Tag Archives: Modern Boca Mom

Best Places to Eat at Disney World- 2016 Update

There is a tremendous amount of choices when looking for the best places to eat at Disney World. What is the best character dining? Where should we grab a quick bite to eat? Which restaurant has the coolest atmosphere?

Modern Boca Disney Mom shares the best places to eat at Disney World!

Safari Donald at Tusker House- Best Places to Eat at Disney

Character Dining: 

Character dining is the best way for you and your family to get great interaction with your favorite Disney characters. There are a lot of options in park and at Disney resorts, but here are our picks for the best places to eat at Disney World:

  • Tusker House at Animal Kingdom – Hang out with Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy at this colorful African inspired marketplace. The food is buffet style and includes Disney favorites along with the flavors of Africa. It is relatively easy to get into, character interaction is plentiful, and if you make reservations before the park opens, you can beat any crowds for popular rides.  MBMom Tip: Make a reservation for late morning and you can experience both breakfast and lunch.
  • Chef Mickey at Disney’s Contemporary Resort – This character dining experience is classic. Hang out with Mickey and the gang while the monorail passes above. It is typical Disney buffet food, but not bad for breakfast. Reservations can be hard to get, so book early. Since Chef Mickey can be busy, it often times take awhile for all the characters to get around to every table.  MBMom Tip: We have only experienced breakfast at Chef Mickey and from what I have heard, we will probably keep it that way.
  • Cinderella’s Royal Table at Magic Kingdom – This might be one of my favorite character dining experiences yet. I am not particularly enamored by Princesses, but being in Cinderella’s Castle was magical. We enjoyed a breakfast of delicious pastries, Filet & Eggs, all while overlooking Prince Charming’s Regal Carousel and the park attendees from above. The dining experience includes a souvenir family picture with Cinderella herself, as well as a Wishing Star and Prince’s Sword for the children.  MBMom Tip: If dinner is sold out, check for a late breakfast or lunch.
  • Ohana at the Polynesian Resort – My family loves Lilo & Stitch, but beyond the two of them, there is Mickey and a few of his friends. The food is Hawaiian family style dining and kind of ‘stick to your ribs’ selections with Pineapple Breakfast Bread (you will want to eat the entire loaf), Potatoes, and Hawaiian Sausage.
Lilo &Stitch Disney's Ohana Best Places to Eat at Disney
Lilo & Stitch Disney’s Ohana

Magic Kingdom:

  • Liberty Tree Tavern –  Recently renovated in 2015, this gem is located in Frontier Land and is a family style restaurant serving American Classics such as carved turkey, pork, and steak, with sides of mashed potatoes, gravy, mac & cheese, green beans, and stuffing. The food is plentiful and scrumptious and prix fixe.  MBMom Tip: Save room for the dessert. Also, if your little girl is a fan of Ariel, they have a killer souvenir cup with light-up mermaid you can purchase for only $5.

Best Places to Dine at Disney Little Mermaid Cup

  • Be Our Guest – Located in the new Fantasyland, this Signature Dining is available as a table service meal for Dinner, but I prefer it as a quick service for lunch. You still get to experience the inside of Beast’s Castle, but don’t have to keep the kids at a sit-down dinner for an hour + when they are itching to get on some more rides. The food for lunch includes American and French classics like French Onion Soup, Quiche, and Croque  Monsieur – all really good.  MBMom Tip: The only way to get into Be Our Guest for lunch is to make a fast-pass reservations at this special link here.

Hollywood Studios:

  • The Brown Derby – This is a Los Angeles staple, going all the way back to the 1920s, and was popular with Film Industry elite until the 1970s. Fun fact: The Brown Derby restaurant also invented the Cobb Salad. The food is sublime, the food fancy, and the price tag high.  MBMom Tip: Make reservations for the Fantasmic! Dining Package and enjoy dinner and the VIP treatment at the nighttime firework and laser show.

Epcot: 

There are as many options for food at Epcot than there are countries in the World Showcase. A few of our favorites among the best places to eat at Disney World include:

  • Teppan Edo in Japan – Hibachi style dining with options of Sushi.
  • Rose & Crown in England  – British Pub with great Fish & Chips and Shepherd’s Pie.  MBMom Tip: Try the beer flute.
  • Biergarten Restaurant in Germany – Food is okay, but atmosphere is fun and lively. Consider visiting Epcot during the International Flower & Garden or Food & Wine Festival and seek out the various outdoor kitchens for small bites and big flavors. No reservations necessary and exploring is the best part of the experience.  MBMom Tip: All these small bites really add up. If you are on the dining plan, you can reserve your snacks for the day you visit one of these shows and use them for single items at the various kiosks.
  • Cantina in Mexico – With (fancy) indoor and outdoor seating with a view and some of the tastiest fish tacos and margaritas MBMom has ever had, this stop is a must for happy hour or if you’re at Epcot in time to eat lunch.
Buffet at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom- Best Places to Eat at Disney
Beautiful Buffet and Atmosphere at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom:

  • Tusker House – The buffet is great for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They offer American classic dishes and then twist them up with African spices (see more in the Character Dining sections above).  MBMom Tip: If there is a wait or you feel like a mid-morning adult beverage, check out the numerous choices in Bloody Mary’s at the Dawa Bar just outside the Tusker House.
  • Yak & Yeti  – MBMom just dined here during her last visit and  the Chinese, Thai, American, Indian cuisine was delicious! Open for lunch and dinner. The Sweet & Sour Chicken and Chicken Tikka Masala are MUSTS. Trust.
Bloody Mary's Galore at Dawa Bar in Animal Kingdom- Best Places to Eat at Disney
Bloody Mary’s Galore at Dawa Bar in Animal Kingdom

Modern Boca Disney Mom’s Favorite Restaurant (still):

Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village. This restaurant is off the beaten path, just like we like it. We stayed at the Villas in 2013 and it is by far our favorite resort and dining experience. Make reservations for a little before sundown and enjoy Indian and African food as you watch the animals roam the Savanna.

MBMom Tip: The Butter Chicken and the Indian Style Bread Service are must haves!

There are so many options for dining at Disney that we surely have not had the chance to try them all. The list above reflects some our favorites among the best places to eat at Disney World and there certainly are a lot more great ones out there including this one at Disney Springs. Have fun trying them out as you visit our favorite place in Florida (besides Boca Raton of course), Walt Disney World!


MBMoms- what are your favorite places to dine at Disney? Comment below! 


Casey has traveled to 47 out of the 50 States, and Disney World probably as many times. The mom of Irish Twins Hunter and Ruby, she runs a blog called Hunting for Rubies that focuses on Family, Travel, and Adventure here in South Florida and beyond. Interested in travel tips and fun adventures to be had, follow Hunting for Rubies on FacebookTwitterand Instagram

Soccer Shots South Palm Beach Program for Kids

Whether you have a mini (2-3yo), a classic (3-5yo) or a premiere (5-8yo) player in your home, Soccer Shots South Palm Beach is ready to make a positive impact on your child’s life through the game of soccer.

What is Soccer Shots South Palm Beach exactly?

It’s an engaging children’s soccer program with a focus on character development on and off the field. Soccer Shots coaches are the best-trained in the business and their expert-approved curriculum is age-appropriate and aligns with childhood education standards.

Soccer Shots South Palm Beach
Did you know their program is created under the guidance of childhood education specialists, MLS and USL professional soccer players, and experienced and licensed soccer coaches?

Soccer Shots South Palm Beach also provides an exceptional customer experience and ongoing communication with parents. You gotta love that.

Just when you were out of ideas for activities for your 2-year-old, something like this crosses your inbox. Modern Boca Mom is so excited to partner with this wonderful local program and help our readers feel completely confident that their kids will learn from amazing coaches and a curriculum that is built for their age group. It’s so important!


Available Programs:

Soccer Shots South Palm Beach

View Locations & Register HERE!


Once you find and sign up for a program and location that fits with your family, you will receive:

  • A weekly summary of what your child learned at Soccer Shots.
  • Pro-active communication regarding any cancellations due to weather or other circumstances.
  • Timely, responsive communication from coaches or staff. You can expect to receive a response to any questions within 24 hours.

Soccer Shots South Palm Beach

Let your Boca kid take their best shot…with Soccer Shots South Palm Beach!

Soccer Shots South Palm Beach


Daniel Villegas is the Owner/Director of Soccer Shots Palm Beach County. He comes from a very strong soccer background that includes coaching and developing young children’s soccer skills. As an adolescent, he grew up playing the game in Miami, FL, and his fiery passion for the game earned him a professional contract out of high school. Once signed, he went on to play the game in different parts of the world from Brazil, Mexico, Spain, USA, to his own native country of Colombia. Daniel currently dedicates his time to giving back to the game by coaching at a local youth club.

Daniel believes that giving back to young kids is the most important task on his agenda, which is why he specifically works with children to promote healthy and active lifestyles at a young age. He knows first-handedly that soccer doesn’t just create good fitness habits, social and teamwork skills, but it also creates a good character for young kids that will last a lifetime!

Contact:
dvillegas@soccershots.org or 305-484-9143


Sponsored: This post was sponsored by Soccer Shots South Palm Beach. 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, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

Taking an Xbox-Themed Birthday Party to the Next Level…(Get it?)

I have a love-hate relationship with Xbox and I know I’m not alone.

One on hand, that little console is solely responsible for my newfound ability to sleep past 6:30am on the weekends, but on the other, it’s cause for a lot of yelling in my house.

“Just wait until the quarter is over!”

“Thanks, Mom, you made me lose a life.”

Pros and cons aside, when I finally accepted the fact that my son’s 7th birthdayhad to be dealt with, naturally I didn’t have to think too hard about a theme: Xbox-themed birthday party. Boom.

My son was born in Boca, so I understand the birthday party pressure. I went all out for the first birthday…I had it catered, I rented chairs and tables, I even put down a foam floor in my dining room and brought in Miss Cathy for a mid-party ‘Mommy and Me’ class. And that was completely overshadowed the next week by a party at the Boca Raton Resort, complete with the cast of Sesame Street Live and “Dorothy’s” as favors. (You wouldn’t believe how many fish were left in the elevators because mothers of one-year-olds just can’t deal with another organism to feed and worry about dying.)

So just when I said I’d never have another party at my house (I actually said it three times), I started planning the big birthday bash—at my house.

But it’s a whole new ball game at age 7, so I did my best to keep things in check. And lo and behold, this Xbox-themed birthday party was our best ever! Here’s how I did it.

Invitations:

I have a thing for stationery, and I’ve had invitations printed for all of our previous birthday parties. But with elementary school comes no need to invite the ENTIRE class, and 7 year-old boys don’t like 7-year-old girls. We decided on keeping it to just “the posse” (which actually came to 15) so an Evite was in order. They have great video game options, and an even better selection if you spring for the “Premium.”

To keep the number of bodies in my house to a minimum I included two things on the invitation… The first was “No siblings.” Why? Because I was trying to keep the number of mouths to feed and seating necessary to a minimum. And I’m not fully baby-proofed anymore. The second was “Drop-off optional.” When your kids get to 7, this is a beautiful thing. Why did I do this? Because I didn’t want a bunch of grown-ups hanging out (and eating) either. All the boys pretty much got dropped off, though a few moms stuck around. This was totally okay because those moms are actually my friends.

Side note: When one dad arrived with his son, he sat himself down at my kitchen table. I’ve known him for a while so I said, “You’re welcome to stay, but you’re welcome to leave, too.” He was in shock. “Really?” It’s like it didn’t compute. And then he was gone so fast you might have thought his pants were on fire.

Entertainment:

There’s this beautiful thing called the Game Truck, and you absolutely, positively CANNOT have a video game themed party without one. It’s kitted out with couches, huge TVs and video games and it parks outside your house. You basically throw up to 16 kids in there for 90 minutes—which gives you time to brace yourself for when they stampede into your house for food.

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Decorations:

Repeat after me… Etsy is your friend for an Xbox-themed birthday party. A quick “Xbox” search yielded an awesome poster and centerpiece. I was done with decorations in under 5 minutes—except for the 8:30am run to Party City for balloons the day of the party.

Note: The poster was delivered to me as a PDF file, so I had to send it to a printer to get the actual poster.

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Food:

Obviously pizza is the birthday party go-to after the age of 1, so pizza it was. I did have to make a Costco run for chips, water and juice boxes, so I did pick up a tray of wraps for our grown-up family members (and a large tray of salad when I ordered the pizza, too). As for the cake, my son wanted cookie cake and Shea’s Bakery was more than happy to adhere to our theme.

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Favors:

Who’s sick of goody bags filled with crap from China? I either throw that stuff away the second I get home or my son hoards it in box after box for years. That’s why I asked Shea’s Bakery to make cookies in the shape of controllers. They looked amazing and tasted amazing, too.

So there you have it… An Xbox-themed birthday party in 5 simple steps. A great time was had by all (especially my son), but I think we’ll go away for his birthday next year…


The brain behind the beauty blog InsiderBeautyBuzz.com and the innovative self-tan remover, Bronze Buffer, Paige Herman-Axel is a modern (and busy) Boca mom. When she’s not blogging, bronzing or buffing, Paige is a freelance beauty writer and consultant for skincare companies big and small, dermatologists, plastic surgeons and more. In the rare time spent away from her computer, Paige can be found shuttling her seven-year-old son to and from basketball practice.

Seriously, WTF is Common Core Math?

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Heads up MBMoms! You may or may not have kids in school yet, but my least favorite subject (cough, cough MATH) is now NOTHING like the math we used to do years ago. Oh joy.

It’s now called: Common Core Math.

You might have seen this recent photo on Facebook— you know, the funny dad from Ohio who wrote a check using Common Core?

COURTESY DOUG HERRMANN

According to tutoring experts Cender Scholars, “Common Core Math is essentially a foreign language to most parents and almost virtually impossible to help children with  their math homework/studying at night. When a parent tries to get involved to help, they often mistakenly get them even more confused.”

Ok now. The last thing I want to do is teach #dailybocaavery the incorrect way to do her (future) math homework and bring her 10 steps backward. If your child is struggling with math, you might want to consider bringing in an expert.

Cender Scholars math tutors connect with the student’s teachers to see and evaluate the areas that they are struggling with and bridge the gap to help the student make gains.

They are very different from your cookie cutter tutoring company because Cender Scholars realize that every child learns in a different way. So, they make every effort to teach each student in the way that works best for them. Having the tutors collaborate with teachers and parents helps to create an individualized education plan for the child.

Libby Nelson of Vox released a terrific video that helps anyone over the age of 20 understand the new way Common Core does math. I highly recommend you watch it.

Watch it!


Now that you’ve watched the video, it’s time for a Pop Quiz!

Q. Will your kids learn traditional math on top of Common Core in school?

The answer is: YES! Your kids will still learn to use traditional algorithms to solve math problems in addition to Common Core’s “number sense.”

Q. What should you do if you find yourself unable to help your child with their new-fangled math homework?

Easy. Don’t get frustrated! Call Cender Scholars (561-212-6926) or visit them online to find out more information regarding their professional math tutoring: http://www.cenderscholars.com/

Phone Cender Scholars


Sponsored: This post was sponsored by Cender Scholars. 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.

MOMpreneur Monday: JLM Communications

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 entrepreneur is…Jennifer Martinez, president and owner of JLM Communications, a full service public relations, event planning and marketing firm.

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Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you started JLM Communications…

I love being an independent public relations professional. It gives me the time I need to enjoy my family (and all the activities my children have! Whew!). I am a naturally “busy” person so having lots of projects and activities works for me.

What challenges did you face when starting your business?

I had just had my second daughter and was working a full time job. I wanted to have more flexible hours so I could spend more time with my family…and to make sure I didn’t have to miss any of my children’s activities.

I decided to freelance a bit and test the waters. It turned out to be a great move. Now, as I celebrate the 4th anniversary of JLM Communications, I realize it was the best decision!

I have wonderful clients, many of who have grown to be friends, and am able to work around my family’s schedule.

What is unique about your agency?

No two days are the same. I can be running from a gala to a photo shoot (in dead sea salt) to walking a construction site. You never know what to expect next!

It’s exciting and fun though. It helps me stay creative and each project inspires me. That is what I love about my job. I am able to be creative, create partnerships, and help to find those “fun” stories and angles that help to create memorable events for clients as well as getting them media coverage.

Why should MBMom readers become your clients/customers?

I would LOVE MBMom readers to follow me on social media! I’m always posting about great client events and I’d love for them to take advantage.

I’d also like to learn more about your readers. There may be some great partnerships we can create together!

JM Making Strides Team 2014

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

I am excited to be assisting with the communications for the upcoming Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk (Oct 17th at the Meyer Amphitheater at 9:00 a.m.) and equally excited to be named a 2016 Warrior in Pink for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

I am proud to be a breast cancer survivor and want to work to help others in their fight.
What do you LOVE about living in South Florida?

What’s not to love? We’ve got amazing weather year-round and there is always something to do.

It is a wonderful place to raise my children and we are lucky enough to have many friends and family here to enjoy life with!

JLM Logo


Follow JLM Communications on Facebook HERE.

Visit their website: http://jlmcommunications.net/


SUBSCRIBE to Modern Boca Mom here!

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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.

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

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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.

Marianna

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).

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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HELP! I Don’t Understand My Kids Homework

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I can’t believe it. In my Facebook feed this week, parents of 2 AND 3-YEAR-OLDS were posting photos of their kids  homework.

Actual homework. What?!

I can’t imagine what #dailybocaavery’s ‘homework’ might look like at her age. I would like to think I would be capable of helping her with it though. But older kids? Math? Science? I get nervous just thinking about it.

Google would be my new best friend (if it wasn’t already, I mean).

How can parents cope? MBMom reached out to Nesli Morie, a second grade homeroom teacher at Grandview Preparatory School for suggestions…

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Have students’ parents come to you about kids homework struggles? 

Here’s what I commonly hear from parents:

“It’s such a battle trying to get him to do his homework!”

“My child doesn’t have time to do her homework after her sports activities.”

“My child is a perfectionist so it takes him/her 3x as long to finish his homework.”

If you’ve ever had any of these thoughts or concerns, the good news is you’re not alone, and there are strategies to help make homework time a little smoother.

Overcoming homework struggles can help children learn how to problem solve, manage time, organize tasks, make choices, and focus–all skills that will help them become successful not only in school, but later in life in college, in their future career, and in their community.  

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How do you handle or advise these parents?

Here are a few strategies and routines that can help eradicate those nightly battles!

  1. Establish homework routines.

By establishing daily homework routines, you are not only making the homework tasks easier to accomplish because it becomes routine, but you are also fostering a sense of structure and order that your child can apply later in life in college and work.

  1. Set up a homework station in your house.

It’s very important to monitor your child’s homework time. You can do this by identifying an area in your house–living room, kitchen, dining room–some place equally public where you can easily check in on them. Make sure the area is a clear workspace that is organized and has all of the materials your child may need to do their homework (pencils, scissors, glue sticks, markers, etc.).

  1. Use an incentive system.

Some children are motivated to do their homework; others are not. Choose a special incentive for your child, but beware of the delicate balance between rewarding and bribing! Rewards are non-negotiable once set, and there should be no gray area. The child either completes his or her homework and receives the award, or doesn’t complete and does not receive the reward.

  1. Build in breaks.

Breaks are great for children who cannot make it to the end of the homework assignment without pausing along the way. For example, you can have your child work on the task for 5-10 minutes then have a snack, call a friend, or play one level of a video game, then proceed to the end of the assignment.

  1. Build in choice.

If your child has multiple homework assignments across different subject areas, let them choose where they want to start. Allowing your child choice motivates him or her and reduces the struggle between parents and children.

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Can we all have a little chuckle about this? Who knew something like 5th grade math could stump parents like us?

Sometimes you just have to laugh about how much time has passed since your middle school math days! If you don’t understand how to help with your child’s homework, whatever you do, do not get frustrated or annoyed.

Showing your children that it is okay NOT to know the answers can be a good lesson. You can also acknowledge that not knowing something can be stressful, but it’s important to try and do the best we can.

Here are some other things you can do when you don’t understand your child’s homework:

  • Ask them to show you an example they might have done in class.
  • Google it. Google has all the answers! 
  • If you are still having trouble, please contact your child’s teacher for clarification.

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Should parents offer to help? Or challenge their kids to figure out their homework themselves?

I always advise my parents to only help when it’s really needed.

The purpose of homework is to reinforce what was taught in class. Therefore, students should be able to complete the assignments independently as a form of practice and reinforcement. Children won’t learn if we do the work for them.

That being said, parents should supervise and be ready to step in if there is confusion. If you notice your child is struggling, please step in and show them how to solve a SIMILAR problem, or show them how to break a really tough assignment into smaller, manageable chunks. Then, send your child’s teacher an email communicating any homework struggles or obstacles at home with a particular skill. This will inform the teacher that this is a concept that needs to be readdressed in the classroom.

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We’re busy Boca people! How much time is a reasonable amount spent doing kids homework?

The amount of time your child spends on the homework assignment is actually another indicator of whether or not the child has mastered the concept. As a rule of thumb, students’ homework should not exceed 10 minutes per grade level per night. For example: first graders should spend 10 minutes each night on homework, second grade should spend no more than 20 minutes each night, and so on.

If you notice your child spending significantly more time on the homework, please let your child’s teacher know. This may be an indicator that your child is having difficulty with that particular skill or concept.

Shouldn’t creative play and extracurricular activities factor in as “homework” these days?

Definitely! Recent research has shown us that copious amounts of homework and busy work are not effective ways to reinforce skills and concepts, and that kids need time to be kids after school.

They learn just as much (if not more) from creative play, interacting with friends, and participating on a team or in a club as they do from homework.

Yes, grades are important, but so is balance. If it seems like your child is consistently spending more time on homework than is recommended for the grade level, it is time to communicate with the teacher to get to the source of the issue. Your child’s teacher is a part of your team and always has your child’s best interests at heart.

Together, you can work on a solution that helps everyone involved!


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Currently in her 6th year of teaching, Nesli Morie is a 2nd grade homeroom teacher at Grandview Preparatory School. As part of Grandview’s “passion teaching” initiative, Mrs. Morie teaches 1st and 2nd grade math and social studies as well as 2nd grade writing, and is in charge of the Prideville Curriculum, which allows students in 1st – 5th grades to practice real life skills while role playing as members of a small town in action.

Mrs. Morie has experience teaching Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades and is certified to teach grades K – 6 in both Virginia and Florida. A graduate from the College of William and Mary, Mrs. Morie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Elementary Education.  Mrs. Morie has a daughter who is 7 months old and is married to a medical student, and even with her busy schedule, Mrs. Morie still finds time to stay healthy and inspire others through her blog: www.onefitteacher.com.


Sponsored: This post was sponsored by Grandview Preparatory School. 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.

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.

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

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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.

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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!

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(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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Follow Moms Pump Here on Facebook HERE.

Instagram: momspumphere

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


SUBSCRIBE to Modern Boca Mom here!

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The Perfect Weekend at DoubleTree by Hilton SeaWorld

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EDITOR’S NOTE: I knew that the moment I posted, I would receive a fair amount of “Blackfish backlash” (and thus urge you to read THIS), but this MBMtravel post is meant to be about a positive (and very awesome) family vacation experience we recently had in Orlando, FL. 


MBMom was graciously invited to experience the DoubleTree by Hilton SeaWorld earlier this month. Having never taken #dailybocaavery to a theme park before, I jumped at the chance!

For the trip, we were loaned a 2016 Mazda CX-5 (starting MSRP $21,795). Beyond being an ideal size for a family of 3, the CX-5’s capable performance, efficiency and boldness have made it a favorite in its class. I think they knew I was meant to drive something in red. Modern Boca Dad really enjoyed the 155 horsepower at 6,000 rpm.

And clearly, trunk space was not an issue for our trip!

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Thank you Mazda USA for the car for our trip! #drivemazda

Safety is super important to me when on the road, having a young child and all. We felt extremely safe on Florida’s Turnpike due to several new 2016 Mazda CX-5 features:

  1. i-ACTIVSENSE, the Mazda Radar Cruise Control with close proximity warning. When you get too close to vehicle in front of you, the CX-5 automatically slows down! I loved that feature so much.
  2. The lane departure warning feature was also fabulous and warned you with a beep if a car was coming upon your blind spot area.
  3. Rearview camera. I don’t have this feature in my current car, so now I’m dying to get it.

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I am anti-minivan, so this sporty SUV is a great compromise for us, with lots of space, safety and entertainment features for our family (oh yes- did I mention it has a MAZDA CONNECT™ Infotainment System with Sirius/XM, navigation and Bluetooth? It has a color touchscreen too…).

If you live in South Florida, I might forgo getting the gorgeous (dark) leather seats. The heat just isn’t conducive to enjoying that car feature. All in all, I didn’t want to give the Mazda CX-5 back at the end of the week. 😉 You can find out more information on this great vehicle HERE.


Spanning 28 lush acres, DoubleTree by Hilton at SeaWorld is conveniently located adjacent to SeaWorld® and Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark, while just minutes away from Universal Orlando® Resort, Walt Disney World® Resort Theme Parks & The Orange County Convention Center.

The resort offers L’Esprit Day Spa, three large, palm tree-lined swimming pools, including a relaxing lagoon pool and two children’s pools. In addition, there is a kids’ lounge and game area, miniature golf course and putting green, recreation center and seven dining outlets and options to accommodate a variety of culinary interests with live entertainment.

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Upon arrival, we were escorted to a fantastic king suite with adjacent double room. I HIGHLY recommend you book a setup like that if you’re traveling with additional family members…like grandma. We brought #dailybocaavery’s!

Our suite had a substantial living area along with a HUGE kitchen. It was wonderful to be able to stash wine, waters and snacks right in our room. Not that we needed to…

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There are several dining options located on property including Laguna, where we had Sunday brunch (with SeaWorld characters!) and dinner. What a treat to meet Chef Alberto and have him personally create our meals!

Did you know that at Laguna, kids 12 and under enjoy FREE breakfast with a paying adult? Kids can order from the menu or partake in the buffet. Avery certainly did after meeting Puck the Penguin at brunch!

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Laguna serves a bountiful breakfast daily and specializes in serving an all day menu offering a wide variety of appetizers, salads, signature sandwiches, steak and seafood in a casual atmosphere. A kids’ menu is also available, making Laguna ideal for families.

There is also a handy Market that serves Starbucks (thank God!) and breakfast, so you can grab and go on your way to the parks.

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We spent all day (and I mean all day) at SeaWorld on Saturday. It was the perfect park for a kid #dailybocaavery’s age…and our age for that matter!

We had the option of taking a shuttle directly to/from the DoubleTree by Hilton SeaWorld or walking. We chose the latter simply because the park was so close.

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Penguins, dolphins, killer whales and fish fascinated our daughter all day long…while the roller coasters captured the attention of #modernbocadad and me!

What a fun day! We even made it back to our hotel in time for a little playground time (yes, there is a playground on property).

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And then the rain came…

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Sadly, we didn’t have enough time (or good weather) to spend at the DoubleTree by Hilton SeaWorld‘s three beautiful swimming pools, which include a relaxing lagoon pool surrounded by lush, tropical landscaping as well as kids’ pools. I was super disappointed. Here’s what we missed:

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I guess we’ll just have to book a trip back! I hear the Resort is going to be doing some major renovations and upgrades coming up, so we’ll just have to go on a repeat trip to see it all.

What a problem to have…:)


Sponsored: This post was sponsored by DoubleTree by Hilton at SeaWorld. 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 was given a complimentary 2-night stay, dinner for 2 at Laguna and Sea World passes for consideration in a family travel review, but that did not impact my views or opinions.

Modern Boca Mom was also loaned a 2016 Mazda CX-5 for the period of one week for consideration in this review. Connect with Mazda on social media: Like on Facebook and Follow Mazda on Twitter to stay up to date on all of the latest car trends and special offers. #drivemazda

Tasting Mizner Park 2015

When you get asked to taste Mizner Park…

You say YES!

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Tastemakers, the fabulous and progressive food & cocktail tasting featuring many of the center’s restaurants and live rock music, will be held on Tuesday, October 13 from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Mizner Park in Boca Raton.

A portion of proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the American Cancer Society.

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As media, we had the opportunity to preview the night’s drinks and dishes and I must warn you, PACE YOURSELF. Check out all of the restaurants  participating!

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Here are just some of the tasty bites and cocktails you can expect to imbibe in once you purchase a “Dining Passport” for the event.

The press preview doubled as a wonderful date night with my blogger friend April Golightly!

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Make your own date night by purchasing a dining passport to Tastemakers today! They are available for $30.00 at any participating Mizner Park restaurant.

Bon appetit!