My Baby Got her Ears Pierced!

I’ve been struggling a lot lately with the fact that my baby is really growing up…and quickly. Those feelings were further cemented earlier this month when #dailybocaavery decided she wanted to get her ears pierced. I had told her for awhile now that we would allow her to get them pierced whenever SHE decided to. I missed the window for ear piercing in Boca Raton when she was a baby (nor was it a priority at the time, honestly). So I figured she’d ask when it became popular in her class at school or she entered the pre-teen fashion idol phase.

Little did I know that would happen at age 4.

Are you familiar with the phenomenon known as High School Musical? I personally remember it coming out because Zac Efron became a (hot) thing right afterwards. My NYC roommate at the time also had an uncanny resemblance to Corbin Bleu, another of the film’s young actors. So, I queued it up on Netflix one day and boom: Sharpay Evans (aka Ashley Tisdale) became Avery’s new style icon.

She wore pink. Sharpay danced. She sang. Sharpay wore earrings. It was true love. Avery has since watched EVERY High School Musical cinematic masterpiece along with Sharpay’s Big Adventure. Thanks Netflix.

So, after the annual meeting of the Easter Bunny with her cousin in front of Nordstrom at Town Center, Avery requested to walk over to Claire’s to simply look at the earrings. I knew she was curious and agreed. Before I knew it, my 4 year-old force of a daughter had informed the closest employee that she would like her ears pierced…today.

I consented to this ear piercing in Boca Raton, but shiz has changed big time, mamas. Remember when it cost $19.99 to adorn your lobes? Now, if you want white gold studs in your “ear piercing starter kit,” plan to fork over close to $70 bucks at Claire’s. That was a fun revelation. Ouch for me and her.

So, my baby climbed into my lap and braced herself. I even thought she might back out as the stealth Claire’s ear piercing specialists loaded their guns and attempted to hide them from sight. They approached my kid on both sides and did the deed– both ears at the same time. (Both ears is key, by the way.)

There was shock. There was crying. And that was just me! Okay, Avery too…but she was fine in about 90 seconds and so, so proud of herself.

ear piercing in Boca Raton
If you zoom in…you can see the single tear in the corner of her eye. <3

It made my heart hurt and swell at the same time. But that’s being a mom, right?

P.S. This post is not an advertisement. However, I highly recommend Claire’s at Town Center at Boca Raton! They did a fantastic job and have always been my go-to for ear piercing in Boca Raton.

Disney’s World of Avatar Highlights + The Dolphin’s BIG Resort Renovation

What do dolphins and banshees have in common? Well, a lot if you happen to be staying at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin AND heading to Animal Kingdom to experience all of the World of Avatar highlights for the first time ever!

World of Avatar highlights

After visiting the Walt Disney World Swan in late 2016 and learning about the multi-phase, multi-year, $140 million redesign project that planned to transform every guest room in the 758-room Swan Hotel and the 1,509-room Dolphin Hotel, I wanted to go back to check out the progress on our first trip to #visitpandora.

Walt Disney World Dolphin

Walt Disney World Dolphin

Disclosure: The Dolphin provided us with a media rate to stay on property. This allowed us to check out all of the new guest room features as well as their gorgeous new lobby.

Walt Disney World Dolphin

The renovated rooms now include upgraded furniture as well as all of the latest technology including large HD TVs. Additional power outlets provide family travelers (and bloggers) more options for use of multiple personal electronics. And of course, we love a good balcony room with a view!

Walt Disney World Dolphin

Walt Disney World Dolphin

The new room design was inspired by the resort’s water-themed architecture. The goal was to create a serene and sophisticated atmosphere. I think they succeeded!

Walt Disney World Dolphin

Walt Disney World Dolphin
The centerpiece of the room is the famous Westin Heavenly Bed with its all-white custom-designed pillow-top mattress set, cozy down blanket, a trio of crisp sheets, goose down comforter and four over- stuffed pillows.
Walt Disney World Dolphin
The design continues into a completely new bathroom, featuring a back-lit mirror mounted on iridescent glass tiles.

Walt Disney World Dolphin

MBMom Tip: The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin offers 17 restaurants and lounges. Take advantage!

We especially loved the all-new look of Phins in the Dolphin lobby. Phins is a contemporary lounge where guests can enjoy sipping on custom-crafted cocktails, a glass of vintage wine, or even a frosty mug of special Phins and Feathers beer. You can then enjoy your drinks under the sophisticated ambiance of a spectacular custom-made crystal chandelier. It’s gorgeous, trust me.

Walt Disney World Dolphin

Walt Disney World Dolphin

Our family also took advantage of the grab and go restaurant, fuel, in the Dolphin lobby. If you’re looking to stock up with snacks for the theme parks, this place will come in handy. We filled up on coffee and ready-made breakfast sandwiches before heading to Animal Kingdom to check out the World of Avatar highlights.

Walt Disney World Dolphin

Walt Disney World Dolphin

MBMom Tip: Complimentary bus transportation is available to all of the parks from the Swan and Dolphin. Or, you can take a short water taxi to Epcot® and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The Walt Disney World Dolphin is also ridiculously close to Disney’s Boardwalk, which is a really cool area! We grabbed pizza over there on our last night.

Walt Disney World Dolphin

As for Pandora… Walt Disney’s World of Avatar Highlights

We might be one of the last ones to the party, but we FINALLY had the time (and Disney Annual Passes) to visit Pandora: The World of Avatar this February. Granted we were daytime visitors, but I feel like we got a healthy dose of this new attraction, especially when it came to the cuisine. But, we do look forward to returning again to see it in all its glory at night!

When you enter the World of Avatar, you essentially become an eco-tourist. You’ll encounter floating mountains, a glowing, bioluminescent rainforest and other wonders of an alien world. The premise of the land is that the Valley of Mo’ara on Pandora is undergoing a rebirth long after a destructive mining operation ceased operation. Eco-tourists (aka us!) for the first time, can travel to this exoplanet located in the Alpha Centauri star system 4.4 light years from Earth. Pretty cool, huh?

My 4 year-old daughter didn’t really know anything about the movie prior to entering the land, but she was game for it all (albeit not tall enough to ride Flight of Passage yet, so we missed that one this time). Instead she settled for face painting this trip. 

World of Avatar Flora

The Walt Disney Imagineering landscape architecture team worked side by side with the land’s design and engineering teams to ensure that thousands of Pandoran plants fit into the overall landscape plan. You truly couldn’t tell the real plants from the fake apart. It was impressive!

More than 250 varieties of live trees, shrubs and epiphytes mingle with the Pandoran. The Disney horticulture team planted more than 500 trees and nearly 10,000 shrubs across the Pandoran landscape.

Na’vi River Journey

At the center of Pandora is a riparian area, where waterfalls cascade from the mountaintops into gentle pools and streams. One stream follows a peaceful path along the entry to Pandora. The other flows into the Na’vi River Journey, where guests board reed boats for an excursion to see the revered Shaman of Songs.

We loved hopping on the reed boat for Na’vi River Journey. Seeing all of the glowing flora and fauna were some of the top World of Avatar highlights for me! The best part was that it’s a very family-friendly water adventure…aka slow. 😉

Pandoran Cuisine

All of this adventure had us working up an appetite! We headed to the brand new Satu’li Canteen (formerly the RDA mess hall) to indulge in the international-inspired cuisine, vegetarian options and specialty libations crafted from Pandora’s natural abundance. We weren’t disappointed and there is virtually no wait if you visit on the earlier side of your day. Here’s what we sampled:

Cheeseburger pods. They were amazing. I’m craving them now, in fact.
Blueberry Cheesecake with Passion Fruit Curd – unique and delicious! Worth getting at least once.

I also sneaked over to  the Pongu Pongu Lounge for a quick cocktail while #dailybocaavery was getting her face painted. The “bioluminescent” frozen cocktail Night Blossom hit the spot for this thirsty traveler! The drink is a mix of limeade combined with apple and desert pear flavors finished off with passion fruit boba balls…and rum if you’d like it.  It’s very tasty and unique!

At night, you’ll see that many of the walkways and paths, like the alien plant life that surrounds them, are bioluminescent. A treatment added to some of the Pandoran walkways gives them a glowing quality. Talk about World of Avatar highlights! Charged by sunlight and reinforced by black light, the glowing pathways literally come to life in the evening.

We can’t wait to travel there again! Have you been to #visitpandora yet?

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Special thanks to Mazda USA for providing our ride to/from Orlando in the 2018 Mazda CX-9!

We loved it. #drivemazda

Check out some of our favorite features from the Mazda CX-9 3 Row 7 Passenger SUV in our video below:

You’ll Still Feel Good After Stuffing Yourself at True Food Kitchen Boca

#modernbocadad and I have kind of stopped eating out. It’s not because we’re cracking down on our budget (okay, maybe we are a little), but because we always feel so darn awful afterwards. Stuffed. Full. Whatever you want to call it. Ugh. But, I’ve finally found a local restaurant that feeds you well without you feeling so…unwell. Welcome to our town True Food Kitchen Boca Raton!

True Food Kitchen Boca

True Food Kitchen Boca
We celebrated our 7 year wedding anniversary at True Food Kitchen Boca Raton!

Co-founded by integrative medicine expert Dr. Andrew Weil and nine-time James Beard Award nominee for Restaurateur of the Year Sam Fox, True Food Kitchen Boca caters to foodie palates and preferences. It features a variety of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan offerings for brunch, lunch, dinner and cocktails. The first True Food Kitchen opened in Phoenix in 2008. Now, the restaurant has 22 locations (including True Food Kitchen Boca Raton). 

True Food Kitchen Boca Raton’s philosophy is simple:

Food should make you feel better—not worse—and you shouldn’t have to sacrifice taste to live a healthier lifestyle. Every meal served up at TFK is prepared to that standard. And, it’s delicious. The standouts from the our evening?

Edamame Dumplings (VEG)
dashi, white truffle oil, asian herbs

Edamame Dumplings (VEG) dashi, white truffle oil, asian herbs

Charred Cauliflower (V GF)
harissa tahini, medjool date, dill, mint, pistachio

Charred Cauliflower (V GF) harissa tahini, medjool date, dill, mint, pistachio

Moroccan Chicken (GF)
mission fig, heirloom carrot, chickpea, olive, spinach, chermoula, greek yogurt

Moroccan Chicken (GF) mission fig, heirloom carrot, chickpea, olive, spinach, chermoula, greek yogurt

Chia Seed Pudding (V GF)
banana, toasted coconut

Chia Seed Pudding (V GF) banana, toasted coconut

Honorable mention goes to the Flourless Chocolate Cake because of the Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream. You’d never know you weren’t eating the real thing!

Flourless Chocolate Cake (VEG GF) caramel, vanilla ice cream, cocoa nibs
As for design…

Each True Food Kitchen is designed to reflect the local character of the region in an upscale and sustainable environment. Indoors, natural woods and vibrant, locally-inspired artwork add a contemporary touch to the earthy color scheme, natural elements and greenery, including indoor/outdoor garden basins filled with fresh herbs and spices.

Eco-friendly materials are utilized throughout the restaurant, such as the hardwood floors, which are made of reclaimed wood, and dining chairs made of recycled soda bottles. Cool right?

And did I mention the cocktails? Our favorites were the Citrus Skinny Margarita and Pomegranate Mule. Delicious and oh so fresh!

Thank you so much to True Food Kitchen for hosting us for dinner to facilitate this review! You can find them right in front of Town Center at Boca Raton (where valet is) the next time you’d like to indulge…but feel great afterwards!

True Food Kitchen Boca Raton
6000 Glades Rd, Unit 1015A | Boca Raton, FL 33431

2018 South Florida Spring Break Camps Roundup

I have news for you. Spring Break is around the corner, mamas. Like next month. I know…it’s crazy how fast time is already flying. BUT, I have done some 2018 South Florida Spring Break Camps digging (since most of us still have to work that week). And, I’ve found some amazing local options for your children whether you’re in Boca or beyond.

If your son/daughter is into theater, dance, sports, gymnastics, arts, crafts– you name it–we have a 2018 South Florida Spring Break camps recommendation below for you!

P.S. Our 2018 Summer Camp roundup post is also up. Check it out HERE.

Continue reading 2018 South Florida Spring Break Camps Roundup

Have You Met Wafa? The Best Brow Services in Boca Have Arrived

When I was a fresh-faced 14 year old, a newly minted freshman at Boca High, I had scraggly (but virgin!) eyebrows. I struggle to remember them clearly, but they were just begging to be shaped. My new friend at the time, an expert in all things makeup, offered to tweeze them in true late nineties fashion: THIN. They were on trend for awhile, but now I think most of us late 90’s/early 2000’s teenagers regret our eyebrow grooming decisions back then. Luckily there are rehab centers…brow services in Boca that can help get our eyebrows back up to snuff through professional shaping or microblading. And I want to introduce you to the best! Wafa’s Brow Art & Skincare.

brow services in Boca

Have you met Wafa?

I first heard about Wafa Alsaid through my friends at Boca Raton magazine. There was a big write-up about her brow services in Boca in a recent print issue. The article talked about how Wafa would spend a meticulous 30 minutes making sure every hair in your brow(s) was tamed and trimmed until perfect. I had to give her a try.

When I booked my session (they work by appointment only), I was one of the first lucky few customers to visit their new location at 7400 N Federal Hwy. in Boca Raton. It’s a big open space and there is art everywhere.

brow services in Boca

You see, Wafa began as an oil painting artist, but her love for eyebrows sprouted when she was only 16 years old. Her two passions, art and eyebrows, took over when she decided to combine her artistic eye with the science of permanent makeup. She believes every woman should be able to wake up confident. I believe in that too…even though my confidence is also boosted by coffee and under eye concealer. 😉

brow services in Boca

I prefer to get my eyebrows threaded, so I booked that service plus tinting. It’s amazing how many invisible blonde hairs make an appearance after tinting! My brows were already more full after only one brow services in Boca appointment.

Now, a few months have passed and I’m pretty happy with the brow progress we’ve made. But, I’ve made an appointment for microblading with Wafa’s daughter, Luna. Yep, Wafa’s Brow Art & Skincare is a family business! I have a few areas that I’d like to have filled out, so make sure you’re following Modern Boca Mom on Facebook and Instagram to see the video coming up soon!

For a full list of brow services in Boca at Wafa’s Brow Art, click here. Or call to book your appointment! 561-501-1068

Appointment: Tue. – Sat. 10AM – 5PM

brow services in Boca
Before & After threading at Wafa’s Brow Art
Follow Wafa’s Brow Art on Instagram and Facebook!

Sponsored: This post was hosted by Wafa’s Brow Art & Skincare. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the sponsor. Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider and please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I was offered complimentary brow services for review consideration, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

Top Attractions in Boca Raton *and Beyond*

Top Attractions in Boca Raton *and Beyond!*

Summer is almost here and as the kiddos finish school and the days get longer, you’ll want something to keep them busy! When you need to get out of the house, here are some of the top attractions in Boca Raton *and beyond*!

Top Attractions in Boca Raton

    1. South Florida Science Center and Aquarium

      At the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium, there is always something happening! And Summer is even more exciting and full of plenty of fun! From the Science Summer Camp to Nights at the Museum to the Amazing Butterfly exhibit, there is an endless array of things to do! For more information:

  1. Palm Beach Zoo

    This summer, the Palm Beach Zoo will not only feature animal experiences, educational programs and nights out, but they are also exhibiting some amazing seasonal event! For more information:

  2. Lion Country Safari

    Between the drive-thru safari and awesome entertainment park (hello giraffe encounter!), Lion Country Safari is a great way to get out of the house and have some WILD fun! Don’t forget about the 2017 Summer Savings Pass! For more information:

  3. PLAYMOBIL Fun Park

    Top Attractions in Boca Raton

  4. I-FLY in Ft. Lauderdale

    A super fun time for parents and kids alike; check out my full review HERE.

  5. Sugar Sand Park

    Featuring the NEW Science Playground, Explorium & Willow Theater, Sugar Sand Park is one of the best hidden gems in Boca Raton! (And one of the top attractions in Boca Raton *and beyond!*). For more information:

  6. Daggerwing Nature Center

    Top Attractions in Boca Raton

  7. Boca Raton Museum of Art

    From the finest in adult exhibits to the fun and interactive sights for kiddos of all ages, the Boca Raton Museum of Art has some of the most interesting fun and activities you can find. For more information on what is going on:

  8. Gumbo Limbo Nature Center
  9. Boca Raton Children’s Museum

    The pinnacle of kids fun in Boca Raton, all you have to do is bring your imagination and flair for fun and games!

  10. CHALK Cafe in Delray Beach
  11. Monkey Joe’s

    A place for fun, families and Monkey-ing around, Monkey Joe’s is a ton of fun for your whole group!

  12. Bedner’s in Boynton Beach

    A farm fresh market where you can not only enjoy the outdoors, but you can also pick your own fruit and veggies when in season! For a list of what you can pick and when, look here:

  13. Butterfly World in Deerfield Beach

    Top Attractions in Boca Raton

  14. Green Cay Nature Center in Boynton Beach
  15. We Rock the Spectrum Kids Gym

    A kids gym that is a safe, nurturing and sensory friendly environment. For more on fun events:

  16. Patch Reef Park

Which of these top attractions in Boca Raton and Beyond is your favorite? Which ones are you dying to try?! Comment below!

Subscribe to Modern Boca Mom’s weekly e-newsletter by clicking HERE.

For more ideas on Boca Raton fun and games, visit my Pinterest Board :

Cruising on the Disney Wonder with a Preschooler: Hit or Miss?

Is a Disney Cruise for preschoolers? That was the question I seriously asked myself as I accepted Disney’s wonderful invite to the 2017 Social Media Moms Celebration. I mean, CLEARLY Walt Disney World parks are perfect for preschoolers (as we took complete and utter advantage of our annual passes in 2016).

But a cruise? And without my mom for travel backup? I figured we’d take a chance and give it a shot anyways…

Read More

MOMpreneur Monday: Direct Primary Care of Boca Raton

MOMpreneur: n. defined as a female business owner who is actively balancing the role of mom and the role of entrepreneur.

Welcome to our latest installment of MOMpreneur Monday, highlighting businesses and brands that were founded by female entrepreneurs and fellow Mommas!

Today’s featured Modern Boca MOMpreneur is Rachel, Kittle Huerta, ARNP and Owner of Direct Primary Care in Boca Raton!

Continue reading MOMpreneur Monday: Direct Primary Care of Boca Raton

MOMpreneur Monday:

MOMpreneur: n. defined as a female business owner who is actively balancing the role of mom and the role of entrepreneur.

Welcome to our latest installment of MOMpreneur Monday, highlighting businesses and brands that were founded by female entrepreneurs and fellow Mommas!

Today’s featured Modern Boca MOMpreneur is Sarah Blain, Founder & Creator of Sealed By brands (Sealed By Santa from Shark Tank, Sealed By The Easter Bunny, Sealed By The Tooth Fairy)!

Continue reading MOMpreneur Monday:

5 Reasons Miami is Great for Families

When you think of Miami, what do you picture? South Beach, classical inspired villas and luxury hotels with in-ground pools? While Miami may have all of these things, it has so much more to offer. From fun-filled Jungle Island to the magnificent Vizcaya Museum and Gardens (I still need to go!), metro Miami is not just reserved for young college grads. It’s also a great place to raise a family and look into Miami real estate.

The most populated city in Florida, Miami-Dade County’s population continues to grow at 2.1% per year. What attracts people to Miami is not just the beautiful weather year round, but the culture and opportunities it provides for young people. Here are just 5 more reasons why Miami is a great place for families and children.

Miami real estate

Miami is Massive

As with all big cities, affordability will become an issue in your search for a home. With over 2.5 million residents and 1,898 square miles of land, there are plenty of places to spot deals on Miami real estate. Even if you can’t find affordable housing in the city, there are plenty of cities and suburbs surrounding the area that offer affordable Miami real estate.

Brownsville and Liberty City inside Miami are rated as some of the best neighborhoods to raise a family. They’re also considerably more affordable than downtown Miami apartments or housing. No matter where you live in Miami-Dade County, you’ll never be more than a half hour or 45 minute drive to downtown.

Amenities are Endless

Look, as parents, a lot of us like to idealize the nice, tranquil suburban life for our families. But, a lot of us also crave that big city lifestyle and Miami offers the perfect mix of both. When you take advantage of Miami real estate, you’ll be able to enjoy a lot of local amenities. With over 260 parks, the famous Miami Seaquarium and Zoo Miami, there’s endless stuff for you and your kids to enjoy.

There’s Some Great Schools

With such a massive land area, Miami offers many choices in terms of schooling. While many Miami school districts have taken a hit lately in the press, there are plenty of great schools if you know where to look. Academies, such as the School for Advanced Studies and George Washington Carver Middle School continue to be recognized as some of the nation’s best. In total, Miami offers 239 public schools. And, there are 185 private schools and growing.

Miami is a Cultural Hub

Between the Wynwood Art Walk, pop up art deco exhibits across downtown, and the famous Coconut Grove Arts Festival, the arts truly do come to life across Miami. Just taking a stroll through the unique street art of Wynwood and the winding villages across downtown Miami will give you an idea of how unique and eclectic Miami’s art scene remains.

Of course, we can’t make a list of anything Miami without including Little Havana. If there’s one reason to take your family on the next train down to visit Miami, it’s the Cuban food. Also, there’s Miami’s amazing seafood! With a touch of several different cultures leaving its mark on Miami, the city remains a great place to expose children to different cultures of the world.

The Beaches

Finally, this should almost go without saying, but I have to say it: South Beach. If there’s one thing the family will always cherish in Miami, it’s year round beach weather. If you’ve grown up in the north, you’ll understand how truly precious this is. Miami Beach is absolutely gorgeous and continues to attract people from all over the world each day.  

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