MADE IN FL: Summer Must-Have Products

I’m not quite sure if this qualifies as a guilty pleasure, but this Modern Boca Mom, as of late, has become a HUGE fan of the ABC television show, Shark Tank.

If you haven’t seen the program before, essentially businesses (large and small) pitch their product or service to the “sharks” and ask for a monetary investment in exchange for a stake in their business, so they can (hopefully) grow by leaps and bounds utilizing the sharks’ money + connections.  It’s fascinating!

I constantly think about how I could take ModernBocaMom.com on the show and ask Mr. Wonderful to invest in my “genius” blog idea to take it national…global!  Who knows?!!

Big MOMpreneur dreams.

Anyhow, I’ve recently come across three NEW products for summer that I personally think would be AMAZING on the show.  But, I have a feeling these entrepreneurs are going to do just fine on their own.  And, the best part?

ALL of these products are BASED IN FLORIDA.

1. shadepop

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Yes, that’s #dailybabyavery sitting by the pool…rockin the shadepop

The shadepop story, from its inventor:

Whether it’s relaxing by the pool, at the beach, or on the porch, I’m always happiest outside. One day, while laying by the pool, I reached under my chair for my drink and knocked it over … for the last time. I started thinking there’s got to be a better way to keep everything within arms reach and shaded. I wanted to make relaxing, well, a bit more relaxing. So I found a small umbrella, glued metal washers to the bottom, added a magnet and made my first prototype. It was perfect. I began my research and decided to start the patent process. After going down many different roads, I decided to have it manufactured, and peddle my brilliant invention myself. I mean who wouldn’t want the ultimate in lounge level shade?

I have to admit that I was skeptical when shadepop reached out to MBMom.  But, after trying the product today, I have to admit it’s kind of genius.  I like drinking my sippy cup of white wine out by the pool and it IS super annoying when it heats up due to South Florida’s lack of shade…or me not drinking fast enough, apparently.  

All you have to do is take the umbrella out of its handy case, open and secure it to a table using the magnets provided.  DONE!  Your drink stays cool and so does your phone (I’m definitely one of those people that hates leaving my iPhone out in the sun).

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For $24.99, your poolside possessions can be cool too!  www.shadepop.com

2. Bronze Buffer

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Yes, this little guy can save you from a sunless tanning “mishap”

The Bronze Buffer story: 

The invention of Paige Herman-Axel, a former beauty editor turned freelance beauty blogger (and fellow MBMom!), Bronze Buffer was developed to help “fix” sunless tanning mistakes or boo boos, even after the tan has developed. This innovative, sun-shaped sponge instantly removes unwanted sunless-tanner streaks and buildup.  The sponge is especially ideal for areas of the body where color can collect such as knees, ankles and elbows.  It can even be used to tone down a tan that’s too dark.

Full disclosure…I used to work with Paige back in my NYC Beauty PR days and she is one of the nicest and most down-to-earth people you’ll ever meet.  When I first moved back to Boca Raton, I was so excited to find out she was based here and was all ears as she explained her new business venture.  I have tried Bronze Buffer multiple times now on my less than perfect sunless tanning applications and it is even fantastic if you need even out leg makeup (Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs anyone?). 

Picture “a deodorant sponge for your skin” and thank goodness someone finally invented that.  The only safe tan is a sunless tan and it’s a challenge to get the perfect one each time!  www.bronzebuffer.com 

Guess what?  You can buy Bronze Buffer at Sephora.

SEPHORA! 

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3. safeHands

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The safeHands story:

The safeHands brand began as a dream of Founder & CEO, Dr. Jay Reubens (known as “Dr. J” and inventor of the first touch-free dispenser) when he set out to develop a safe and effective alternative to alcohol-based hand sanitizers.  Dr. J’s goal was to ensure that his foam-based hand sanitizer not only killed over 99.99% of germs – but that it helped soothe, nourish and preserve the skin’s natural oils. It dawned on Dr. J, as he successfully tested the product with his friends and family, that a sanitizer that could be used frequently throughout the day without the harsh effects of alcohol on the skin, would be a product that people would love to use, would use more frequently and would in turn, lead to a decrease in the escalating infection rates. As safeHands products became a reality, it has become Dr. J’s mission to educate about the benefits of alcohol free hand sanitizer, one hand at a time.

As a mom, hand sanitizer is my LIFE.  Between changing diapers, blowing little noses and various other not-so-cute parental duties, I take every measure to make sure my hands are germ-free…yet moisturized.  I thought in Florida that I would no longer need hand cream like I did in NYC!  I was wrong.

These hydrating, skin-soothing, foam-based, non-toxic hand sanitizers kill more than 99.99% of germs on contact and are scientifically proven to be as effective as alcohol-based hand sanitizers. safeHands battles germs, not your skin, so you can sanitize while keeping your hands silky smooth.  

I appreciate the concept.  I’d certainly rather have the alcohol in my cocktail, not on my skin.  It also smells good and is non-toxic.

safeHands is based right here in Boca Raton, FL!  www.safehands.com

You can purchase the products by searching for a local retailer HERE.

Here’s to Summer MBMoms!

Disclaimer: Modern Boca Mom was given complimentary product samples for review.  As always, all opinions are my own.

MBMom’s Night Out 2014 at Bloomingdale’s Boca Raton

Fantastic!  

Thank you to all who joined us for our inaugural MBMom’s Night Out at Bloomingdale’s Boca Raton!  We had a lovely evening of champagne and ‘lite bites’ while learning about:

3 Steps to Perfect Skin by Clinique and Clarisonic 
Eyes and Lips that pop by Bobbi Brown 
Flawless Foundation tips by Laura Mercier

All steps were designed by the professionals at Bloomingdale’s to facilitate Flawless Beauty in a Flash!  

The evening was topped off by DELICIOUS pink lemonade cake pops from Lollicakes Gourmet and great company.

A HUGE THANK YOU to Kelli-Ann and the beauty team from Bloomingdale’s, the folks from Signsations (who made my beautiful MBMom signs!) and Stacie from Lollicakes Gourmet for helping to make this evening happen for some fabulous moms.  Isn’t her cake pop table just amazing?

Lollicakes Gourmet
Lollicakes Gourmet

We hope you can make our next MBMom Social Event on Sunday, June 1st…details to be announced next week!

In the meantime, here are some lovely Modern Boca Moms (well, except my sister in the middle, who is a Modern Boca Aunt!) who were made over during the event.

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xo,
MBMom

Have You Tasted Blue Apron?

Honesty time: I may be a Modern Boca Mom…but I am the furthest thing possible from a Modern Boca Chef.

I don’t mind shopping or cleaning up (I’m quite good at both), but cooking absolutely stumps me.  NYC just enabled me even further the past few years by having the most amazing takeout and delivery options available (miss you so much Seamless!).  So, here we are in Boca-burbia having to find recipes and shop for 7 evening meals per week for our family of 2.5 people.

MBMoms, aren’t you tired?  I’m exhausted.

The last thing I want to do after working and taking care of #dailybabyavery all day is search through cookbooks and drive to Whole Foods or Publix.  That’s why I’m so glad a friend of mine introduced me (and #modernbocadad) to Blue Apron.

Blue Apron is simply a better way to cook.  It’s a weekly recipe + ingredient delivery service that you subscribe to (yes, it’s national!  I thought it was just in NYC at first) for approximately $60 per week for two people ($9.99 per person per meal; quantities/prices go up from there).  They plan, shop, measure and deliver ingredients for 3 surprise recipes that get delivered to your door each Wednesday.

That means our delivery is arriving today- yay!  I love getting the menu emailed to me in advance of each week and looking forward to the unique dishes.

Each week is typically one beef, seafood and chicken dish-  FYI.  You can also get vegetarian meals if you like.  The reason I like it so much is because it takes the THINKING out of 3 dinners per week.  That’s a nice little break.  It also makes for a fun date night at home!

With Blue Apron, you receive:

Original Recipes

  • Complete meals with 500-700 calories per serving
  • 35 minutes to prepare on average
  • Pre-portioned ingredients to save time and reduce waste
  • Easy to follow beautifully printed recipe cards

Here are some photos of recent Blue Apron meals we [read: #modernbocadad] created!

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A typical delivery box

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Ingredient organization

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Prep

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Roasted Chicken with Jalapeno-Herb Salsa, Mixed Citrus & Cracked Wheat Berries- YUM!

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3-Chile Beef Chili with Red Kidney Beans & Pepper Jack Cheese- SPICY & DELISH!

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Chicken, Baby Artichoke & Spinach Casserole with Gouda Bechamel-

HEARTY WITH PLENTY OF LEFTOVERS

Everything is delivered fresh to your door and there is literally zero ingredient waste!  And, we’ve pretty much had extra portions with every meal which makes the price even more desirable.

Learn more about or sign up for Blue Apron HERE.

Bon appetit MBMoms!

1st Birthday Party: #dailybocaavery Celebration Recap

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 birthday party celebration inspiration!

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!

1st Birthday Party: 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 the 1st birthday party, 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!

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.

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

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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!

xoxo,

MBMom


In honor of #dailybabyavery’s 1st Birthday, we had a very special “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 icing…

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

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 photos from that special day!


Disclaimer: the photography session and cake mentioned in this post were sponsored.  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.

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Today’s featured Mompreneur is the founder and owner of the 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.

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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.

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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).

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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!

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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!

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Pure…BLISS. All About Pure Barre Boca Raton

Until I took a class at Pure Barre, 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!

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.

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Pure Barre West Boca

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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. The Pure Barre technique is low-impact, protecting your joints by avoiding any bouncing or jumping. 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!

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

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Don’t expect dancing at Pure Barre though.  Movements in class are controlled and deliberate.  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.

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Single classes cost $23 each. Package pricing is available and 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.

Sunny with a Chance of Cloud 10

When I was in early labor with #dailybabyavery in NYC, I had a unique moment of beauty clarity.  I decided to walk over to the nearest blow dry bar to get my hair done, so I wouldn’t have to worry about turning into a grease ball during my hospital stay. Granted, that was the least of my worries when it came to my childbirth experience, but don’t judge!  There are a lot of photos taken of you with that new baby…

So there I was, having (mostly mild) contractions while being reassured by the stylist that I was NOT the first Manhattan mommy-to-be to do this, getting my hair blown out (my nails were already done, obviously) and thinking to myself that this would be one of the last times I’d get to enjoy this convenient city luxury.

I’m happy to report I was wrong.

My (and soon to be your) new South Florida blow dry fix?  Cloud 10 Blow Dry Bar & Hair Salon

Cloud 10 Blow Dry Bar & Hair Salon (with locations in both downtown Delray Beach and Boca Raton) was founded by Jodi Dery, who has an extensive background in providing spa services, most recently at the world renowned Boca Raton Resort’s Spa Palazzo.  Before launching the first Cloud 10 in Delray, she visited more than 30 blow dry bars throughout the U.S. and then selected the ‘best of the best’ in products, services and ambiance for Cloud 10.

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These chairs reclined and had massage settings.  HEAVEN!

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The adorable waiting area

Modern Boca Mom was invited to experience a blowout and the “5-Minute Makeover” at the downtown Boca location and I can’t tell you how perfect it is for the time crunched mommy.

$40, 45 minutes or less, and your hair is DONE for a formal or business location (PLUS complimentary wine or champagne!).

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My view during the blowout

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My other view: digital hairstyle & makeup menus. You can also read magazines!

Then, for $15 and 5 minutes of your time (with or without a blowout), you’ve got your basic makeup look.  I would recommend arriving with your foundation on for this speedy service.  And, did I mention the complimentary champagne??  You know how I feel about the bubbly!

Mommies- they even take walk-ins if you forget or don’t have time to make an appointment.  Just beware of the weekends which tend to get busy.

If you hair needs even more help, Cloud 10 has recently expanded to offer a full array of hair services, including cuts, color, extensions, and more.  They also have a cool Rewards Program where customers can earn points for their first service, sharing reviews on social media, friend and family referrals, and more. Upon accumulating 1200 points, members receive complimentary blowouts or credit towards any other salon services.  Not bad!

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Cloud 10 Hair + Makeup =

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The finished look!


Appointments can be made by calling 561-303-3000 (Delray location) or 561-465-3900 (Boca location) or reserving online at Cloud10USA.com.

Disclosure: MBMom was given a complimentary blowout and makeup application at the East Boca location.  As always, opinions and reviews are my own.

NYY STEAK Coconut Creek Hits One Out of the Park

Yankee Stadium.  New York City.  Coconut Creek. What could these places possibly have in common?

NYY Steak Coconut Creek, of course!

Apparently, one of the best steakhouses in South Florida is at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek.  Who knew?  I dragged (read: he was willing) Mr. Red Sox fan a.k.a. #modernbocadad to the southernmost outpost of NYY STEAK on Saturday night.

Our date nights typically keep us in the Boca/Delray/Deerfield areas of SOFL (Ft. Lauderdale or Palm Beach if we’re feeling extra adventurous), so I was surprised that a 15-20 minute drive southwest of Boca landed us back in New York.

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Around every corner, you’ll find signature Yankee touches like an autographed wall of past and present players, memorabilia and baseball diamond-shaped dishes marked with retired Yankee numbers.  Even #modernbocadad had to admit they were clever…

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(These were the delish garlic mashed potatoes.)

Out of NYY Steak Coconut Creek ‘s award-winning, open kitchen (it’s made of glass– so is the butcher “shop” when you walk in), the finest dry aged USDA Prime steaks, seafood and desserts are presented to customers in top form.

NYY Steak Coconut Creek- Modern Boca Mom #MBMdining

NYY Steak Coconut Creek- Modern Boca Mom #MBMdining

We ordered a delicious bottle of Pinot Noir, Blue Point oysters (yum), onion rings (which were as big as glazed donuts, I’m not kidding- see the photo below), the previously mentioned garlic mashed potatoes and split a 12 oz New York Strip (cooked medium rare and dry aged for 21 days).  We were stuffed.

However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to NYY STEAK Coconut Creek ‘s dinner menu which can be viewed HERE.

NYY Steak Coconut Creek- Modern Boca Mom #MBMdining

NYY Steak Coconut Creek- Modern Boca Mom #MBMdining

NYY Steak Coconut Creek- Modern Boca Mom #MBMdining

NYY Steak Coconut Creek- Modern Boca Mom #MBMdining

NYY Steak Coconut Creek

If you’re looking to dine al fresco, NYY STEAK also features an outdoor dining area and their indoor Legends Lounge offers a chic option to enjoy live entertainment and amazing drinks with friends if you’re not craving a huge meal.

NYY Steak Coconut Creek- Modern Boca Mom #MBMdining

MBMom’s experience at NYY STEAK Coconut Creek was overwhelmingly positive and definitely quelled some of the NYC homesickness #modernbocadad and I been having lately (now that warm weather has arrived in the city, of course).

The only negative I would HAVE to point out is the restroom location for the restaurant.  It’s located in the main casino, which is fine, but I didn’t love that I had to leave the restaurant to use it.  A small price to pay for a great dining experience and date night…even if your husband is a Red Sox fan!


You can make reservations for NYY STEAK directly on Seminole Casino Coconut Creek’s Facebook page OR on their website: http://www.nyysteak.com/coconut-creek/

Disclosure: MBMom was given a gift certificate to taste the restaurant cuisine.  As always, opinions and reviews are my own.

MOMpreneur Monday: aquaBelly® Fitness

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

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

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Today’s featured MOMpreneurs are…Samantha Bense and Kristy Wexler, co-founders of the South Florida chapter of aquaBelly®, water fitness for Moms & Moms-to-Be.

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The concept of the fitness program was born while Kristy and Samantha were teaching swimming lessons to young children. They noticed that expectant mothers had a hard time keeping up with their toddler-aged children poolside. This observation coupled with Kristy’s personal experience with high-risk pregnancy (i.e. being permitted by her Perinatologist to exercise in the water  because of the buoyancy and forgiving environment– she now has 3 little ones!) created the foundation of aquaBelly®.

Kristy and Samantha obtained their exercise credentials and soon offered water fitness classes to Moms and Moms-To-Be in Boynton Beach. In 2012, aquaBelly® expanded its target demographic to include classes like aquaBootyaquaBelly Baby and aquaGrand which not only focused on Moms and Moms-to-Be, but Active Adult Women as well (I like to call them the #modernbocagrandmoms).  Now, aquaBelly® is a national fitness and healthy living brand.

Wow!

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MBMom personally took an aquaBelly Baby™ class earlier this month with #dailybabyavery and we had a great time. Avery probably had even more fun than I did as evidenced by the 2.5 hour nap she took after class!

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aquaBelly® classes are unique because they are all conducted in the water (heated pool- check!) although you don’t need to know how to swim.  Classes mix yoga, pilates, dance and aerobic exercise to give students a well-balanced, full-body fitness experience each time.

I wore a Lycra exercise tank and shorts in the pool.  I didn’t have water shoes, but I would recommend getting a pair for a better grip on the pool floor.  Babies must wear a swimsuit and swim diaper.  A cute poolside lounging outfit is optional.

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This particular class would be great for moms easing back into exercise post-baby.  It is nowhere near as high impact as a Flywheel or Stroller Strides class which is especially helpful when you’re just starting out.  #dailybabyavery is very “squirmy” at her 11 months of age, so keep that in mind since the goal is to not only bond with your baby in the pool, but use him or her as a resistance weight during the class.  At least she looked adorable in her little swimsuit (and she clearly loved the colorful puppet Samantha used to demonstrate all of the moves in class)!

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I also really appreciated that the aquaBelly® instructor kept a close eye on the form of each student. Everyone received individualized attention in the safe, low-impact arena while getting a good workout (without the sweat).  Did you know water provides 12x the resistance of air?

I always like to ask my fellow Mompreneurs the tough questions: why should Modern Boca Mom readers participate?

Classes are conveniently located at the Boca Raton Peter Blum YMCA (no membership required), at the beautiful Canyon Springs Community and will soon be offered in Delray Beach and central Boynton Beach.  Tons of class times are available to fit any schedule and prices range from $15-$17 per class.

Kristy and Samantha even offer fitness evaluations, coaching, nutrition and meal planning, breast feeding coaching, as well as instructor training in case you have interest in becoming an aquaBelly® teacher!

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Marissa

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Samantha and Kristy also LOVE working in South Florida.

They told me, “Not only do we live in paradise, but we also [get to] work in paradise!  We feel truly fortunate to get to work and exercise in nearly 365 days of beautiful weather.  Waking up to jump in the refreshing pool & feel warm breezes listening to the sound of palm trees is an incredible way to get a workout session in.  During the hot summer days nothing can top cooling off when you exercise.  South Florida moms are friendly and so many of our participants & their families have become lifelong friends!  Getting to know each of the mommies while they are pregnant and watching their babies grow up is priceless!”

I think so too. 🙂

I definitely plan to try an aquaBooty™ class in the future sans #dailybabyavery.  I’d like to fully experience the resistance that the pool can offer.  Plus, working with Samantha is a lot of fun!


Great news MBMoms!  If you’d like to try any aquaBelly® class for yourself, just mention “Modern Boca Mom” and your first one is FREE!
Contact aquaBelly® directly by clicking HERE.

Disclaimer: MBMom received a complimentary class for this review.  As always, all opinions and comments are my own.

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