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.

So, You’re Thinking of Tailgating…With Your Kids.

From our contributor, Modern Boca Mom of Multiples

Tailgating with Kids WM

Ahhh… there is nothing like a tailgate party. It’s what always made the college football game or [insert other sporting event here] more bearable…at least for this MBMom!

Drinking, good food, more drinking, and friends… it couldn’t get any better. Early mornings back at school, we would set up our gear with friends and tailgate all day. We’d walk past other tailgaters admiring their adorably dressed babies and toddlers in their UCF gear and agree that our children would start their tailgating at a young age, looking impeccable in their college onesies and tees.

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And then we had kids….

Those families with their adorable children made it look so easy…too easy. As football season commences, along with its companion the tailgate party, my husband and I sat down to evaluate the components of a successful tailgate with three small children as we embark on our third year with kids, and our FIRST year with twins.

Do these two look ready?

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Game on.

MBMom’s Essential Family Tailgating Tips
  • Timing. Gone are the 6-8 hour tailgates, so bring on the 2-4 hour event. Our group of friends also has kids, so the men go a little earlier to pick a spot and set up a tent, while the women and children come after setup.
  • Location. Close enough to the game, far enough from the college kids, preferably near shade, other families, and most importantly, a reliable/bearable bathroom station. There is nothing worse than potty-training a toddler who only gives you 30 seconds to get them to a bathroom, especially when you have to negotiate the port-o-potties with the 18-22 year-olds. To ensure the ideal location, send a mother from the group with the guys to pick a spot or require a photo/FaceTime before the men set up. All it takes is one bad location decision and the guys will agree to this… I promise.
  • Setup. Camping chairs, grill, food, TENTS, perhaps a large, caged area for the kiddies and no ant piles.
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    Activities. Every family should bring something. Balls, buckets, books, even the forbidden iPad. After 3 hours of chasing your kid around, that iPad now looks like a godsend vs. that negative look you gave your husband when he packed it.

  • Food. Everyone should bring a dish and coordinate via group email the week of the game. This way you have diversity and you have snacks and food to keep the kids happy when that grilled bratwurst just isn’t on their menu for the day.

  • Drinks. Yours, your kids, and your husband’s. Why wouldn’t you have a different drink than your husband? Try to enjoy that beer/wine/cocktail while trying to keep the minions out of the street and harm’s way.

  • An Escape Plan. Very few kids can make it through a tailgate party AND a game, so have an evacuation plan. Set your expectations low. This season, I don’t plan on making it through any game with 3 kids, all 2 and under.

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  • Cute outfits. No explanation needed.

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Tailgating CAN be fun with your kids, with the proper preparation of course. And guess what? Now you’re the cute family that the undergrads can only hope to be someday. #winning

What does your family do to maximize your tailgating fun? Share below!!

How to REALLY Pack Your Child’s School Lunch with alternaVites KIDS

Sponsored by alternaVites KIDS

How to REALLY Pack Your Childs School Lunch WM

Contributed by: Modern Boca Social Mom

With the anxiety of the first few weeks of school over with (OK, mostly anxiety on my part, my daughter did just fine!), a new stress has taken over.

It’s called: The School Lunch Box.

alternaVites KIDS Packing School Lunch Box

I can really get myself worked up into panic mode just thinking about what to pack for my daughter’s lunch for the week! It has to be healthy and it has to be something she will eat and it has to be enough to fill her up! Packing the lunchbox can be just as stressful as making the food! My friend recommended me to visit and get some name labels printed for my kids lunchbox. I guess this will lessen the stress a bit!! The lunch also has to be the right temperature (we wouldn’t want that mayo to get hot, would we?).

Modern Boca Mom reached out to Ilyse Schapiro, MS, RD, CDN, a Registered Dietitian and Certified Dietitian/Nutritionist (and mom!) for some schooling on lunches.

Ilyse Schapiro

Ilyse told MBMom, “Ideally a healthy packed lunch should include: Whole Grains, Fruits and Vegetables, Lean protein and Water.”

Whole grains –Always aim for whole grain or whole wheat breads, brown rice and whole wheat pasta, couscous or quinoa. Whole grains have more fiber and less sugar than their white counterparts, and will help keep your kids fuller for longer periods of time.

Fresh fruit and vegetables – This goes without saying. Fruits and veggies have a multitude of health benefits, including vitamins, minerals and fiber! Plus for most, they taste great. Having fruits and veggies in your child’s lunch also contributes to variety and color which keeps lunches appealing.

Lean protein – Helps to keep kids satisfied. Aim for lean sources such as chicken, turkey, tuna and wild salmon. If your child doesn’t eat meat, they can get it from low-fat cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, tofu and beans – all which are packed with calcium too!

Water Nothing beats water to help keep your child hydrated at lunch and throughout the day. Also, filling up on water will help to prevent overeating later on and a necessity for everyone. If water doesn’t cut it, aim for low-fat milk over juice.

alternaVites KIDS Packing School Lunch Box

And one thing that we both agree on? You need to pack foods that your child actually LIKES.

“The last thing you want is for your hard work in packing the lunch to get thrown away. Kids end up trading for things they do like or come home ravenous,” said Ilyse.

Luckily, just browsing through Target and Publix gave me some great ideas. I also found plenty of websites and Pinterest Pins to help me out. Some of my favorite ideas are snacks with hidden veggies or vitamins inside them.

Plum Organics makes organic fruit bars called Mighty 4 that have 11 essential vitamins and minerals and chia. Plum also has a line of smoothies, Fruit & Veggie Mashups, that are made from 100% real organic fruits and veggies “mixed and mashed into purees kids can squeeze and eat!”

For vitamins, Ilyse also recommends alternaVites KIDS.

alternaVites KIDS Packing School Lunch Box

alternaVites KIDS are so versatile that they can fit into your child’s lunch a different way each day. At school, they can mix alternaVites KIDS in with their yogurt, stir it into a healthy fruit smoothie, even add it to their pudding or apple sauce. As a dietitian and a mother, I also like that you don’t have to worry about them adding too much since it comes in a single serve packet so it’s easy to trust your children with it if they buy lunch or want to take it as is by pouring it on their tongue,” said Ilyse.

Moving onto the beverage, I found Vita Coco Kids juice boxes at Publix. These juice boxes claim to have half the sugar and half the calories as “leading kids’ juices”. Capri Sun has also gotten in the game with Capri Sun Super V. This juice contains vitamins A, C and E and has one combined serving of fruits and vegetables. If they can’t see it, they won’t know what is or isn’t in there!

Other great sides are apple slices, grapes, graham crackers, hummus and pita chips.

“Children 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,” reminded Ilyse.

The main course is where I start to have issues. The ‘tried and true’ sandwich is great, but I want my daughter to have some variety. So, one quick search for school lunch ideas on Pinterest did not disappoint!

I found recipes for mini pizza buns, a variety of pasta salad recipes, rotisserie chicken ideas, a cute sandwich sushi roll tutorial and so many other great ideas.

alternaVites KIDS Packing School Lunch Box

Check out this Pinterest Page for all the awesomeness including Halloween lunch ideas!

I also found some pretty cool ideas for packing these nutritious meals such as using cupcake liners to separate food, BPA free plastic containers with dividers and sandwich boxes with built in freezer packs (available at Target) to keep things cool.

alternaVites KIDS Packing School Lunch BoxalternaVites KIDS Packing School Lunch BoxThis cornucopia of info was making me feel pretty confident about what to pack…and then I saw FOOD ART!

Are other moms really doing this? I am having a hard enough time making a sandwich without crust and now I have to sculpt it?!

alternaVites KIDS Packing School Lunch Box

So I tried…

alternaVites KIDS Packing School Lunch Box

and failed.

alternaVites KIDS Packing School Lunch Box

My daughter thought it was some type of unicorn. To my credit though, I had to alter the ingredients because I knew my daughter was not going to eat seaweed. So the eyes and the ear were made with Nutella.

She was not impressed.
alternaVites KIDS Packing School Lunch Box

So, I will just stick to focusing on packing a healthy and satisfying lunch and not so much on the presentation. Another gold star towards my “MBMom of the Year” award! 🙂

Now, let’s hear from you! What are your favorite school lunch ideas? Have you ever tried food art or alternaVites KIDS?

Sponsored: This post was sponsored by alternaVites KIDS. All opinions expressed in this review are my own 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.

alternaVites KIDS Packing School Lunch Box

Ilyse 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 has also been a contributor to Joy Bauer’s Food Cures and a guest lecturer on diet and nutrition at PepsiCo, The Marilyn Modeling agency in NYC, The American Ballet Theater, Equinox Fitness Clubs and the Hospital for Special Surgery, as well as local schools and doctors’ offices. She is also an active member of the American Dietetic Association.

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

MOMpreneur Monday: A2 Events South Florida

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 MOMpreneur Monday on MBMom, highlighting Florida businesses and brands that were founded by female entrepreneurs and fellow Mommas.

A2 Events South Florida MOMpreneur Monday Modern Boca Mom

This week’s Modern Boca MOMpreneur is corporate event planner-extraordinaire, Erin Branham, founder of A2 Events in South Florida!

A2 Events South Florida

You know how you have your “go-to” people in your life?

Well, my “go-to” event planner is Erin Branham, founder of A2 Events (formerly Apartment 2 Events). She assisted me in planning my 1st Blogger-versary Party at California Closets last year and orchestrates one of my favorite annual motivational business events, CRA Live.

A2 Events South Florida
Yep, that’s us with fellow MOMpreneur, Lily Ojea

I’ve experienced her work in action countless times and I never hesitate before recommending her to friends or business contacts.

We originally featured Erin’s story in 2014. Check out the A2 Events South Florida updated feature in today’s MOMpreneur Monday post…

We love a good party here at MBMom! But before we get to that, can you give us a little bit of your background… 

That’s a long story that started with a career in real estate. I hated it. My husband sells residential real estate and rocks at it, but I was honestly awful! 

I quickly left the real estate brokerage side and worked as an assistant to a broker for a couple of years, and then was just considering a career move when my husband and I found out we were expecting. SURPRISE!

A2 Events South Florida

I honestly had no idea how I would balance it all. So, I decided to take a little volunteer job at my church after maternity leave as the event coordinator.

My “little” position grew, and I was really privileged to work on some MASSIVE projects. I ran the lead on an annual three day conference for over 1,500 attendees, as well as many retreats and large festivals. 

Five years, around a hundred events and a second baby girl later, I was happy and comfortable. But then I decided to make a big change…

A2 Events South Florida

As a busy mom of two, what gave you “oomph” and courage to take your passion and actually start your own business?

I was working on a side project for Ballet Palm Beach. My mother is the artistic director and owner (another entrepreneur!) of the company, and she asked me to help her plan a series of Flash Ballet Mobs.

I was feeling the need to move on from my current position and once I started working on Flash Ballet, I knew the timing was right for new challenges and opportunities.

(Check out the AMAZING Flash Ballet Mobs HERE!)

A2 Events South Florida

I decided (nervously) to start my own company. I was too afraid to even consider it until I realized who my ideal client could and should be. I knew that corporations and even small businesses were finally starting to add events back into their marketing mix after the recession.

After confirming that my niche would not include weddings or personal events, I knew I could rise to the occasion and that my timing would be good! Thus Apartment Two Events (now A2 Events South Florida) was born. 

My husband really encouraged me to do it. He is such a good businessman, and he told me (and tells me regularly still) that I can do it.

A2 Events South Florida

Flash Ballet Mobs – that’s awesome!  Such a unique marketing idea!  Tell us what else sets A2 Events apart from the rest…

First, we work to create what I like to call “Brand-Crafted Events.” Our clients brands inform every decision we make, and we work really hard to be creative with their events they give us. We love new technology, new trends, and especially new venues!

A2 Events South Florida

Second, We’ve expanded a ton in the last two years. We still offer full scale event planning for corporations and non-profits, and we now offer DMC (Destination Management Company) work in South Florida and Cuba. I’m so excited to be offering these type of services. We had to grow into this, because it’s all really dependent on our vendor relationships in the local areas.

A2 Events South Florida

Finally, Our clients love us, because I make sure that we’re over prepared and always cool, calm and collected. Knowledge and preparation are key to that! We’ve earned their trust because we’ve consistently delivered great work. I’m committed to keeping a boutique feeling to our company so that our clients receive the attention they expect.

A2 Events South Florida

Can you tell us what you have planned (pun intended) for A2 Events South Florida over the next few months?

We’re working on some exciting events with our regular clients ,and they’re asking us to travel with them more and more. I’m really excited to take a group to NYC for a three day conference in the Fall.

I’m also excited that we’ve added an intern, so our team has expanded. She is awesome, and has been throwing in some fresh ideas!

We’re gearing up to do so many events that have a strong theme. From a nautical-themed Board of Directors dinner to a Havana Nights corporate celebration, it’s been really fun planning for them.

And we’re doing more and more retreats for local South FL companies during the summer. We love helping these groups take advantage of our incredible location during the off season.

A2 Events South Florida

As a South Florida girl myself I get it, but tell us why you just LOVE it here?

I’m a Tri-county South FL girl. I was raised in Palm Beach County, I went to school at the University of Miami and we live in Fort Lauderdale now. My husband and I are never planning to leave!

We love the weather, the beach (you can find us at the beach on any given Saturday during the summer), the much improved downtown areas in each county (shoutout to the downtown development boards), the fashion and style, and the growing population of young professionals and entrepreneurs.

I’m committed to two causes with my business: First, giving opportunities to women. As an employer with daughters, I feel strongly that it’s important to take my “Boss Girl” role seriously.  I love being an encouraging influence in any woman’s life! We offer flexible work settings, and hours and as we grow it’s my intention to continue on that track.

And second, I’m committed to the advancement of South FL and specifically Fort Lauderdale. I love where I live, and plan to keep doing great business, and re-investing in our local economy. We have so much to offer here, and it’s a pleasure to watch within my industry how the CVB, Hello Sunny, continues to advance Fort Lauderdale tourism! It just keeps getting better!

A2 Events South Florida

So, MBMoms…..when it’s time to plan your next corporate party or event …or even a flash mob, don’t forget to contact Erin at A2 Events! 

You can find her company’s website:

You can also follow A2 Events on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to MBMom by clicking below!


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