MOMpreneur Monday: Registry Finder

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

Happy MOMpreneur Monday Modern Boca Moms, where each week we highlight Florida businesses and brands that were founded by female entrepreneurs and fellow Mommas!

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Today’s featured MOMpreneur is the founder of Registry Finder, a handy registry search tool that donates 10% of its profits to charities that benefit children in need.  Meet Cheryl Seidel!

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Wedding registries, baby registries…dorm registries?  That’s a new one for me, but indeed, college kids are creating online registries for dorm supplies.  That stuff adds up after all!

How to find out if your favorite college-bound kid has created a gift list?  Check out Registry Finder.

I was introduced to the concept this back-to-school season and was thrilled to learn that it’s now easy (and way less awkward) to find out where that out-of-state friend or family member is registered for their special occasion– whatever and wherever it may be!


I love a fellow internet-based business!  Tell us a little bit about your background and how being a mom shaped your business idea?

While my background is in marketing and new product development, being a mom taught me how to juggle numerous things at once and prepared me for the fast paced world of an internet business.

As President and founder of RegistryFinder.com, I’m responsible for product development, sales, marketing and product management. We have added employees as the company has grown, but when it started I wore all the hats, kind of like being a mom! I didn’t have the idea to start RegistryFinder.com until after my son left for college. It turned out to be perfect timing for me.

Running my own business challenged me, yet gave me the flexibility to visit my kids in college and be there for them when they needed me.

Haley Seidel, Hogal Seidel 

My kids were actually very instrumental in helping start my business. They were my first consultants!

When I first had the idea, I wanted to create an app. It was my son Hogan who told me I needed a website first. My daughter Haley created the first design of the home page. They continue to be my go to consultants for all things new and hip, keeping me up to date on the latest trends.

How did RegistryFinder.com get started?

I created RegistryFinder.com after I received a wedding invitation from the son of a high school friend. I wanted to send a gift, but had no idea where this out-of-state couple was registered. After lengthy research, I thought to myself, there must be an easier way.

I did some additional research and found there were no simple search engines, like Google, for gift registries. I have a background as a marketing executive and in new product development, so I decided to draw upon my 22 years of experience and create my website.

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What is truly unique about RegistryFinder.com?

RegistryFinder.com is the only product of its kind and saves time by offering a quick, simple search engine for visitors to instantly pull up every location a couple is registered.

No other registry site has this capability. 

Additionally, you can search all gift registries: bridal, baby, graduation, and all special occasions. It’s a one stop search engine for gifting and we even provide education about the do’s and don’ts of gift giving and answer visitor questions on all things etiquette through my Ask Cheryl  blog!  We also donate 10% of our profits to charities that benefit children in need (Toys for Tots, Orphan’s Hope and CityHouse Delray Beach).

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Wow!  This does sound like a major time-saver!  Why else should MBMom readers become RegistryFinder.com users?

First and foremost like you said, Registryfinder.com is a huge time saver, which I think every busy mom can appreciate!

Think of it as the “Google of gift giving.”

The concept was born for the purpose of making people’s lives easier, both for the gift-giver and the recipient. It also takes the awkwardness out of gift giving. You no longer have to ask a friend or family member where they are registered. Now, with RegistryFinder.com, you can find out with the simple click of a button. We also have a mobile site, so visitors can view registries and purchase gifts on the go.

Are there any exciting things coming up with your business that you can share with MBMoms?

We hope to “go global” in 2015. We are in the planning stages of launching in Canada and the United Kingdom. We have secured the domain name www.giftlistfinder.co.uk, because in England, instead of a gift registry, they call it a gift list.

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

The sunshine! When I talk to people around the country, they always wish they were here, especially in wintertime. I think it makes me more productive to have mostly sunshine and very few gray cloudy days.

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I couldn’t agree more.  There’s nothing like Florida sunshine and a major online time-saver to make this MBMom’s day!

Learn more about RegistryFinder.com on their website at: www.registryfinder.com.

And LIKE them on Facebook!

Now tell us, how did you register for your last social occasion? Is online your preferred way?  Comment below!


Here’s the perfect occasion to register for: A Baby Shower! Here is some inspiration from an adorable one I attended recently for a little boy.

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MBMom’s ‘Girls Night Out’ Ideas: Drink Edition

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I’m so excited for a new series that we’re starting here on MBMom.  And it’s all about one of my favorite things, Girls MBMom’s Night Out!
MBMom’s Night Out is simply a fun night out of the house with your girlfriends; it’s something on your calendar that totally gets you through your week!  We are always so busy – taking care of the kids, working, making lunches, doing laundry, etc. – a ‘MBMomNO’ every once in awhile is an easy way to spice up your week and, let’s be honest, it helps keep you SANE!  You can laugh, dish and just relax – at least for a few hours…we all need time with our girlfriends!

So, back to the new series – every month we will feature another fun idea for a MBMomNO.  And we decided to start with a very popular one, at least here at MBMom headquarters, the “Drink Edition”.  Here are some great, local, inexpensive ideas for you and your girls on your next thirsty evening on the town!
  • Craft Brewery + Tour:  There’s one brewery in particular I’m thinking of, Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park.  The vibe is fun, the space is open and there are always food trucks outside!  Hey, just because we’re women doesn’t mean we don’t like to toss back a cold one every now and then!  You can try 1 of the dozens of craft beers that they have on tap (they usually have some guest beers too!) and then bring your drink with you to get a tour of where your beer was actually made!  It may be the scientist in me but I think you’ll find it pretty cool.  Ask for Melissa or KC and tell them Samara sent you! 🙂

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  • B.Y.O.B. Painting Party:  If you haven’t been to one of these art studios yet, you’re really missing out!  They are G-rated by day and adult-themed by night!  Get this…you bring your own alcohol (whatever you’d like! Wine perhaps from the MBMom Wine Club?) and snacks!  Grab a bunch of your girlfriends, pick a piece of artwork you’d like to paint from the samples on the wall and get a step-by-step instruction, from a professional, on how to produce such a masterpiece!  I’ve been to A Painting Fiesta (twice!) and it was nothing but fun – and with 3 locations in #SoFL it’s conveniently located, too!  Take a sip, do a stroke and laugh with your friends.  No experience needed…really!

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  • Winery Tour + Tasting:  Who needs Napa when there is a perfectly good winery right here in our #SoFL backyard?  Schnebly Redland’s Winery, located in Homestead, does both tours and tastings. (Here’s a tip: check to see if there is a Groupon before you go!)  Their wines are made from the finest fruits, including mango, lychee, guava and passion fruit.  Sounds like a perfect MBMomNO to me!  Bonus: They also have their own brewery, Miami Brewing Company, which does tours and tastings too!

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What are some fun activities that you do with your girlfriends during a “thirsty-themed” night out??
Stay tuned for next month’s MBMom Night Out idea….

MBMom Contributor Samara is a stay-at-home mom with a passion for health, fitness, and social media. In her “downtime” from mommy-ing two boys, she is an account executive for a boutique social media firm and the founder of healthy living blog, Peace, Love and Ice Cream!

Mamarama Founder: EXCLUSIVE Interview

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Mamarama.  

If you’re an MBMom with a Facebook account and live in South Florida, chances are you’re part of the Facebook group: Mamarama. The closed group (as of press time) currently has 23,000+ members and is intended to serve, and I quote, as a “forum that connects local mothers.”

Members of the group ask questions from what products to buy for a newborn to where they should get their hair colored in Margate to the best general contractors in Deerfield Beach. Sometimes, children’s health questions are asked. It’s an open, no holds barred, ongoing discussion amongst local moms.

Mamarama also has a sister forum on Facebook for selling baby and kid gear, Mama Market, that has 21,000+ members.  These are huge groups!

I became a member of both Mamarama and Mama Market myself a few months ago (after hearing about the group from some Boca mom friends) and I personally have been equally impressed and shocked by some of the content and subsequent reactions that have taken place in this forum, giving way to the group’s nickname: Mamadrama. (Ed note: I have since been removed from both groups.)

My whole parenting mentality is: As moms, we’re all in this together, but some of the things that have been posted?  Whoa!

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One of the main “dramas” that got my attention was that the founder of Mamarama was being accused of allegedly monetizing the Facebook group without disclosing that fact to members.

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As an online MOMpreneur myself, I do not hide the fact that Modern Boca Mom IS a business.  I have disclaimers and disclosures all over my site!  I always want to be honest with my readers.

So, my curiosity got the best of me and I decided to contact the founder and admin, Lauren Bell Leslie, for an EXCLUSIVE interview to find out the real story behind Mamarama.


Thank you, Lauren, for agreeing to this interview.  So Mamarama…

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Most would say that this mommy group is a helpful South Florida online community.  Others have claimed that it has become a forum for moms to engage in interpersonal “drama.”  When you started Mamarama, what was your intent?

The group was created 4 years ago for personal reasons. I am a mother of amazing boy/girl twins and I found myself calling my pediatrician for every question I had when they were born (which was about 3 times a day!)

My friends’ children were older at that point, and the moms I met I had no regular contact with because my children were too young for traditional “mommy and me” classes. One day, I had an idea to connect the moms I knew who had young kids in a Facebook group, so we could all interact and have a virtual space to exchange stories, seek advice and just vent about the trials and tribulations of parenthood.

And from there, Mamarama was born!

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Lauren Bell Leslie 

My intention from the beginning was to connect local mothers, so when we had a question we could speak with like minded women who lived in the same area and could relate to geographically and demographically.

The need was there, and the group grew organically. Mamarama has turned into the “go to” space to ask questions regarding things like local happenings, doctor recommendations, stroller recommendations and just about any question a 21st century mother has. The group is not a place for gossips (or nonsense).

Even though many would say that it has become just that?

Regarding “Mamadrama”, the nickname some of the members have called the group. There is a small amount of human nature that feeds off seeing conflict and aversion– that’s why Star Magazine is so popular.

The group is monitored closely, but due to the way Facebook is set up, posts can only be deleted once they are posted. Of course members are free to speak their minds regarding answering a question, but Mamarama cannot control people’s thoughts and feelings. Members are removed if they engage in foul language or behavior which is offensive.

Regarding the issue that piqued my personal curiosity: Monetizing Mamarama.  Once your group started growing so much (and fast), did you decide then that you might want to turn it into a business?

I don’t monetize the group currently.

Mamarama is more of a public service initiative for me right now than a business.  I won’t say that I haven’t personally promoted products myself in the past, but currently the group is just a group.

But, Mamarama is an LLC.  Therefore, you must have business ambitions i.e. advertising for the group?

I will say this.  Members are not allowed to advertise for the mere reason that there are over 23,000 members and if even 10% of the members were on the group for self gain and posted daily, there would be 1,500 posts clogging up members’ news-feeds. It’s not a place for self gain, in fact to the contrary, it’s a place where moms can help each other.

As far as the future of Mamarama, the name is trademarked, an LLC has been formed and Mamarama owns the domain www.mamarama.com. At this moment, it would not be prudent to disclose plans for the future.

How do you handle difficult personalities in Mamarama?

I’ll be honest- I can’t sit in front of a computer 24 hours a day, monitoring everything that is said in Mamarama. Members have tagged me in posts or messaged me if they think I need to moderate something specific and I do respond accordingly.

I also delete members if they’re being abusive to another member, or antagonistic.  But, I won’t delete everyone who has an opinion, because that wouldn’t be fair or justified.

Like you said, you’re a mom yourself.  Do you actively participate in Mamarama as a poster or moderator?

Mamarama is MY go to for questions I have about my children.

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I post often, and am always pleasantly surprised with the real, raw feedback I receive from the other moms. Years ago, moms smoked cigarettes, drank alcohol and ate tuna from a can during pregnancy.

Pregnancy and raising children in the 21st century in a different ball game. There are suitable car seats, various bottles to choose from, bottle sterilizes, debates on crib bumpers, preschools, swim instructors, specialists to use, after school activities, and the list goes on and on.

We all want to make the best choices for our children and there is no manual for parenting, but especially in the local area.  I am always thankful when I receive answers to inquiries I post. It warms my heart to see that ultimately we are just moms trying to help each other.


MBMoms- are you a member of Mamarama or Mama Market?  Tell us how you use the Facebook groups in the comments section below!


Editor’s Note: My interview with Lauren Bell Leslie was conducted via email and over the phone in July 2014.  All personal images and the Mamarama logo were given to Modern Boca Mom from Ms. Leslie personally. Since then, Modern Boca Mom/Michelle Olson-Rogers has been removed from Mamarama by Ms. Leslie. Typical.

Play On At PLAYMOBIL FunPark Palm Beach Gardens

I had heard about PLAYMOBIL FunPark Palm Beach Gardens a few times, so we finally decided to go check it out! Whoa… Consider my kids’ minds blown!

The PLAYMOBIL FunPark is a bit out of our way (25 mins or so) from East Boca where we live. Driving there on I-95 N, I remember thinking “Blue Heron Blvd, all the way out there?!?!” But oh so worth the drive!

As soon as we pulled into the parking lot, I knew we were in for some fun! These little guys were just fine standing outside checking out the castle and shaking hands with the giant knights.

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Talk about a grand entrance!

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Just when I thought I couldn’t be happier, they only charge a whopping $1 per person to get in!!! #ThriftyMomScore!

This place was THE COOLEST!

It was covered wall to wall in play tables and each had a really cool theme.

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The princess table was really sweet, it was the longest table completely decked out in everything a princess could imagine!

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PLAYMOBIL FunPark Palm Beach

There were tons of other tables to choose from– pirate tables, construction tables, aviator tables, western themed tables, tropical tables, you name it!

We made our way through each section, the boys were so busy! There are plenty of figurines for all of the children to play with so sharing struggles aren’t really a problem.

All of the tables have such intricate little cities and themes and none of them are battery operated (be still my crunchy heart!). So this place is just busting with endless imagination.

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Sidenote: They do require that you leave all figurines on the table that you originally found them. Surprisingly, this system works! I would think it would be chaos, but the staff is wonderful and well versed in helping your little ones “adjust” and move on.

It was great to see all of the kids just combining their creative pretend-play. They would approach a table, hear what was going on and just add to the story! If anyone got tired of the theme, they just moved on to another table and joined in on their fun.

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The PLAYMOBIL FunPark Palm Beach Gardens space is indoor and air conditioned so it’s great for those rainy South Florida afternoons or just plain HOT summer days (you’re welcome). There’s enough action going on in here to keep your kiddos busy for hours on end!

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There is no eating in the main play area. Ahem.

But they do have a small cafeteria– this is the only place there is a television. I’m usually against it in “play places” (I just feel kid zones should be off-limits, after all they could just “plug-in” at home), but it actually helped keep some of the kids focused on their snacks.

Double Warning: On the way to the cafeteria you are forced guided to walk through their merchandise section with every possible plastic Playmobil set imaginable!  Proceed with caution.

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The PLAYMOBIL FunPark Palm Beach Gardens cafeteria is what I would refer to as the “vending machine graveyard”, packed with all the corn syrup and GMO’s your heart can handle. This is very trying for some parents (especially with older kiddies); luckily we always pack a hearty laptop lunchbox with plenty of fruits and veggies. Crisis averted!

Overall, the PLAYMOBIL FunPark Palm Beach Gardens was a wonderful success! We will definitely be adding it to our roster of fun places to visit this summer here at #CampMBCrunchyMom.

What fun places have you visited in this area? I look forward to hearing about it in the comments section below!

Essentially Yours,

Modern Boca Crunchy Mom


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Erika is a Write-at-Home Mom of two boys Evan & Nate. A self professed Bookworm and Advocate for Play. She created a blog called Essentially Erika that focuses on All Natural Parenting, Life, Nature and all things Organic. Follow her journey to getting back to basics and discovering what’s essential.  

You can follow Essentially Erika on FacebookInstagram & Twitter.

Retire From the Hustle & Bustle in Ft. Meyers

Let’s head to Florida’s West Coast for a few days!

Fort Meyers

Today’s post is from our contributor, Modern Boca Mom of Multiples

If you’re looking for a quick weekend trip, take advantage of the proximity and depth of the West Coast of Florida: Fort Myers.

Only 2 hours away, Fort Myers provides serenity, history and retail therapy to those needing a respite from the relative craziness of South Florida!


Shopping


Fort Myers/Estero boasts one of my favorite outlet malls, Miromar Outlets. With over 140 stores, including all of the major brands, this open air/outdoor mall is a wonderful escape from the Florida heat while still staying outside. There is even a playground for the kids <cough and husbands> to go get some energy out while you continue to explore.

Staying on Sanibel? Go to the Tanger Outlet Mall, which is in Fort Myers on the way to Sanibel. With fewer stores, you can avoid some of the hustle and bustle of a larger mall, while still getting all the deals.


Beaches

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Fort Myers Beach is the first beach that comes to mind when you go to Fort Myers and it has wonderful beach access.

Sanibel/Captiva is just a short 20 minute drive away which offers a quieter retreat from the everyday hustle and bustle. I take my family to Sanibel in order to beat the crowds, and bring a picnic lunch to enjoy as businesses are away from the water. Shelling is quite popular and occupies kids of all ages!


Dining

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Breakfast

Mel’s Diner is locally owned and operated and takes you back to the 1950s with not only a fun, family-friendly atmosphere, but also delicious food! A ventriloquist walks around the tables providing entertainment while you wait!

Lunch

Another locally owned and operated restaurant, Fancy’s Southern Café, provides upscale southern comfort food for both you and the kids!

And because I just couldn’t leave it out, visit the Hickory Pit BBQ for a local gem! Get some Pit Sauce to go… it’s addicting!

Dinner

Near Fort Myer’s Beach, Doc Ford’s relaxed environment with outdoor seating cannot be beaten for adults and children alike!

Staying on Sanibel/Captiva? Visit their restaurant locations there as well!


Baseball Spring Training

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Visit Fort Myers in the Spring and take your family to a Spring Training game for either the Minnesota Twins or the Boston Red Sox! Summer offers Miracle baseball games, including the month of August!


Have you been to Fort Myers/Sanibel? What are your “Must-Sees”? Comment below!

Take a Bite Out of the Boca Resort

Sponsored

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To dine at the resort, all reservations must be escorted by a hotel guest or member.


I don’t know what it is about me writing these #MBMdining blog posts while I AM STARVING.  What am I thinking?

I’m looking back at the photos from my recent MBMom foodie experiences at the Boca Resort last month and I’m pretty sure saliva is dripping from my mouth.  OK, that’s not a pretty picture…

But this is!

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The ocean almost blends with the sky…

That was our view from the blue (and my fancy cocktail- muddled strawberries, YUM) at the top of the tower at the Boca Resort– the tallest point in our fair city with arguably the BEST views in Palm Beach County day or night.

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We were at the top!

But views do not a delicious dinner make for #modernbocadad and me.

the blue, launched in January 2014, is a fine dining yet family-friendly restaurant serving New American food and drink.  It’s sophisticated and contemporary with some unexpected flavors and modern takes on classic dishes.

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Although #modernbocadad and I used this MBMom dinner as a little date night, the blue is family-friendly with a kid’s menu and high chairs (if needed).  The next table over from us, in fact, had a family of 4 enjoying dinner together.

After cocktails recommended by the fantastic sommelier, Roberto (he’s the star of our little “cocktail” photo shoot below), we moved on to the raw bar and appetizers.

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Oysters and snow crab legs

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Deviled eggs to die for! Chorizo MADE the set on the left

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Fried green tomato salad: We didn’t order this, but the Chef insisted…GOOD CALL!

After gorging on the starters, we moved on to wine and our main courses.

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Swordfish steak main course (#modernbocadad)

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Grilled skirt steak main course (@modernbocamom)

So tasty!  And cooked to perfection.

The service was fantastic and the food and sunset views were to die for at the blue.  We felt…dare I say…taken care of, which is rare for us now that we’ve become parents and are caring for a tiny human 24/7.

You know what I’m talking about MBMoms!

Last but not least, DESSERT.  I have two words for you: Funnel. Cake.  Yes, it was as delish as it looks.  We inhaled it.

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the blue was breath of fresh air in Boca Raton where service can be iffy, especially in the summer season.  Sometimes I feel like that’s reason enough to take a stay-cation at a place where you know life will be easy and the service will be great…at least for a few blissful days!

We also had some fun with Roberto as he showed us the art of crafting after-dinner cocktails at the blue bar.  This particular drink had #modernbocadad written all over it with High West Whiskey and orange bitters…while #mbmom rocked the champagne.

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As always, I’m on my phone…life of a blogger!

Custom-crafted cocktails are a huge trend in NYC.  I’m glad to see that the blue takes their cocktailing seriously!

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Voila!

And then, like Cinderella’s carriage turning into a pumpkin at the stroke of midnight, we were headed home to relieve our babysitter.  But, we certainly had a BALL!


Because this dining post would be incomplete without a little write-up on the Boca Resort’s cozy Tuscan restaurant, I was back on property the next evening with #modernbocaaunt to review Lucca.

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With an open-arched kitchen, hand-blown Murano chandeliers and inventive Tuscan cuisine, Lucca is a family-oriented Mediterranean restaurant, overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway.  

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You can savor signature dishes, designed to highlight their fresh and carefully chosen ingredients – along with an award-winning wine list. 

Music to my ears!

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Spoiler alert!  We ordered the fondue for dessert

Lucca was good.  The appetizers were solid and traditional.  I ordered the Caprese Salad and my sister ordered a Caesar.  We also requested an order of the Wood Fired Octopus which is one of the more popular dishes, I am told.

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The mains that we ordered felt like comfort food!

Between the pasta and the wine, I was ready to curl up for a good night’s sleep at the end of our meal (or maybe that was because #dailybabyavery had been up at 4AM the night before)

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Penne Bolognese

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Caramelized spaghetti squash & three cheese polenta

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Rock shrimp scampi 

But, we obviously couldn’t leave without sampling dessert!

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Fondue for 2…okay 4…

Sadly, the fondue was the end of yet another wonderful dining experience at the Boca Resort.  🙁

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Another door closes…

As this is my third and final post in the Modern Boca Resort Mom series, I will close with this:

I had no idea that there were so many fun, exclusive and family-friendly options for local residents by simply booking a hotel stay.  Especially during the summer when the crowds are way less intense and rates so reasonable (starting at $149 per night)!

No, we can’t all afford to be members of the Boca Resort, but getting a hotel room for a few nights for you and your family is your way to get past the velvet rope and enjoy a fantastic stay-cation in your own (fabulous) South Florida backyard.

There are still plenty of summer weekends left in the South Florida season!  Why not enjoy one here?

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Until our next stay-cation…Modern Boca Resort Mom is signing off!


Click below to book your own Boca Resort stay:

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Disclaimer: Services and compensation were provided for this review. As always, all opinions and thoughts are my own.

How Much House Can You Get for $350K in Boca in 2014?

house for $350K in Boca


Hi everyone! I’m so thrilled to be the “Modern Boca Real Estate Mom” contributor here on Modern Boca Mom! I’m a full-time REALTOR® and home stager, wife and mom of three little ones living, working and playing in beautiful Boca Raton!

As the “Modern Boca Real Estate Mom” I share my passion for all things home, while keeping it real.  Work/life balance isn’t always so neat. Life gets messy sometimes- and I get that. I understand what families need, want and dream about in the place they call “home”. I’m your one-stop-shop for real estate advice, kid-friendly home staging tips and easy DIY ideas to spruce your space. I’ll also show you what you can get for your money in different parts of Boca in “How Much House for $350K in Boca Raton can you get?”


Contrary to what most folks think about Boca, the days of the mandatory golf course membership are behind us, giving way to distinct vibrant communities, that are poised for a comeback. I like to think of Boca in three parts:  East, West and Central. The way I define it is: East is East of I-95, Central is between I-95 and the Turnpike, and West is West of the Turnpike. Each of these areas has their pros and cons, and depending on what you’re looking for.

This week, I’m showing you three properties that all cost under $350K in East, West and Central Boca Raton (in 2014).

First up is this remodeled home in…

house for $350K in Boca

This updated single-family home in East Boca is located in between Spanish River Blvd. and Yamato in the University Gardens neighborhood. A large back yard and proximity to schools and activities make this a family home worth looking at.

For even more space, you could close in the carport for a playroom or make your ultimate master suite! Heck, make it a separate apartment and get some rental income from a college student (Built-in-babysitter bonus!)

Even though this location isn’t technically “Central”  (by my definition) – you really have easy access to everything Boca has to offer. Boca Town Center, the beach, Mizner Park and F.A.U. are all less than a 10-minute car ride away and I-95 is around the corner for easy commuting. 


house for $350K in Boca

Now, as we move further West, overall, you can expect the prices to drop and square footages to rise – supply and demand, right? This tastefully updated single-family home is just West of 441 and has all the space a family could need to spread out.

West Boca, once dubbed the “Shuffleboard Capital of the World” is posed to make a name for itself once again. Developers like GL Homes (The Bridges/ 7 Bridges) have shifted their sights West, so if you want  new construction (with the exception of a few lovely townhouse communities like Centra and Library Commons) – that’s where you want to look.

Prices are definitely more affordable than the same house further East, but high demand keeps prices at a premium. The existence of new shopping centers like the popular Delray Marketplace signal that developers expect this trend to continue and are building the infrastructure to support a heavy influx of new residents.

However, it may be a while before the schools, businesses, restaurants, shopping, etc. catches up so – for that, you’ll want to look to….


house for $350K in Boca

Central Boca! A quick stop at Boca Town Center, pick up lunch at Whole Foods, (grumble about how much you just spent at Whole Foods), grab the kids from school, then swing by Michael’s for project supplies – all within a 3-mile radius. You just can’t beat that.

How much house for $350K in Boca Raton can you get?

I selected this single family home in the Vista Verde neighborhood with an open floor plan because it’s just been redone and is move-in ready.  It’s at an interesting price point, too.  Vista Verde is off of Jog Road and  right across the street from Boca Town Center.  Prices in this area tend to fall in the $300K-$450K range. Besides this one, there are currently two other homes on the market in this community –  Both other homes have 4 bedrooms instead of 3, but with price tags to match. One is asking $459,000 and the other is listed for $425,000. 


Disclaimer: I do not represent any of the properties featured in this post. All data and information is per the MLS and is presumed accurate as of July 28, 2014- August 14, 2014, but is not warranted. All opinions given are 100% my own and are not sponsored in any way. The properties represented here are not advertisements. These properties are displayed with the consent of the listing agent(s) and are given only for informational purposes as examples to illustrate different regions of Boca Raton. 

MOMpreneur Monday: Are You Kidding?

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.

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Today’s featured MOMpreneur is the founder of a business her young son inspired, the children’s sock company Are You Kidding?  Meet Rachel Martinez!

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Like most MBMoms, you’ve probably spent a fair amount of time dreaming about what your child might become one day. A lawyer, an astronaut, President of the United States perhaps? I know I refused to name #dailybabyavery anything short of a “CEO power name” when I gave birth to her.

So, what if your child started to show his career promise at the age of 6? Would you support them? Would you quit your full-time job to become his or her MOMpreneur mentor?

Um…can I plead the fifth?

Well, that’s what makes this MOMpreneur Monday story so unique. Rachel Martinez took her young son Sebastian’s passion for designing socks and is building a thriving business around it.

Are You Kidding?  No, I’m not…read on…


You’re a brave mom to take such a big business risk! Call me impressed! Tell me about how this family entrepreneurial adventure got started.

I am a 35 year old mother of 2 boys (6 & 8 years old). For the past 13 years, I have worked in the media/advertising sales world.  12 of those were at Televisa Publishing and the past year I have been working from home representing Robb Report Mexico and Forbes Mexico. 

I left my full time job a year ago because I knew that my passion has always been to start my own company.  Being a mom changed my outlook on my career.

I wanted to make a career for myself instead of making a career for someone else. 

Most of all, I wanted to create something that my entire family could be involved in.

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So you decided to launch Are You Kidding?

I actually started Are You Kidding back in 2008 with a friend; only we started it in a different direction.  Working full time, our company pretty much got stuck. But, I always knew I had something that could be great with the name.

My 6-year old son, Sebastian, has always had an obsession with fun and crazy socks.  Last year it occurred to me to ask him if he would like to design his own socks.  He was so happy that he sat right down and started drawing.  After he drew his first sock he asked me to make a hole in it so that he could put it on (obviously that was not possible).

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After seeing his passion, I knew we had a great concept that we could work with.  I found a manufacturing company in Central America to produce our socks and out came the Are You Kidding? Socks by Sebastian Sock Line.

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Besides your young, fabulous designer, what makes your business unique?

What makes our business unique is that you have the passion of a 6-year old boy behind the brand.

Anyone can sell socks…but not anyone has a great story to tell about the socks.

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Sebastian loves talking to people abut his socks and you can really see how everything he says comes from his heart.

Why should my readers buy Are You Kidding? socks for their kids? 

First, our socks are excellent quality.  If they can take a beating from my kids, they will last a lifetime. 

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Like I mentioned, there are tons of socks out there but with Are You Kidding? you are supporting a child who is expressing himself through his socks.

What do you envision for your family business going forward? 

Sebastian is constantly trying to come up with new sock ideas for the future collections!  

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Besides more sock designs, we are also working on a clothing collection to continue showing off our Are You Kidding? styles.  My 8 year old told me he wanted to design t-shirts so maybe we will have a t-shirt collection designed by him soon?

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

I was born and raised in South Florida.  Many people are born here and leave and many people wind up living here from other states or countries.  I have always loved living here and wouldn’t change it for the world. 

Besides the great weather and the many activities it allows us to do with our kids, my family is here and Miami is who I am.

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MBMoms, meet the next sock mogul of South Florida!  And, what better time to update your kids’ sock fashion collection than now, back-to-school time!

Check out their website at: www.areyoukidding.net.

And LIKE them on Facebook!


Now tell us, how do you let your children express themselves?  Comment below!

Power in She and Ivivva: The Perfect Boca Pair

Power in She ivivva Boca Raton

As a stylish and modern Boca mom, there are a few things that most of us have in common:

(1) we need like to drink coffee, and we do so often.

(2) we like to have fresh polish on our fingers and toes, although it doesn’t always happen.

(3) we all own at least 1 piece of Lululemon clothing, even if it’s just a cute $12 headband!!

Guilty…

Lululemon has become a South Florida symbol for quality, comfort, style and class. What MBMom doesn’t love their comfy, stylish activewear?

If they only had a store in the area for the adorable, young girl in your life…

ivivva Boca Raton

Hold onto your seats MBMoms because your wish has come true. ivivva Boca Raton is here!

ivivva Boca Raton

Ivivva Boca Raton

ivivva, created by Lululemon, is a sportswear brand for the active girl, ages 4-14.

ivivva Boca Raton opened its doors recently (located in Town Center at Boca Raton by the Food Court) and now every South Florida little girl can dress “as cool as mommy.”

ivivva Boca Raton

And with that, you know they’re getting comfort, quality and fit from the awesome brand, ivivva Boca Raton, that you already know and love!


Power in She

Now that you’ve shopped together and dressed the part, perhaps you’re up for doing something active, something where you can bond with your daughter, something good for your mind, body and soul.

How about a little mother/daughter yoga with Power in She?

Power in She

Michelle Houser, a yoga teacher and health coach, started the Power in She program to empower girls to grow up to become confident women.  The program elevates self-esteem through yoga, awareness of the obstacles that young girls face and introducing tools such as journaling and goal setting.

ivivva Boca Raton

Classes are targeted to mothers and daughters, ages 8-13.  Each class is 90 minutes long. No previous yoga experience is required!  

ivivva Boca Raton

For more information and to find a class in your area visit their Facebook page.

Namaste! (and happy shopping!)


Modern Boca Mom contributor Samara is a stay-at-home mom with a passion for health, fitness, and social media. In her “downtime” from mommy-ing two boys, she is an account executive for a boutique social media firm and the founder of healthy living blog, Peace, Love and Ice Cream!


Images courtesy of ivivva & Power in SheDisclaimer: Compensation was provided by Power in She to promote this post. As always, all opinions and thoughts are my own.

At the Boca Resort, Sit Back & Say Spa-ahh…

Sponsored

Waldorf Astoria Spa WM


Remember all of the glorious free time you used to have BEFORE you became a Modern Boca Mom?

Ha- me neither!

And that’s why (when I do manage to schedule some valuable ‘me-time’) I try to maximize it accordingly.

Before motherhood, I rarely spent my free time doing things like “taking a day at the spa,” but by God if I haven’t earned that day (or precious few hours) by the time I’m able to nail it on the iPhone calendar now!

At that point, sometimes I feel like I’ve earned an actual vacation…

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But that vacation, at least according to a recent survey on summer vacation travel conducted by American Express, will actually cost you on average (in the United States): $1,145 per person.

What?!  We live in Boca Raton, FL!  People come to US to take a vacation!

After I read that, I decided I’m going the stay-cation route for the foreseeable future and plan to schedule a “Mommy Escape” at the Boca Resort instead.

AT. THE. SPA.

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Waldorf Astoria Spa (formerly known as Spa Palazzo) at the Boca Resort


As a Modern Boca Resort Mom (#modernbocaresortmom), I like to be ‘in the know’ and from what I’ve heard, the renowned Spa Palazzo at Boca Raton Resort & Club was re-branded as a Waldorf Astoria Spa on July 1st, 2014.

Known for its grandeur and elegance, the award-winning spa is a masterpiece of architecture with water features, elaborate mosaics and grand arches.  

It recently won #1 Spa in the World in Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Poll 2014.

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Inspired by the legendary Alhambra Palace in Spain, the 50,000 sq. ft. spa at Boca Raton Resort is a symphony of palatial gardens, grand arches, carved stone, smooth marble, handcrafted tile, intricate mosaics and indigenous cypress woodwork. 

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Yep, that’s a hot tub.

An elegant sanctuary of health and rejuvenation, the spa features 44 treatment rooms, an eclectic menu of spa treatments, sunning terraces and 10,000 square feet of tranquil gardens featuring waterfall whirlpools and a private spa pool.  


I’ve always wanted to spend some time in the ‘pink spa castle,’ so when the Waldorf Astoria Spa invited me to come and try out one of their newest facial treatments, the HydraFacial MD®, I knew I’d be a crazy MBMom not to take advantage…

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Slipper Selfie

After registering up front, I was led to a beautiful changing area and given my locker key, robe and slippers.  I took a brief tour of the spa and made a mental note to hit THIS heated whirlpool after my facial:

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Hello.

Then I waited for my treatment in probably the fanciest area of the whole spa while enjoying cucumber water and devouring the latest issue of Glamour (it’s the little things).

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Chicest waiting room ever…

I had no idea what to expect when it came to this HydraFacial™, but after having one, I am dubbing it the “facial of a thousand vacuums.”  🙂  I call it a vacuum; the spa calls it the Vortex-Fusion® experience. Tomato, To-mah-to.

Essentially, the HydraFacial™ is an advanced medical-grade skin care treatment that targets fine lines and wrinkles; congested, oily and acne prone skin; rosacea and hyper-pigmentation.  It softens the appearance of large pores, improves skin texture and tone and helps repair existing sun damage with 1) Cleansing & Exfoliation, 2) an Acid Peel (it’s gentle!), 3) Extractions (hence the vacuums with vortex suction) and 4) Hydration.

It feels great AND they even give you a Daily Essentials™ kit to take home with you after!

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I love a goody bag…

But my Modern Boca Resort Mom Escape did not end there.  I did indeed hit the heated whirlpool above (as noted) and then I walked outside and treated my robed-self to lunch by the pool.

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Do yourself a favor and order one of the tapas platters and the white sangria.  YUM-MY.

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After lunch, sadly my babysitter called me home, but had I been a hotel guest (with a slightly older child), I could have spent my whole day (with #modernbocadad…) at the spa.

Oh yes.  Now that’s a staycation!

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Thanks again to the Boca Resort for having me…click below to book your own Modern Boca Resort Mom Escape at the Waldorf Astoria Spa this summer!  Rooms start at only $149 per night.

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Disclaimer: Services and compensation were provided for this review. As always, all opinions and thoughts are my own.

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