1st Birthday Party: #dailybocaavery Celebration Recap

It’s my baby girl’s first birthday celebration! Once upon a time (on May 1st, 2013), there was a beautiful baby girl who was born on the island of Manhattan.  On the day of her birth, she was showered with love, flowers and adoration and given a special social media moniker:

#dailybabyavery (now #dailybocaavery)

Modern Boca Mom very much wanted to come up with a 1st Birthday Party theme for her that was cute, original and featured her very popular social media #hashtag.  She scoured the internet and came across Kara’s Party Ideas’ Instagram-themed birthday blog post and used it for her 1st baby girl’s first birthday celebration!

MBMom does not claim to be as crafty as other fantastic bloggers out there, but she did her best to be creative and cost-conscious and designed #dailybabyavery’s birthday party around the theme: “A Year of Firsts.”  

Disclaimer: Much chalkboard paint was used in the design of this party.  Enjoy!

My baby girl’s first birthday celebration: A Year of Firsts

Party Setup:

DECORATIONS: a combination of Party City (tablecloths, napkins, cups, streamers, party hats, balloons). Michael’s (crafting tape, wooden stars, ribbon for banner). Office Depot (camera sign, printed goods) and creative sourcing through friends (wooden “party” sign and giraffes, #dailybabyavery banner and polka dot bathing suit and ‘1’ crown).

FOOD: “Make Your Own Panini Bar!”  We set out a variety of breads, cold cuts, cheeses, sauces and garnishes (with #hashtag explanations) and let guests press their own sandwich concoctions on two panini presses.  We also had a strawberry and spinach salad, appetizers and a fruit platter for sides.

DRINKS: my sister and I broke out our large beverage dispensers and made fresh lemonade, water with lemon slices and a signature #dailybabyavery cocktail, Sparkling Peach Sangria.  The drink recipe can be found HERE.

CAKE: I can’t say enough good things about The Yellow Rose Cakery. They designed a cake IN THE SHAPE OF A HASHTAG, decoupaged with sugar photos of Avery throughout her first year.  It was beautiful and tasty (strawberry cake- yum!) and was the centerpiece of the party table.  They also provided a complimentary smash cake.

ENTERTAINMENT: Well, it rained the day of the party, so swimming in the pool was limited unfortunately.  My best friend did some face painting on the older kids, which was a big hit.  And, we screened a little Birthday Slideshow from 12welve 05ive Productions that was unbelievably cute and touching.  Tears were definitely shed by this MBMom!

In the end, MBMom, her family and friends survived her birthday celebration, savored the precious memories of #dailybabyavery’s initial year of life and lived happily ever after!

A BIG THANK YOU to #dailybabyavery’s MorMor & Grandpa Norm, Auntie Lo & Uncle Stephen, her NYC Aunties & Uncle Jonny, Auntie Rose, Uncle Steven , Aunt Monica and #modernbocadad for all of your help!  The party would not have happened without you.  Until next year!  xo

Happy 1st Birthday #dailybabyavery! Boca Raton Cake Smash Photo Shoot

My dearest Avery,

Happy 1st Birthday my sweet girl!  I cannot believe it has already been a year since you came into our lives. I’ll never forget FINALLY having contractions after 12 extra days of waiting past your due date, getting my hair blown out, receiving all of our extended Boston & Maine family (who were so excited to meet you!) at our Hell’s Kitchen apartment and finally trekking uptown to the hospital on foot.

Yes, that happened.  Dada was not amused.

Boca Raton cake smash

7 lbs, 13 oz and 21.5 inches long, born on May 1, 2013…it was love at first sight.

Boca Raton cake smash

You were a sassy city girl from birth, happiest when we were out and about on one of our adventures in the Baby Bjorn, yet you hated your car seat. You’re easygoing and adaptable–comfortable in a coat while visiting Grandma and Grandpa in Maine or in a swimsuit at the beach, thriving in the South Florida sunshine!

You had a vibrant personality from early on. You have tons of honorary Aunts & Uncles and a big family (MorMor & Grandpa and your Godparents too!) who adores you.  And, you even have your own hashtag! #dailybabyavery 

You’re beautiful and smart and I am so lucky to be your Mommy.  I love you bubba.

Cheers to many more special birthdays like this one!


Your loving Mommy

Boca Raton Cake Smash Photo Shoot

In honor of #dailybabyavery’s 1st Birthday, we had a very special Boca Raton cake smash photo shoot last weekend with South Florida’s Dawn Renee Photography.

Dawn was fantastic with Avery! She got down on her hands and knees in the dirt and sand and brought fantastic props. It is not easy photographing a squirmy child! Especially one who is hot and covered in frosting from her Boca Raton cake smash photo shoot…

Avery didn’t quite “smash” the gorgeous cake from The Yellow Rose Cakery (NOW CLOSED) as she did tentatively touch the butter-cream icing and then get upset when her hands got sticky. Such a little lady.

Oh well– you can’t predict how these things will go! Regardless, it was a lot of fun and I’m so happy to have these memories.

Here are her BEAUTIFUL Boca Raton cake smash photos from that special day!

Disclaimer: This Boca Raton cake smash photo session and cake mentioned in this post were sponsored in part.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

MOMpreneur Monday: Organic Movements

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, highlighting Florida businesses and brands that were founded by female entrepreneurs and fellow Mommas.


Today’s featured Mompreneur is the founder and owner of the Boca dance studio and private events venue Organic MovementsCourtney Mullen Francisco!

Courtney opened Organic Movements in Boca Raton in June of 2013.  After a professional dance career spanning more than two decades, she wanted to give back and create a caring center for quality dance education where students of all ages could develop confidence in themselves and their art in a natural, nurturing and supportive environment.

Boca dance studio

Courtney’s love affair with dance began when she was 7, working in musical theater at local theaters like Jan McArt’s Royal Palm Dinner Theater, the Delray Beach Playhouse and Lake Worth Playhouse.  Through her theater experience and music training she was introduced to dance, and eventually ballet, where she fell in love!  From that point on, Courtney focused solely on dance, learning everything she could from the leading artists and teachers of today throughout the nation.

Now as a teacher and Mom to a beautiful daughter, Courtney’s desire to open a school of her own was solidified.  It took nearly a year to find the ideal location and almost that time to actually bring everything together to open.

“I was juggling teaching, a full-time job and being a new mommy.  It was definitely an exercise in perseverance, but every bit worth it!  We opened our [Organic Movements] doors officially on June 1, 2013 and it has been the most amazing, rewarding, and fulfilling experience every day since,” says Courtney.

Boca dance studio

What makes Organic Movements unique?

“I think there are a few aspects that make us unique. We are not a competition studio; we are a classical conservatory style school which focuses on teaching and instilling a proper and technically sound foundation of and love for dance in each of our students, regardless of age.  We focus on learning to dance, rather than a dance,” explained Courtney.

Organic Movements also offers several dance, music and fitness opportunities for parents and adults that they can fit into their busy schedules! Amen!

There are classes that are offered concurrently with your child’s classes, classes MBMoms (MBAunts, MBGrandmoms!) can take WITH their babies/toddlers, as well as classes offered at multiple times and days throughout the week so that they can always fit something in…including NEW FXP Hoop Fitness (Tuesdays at 5:45PM) and my personal favorite Pound- Rockout Workout! (Monday/Wednesday/Friday at 6:30PM).

Boca dance studio

I should probably explain what this great workout is all about…

Pound! is a full-body cardio jam session, combining light resistance with constant simulated drumming. The workout fuses cardio, Pilates, isometric movements, plyometrics, and Isometric poses into a 45-minute series. Participants burn between 600 and 900 calories per hour, strengthen and sculpt infrequently used muscles, and drum their way to a leaner, slimmer physique—all while rocking out to their favorite music!

It’s really fun, but prepare for some muscle soreness the next day or so.  So fun!  So sore!

Boca dance studio

Coming up at OM…

On August 22nd, they will be hosting their 3rd Annual Charity Gala benefiting SOS Children’s Villages of South Florida, a local foster home community that houses up to 75 sibling sets who would otherwise be separated in the foster care system.  More information and tickets will be available on their website beginning in May.

I think this Organic Movements’ mantra is fantastic. Teaching children, having fun through dance/exercise AND giving back through business? I support this wholeheartedly.

Last, I always ask what you LOVE about living and having a business in South Florida?

Courtney answered, “both my husband and I were lucky enough to have been born and raised right here in South Florida—natives!  Our daughter was born and is growing up here as well.  There are so many things I live and love about South Florida—the heat(!), the  arts & culture opportunities from dance to theater, green markets and fairs, the melting pot of transient and transplant people bringing their own life and love to our area, the heat, beach, and most of all, people!  People in South Florida are creative, vivacious, artistic and passionate!  Also, did I mention I’m a big fan of the warm weather?”

Modern Boca Mom feels the same way…well, maybe not during the month of August…but most of the time!

To learn more about Organic Movements, click here: www.organicmovements.com

Follow on Facebook HERE and Instagram HERE.

SUBSCRIBE to Modern Boca Mom here!


Pure…BLISS. All About Pure Barre Boca Raton

Until I took Pure Barre classes Boca Raton, I thought that the only “tuck” that this Modern Boca Mom would ever get would be surgical.  Eventually (wink, wink).

Little did I know that the word would enter my regular vocabulary under a completely different meaning.  Ballet fitness!

Pure Barre classes Boca Raton

And now, there are two  Pure Barre fitness locations easily accessible to both East Boca (in Royal Palm Place) and West Boca residents alike. Pure Barre West Boca, is located at 9834 Glades Road (at 441 in the Home Depot plaza) and is one of 200 studios nationwide.  Yes, it’s also a fitness staple in New York City.

Pure Barre classes Boca Raton

Pure Barre West Boca

Pure Barre classes Boca Raton

Pure Barre East Boca

According to the PB website, in just 55 minutes you will achieve a full-body workout concentrating on the areas women struggle with the most: hips, thighs, seat, abdominals and arms. All the Pure Barre technique classes involve low-impact, protecting your joints by avoiding any bouncing or jumping and each strength section of the workout is followed by a stretching section in order to create long, lean muscles without bulk. The technique works to defy gravity by tapering everything in and lifting it up!

See?  Tuck!

Pure Barre classes Boca Raton

Classes should be taken wearing comfortable clothes and I highly recommend purchasing “sticky socks,” so you can easily grip the floor during class.  I LOVE mine!

  Pure Barre classes Boca Raton

Because movements in all Pure Barre classes in Boca Raton are controlled and deliberate, they don’t involve dancing.  I had no idea that such tiny exercises (standing on my tip toes no less) would cause so much blissful muscle soreness the next day.

Pure Barre classes Boca Raton

Single Pure Barre classes in Boca Raton cost $23 each and package pricing is available. PB West Boca is offering a new client special: 1 month of unlimited classes for $99.  To register, click HERE.

Disclosure: MBMom was given an assortment of Pure Barre branded merchandise from the West Boca location.  As always, opinions and reviews are my own.

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