So You Adopted a Dog in Boca…What’s Next?

From contributor Modern Boca Mom of Multiples…

Dog in Boca Raton

Today we got a dog in Boca Raton.

Yes, you read correctly…. We got a puppy. Most people look at me like I am crazy when I show him off the same way I flip through pictures of my kids, and I have decided that crazy I may just be. Becoming a mommy to a fur-baby is much like adding a human offspring to the mix, so much so that I wanted to share it with you!

Dog in Boca Raton
Welcome to the madness, Ghost!

Dog Parks are the new alternative to the playground. Who is more rambunctious today, the kids or the dog in Boca Raton?

Dog parks are a great place to meet other pet owners who share the same goals that you do: avoiding fleas and other communicable doggy illnesses while getting the pups socialized and expending as much energy as humanly, or caninely, possible.

Our little pup is only 15 weeks old and not vaccinated enough to actually experience much of what the county park system has to offer, but here are the parks in Palm Beach County, including the rules: HERE.

Dog in Boca Raton
Ghost loves his “siblings'” car seats for car trips.

We have driven by Canine Cove, out in West Boca, and it looks nice for both dogs and their human supervisors, offering benches and some shade for all!

They have 2 large dog play areas, and one small dog play area which is a nice amenity. It also has an adjacent toddler-friendly playground which makes for the perfect weekend stop when you have an extra set of hands to occupy all of the “kids”.

Dog in Boca Raton
Canine Cove

The City of Boca Raton offers Mizner Bark and Bark Beach, both of which you must purchase a permit for. City residents get a discount for both, with Mizner Bark having a free permit, but you MUST have a permit for both.

Dog in Boca Raton
Mizner Bark

For dog parks in the Tri-County area, visit HERE. Broward County’s park rules state that well-behaved, leashed pets are permitted in most parks and also provides information on spaying and neutering your pups: HERE.

The “park patrol mission” is only one facet to our new pet owner’s manual that we are trying to construct each day. Major decisions such as the food to feed, how or who to use to train said furry companion and which groomer to use challenges us daily.

The most important question to answer is how to find, a reliable, trustworthy, veterinarian with hours to suit our/your needs best. Pet insurance plans are also becoming the norm which really makes our pets less of a financial worry and more a member of our family, just like a kid!

It warms my heart to see our little guy cuddling up to his human siblings and actually think he is a human baby as well. Now if we could only get the nibbling under control…

Dog in Boca Raton
Our attempt at a family Christmas picture.

Where is your favorite place to take your dog in Boca Raton to play? Your pup’s favorite grooming location? Comment below!

MOMpreneur Monday: Dino-Might Kids Preschool

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.
We’re working to bring busi-moms across the state of Florida together to start a MOMpreneur Movement! Why don’t you join us?
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Welcome back MBMoms! After a nice little 10-day holiday from blogging, I’m back with our first featured mommy business maven of 2015.
Meet South Florida MOMpreneur, Marlene Lavernia, founder of Dino-Might Kids Preschool in Boca Raton.

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I still can’t believe I need to figure out a “preschool situation” (as I’m calling it) for #dailybabyavery starting this fall.
How did the time fly by so quickly? She’s still in diapers!
I’m learning a lot in the process of my search and have written about what every MBMom should consider before choosing a preschool, but I was pretty floored when I heard about a local Mompreneur who decided to launch her own. Check out Marlene’s MOMpreneur story…

A preschool! Tell us about your background and your motivation to open this type of business.

I come from a very loving and close Cuban family.  My family moved to Boca when I was 11 and I have lived here ever since. I have 2 beautiful children slightly older than preschool age (25 and 28 years old). 🙂


I can’t remember when I haven’t worked. Since the age of 12, I worked by helping in the family business while going to school. I majored in Child Psychology and knew I eventually wanted to do something with children.

When my son was ready for preschool, I visited every school in Boca. I could not believe what I encountered in some. Kids being able to do whatever they wanted, disruptive classrooms, unsanitary areas, no supervision, unsafe play areas.  I left with the feeling that I could provide a better environment if I had my own.

This is what prompted me to start researching what I would need to open a preschool.

How did you get started? Was the process tough?

Being in Real Estate/Construction at the time, I began doing my homework. I came across a great space in a shopping plaza, but it was not zoned for a preschool. I would have to obtain a variance to change the zoning.

I met with opposition from neighboring communities and after addressing their concerns and presenting the PBC Zoning Board with why there was a need for a preschool in this location, we were approved.

This process took almost one year to come to fruition. Then Dino-Might Kids Preschool was open for students!


What makes Dino-Might different from other preschools?

I have been hands-on since I opened in 1992. I have worked in every class, done everything I would expect my teachers to do. We provide as much individual attention to each child as possible.  I expect that each child be cared for as if he/she were my own.

All my teachers know all of our children and parents and are greeted every day.  Some of our teachers have been with us up to 10 years.

We offer structure and discipline with lots of hugs and kisses.


Why should MBMoms send their #bocakids to Dino-Might Kids Preschool?

If they are looking for a preschool that is in business because they strive to achieve the best for each child in their care as well as provide a magnificent learning program, we are that school.

I feel we go above and beyond the role of “teacher”.


What exciting things are coming up with your business?

Each year we have a Fire Department presentation with the Palm Beach Fire Department. The children get to talk to real firemen, try on a real fire suit and even take a tour of the Fire and Paramedic trucks.

In February, for Dental Health Month, a dentist is coming to pay us a visit and talk to the kids about how to make cleaning our teeth fun!


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

When my family and I first moved here from a very small town in Illinois, Boca was also a VERY small town. It has been nice to see it grow, but still have the hometown feel that I love.

It has been my home since 1971 and I have raised both of my children here. All my family is here also. It was great enjoying outdoor playtime like swimming and water slides, playing basketball in the front yard, climbing trees, walking the dogs and going to art festivals with my kids.

Dino,might Logo

SUBSCRIBE to Modern Boca Mom here!

Dino-Might Kids Preschool is located at Boca del mar area in The Shoppes of Village Pointe.
5982 SW 18th Street
Boca Raton, FL 33433
Hours Of Operation:
Monday – Friday
7:30am to 6:00pm
Tour Hours:
8:00am to 5:00pm
Phone: (561) 338-1732

Connect with Dino-Might Kids Preschool on Facebook!
Learn more about this company at:

Zsa Zsa ZOO! MBMom Visits the Palm Beach Zoo

Sponsored Palm Beach Zoo WM

You know that feeling you get as a parent…walking into a place you know your children will absolutely adore? Anticipating their smiles, their laughter, their joy?

I call it the zsa zsa ZOO…at least when it comes to a visit to the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society! 

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MBMom & family was invited to an exclusive #PBZooBloggers tour to learn about the latest and greatest Palm Beach Zoo happenings and their mission to advocate on behalf of wildlife conservation and preserve species from extinction.

It’s obviously holiday time, so that’s the most time-sensitive news to report. In addition to a ton of special holiday events through January 1st, the Zoo is promoting eco-friendly and sustainable decorating ideas in cooperation with the students of G-Star School of the Arts. 

Exhibit A: a very uniquely decorated tree. I’ll bet you never thought of decorating like this before MBMoms!

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The Zoo has also built a special version of Dr. Seuss’ “Who-Ville” in one of its picnic areas that I thoroughly enjoyed. This is in addition to a ton of decorations around the attraction!

I even met Mr. Grinch in person and toasted him with my special certified organic, bird-friendly Palm Beach Zoo COFFEE (FYI- this guarantees that every bean is produced organically and under high-quality shade. Bird Friendly is a certification created by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, which is part of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. Bird Friendly standards are the strictest of the third-party environmental standards).

It looked like he could use a caffeine pick-me-up too. It ain’t easy bein’ green… 😉

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The Zoo had us on a tight schedule during our morning visit since we had a lot of ground to cover!

Did you know they have over 800 animals?


#dailybabyavery was fascinated by the flamingos and even got to feed a few!

They’ve had Malayan tigers at the Zoo since 1973 and we were honored to witness a historical moment during our visit. Berapi, the Palm Beach Zoo’s female Malayan tiger, “stepped paw” into her BRAND NEW tiger habitat for the first time!

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It’s beautiful. But Berapi isn’t the only impressive animal we met during our visit.

We encountered reptiles. BIG reptiles.

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The Aldabra Tortoise Experience was one for the books. Such a cool encounter to share with #dailybabyavery. 

We were invited to feed the tortoises as well, but we left that up to the older kids in our group.

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Petting was encouraged- I had no idea their shells would be so rough!

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All in all, a REALLY unique behind-the-scenes experience! MBMom recommends you add it to your admission during your next visit (if at all possible).

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Other fun parts of our visit included the Palm Beach Zoo’s Carousel and Safari Train…perfect for the littles.

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And don’t forget to make a stop at the souvenir shop on your way out to check out your commemorative family photos and other original and unique Zoo merchandise!

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MBMom regularly features Palm Beach Zoo Events on our Weekend Roundups, but you can get a full list of upcoming events, including the upcoming January 3rd “Save the Panther 5K” on their website here.

I also found out the scoop on Zoo Memberships. There are two main family options. You can purchase a $145 family membership which covers two adults and all kids over the age of 3 in your household. If your children are under 3, then the membership price drops to $85. Your membership is basically covered in two visits! Plus, you get a ton of other perks and discounts…

By the way- the Palm Beach Zoo is so close to us in Boca! Zip up on I-95 and get off at Forest Hills Blvd., two left turns and you’re there!

I think 2015 is a great time to go WILD at the Palm Beach Zoo! I can’t wait for our next visit!

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Sponsored/Ad: Modern Boca Mom was provided with a complimentary tour/visit to the Palm Beach Zoo in exchange for consideration for promotion on this website. 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. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I have been given a product or service free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinion.

Butcher Block Grill in One of Boca’s Best


From Modern Boca Crunchy Mom, Essentially Erika…

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My husband and I don’t get many date nights, so when we were invited to sample the new menu at Butcher Block Grill, an all-natural steak house, we quickly accepted! I have never been to dinner at The Fountains Center plaza on Camino Real, so I was curious to hear what all the buzz was about! The Butcher Block Grill has been named Restaurant of the Year by the Palm Beach Post.
Well the buzz is real and well deserved! Their new chef, John Savarese, has updated the menu and we were lucky enough to be one of the first to try it! The atmosphere is a mix between a classy midtown wine bar with a downtown trendy industrial lounge.
The open kitchen is buzzing with sous chefs and of course John preparing the finest in high quality, all natural, locally grown (right up my alley) food that is to die for!
Let’s talk cocktails! They have a bevy of signature cocktails from the “Cranberry Crush” to the “Gingersnap Bliss.”

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This new menu is bright and fresh, sweet and savory, EVERYTHING your palette desires! Their appetizers are just enough to peak your interest without giving too much away, the Polenta and Crab Wontons had me at hello. The Fried Green Tomatoes had me screaming for more!
Good thing too, because more was coming! This seven course meal was just what the doctor ordered! The pasta in the Veal Bolognese was cooked to perfection and the Braised Short Rib
Let’s just take a moment of silence for this perfectly cooked tender “melts in your mouth” aged beef. Not to mention the well seasoned creamy bed of cauliflower mash that accompanied it. As far as I’m concerned what was committed on my plate was a crime and someone should be held accountable!
The delicate balance of fresh ingredients and savory entree’s left me feeling satisfied, but not as if I’d over-indulged. It was a perfect medley of everything you could want from the dining experience. Then they brought out dessert; this was a surprise seeing as how it wasn’t on the menu placed at each table.
What a delightful surprise it was! Their Goat Cheese Cheesecake sent me over the edge! It had me scouring the joint looking for John so I could personally thank him for the wonderful experience (and hit him up for the recipe). I wish I was kidding.
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He totally gave me his secret to the creamiest cheesecake known to man by the way, and I’ll never tell!
All in all, the Butcher Block Grill was an awesome experience. Everything was amazing from the incredible staff and service to the wonderful atmosphere. Needless to say we will be back, time and time again!
Essentially Yours,
Modern Boca Crunchy Mom

Butcher Block Grill is open seven days a week, Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. Located at 7000 West Camino Real, just west of the intersection of Powerline Road and West Camino Real in Boca Raton.

For more information or reservations, please visit or call 561 409-3035.

Sponsored: Modern Boca Mom was provided with a complimentary meal at Butcher Block Grill in exchange for a review of the restaurant. 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. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I have been compensated or given a product or service free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinion.

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