All posts by Modern Boca Mom

Meet Our Newest Resident! Family Matters Nannies Boca


Family Matters Nannies Boca Raton

Welcome to the neighborhood, Family Matters Nannies Boca!

Meet Tova Rich, MOMpreneur, President and Founder of Family Matters Nannies, a new feature of East Boca Raton’s Mizner Park.

Family Matters Nannies Boca Raton

She’s guest blogging for us today to tell us a little bit about her handy and helpful business for busy MBMoms and Dads.

We’re so glad you decided to base your business in Boca Raton, Tova!

Hello Modern Boca Moms! As a mother of two, I know personally that even MBMoms can face some major challenges when trying to balance it all.

Family Matters Nannies Boca Raton

From being the “Director of Household Duties” to “Social Coordinator” there are a ton of responsibilities that are being juggled, which is one of the reasons I founded Family Matters Nannies.

At Family Matters Nannies, we can definitely relate to trying to manage these duties, a thriving career and somehow attempting to keep the romance alive.  We believe that every mom deserves some help. By hiring a nanny, you are able to delegate a lot of household responsibilities and it is a great solution for busy families.

Family Matters Nannies Boca Raton

Here are a few tips to follow when you are on your journey to finding the right nanny for your family: 
  1. Determine child care needs: When looking for a nanny, begin by taking into consideration the ages and number of children you have. Some nannies are great with infants or younger kids and others with older children.  If you have a larger family, it is important to find someone who is experienced with handling multiple children.
  2. Determine what qualities you want: Once you’ve assessed your situation, the next step is to decide what personality will work best for your children and family. Are you looking for a fun nanny who will happily take your kids to the park on a daily basis? Or for a busy family with a hectic and ever-changing schedule, finding someone who can “go with the flow” will be important. Other families may need someone who can provide more discipline and be an authoritative figure. It’s important to find a nanny who has the personality and skills required for the make-up of your family.
  3. Determine additional needs: At this point you have figured out what qualities you are looking for in a nanny, so now you must determine what you are looking for in terms of additional responsibilities and duties. Driving? Housekeeping? Pet Care? Cooking? Laundry? Before a nanny can be hired, you should determine what it is you actually need, that way you’ll know what skills are required.
  4. Be honest: By this point you should be prepared with all of the important details to start interviewing candidates. You will need to eliminate applicants that might look great on a resume but may not necessarily match your requirements. Also, you will be able to effectively inform the potential nanny of the duties and responsibilities that are required and what the home situation will be like. It is imperative that both parties are on board and desire this to be a long term relationship.
  5. Verify the details: If you think you have found “the one”, make sure to slow down. Did you properly screen your nanny? Did you conduct a thorough background check? Speak to all of the nanny’s references? Verify former places of employment? This individual is about to be responsible for your most precious treasures and it is vital that you cross all of your t’s and dot all of your i’s!

Family Matters Nannies Boca Raton

At Family Matters Nannies, we’re able to satisfy all of these components and take the stress out of the hiring process. It is our goal to provide families with highly qualified, trustworthy and experienced, full-time and part-time nannies.

For more information about Family Matters Nannies, please visit or call 561.706.7161.

You can also find Family Matters Nannies on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Family Matters Nannies Boca Raton

Family Matters Caregivers Inc. is based in Toronto, Canada and Family Matters Caregivers (HK) Ltd. in Hong Kong. Tova Rich handles the business operations for all three locations and has a prominent role throughout the entire placement process. 

Sponsored: This post was sponsored by Family Matters Nannies. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

How to Avoid the Back-to-School EWWs…

back to school illnesses

With school now back in full swing, I have a sneaking suspicion something annoying may come home with your child this fall semester…besides homework.

My guess? Back to school illnesses i.e. a cold or the stomach flu.


So, having the mindset that the best defense is a good offense, Modern Boca Mom reached out to Boca Raton pediatrician, Norina Ocampo, M.D. of Rainbow Pediatrics of South Florida, for some advice on how to best avoid these back to school illnesses…

Dr. Ocampo Headshot 2
Boca Raton Pediatrician, Norina Ocampo M.D.

What are the most common back to school illnesses children contract from others during the school year?

Dr. Ocampo: Upper respiratory infections, colds & coughs, gastroenteritis (i.e. vomiting, diarrhea), strep throat, the flu (influenza) and sinus infections FROM upper respiratory infections.

I see these back to school illnesses in my office all year long!

back to school illnesses

How can parents help to protect their kids from getting these back to school illnesses?

Dr. Ocampo: I typically recommend the following to parents…

  1. Make sure they feed their kids a good, healthy diet
  2. Set a strict bedtime, so their children get a good night’s sleep
  3. Ask their kids to wash their hands and then wash them some more!
  4. Try to teach their children to keep their hands out of their mouth and when they sneeze or cough, do it into their elbow. Kids contract illnesses from touching each other and germy surfaces (viruses can live for up 2 weeks before they die!)
  5. Also, exercise helps- it boosts the immune system.

back to school illnesses

MBMom: I’m always curious about this- what role do vitamins play in boosting children’s immune systems?

Dr. Ocampo: When it comes to your immune system, it’s actually more about nutrition as a whole. Vitamins can try to fill in what you’re not getting in your diet. But, good nutrition is key.

MBMom: When it comes to vitamins, our MBMom featured Dietitian and Certified Dietitian/Nutritionist (and mom!), Ilyse Schapiro, MS, RD, CDN, recommends alternaVites KIDS. 


SchapiroChildren need an ample supply of vitamins and minerals to help support their growth and development.  While it’s always important to get as many nutrients as you can through diet, sometimes it is not always possible.

Especially during the back to school period, things can get hectic: between the new schedule of homework, after school activities, play dates and even birthday parties & sports, it’s often hard to stick to any routine – let alone one where our children eat the way we wish they would or could.

What are the benefits of taking a daily multivitamin?

Schapiro:  A good multi is essential, especially when our kids head back to the classroom (where they share germs!)  A good multivitamin can be the best insurance policy for children. As children tend to be picky eaters and exert a lot of energy, most children can benefit from a daily multi.

Just make sure you look for a formula that has both vitamins and minerals in optimal doses, has no sugar, and one that contains no artificial colors, sweeteners, preservatives or flavors.

For extra support, children can also take an omega III supplement which can help with cognitive development.

What do you think about gummy vitamins for children?

Dr. Ocampo: I realize that it can be difficult for children to take “pill” vitamins and I certainly don’t like it when vitamins contain sugar, so some gummy vitamins are a ‘no, no’ in my book.

I appreciate it when multi-vitamins are gluten-free, sugar-free and have no artificial colors/flavors or preservatives.

back to school illnesses

Now, let’s hear from you! Do you have any other tips to help keep your kids healthy this fall and winter? Comment below!

Sponsored: This post was sponsored by alternaVites KIDS. All opinions expressed in this review are my own or Dr. Ocampo’s and NOT influenced in any way by the company. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

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Dr. Norina Ocampo is a board certified pediatrician who is a solo practitioner with her own practice, Rainbow Pediatrics of South FL, in Boca Raton, FL.  She completed her undergraduate studies at New York University and received her master’s degree from Georgetown University Graduate School and medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine. She did her residency at The Children’s Hospital of Medical University of South Carolina.

She is actively involved with the Department of Pediatrics at West Boca Medical Center, serving as chairperson twice and sitting on other pediatric committees. She has also volunteered as a board member for several nonprofit organizations, and has received many awards for her dedication to pediatrics and as a preceptor to the medical students from University of Miami School of Medicine.

She lives in Delray Beach with her husband and 2 children and loves being a pediatrician!

Ilyse Schapiro

lyse Schapiro, MS, RD, CDN, is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Dietitian/Nutritionist who holds a Master’s of Science in clinical nutrition and dietetics from New York University. Her professional experience includes clinical and private settings and counseling clients on a host of nutrition-related issues.

Before launching her own practice, she was a dietitian at Joy Bauer Nutrition, and served as a clinical dietitian at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Prior to pursuing her graduate degree in nutrition, Ilyse served on the publishing team at Men’s Health magazine for several years. Working at the award-winning publication inspired her to pursue her life-long goal of working in health and wellness.

Ilyse currently has a private practice in New York and Greenwich, CT.

MOMpreneur Monday: The Palms Birth House

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

Happy Monday Modern Boca Moms!  Welcome to our next installment of MOMpreneur Monday on MBMom, highlighting Florida businesses and brands that were founded by female entrepreneurs and fellow Mommas.


This week’s MOMpreneur is Miriam Pearson-Martinez, Licensed and Certified Professional Midwife and founder of The Palms Birth House in Delray Beach!

Palms Birth House Delray Beach

Every MBMom has a unique birth story.

While I won’t get into personal specifics, I wish I had had a little more control over HOW I delivered #dailybabyavery. I was a clueless, terrified, first time mom-to-be and at the hospital in NYC, I felt like I was a name on a list or schedule and not much more.

Luckily, Avery was born healthy and happy and I’m no (longer) worse for wear, but I kind of wish I had the guts (and pain tolerance) to go a bit more natural; if only to admire the birth experience that I’m likely to have only once or twice in my lifetime.

This is why places like The Palms Birth House are so special and essential in our community.

Hi Miriam! I’m excited to tell MBMoms-to-be a little more about The Palms Birth House. But first, why did you decide to become a midwife?

I am a mother of four children, ranging in ages from 9-23. It was the birth of my eldest son, Seth, that led me down the path of midwifery.

Palms Birth House Delray Beach

I was young, uniformed and scared and I gave up my choices and care to the person I thought I could trust most under the circumstance,s my OBGYN. My pregnancy was full of red flags that were ignored and my birth a demeaning experience. Two weeks after his birth, I was back in the hospital for Eclampsia (a full blown seizure due to gestational high blood pressure) and baffled as to how I had ended up there.

My first reaction was to fear childbirth; then I got to work. I realized my condition had been begging for attention for months and months. All the signs went ignored, but why?

I came to the personal conclusion that obstetrics in America was not about preventative healthcare and what was best for the family unit. I knew there had to be something better out there and my research of countries with better infant and maternal outcomes all had one thing in common: midwives.

How did your Delray Beach business get started?

The Palms Birth House is the only licensed birth center in Palm Beach County. After being a resident of Miami for over 30 years, I moved to Boca Raton when my husband joined a practice in the area.  My home birth practice blossomed, and more women expressed interest in alternatives to the traditional and intervention-filled hospital setting.

I teamed up with childbirth educator and doula Lorie McCoy of The Orchid Nest and (pun intended) The Palms Birth House was born.

Palms Birth House Delray Beach

Clearly your business is filling a need for mothers in our community. What else sets it apart?

Not only is The Palms the only licensed birth center in Palm Beach County, it is also an oasis of pregnancy services!

Our clients not only have access to safe and effective care, but also services designed to keep them in shape both body and mind.  From our childbirth education to prenatal yoga and massage, our services are designed to make our mamas feel healthy and confident.

Palms Birth House Delray Beach

What is the #1 reason MBMoms-to-be should check out The Palms?

Statistics show that low risk pregnancies have better outcomes when cared for by midwives. Infant and maternal mortality rates drop as well as an increase in patient satisfaction, long term breastfeeding, and mother/baby bonding has less interruptions.

While ‘out of hospital’ birth is not for everyone, I encourage women to research their providers, place of birth and the cesarean rate for both. The World Health Organization calls for a 15% cesarean rate and in our community, the average rate is over 48%.

Palms Birth House Delray Beach

What exciting things are coming up at your business?

The Palms celebrates our families every year with a visit from Santa.  This year, he will be stopping by with gifts for all our babies as well as stories, sing-alongs and one-on-one photographs.

We believe “it takes a village” and we like to think of ourselves as the community hut.

Palms Birth House Delray Beach

What do you love about living and working in South Florida?

I am one of a rare species known as a “native Floridian.” My travels around the world for both work and pleasure have proven this girl is made up of sunshine and saltwater!

I always come back for the weather and stay for the people. South Florida provides my family with exposure to so many cultures, that a walk around the block feels like a trip around the world.

Palms Birth House Delray Beach

So, MBMoms-to-be…..will you be looking into several ways (or places) to have your baby before the big day arrives? Comment below!

You can also follow The Palms Birth House on Facebook.

How to Visit NYC with a Toddler in Tow

MBMom spent a portion of her summer outside of the Boca Raton area in 2014 when my family and I packed up and drove (yes, DROVE) to Freeport, Maine for a few weeks to cool off and see my in-laws. We decided to visit NYC with a toddler (our former home) on our way back home to South Florida.

When it comes to traveling with a mobile little one around a place like the Big Apple, it certainly can’t hurt to have some MBMtravel tips in your back pocket! Here are ours…

How to Visit NYC with a Toddler in Tow- Top 5 Tips:

1. Visit NYC with a toddler during the SUMMER

We South Floridians are just not built for the winter and I say that as a former New Yorker (I’m done with you forever Old Man Winter!). We visited NYC in December when Avery was really little and portable.

How to visit NYC with a Toddler

Now that she’s 25+ pounds and running around, I do not want to make a visit to NYC with a toddler in a winter coat while sweating in my own cold weather gear myself.  No thanks.  Summer weather in NYC is perfect for the touristy experience, so I highly recommend visiting between May-October!

Plus, you might get a day in Central Park like this…

How to visit NYC with a Toddler

If it happens to be rainy or a little too cool out, you can visit NYC with a toddler by experiencing the 9/11 Memorial & Museum and NEW One World Observatory. I highly recommend doing both if you can manage it (although it is a bit pricey).

Even though the museum is emotional, it’s extremely well curated and respectful to the victims of that tragic day.

 How to visit NYC with a Toddler

They even have a special brochure about how to explain the museum and 9/11 to your children.

How to visit NYC with a Toddler

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How to visit NYC with a Toddler



As for One World Observatory, at $32 a pop for an adult ticket, you might only be able to choose one option or another. However, children 5 and under are complimentary. A rare freebie in New York City!

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 #modernbocadad and I traveled to “the top of the world” during our recent visit (2/16) to the Big Apple and were blown away by the views and interactive experiences in and leading up to your time on the (indoor) viewing deck. Even the elevator ride up was impressive.

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Bonus points if you get a clear day. We could see clear to the Atlantic Ocean! More info on One World Observatory: HERE

2. Bring a solid, lightweight stroller

I purchased the Joovy Groove Ultralight stroller before our trip (after MUCH online and in-person research) and have to say, it handled the New York City streets beautifully.

The reason I chose it was because 1) it reclines fully for naps on the go:

How to visit NYC with a Toddler

And 2) the basket is big and easily accessible. I can’t tell you how many “umbrella” strollers I tried out where the basket was basically null. I need a place to stash my diaper bag and other supplies- especially in the city when your stroller basically acts as your car.

It’s also super lightweight (under 13 lbs!) and has a strap, so you can carry it up or down the subway stairs in a pinch.

How to visit NYC with a Toddler

3. Pack those snacks…

I don’t have to tell veteran moms that snacks and water bottles are key when out and about in the city and everything costs a fortune.

Pack a small cooler or your diaper bag with easy-to-eat, healthy snacks while you’re on the go.

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4. Enlist friends

I’ll admit it. I almost had a nervous breakdown in the middle of a grocery store while trying to maneuver my stroller and picnic supplies, while surrounded by tons of speedy and impatient Manhattanites (aka me from 2005-2013).

I didn’t know where anything was and it was hot and stuffy and #dailybocaavery was about to melt down. Thank goodness for local friends who helped get me out of the store and into the safety and space of Central Park in the span of 20 minutes.

How to visit NYC with a Toddler
Don’t worry…the wine was just for show! 🙂

How to visit NYC with a Toddler

How to visit NYC with a Toddler

We love and miss our NYC friends…and their childcare assistance. 🙂

5. Take some adult time if you can

#modernbocadad and I took turns each night of our trip and I got to have Saturday evening to myself with the girls. We visited the sculpture garden on the rooftop of the Met and had dinner and drinks out on the town.

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That child-free space allowed me to breathe stress-free for a few hours and really enjoy my time in the Big Apple while #dailybocaavery was safely nestled in our hotel room.

Until next time NYC!

What tips do you have for traveling in a big city with a toddler or young children? Comment below!