taking notes and it holds all my pictures, music, and it’s great for watching movies on long car rides!
Thanks, Clare, and let’s give this brave girl a pink & green hug! We can’t wait to hear more from her!
Register for TWO Giveaways this week!
When you become a mom, you quickly realize that after your first holiday season, it’s never going to be about you ever again. And that’s ok, because we adore our kids and the true meaning of the holidays. But what Smarty girl doesn’t like gifts wrapped up in a pink & green bow just for her?! That’s where CSP comes in. Smarties, we have scoured our amazing city and we bring you the BIGGEST and MOST FABULOUS Smarty Swag Bag to date! Feast your eyes, Smarty Charlotte and enjoy the pampering!
We present over $2,700 worth of fabulous Smarty Swag…Click here to join the holiday party, we’ll pick our winners TOMORROW, all 22 of them!!
The My Secret Angel & Me Giveaway – we’ll pick winners this week!
FOUR lucky Smarties will win this precious holiday tradition. We’ll pick our winners on Wednesday, December 11th. Click here for details!