Tag Archives: baby

Family Estate Planning: Why the Holidays are an Ideal Time to Get it DONE.

From Special Guest Contributor: Elise Rodriguez, a South Florida attorney who focuses on helping families preserve their legacies through estate and family planning.

Modern Boca Mom Family 2014
MBMom in Maine with #modernbocadad’s FAMILY for Thanksgiving 2014

The holidays have arrived! Festivities are already in full swing, trips to the toy store will start to happen as often as visits to the grocery store and family trips are booked! You might even be considering looking into title loans Orlando with how many “Very Mickey” Disney World trips you have on the calendar.

But in the midst of all the merry chaos, it’s important to take a step back and reflect on where you are as a parent and how your family has evolved throughout the year. As we gear up to embark on another year of life changes, reflection can help us better prepare for the future of our families- both in the short term, and the long term, like family estate planning.

Certainly, the near-future is at the forefront of our minds: How will our finances look next year? How will the kids do in school? How will life be different after the baby arrives?

These concerns are all valid, and naturally a part of being a parent and caregiver. But what about the long-term?

Who do you want to be as a parent?

How will you transfer all of your important values and lessons to your children?

If something happens to you, who will ensure that your children are taken care of and your values passed on?

So before the festivities begin, take a moment to sit down and reflect on your values as a parent. Notice how your values have changed or developed this year. From disciplinary methods to financial values to education and community- what impression would you like to make on your children?

Then ask yourself how you plan on infusing your family unit with these values.  Will you go on family trips or have a weekly game night? And if for any reason you can’t pass these values on yourself, who will?

Modern Boca Mom Grandparents

One of the greatest advantages of reflecting during the holidays is that everyone comes together.  This is a prime opportunity to take a look around and see where your loved ones are in their own lives- notice who is most like you when it comes to parenting and who you could trust with the task of passing on your values if you couldn’t be there for your kids. On the other hand, is there someone in particular you wouldn’t want to raise your kids?

Once you’ve taken the time to reflect, put your intention into action.

For the short term, start planning your family trip for the year and schedule quality time together. For the long term, make sure your estate plan is up to date, that you have considered planning for college and retirement, and most importantly, nominate legal guardians for your children.

Even though you’ll also be planning for the distant future or an eventuality that may never happen, you’re parenting readiness will be immediately strengthened. When you clarify the way you want your children raised and the beliefs you want them to carry into the world, you naturally become more conscious about your relationship with your children now.

Modern Boca Mom Cousins

Embark on the New Year with the right mindset and intention of practicing, preserving, and passing on your values as a parent in your family estate planning! Your family will benefit greatly.

SUBSCRIBE to Modern Boca Mom here!

Elise Rodriguez is a South Florida attorney who focuses on helping families preserve their legacies through estate and family planning. To learn more about planning for your family’s future, call (305) 860-8338 and mention Modern Boca Mom to schedule a FREE Family Wealth Planning Session with Elise (worth $750).

For more about family planning visit www.lifelonglaw.com.

MOMpreneur Monday: COOL KIDS Buckle Covers

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

Happy Monday Modern Boca Moms! Welcome to our next installment of MOMpreneur Monday, highlighting Florida businesses and brands that were founded by female entrepreneurs and fellow Mommas.


Today’s featured MOMpreneur is…Rosalie Farnsworth, creator of COOL KIDS buckle covers.


Tell us a little bit about yourself, Rosalie, and why you launched COOL KIDS™

As an veteran “MOMpreneur” with a marketing background, my passions for parenting (I have an 18-year-old and a preschooler), health education and hands-on problem solving can be seen in my everyday life. I try to find fun ways to teach my children that innovation can be found hiding in plain sight.

Building a business around something you love brings challenges in line with being a parent – the rewards are immeasurable as you watch it grow.

Living in sunny South Florida can be brutal sometimes – not just in summer. It can truly feel like your insides are baking. In a rush one suffocatingly hot day, I moved the buckles out of the way so I could put my young daughter in her car seat and immediately burnt my fingertips – I am usually careful about this, but was glad it wasn’t her tender skin.

I had previously tried full-cover sunshades, but quickly found them to be cumbersome – I wanted one less thing to juggle when exiting a car with my arms and mind full. Florida children wear short clothing with their legs exposed almost year-round – I was tired of worrying about that scalding metal buckle.


I began thinking: What other options existed?

I began searching for a solution that tackled the problem at its source, the actual buckle. Unable to find a practical product in the car seat aftermarket (accessories), I sketched out a pattern for what I envisioned: A type of cover that would stay in place to protect the entire car seat buckle without interfering with its restraint function, or the bustle of my day.

Determined to bring my idea to life, I retrieved the brand-new sewing machine I had bought years before from a high shelf in a closet, searched YouTube tutorials on how to sew, cut up an old t-shirt and stitched the very first pair of COOL KIDS Buckle Covers – the only ones I ever wanted to make!

The design features a pocket with a small collar and snap that fastens to the strap right above the two buckles. It stays securely in place for constant use but can be easily removed by an adult when necessary. To use, a parent simply pulls the pocket over the buckles while the restraint is disconnected.

To unshield the buckles, just pinch the bottom of the pocket with two fingers and pull up – the buckles pop out ready for use (you can watch the video above for a complete demo).


I fastened what became our prototype to my daughter’s car seat harness and began “testing and telling.” Soon, other parents wanted me to make a set for their kiddos.

So I did…

Suddenly, I imagined there could be a marketable interest in the design.

What challenges did you face when starting your business?

When I decided to put them for sale online – they did well! I couldn’t keep up. Months later, we took a few more serious steps: we have a patent pending, hired a manufacturer, showcase 20 stylish patterns, and continue to sell our functional, fashionable car seat safety accessory online.

Our new website, www.coolkidsusa.com, will be launched in November 2015.


What is unique about your product and why should MBMoms purchase it?

COOL KIDS™ fit practically all domestic car seat brands and are, of course, machine washable.

You can match them with other accessories: strap covers, seat covers or pads, head supports, a favorite dangly toy, bibs, blankets…virtually anything! Give them as part of a baby shower gift or newborn starter pack.

Really, any child who uses a car seat could benefit from COOL KIDS™. Car seat buckle covers are a straightforward product like non-skid baby socks and many other children’s safety items.


What exciting things are coming up for you and your business?

We’ve begun to garner interest from baby product retailers. COOL KIDS™ buckle covers are a contemporary product that will certainly perform best at point of purchase while the market becomes familiar with them.

The future is open. We’ll continue to build the business and product line, form partnerships and collaborate with other baby gear MOMpreneurs. One day, we hope to be in a position to donate a portion of our proceeds to medical facilities that aid burn victims.

For instant access to updates and promotions, it is best to monitor our social feeds. We really look forward to hearing what your readers think about our ‘accidental’ business!


We now know what you don’t like about South Florida, but what do you love?

My family and I are proud to call Delray Beach home.  We live near the ocean and love experiencing the fresh energy of a fast growing, All-American town.


Follow COOL KIDS™ on Facebook HERE.

Instagram: coolkidsusa

Visit their online store: https://squareup.com/market/coolkidsusa

COUPON CODE: MBM10 for 10% OFF (ALL STYLES) of Cool Kids Buckle Covers for Modern Boca Moms until December 31, 2015.

SUBSCRIBE to Modern Boca Mom here!


MOMpreneur Monday: Moms Pump Here App

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

Happy Monday Modern Boca Moms! Welcome to our next installment of MOMpreneur Monday, highlighting Florida businesses and brands that were founded by female entrepreneurs and fellow Mommas.


Today’s featured MOMpreneur is…Priya Nembhard, co-founder of the Moms Pump Here app.

Moms Pump Here App Modern Boca Mom Featured

Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you launched the Moms Pump Here app

I’m a serial entrepreneur who still believes I can change the world. Being a mom is probably one of the biggest reasons why I pursued entrepreneurship.

I want to leave a legacy for my children and be a role model for them, so they believe in their hearts that they too can change the world.

So my sons know what a strong, positive woman looks like and so my daughter has a template she can look up to. Although entrepreneurship is very much about taking risk, the biggest risk would be not risking it for them. Being an entrepreneur also means flexibility– to be present in their lives, to do homework, take them for mommy dates and be there for them when they need me.


In addition to Moms Pump Here, I also co-founded a non-profit in Miami, The EDGE Charitable Foundation, because I wanted the world to be a better place for my children (all children).

What challenges did you face when starting your business?

My business partner, Kim Harrison, and I are both moms of 3. We both breastfed and breast pumped for our children.

Kim contacted me one day complaining about the horrible experience she had looking for a place to pump at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan, while attending a conference (I was living in Miami at the time). She had to resort to using a bathroom stall. We both thought that no mom should have to go through that.

No one would even think of eating in a bathroom, so why should moms have to nurse their children or prepare their food in one? So, we committed to finding a solution for moms like us and Moms Pump Here was born!


(Note: Kim has gone back every year since 2012, when we were founded, to the Javits Center and little by little, it has gotten better. Most recently they had a small dedicated space, not a 5 star arrangement, but someplace a mom could nurse or pump.)

What is unique about your app and why should MBMom readers download it ASAP?

We are the first online GPS resources for moms to find, rate and share places to breastfeed and breast pump. Created by moms for moms, Moms Pump Here app, provides moms with choices.

It’s a woman’s natural and federal right to breastfeed in public and private places anywhere she is allowed to be. With Moms Pump Here app, a mom can breastfeed in public or look for one of our locations. Additionally, she can also breast pump in private. All locations have a short review about what is available at each location or if nothing is available.


Using GPS, moms can search nursing room locations within a 200 mile radius of where they stand or in areas they may be traveling too. The locations include retail stores, sports complexes, airports, hospitals, universities and more.

In addition, they can also add a nursing room location via the app by submitting an image, details and contact information for the location. All new or submitted locations are vetted by our team through, research, calls and mom forums.

What exciting things are coming up for you and your business?

We are rolling out international locations such as Canada and Australia this fall. We will also be at the Expecting Parent and Baby Expo in New York in October and will be updating the App with new mommy friendly features in the near future.


What did you love most about living in South Florida?

I loved the weather, people and laid back lifestyle. Grateful for the experiences and the people I had the pleasure of working with. We lived in Miami for 8 years and moved to New York City following the death of my father to care for my mother. We anticipate moving back to Miami in a few years. My three children miss it tremendously and ask frequently when we are coming back.


Our earliest press came from South Florida (Miami Herald and Miami Community Newspaper)! And, I frequently travel back for my foundation.


Follow Moms Pump Here on Facebook HERE.

Instagram: momspumphere

Visit their website: http://momspumphere.com/

SUBSCRIBE to Modern Boca Mom here!


A Typical Week in the Life of Modern Boca Mom

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked by readers lately:

  • What do you do all week with #dailybocaavery?
  • How do you get stuff for the blog done with a toddler?
  • Are you going to have a second Boca kid?

Well, I’m not willing to answer that third question, quite yet ;), but I thought I’d showcase a typical ‘week in the life’ of this Boca mom, especially now that we have more of a “school year” routine set (FINALLY!) in our household. Enjoy!

Modern Boca Mom & #dailybocaavery in Lilly


9:30-10:00 a.m. Baby Ballet at Organic Movements Dance Studio (2.5-3 yo). We love the teacher, Miss Courtney, and this MBMom loves being able to watch the class from the comfort of the studio lobby. There are monitors broadcasting a live feed of the class for parents while the ballet students get their independent dance time.

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11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Playtime at We Rock the Spectrum Boca Raton. We like to head over to “We Rock” for some playtime (especially during the hotter, rainier months) and to see Miss Gayle. She’s usually planning another Disney or Sesame Street character party, so we always make sure to sign up! $10 per session.

ALTERNATE PLAN: Session at The Salt Suite. We both had runny noses the following week and this helped SO MUCH!

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4:00/4:35 p.m. Musikgarten for Toddlers or Preschoolers at Organic Movements Dance Studio. Yep, it’s back to OM for us! There are several Musikgarten by the Beach class options depending on the age of your child. #dailybocaavery borders on the Toddler/Preschooler line, so we opted for the older class this fall. We miss our friends in Toddlers!

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6:30-7:15 p.m. This is MBMom’s personal time to ROCK OUT and work out at POUND at Organic Movements Dance Studio. 3 trips in one day? No big deal! $15 per class/First class FREE.

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8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. MBMom WORKS! #dailybabyavery attends “Tot Time” at a local school 2 mornings per week.


5:00-5:45 p.m. Swim Lesson. Check out more info on swim HERE.

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6:30-7:15 p.m. FXP Hoop Fitness at Organic Movements Dance Studio. This is MBMom’s personal time to hoop it up at our other favorite workout! So fun! $15 per class/First class FREE.

FXP Hoop Fitness


10:00-11:00 a.m. Mommy & Me Dance at Organic Movements Dance Studio (6 weeks- 2 yo). Even though #dailybocaavery is in ballet, I still like to dance with her once a week! $15 per class/First class FREE.



9:45-10:20 a.m. Gymnastics class at Kids Choice Sports, Dance, and Fitness. We are going to take a trial class shortly. Stay tuned for a review!

11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Playtime at Boca Raton Children’s Museum. They recently changed their hours, so this is our chance to use our membership!

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Afternoon PARK TIME! Check out one of these great local options that we love: PBC Parks Roundup or Boca’s Poshest Playgrounds.

7:00-9:00 p.m. Time to paint something at Uptown Art Boca RatonI like to grab my sister or best girlfriends and let my inner artist shine…with some BYO wine. 🙂

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8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. MBMom WORKS! #dailybabyavery goes to “Tot Time” at a local school 2 mornings per week.

10:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m. It’s time for “Modern Boca Mommy & Me” class at Grandview Preparatory School a.k.a. #grandviewmoms! We occasionally host this class on Tuesdays as well.

Grandview Moms 6.30.15 WM


5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Because we are members of the Boca Museum of Art, we think it’s important to expose #dailybocaavery to culture as much as we can. We like to grab a bite to eat at Mizner Park and then stroll through the Museum and Sculpture Garden for a bit afterwards. It’s stroller-friendly and FREE until the end of August!

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10:30 a.m.-12:25 p.m. Indoor playground time at Kids Choice Sports, Dance, and Fitness. Your kids (Walking- 4 yo) can swing on the bars, balance on the beams, roll on the mats, and bounce on the trampoline & in the bounce house. Open year round. Pay as you go! $12.00 for non-registered guests; $10.00 for registered students.


12:30-1:15 p.m. OR 3:00-3:45 p.m. Sensory Art for Tots at the Boca Raton Children’s Museum. For younger artists (1- 4 yo), art is all about the process, not the product. Children learn, play, explore and fill their senses with fun and kid-safe art experiences at this class. Dress for a mess! $10 per family; $5 for members.

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6:30-7:15 p.m. End your week with a workout (under party lights) at CLUB POUND at Organic Movements Dance Studio. $15 per class/First class FREE.

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And that’s our week!

Throw in the occasional professional networking or social event and things get a little hairy, but we love our life here in Boca Raton and supporting many of the same businesses week after week.

What are some of your favorite activities to do with your kids during the weekdays? Comment below!

MOMpreneur Monday: blue pelican

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

Happy Monday Modern Boca Moms! Welcome to our next installment of MOMpreneur Monday, highlighting Florida businesses and brands that were founded by female entrepreneurs and fellow Mommas.

Today’s featured MOMpreneur is…Katie Spitaletto, founder of blue pelican, a popular kid’s clothing line.

Tell us a little bit about the “why’s and how’s” of how you started blue pelican?

I started blue pelican as a small branch of my mom’s line, Hickity Pickity. She had been selling quilted pillows and vintage enamelware pot lids turned into bird feeders at The Snappy Turtle and The Delray Affair.

Blue Pelican Modern Boca Mom 01

I had always been artistic, so I started painting picture frames and mirrors, and making resin bracelets and necklaces out of vintage Lilly Pulitzer fabric. That was about 12 years ago, and my life has changed a lot since then!

I used to mostly make things for ladies, but once I had my daughter Ellie (in 2008), I began making handprinted baby clothing. My mom, the proud grandma that she is, also started making more and more baby and children’s clothing. Two years later my son, Ezra, came along and we added a boy’s line! Now, we are mostly known for kid’s clothes. We do sell things for ladies, and I have a line of painted wood art as well.

Blue Pelican Modern Boca Mom 04

What makes the blue pelican brand so unique?

One of the reasons blue pelican is so unique is because each piece of clothing is handmade and with great attention to detail.

I use vintage Lilly (which is so hard to find, but so worth the hunt!) to make a wide variety of items: pom pom shorts, bows, tops and dresses, and I handprint items with stamps of my own design.
Blue Pelican Modern Boca Mom 06

I’ve always tried to make cool clothes for kids that are comfortable and interesting. I find my art show customers come back every year, and they always say, “My daughter wore that dress as much as she could! We have to get another one for this summer!” I think that is the best compliment I could get!

Blue Pelican Modern Boca Mom 03

What’s coming up with your business?

My clothing is so awesome because there is only one source: me! The fabrics are so rare, and the stamps are one of a kind. I’m always adding new fabrics and stamped designs in different colorways.

Right now I’m working on a run of vintage hot pink long tops that are to die for and I’m carving a series of whale stamps for the handprints. I’m going to have several new dress and tank styles coming up, as well as the most popular—my seahorse dress!

We do three art shows every year (Artigras in Jupiter, Juno Art Fest in Juno Beach, and The Delray Affair in Delray Beach), and we also sell items at The Snappy Turtle in Delray Beach.

Blue Pelican Modern Boca Mom 02

What do you love most about living in South Florida?

I was born here in South Florida, and I’ve always loved it. I had a brief run over to Texas for my college studies at Baylor (Go Bears!), and then I came right back home. I love spending my days at the beach, paddleboarding and snorkeling with my kids. There are a million beautiful places in the world, but I only want to live here!

Blue Pelican Modern Boca Mom 05

Follow blue pelican on Facebook HERE.

Instagram: blue.pelican

Blog: blue-pelican.blogspot.com

Visit their website: http://blue-pelican.com/

SUBSCRIBE to Modern Boca Mom here!


The Boobies (Were) OUT in Boca for World Breastfeeding Week

From contributor: Modern Boca Crunchy Mom

World Breastfeeding Week Boca Raton

It’s World Breastfeeding Week Boca Raton and Palm Beach County is participating in the Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project in a big way! Each year photographers from across the world provide FREE photo sessions to breastfeeding moms everywhere. They spread these images online and on social media (#PBAP2015), in the hopes of bringing awareness to and normalizing breastfeeding in public.

This project was founded in 2013 by birth and breastfeeding photographer, Leilani Rogers of Austin, TX. Since then, it has gone viral on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Local newborn and maternity photographer, Connie Granja is representing Boca Raton for the second year in a row. One of her images of a “Modern Boca Mom” was featured on The Huffington Post, BabyCenter.com, Redbook.com, and The Stir/Cafe Mom, among others.

World Breastfeeding Week Boca Raton

In true Boca fashion, the theme for Granja’s project is “Breastfeeding is Glamorous!” Let’s face it, breastfeeding moms do not always feel glamorous or even tolerated in today’s society.

World Breastfeeding Week Boca Raton

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for at least the first six months of life, and then along with foods for the first year. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends breastfeeding the first two years because of decreased risk for obesity, diabetes and more. However, despite the well known health benefits, the 2013 Breastfeeding Report Card by the CDC shows that in Florida only 29% of mothers are exclusively breastfeeding at three months of age. By six months it decreases to only 10%.

In Lansinoh’s 2012 breastfeeding study, 40% of mothers listed breastfeeding in public as their top worry about breastfeeding. The goal of the Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project during World Breastfeeding Week Boca Raton is to support breastfeeding mothers to change that.

World Breastfeeding Week Boca Raton

If you follow my personal blog Essentially Erika, then you know that breastfeeding is near and dear to my heart. I often credit breastfeeding for introducing me to a whole new way of thinking / parenting. My youngest was able to “self-wean” at the age of 2 1/2 years old, despite meeting constant opposition from well meaning family, friends, and even healthcare professionals. I was even lucky enough to participate in “The Big Latch On!” I couldn’t have done it without the help of incredible organizations like La Leche League who provide support for women in all stages of breastfeeding.

These stylish and fashionable breastfeeding moms in flowing dresses and heels are a wonderful example of a true Modern Boca Mom! Let’s face it, we all struggle with trying to “have it all.” Moms often feel torn between returning to work that is important to them and the strong urge to nurse their children as long as possible. The Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project during World Breastfeeding Week Boca Raton hopes to encourage supporting women with these powerful images.

World Breastfeeding Week Boca Raton

So the next time you’re out and about in Boca and you see a mom breastfeeding in public, show your support. We’re all in this motherhood gang together and she’s making a choice to put her child first and take a stand against breastfeeding discrimination. Give her a wink and a smile!

Unless you’re a Modern Boca Dad... then that may just be creepy…

Essentially yours,

Modern Boca Crunchy Mom

World Breastfeeding Week Boca Raton

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week Boca Raton, where are some of the public places you have had to breastfeed? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!

Erika is a Write-at-Home Mom of two boys. 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.

How to Save Money During Your Pregnancy (and After)


If you are a first time MBMom-to-be…or even if you’re about to have your second or third child, you might have recently realized that this whole “having a kid thing” costs a bit more than you anticipated!  (Spoiler alert: It only gets more expensive. Eek!)

Pregnant woman's belly

All of those cute little clothing items, diapers, baby furniture (and so on) add a lot of pressure to your wallet. That is why it is so important to find some new ways to get all of those necessary items, but save some money at the same time.

Modern Boca Mom is here to help and inspire you with some tips on how to stay within your budget and how to save money during your pregnancy (and after)!

Don’t Rush To Buy a Breastfeeding Wardrobe

One might think that soon after the baby is born, or even before he/she is, it is super essential to shop for breastfeeding wardrobe items like bras or tops.

Not at all!

It is actually much better to wait a little bit – maybe a week or two after the baby is born, or even more – and shop after that. It’s impossible to tell whether or not you will be able (or want) to breastfeed your baby for a lengthy time, so you should definitely consider that factor before buying a whole new nursing wardrobe.

Use Various Coupons for Discounts

Coupons can obviously reduce the price of many items or products you want to buy for baby. There are countless coupons available in newspapers, magazines and online, so seek out the best ones for you and save instantly.

Stores like Target, which have a huge assortment of products for infants, also offer many discounts with coupon. Promo codes will always be free to use and can help you save a lot of money. Shop smart!

Don’t Buy Baby’s Clothes too Far In Advance

Because babies tend to grow pretty quickly, don’t even try to plan out his or her wardrobe too far into the future! Buy clothes for the season you are living in right now (which is much easier in SoFL) and spread out those cute shopping trips. I can’t resist adorable baby clothes in the moment! Can you?

Shop at Second Hand Stores

Clothing and baby furniture from local consignment stores can obviously be purchased much, much cheaper than what you would pay for those items at retail.

You might even find some unique and one of the kind pieces too! Consider visiting your local store (perhaps one owned by a local MOMpreneur?)– just be sure to wash everything again once you get home.

What are, or were, your ways to save money while preparing for baby? Share in the comment section below!

Sponsored: This post was sponsored by ChameleonJohn.com. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the sponsor.  Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

How to Survive Your First Orlando Trip as New Parents

Becoming a parent is a life-changing transformation. You’re learning to care for this precious new life and learning new things every day about yourself, your partner and being parents — all on little to no sleep. But becoming a parent doesn’t mean your life stops; it just means starting a new adventure. While traveling with an infant or toddler may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. All that’s required is a little planning. Here are the essential tips to help you survive and have fun on your first Orlando trip as new parents:

Take an Orlando trip during the theme park’s off-season.

First Orlando Trip as New Parents
Michael Liu — Flickr

Nothing is worse than attempting to pacify a cranky child while being closely surrounded by tons of other people with cranky children. The obvious way to avoid major crowds and obscene lines is taking an Orlando trip during the off-season. The typical theme park off-season months and best times to visit are:

  • January
  • April
  • September
  • October
  • The first two weeks of November
  • The first two weeks of December

Avoid the summer because it’s so hot and crowded since kids are out of school. Do your best to avoid holidays and other times kids are on breaks from school. The off-season not only brings fewer people, it also brings nicer weather and generally better deals on flights, hotels and sometimes park tickets.

Buy tickets and plan your day out in advance.

First Orlando Trip as New Parents
Dan Harrelson — Flickr

As was mentioned previously, planning beforehand is going to be a major life and headache saver. Planning includes buying your theme park tickets in advance.

That’s one less thing you have to do once you get to Orlando, and we all know the least amount of things you have to do on vacation (that aren’t fun) the better. There are hundreds of sites that claim to offer discount tickets, so make sure you’re purchasing from an official source. A great source is Visit Orlando, it’s an official seller of discounted theme park and attraction tickets.

Planning also means deciding how long you’re going to be on vacation and what you’re going to do each day. Depending on how much you want to see and do determines how long you’re going to stay, but for new parents it’s best to only visit one or two theme parks during that first Orlando trip and give yourself a couple of days at each park so you can see and do as much as you want without feeling rushed.

Trying to cram everything you want to see and experience at Walt Disney World is going to make for a miserable kid and miserable parents. As you plan each day out in advance, make sure to note what your family’s priorities are and sample selectively. Do enough so that everyone is happy but isn’t cranky or exhausted by the time you’re ready to call it a day.

Remember — kids live in the moment. It’s the simplest things that entertain young children, so if your child wants to play in a fountain for a while, let them! Have a plan but be ok with adjusting it if you need to so you can accommodate a happy kid.

Pack the Orlando trip essentials.

First Orlando Trip as New Parents
Janine — Flickr

Bring what you can and need with you to the park. Yes, younger kids require a lot, so fit what you can in your diaper bag or backpack and double check that you have everything you need — or might need since accidents happen — before heading out on your fun-filled day of adventure.

Here’s a basic checklist of things to pack:

  • Stroller
  • Change of clothes
  • Rain ponchos
  • Baby wipes
  • Diapers
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sunscreen
  • Baby food or formula
  • Snacks
  • Recyclable empty water bottle
  • Small toys
  • Camera

Be sure to check each theme park’s website to find out what they do and don’t allow people to bring inside their park before your next Orlando trip. And don’t fret if you do forget something! Most parks have shops for you to buy any needed items you may have left in your hotel room.

Take advantage of the park’s kid perks.

First Orlando Trip as New Parents
Joe Shlabotnik — Flickr

Since Orlando theme parks are family-friendly, they have many kid perks you can and should take advantage of. One perk is baby care centers. These areas allow parents to privately feed and change their kids and are usually complete with various child amenities you might need. Most of Disney’s parks have their own baby care centers, including facilities in Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Another perk is a child swap or rider switch program. These programs allow you and your partner to each enjoy all the rides you want to without having to wait in line twice or not get to ride at all because your kid doesn’t reach the height requirement. You just have to let an employee at the ride line know you want to do this program or ask them for the needed pass, and then you can ride the ride and then switch off parenting duties so your partner can ride the ride after you, bypassing waiting in line again.

It’s not just the theme parks that are family-friendly, hotels in the Orlando area are more than accommodating for parents and kids. Many hotels in the area provide free scheduled transportation to almost every theme park. Some hotels around Orlando even have “Kids Eat Free” programs. All kids under 10 years of age are treated to free meals! Be sure to research your hotel ahead of time so you can take advantage of these money-saving perks.

Besides these tips, below is more know-before-you-go information on Orlando’s theme parks that as new parents you should have on your radar before planning your Orlando trip or vacation. 

Walt Disney World
  • Children younger than 3 don’t need a ticket.
  • Has Baby Care Centers, complete with amenities for infants and toddlers, a feeding area, private nursing room and changing room with tables.
  • Can rent strollers daily or multi-day.
  • Has a Rider Switch service.
  • Can take snacks and baby food inside the park.
SeaWorld Orlando
  • Can only bring food or drinks in if you have a special diet or if you have baby formula and baby food.
  • Can rent strollers.
  • Take your younger kids to Shamu’s Happy Harbor, where they can play, burn off energy, ride a few rides and parents can sit in the shade.
  • Ideal for families with children ages 2-12.
  • Can bring your own stroller in or rent a single or double seat stroller.
  • Has plenty of fun attractions for toddlers, most of which don’t have a minimum height requirement.
Universal Studios Florida
  • Can rent strollers there or bring your own.
  • Snacks for young kids are allowed inside.
  • Children 3 and under are free admission!
  • Have a “child swap” program.

So don’t stay at home stuck on your couch this year just because you have a pint-sized addition to your household. Pack up your little family and set out to Orlando.

Follow these tips and you’re guaranteed to survive your first Orlando trip as new parents while having fun and making lifelong memories!

The Only Crowd Funding Site to Support Paid Maternity & Paternity Leave

It takes a village to raise a child and now that village is savvy, hi-tech and virtual thanks to the launch of MyBabyBond.com!

MyBabyBond is dedicated to giving the gift of time to expectant parents through donations from friends, family, colleagues and beyond.

My Baby Bond Logo 2

I’m so excited about this! Paid family leave, or rather the lack of it, is such a hot topic right now. I’m thrilled that there’s now an alternative solution available to expectant parents. And, what a cool baby registry alternative?!

How does it work?

On MyBabyBond.com, people are invited to contribute to a personal BabyBond (in lieu of or in addition to a traditional registry), raising funds to cover maternity or paternity leave for a specific set of expectant parents. Supporters decide how much time to gift and then the dollar amount is calculated for that time using a $20/hour measure (based on a fixed livable wage rate).

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Fundraisers simply sign up for a credit card processing account and watch their BabyBond grow along with their baby through crowd funding. Users can also list non-monetary needs, such as a doula, nanny or traditional baby gear to source from their network.

To fund or start a BabyBond today, visit www.mybabybond.com.

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MOMpreneur Monday: Chic and Sweet Artisan Cakes

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 sometimes…fellow Mommas.

Today’s featured Modern Boca Mom entrepreneur is…Carissa Berbrick, founder and owner of Chic and Sweet Artisan Cakes in Boca Raton.

Chic & Sweet Artisan Cakes Modern Boca Mom SM WM

Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you decided to become an cake-preneur!

I actually started my career on a completely different path, graduating from The College of New Jersey with a bachelor’s degree in Statistics.  I worked in market research for a few years in New York City.

Growing up, I was always into crafts– sewing, making stuffed animals and jewelry. I’ve also always loved sweets, so I naturally got into baking. Many times, I considered going down the baking and pastry arts path.

It took several times for that path to appear before I finally took it.

Cupcakes H2

Before I got my job in NYC, I took a Wilton cake decorating class at AC Moore (they also have them at Michael’s – anyone can take it!).  I, of course, enjoyed this but I wasn’t sure if I could see it as a career…yet.  I also took two classes at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE), one on making truffles, and another on pulled and blown sugar.

After realizing office life and statistics was not self-fulfilling, at least for me, I decided to pursue my interest in baking and pastry.  I knew I would be taking a huge pay cut, but it was more important to me to find something that I really enjoyed. I moved to South Florida and went to culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Miramar studying Baking and Pastry.

I worked at a few different bakeries where I got to practice my cake decorating skills but then started dreaming about running my own shop…

Chic and Sweet Artisan Cakes Boca Raton
How did your business get started? What makes it unique versus other cake shops?

I started Chic and Sweet Artisan Cakes in January 2015.  I make custom-designed cakes and cupcakes for any special occasion including weddings, showers, birthdays, etc.

Chic and Sweet Artisan Cakes Boca Raton

I design my cakes to be modern, chic, and stylish (much like the readers of Modern Boca Mom!)  Not only do they look outstanding, but they taste amazing too.

My Chic and Sweet Artisan Cakes, fillings, and buttercream are made from scratch using recipes that I created and perfected myself.  My buttercream especially has received many compliments, as it is smooth, not too sweet and has a delicious vanilla bean flavor.

I am currently working on formulating an amazing sugar cookie recipe so I can start making custom royal iced cookies.  In the future, I plan to also do dessert tables with a variety of mini desserts such as homemade marshmallows, chocolate truffles and French macarons.

Chic and Sweet Artisan Cakes Boca Raton

Why should MBMom readers have your Chic and Sweet Artisan Cakes…and eat them too?

Modern Boca Moms will love that I can make outstanding cakes and cupcakes for baby showers, gender reveal parties, baby naming parties, baptisms, communions, graduations, and their children’s birthdays. Even thought I’m not a mom yet, I babysat for several years and love kids, so I can relate to them and enjoy making desserts that make them smile.

Chic and Sweet Artisan Cakes Boca Raton also makes cakes for the Modern Boca Moms (and Dads) – birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, corporate events, fundraisers, weddings, bridal showers and more!

Chic and Sweet Artisan Cakes Boca Raton

Chic and Sweet Artisan Cakes Boca Raton

Follow Chic and Sweet Artisan Cakes on Facebook HERE.

Visit their website: http://www.csartisancakes.com/

Email: info@CSArtisanCakes.com

SUBSCRIBE to Modern Boca Mom here!