On Your Feet – The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan

ON YOUR FEET! is the inspiring true story about heart, heritage and two people who believed in their talent—and each other—to become an international sensation: Gloria and Emilio Estefan.

On Your Feet! opened in 2015, at Broadway’s Marquis Theatre and closed in 2017. It is now reopen and crossing the country with a 70 city nationwide tour. I was lucky to be invited to The Kravis Center, in West Palm Beach, to see opening night.

Gaby Albo and Samuel Garnica will star as Grammy winners Gloria and Emilio Estefan in the new, non-Equity national tour of On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan, launching November 15 at West Palm Beach’s Kravis Center for the Performing Arts before visiting 70 cities nationwide. – Playbill.com

Whether you are a fan of Gloria or just a fan of the theatre, you will enjoy the upbeat and familiar songs. A score that includes such hits as “Rhythm is Gonna Get You,” “Conga,” “Get On Your Feet,” “Don’t Want To Lose You Now,” “1-2-3,” and “Coming Out of the Dark.”

Should I take my kids to On Your Feet!?

As I was watching, I wished I would have brought my oldest son (who is currently 10). It is a perfect theatre experience for younger audiences. The music and lights keep the show upbeat, even during some of the more somber moments. There were other kids in the audience bopping along to the music. I would say anyone 8 and up would be an appropriate age, just be mindful of the length of the show.

There were no moments during the performance that I thought wouldn’t be suitable, so if you are looking for a show to introduce your kids to, or involve them in a theatre night out…this is a good one. There are even moments where the actors are dancing in the aisles… that’s a fun moment no matter how old you are.

If you are considering taking your kids, start listening to some of the songs before hand, that way they are familiar with the songs on stage.

If you aren’t able to make any of the shows in West Palm, the tour finds its way back to Florida in March with quite a few stops.

If you are local to South Florida and looking for other shows that are stoping in, make sure to checkout The Kravis Center lineup for updates.

Howl -O-Scream at SeaWorld Orlando

I don’t like being scared. It makes me angry. My blood pumps and my heart races. I figure it comes down to control. I can’t control what I’m feeling or what comes next.

Actively walking into scary situations is confusing to me. You want to be scared, you don’t want to be scared. What is it?

Howl-O-Scream 2022, Sea World Orlando

We were invited to Sea World for Howl-O- Scream, and I am not one to say no to new adventures. Although I may have second guessed it…

Make time for YOUR Mammogram

I turned 40 this year. Let me say, I celebrated turning 40. There is a peace that came with it, that is hard to explain. An overwhelming feeling that I was finally in charge of life. What I was doing, where I was going, how to advocate for myself. It was all there. 

I have been aware for a while now that I am at high risk for breast cancer. It runs on both sides of my family and that’s not something that will ever change. I am aware of it, I acknowledge it and as I get older I have to be responsible for checking for it. It’s that little voice in the back of my head. I might be healthy today, but what about tomorrow? I check for myself often…but more importantly, I check for my boys. 

I was able to visit the Norma E. & Miles M. Zisson Comprehensive Breast Center of the Palm Beaches at Good Samaritan Medical Center and sat down with center manager Colleen Campbell. 

The first thing I noticed about Colleen is how friendly and warm she was, and how proud she was to show me and talk about her facility. My previous experience at imaging centers was to feel like a number. In and out as fast as they could… I was immediately struck that this center was different. It was not simply about imaging. It was about the patient as a whole person. 

Of course as women, we hear every year at our OB/GYN appointment that we should be checking ourselves for lumps and bumps…but what does that really mean? Younger me wanted to get that part of the exam over as fast as possible, but now as I’m older I have questions that I know I need to listen to the answers. I was able to ask Colleen some of those questions, that maybe you’ve been wondering too. 

1) At what age is it recommended that a woman gets a mammogram? Who should they ask to get one?      

Without a family history of breast cancer all women should start with a routine screening Mammogram at the age of 40, with a family history at the age of 35.

2) What should someone expect during their first mammogram? 

 With experienced team members a mammogram should be uncomfortable in the sense that it is considered an intimate exam, like going to the OB/GYN the first time.  If the right person is explaining and performing the procedure during the exam it helps. There is  some pressure but it should not be a painful experience at all. As a matter of fact I’ve been doing this so long that I have a lot of GYN’s that referrer their baseline mammogram patients to me personally for this very reason. It really helps to let the technologist know that this is your first mammogram.

3) If a woman doesn’t have insurance, what should they do to decrease the cost of a mammogram? 

 If you do not have insurance most facilities have cash pay prices that are very competitive, especially around Mother’s Day and October. Again, stay close to the Hospital based programs, (outpatient facilities that are associated w/ Hospitals. They offer more qualified and experienced staff. With insurance Annual Routine Mammograms are covered 100%, W/O insurance w/ offer competitive cash pay pricing. At our outpatient facilities the reading fee(radiologist) is also included.

4) If a lump is found, what is the first thing someone should do? 

Mark the area with a marker and call your doctor to make an appointment. You will need to know the date of your last period and approximately how long the lump has been there.

5) How is your facility different from others in the area? 

I would like to say our facility sets us apart because we are passionate about what we do and who we do it for. We all have a story. I chose my team based on their experience and passion and compassion. In the Breast Cancer world it’s not about the job we do, it’s about the people we do it for, our families, our community, our facility. 
I want my staff to feel satisfied every day that we do what’s right! To lay our heads down on the pillow every night and feel like you made a difference, even if it’s one person that’s all it takes. That’s why we chose the medical field, I believe it’s a path. My staff wants to work with me on my mission to help these women and their families.

A Birth Experience Like No Other – Good Samaritan Medical Center

Lily Pulitzer Birthing Suites at Good Samaritan Hospital

Looking for a completely different birthing experience for your self or someone you know? You have to take a look at the renovated Lilly Pulitzer rooms at Good Sameriatan Medical Center.

Good Samaritan Medical Center is partnering with iconic resort wear brand, Lilly Pulitzer, creating the ultimate Palm Beach experience with the design of its new Lilly Pulitzer Birthing Suites and family waiting room.

The two VIP suites are redesigned with the signature Lilly Pulitzer aesthetic, to give new moms and their families a joyful and luxurious feel when they deliver their babies. The suites art and design elements have all been donated by Lilly Pulitzer.

The rooms have been fully renovated with bedding and window coverings in Lilly Pulitzer print fabrics along with coordinating decor.

Between the waterfront views, concierge service and VIP food and beverage menu this truly is a completely unique and special experience. The stress and pressure of a standard hospital stay are taken away and families are at the center of the whole experience. Mom and baby also receive matching Lilly Pulitzer swaddle sets – how sweet is that!

To schedule a tour or to make a reservation, please visit

https://www.goodsamaritanmc.com/services/obstetrics

Fresh Bruschetta – A Crowd Pleasing Appetizer

For years, one of my favorite go to snacks has been bruschetta. There are so many different ways it can be made, but the one I love best takes only a few minutes, has fresh ingredients and fills your house with amazingly yummy smells.

Now the great thing about this recipe is that you can customize it with the ingredients that you love. The freshest ones available to you. If you ask me, there can never be enough onion and garlic, but I know that’s not everyones favorite, so make a few different varieties.

One thing that doesn’t change though is a quality olive oil. There are hundreds of varieties of olive oil, and we are loving this Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Flavor Your Life. The higher quality oil you use, the better the flavors come out in any recipe.

The Flavor Your Life campaign aims to educate North American consumers about authentic extra virgin olive oil from Europe. Flavor Your Life is empowering consumers by educating them about the rich history and delicious properties that these oils display—and sharing the delicious extra virgin olive oil culinary culture that’s been harvested in Europe for generations.

The best part of this, is that you are making this from the heart, so there are no exact measurements. Handfuls of fresh tomatoes, a bunch of basil, grated cheese of choice, finely chopped onions and garlic… and of course extra virgin olive oil to incorporate all of it together.

We used a food processor for this, but a blender works or simply chopping all of your ingredients together too. Now some bruschetta is much chunkier than this, and it is complete based on preference. I enjoy mine like a spread, that I can add more cheese and tomatoes on to. Each bite is a little different. Sometimes I want more basil, other times more tomato.

Most of the time this never makes it onto a plate. The family going around as I make different batches and we eat it off of the cutting board. Dip it, spread it, eat it off of the spoon. Just enjoy it.

Finding recipes and meals that use fresh foods make me feel like I’m making better choices for myself and my family.

Of course, find your favorite bread and enjoy. Don’t worry so much about the rules of cooking…and focus more on your favorite flavors.

Spend the Holidays at Fantasy World Resort – Kissimmee- Florida Snow and Ice Skating

Fantasy World Resort pool.

One of the best things about spending the holidays in Florida is that you can really experience multiple seasons in one day. My family and I recently spent the weekend at Fantasy World Resort in Kissimmee, Florida and went from ice skating and drinking hot chocolate to relaxing in the pool. The best of both worlds.

Ice Skating at Fantasy World Resort

We have stayed with Fantasy World Resort a few times now, and each time there is something new to experience. The staff really does feel like family now, and during our entire stay they do whatever they can to keep the kids entertained. That means parents can actually relax for a bit, which means the world this time of year.

Check out all of the fun from my Instagram stories on property here.

This year, along with the ice skating and tons of Florida snow, they added fun photo ops. If you know me, you know I love a fun photo location.

There are four different to choose from, including this one from The Christmas Story. Which happens to be one of Billiam’s favorites. I personally loved the large tree and twinkle lights, but I’m a classy kinda gal. Hehe.

Photo backdrops at Fantasy World Resort

Fantasy World Resort goes all out for my favorite holidays: here is a post about their Halloween activities too!

As the property has grown, there really is no reason to leave throughout your stay. Each time we go, there are new activities to explore. Mini golf, volleyball, basketball… the lazy river and water slides.

Plus, they are pet friendly, with a dog park too!

Poolside cotton candy at Fantasy World Resort

Pool games, cotton candy, teddy bear building, pool side tie dye. Only a few of the activities they offer, and each hour there are more surprises. Let’s not forget trivia, which is my personal favorite.

Living Room at Fantasy World Resort

No matter what your plans are for the holiday season, make sure to include a stay at Fantasy World Resort. You may just want to make it a tradition (like we do).

No time to go until after the holidays? No worries…their Winter fun is available until January 2nd. 2022.

Buddy The Elf Spaghetti Snacks – For Someone Special

I remember going to the theatre ages ago to see Elf in between college classes at FAU. I had a huge gap on Mondays and always popped in to see something new. I honestly had no idea what to expect and had probably seen every other movie they had to offer.

@thisfloridamom

Love the movie #Elf? This is the yummiest snack to make. It’s just like a rice crispy but with chow mein noodles. #baking #christmascountdown

♬ Santa Claus Is Coming to Town – Michael Bublé

I don’t remember any of the other movies I saw then…but I remember Elf. Of course, it is one of our favorite holiday movies and we still watch it every year. Multiple times.

“Buddy the Elf, What’s Your Favorite Color?”

This was the easiest treat to make, and the boys ate half of it while we were making it. I did too. We will probably make it a few more times in the next few weeks too. These are a great and fun surprise at holiday parties or neighbor cookie swaps.

Depending on what you want to add to yours, you might have most of the ingredients already.

Of course, there are no real measurements with this and it’s only a hyped-up rice crispy treat. Minus the rice crispies.

2 cans of Chow Mein noodles

1 bag of chocolate chips

1 bag of white chocolate chips

1 stick of butter

1 bag of small marshmallows

1 canister of Freeze-Dried marshmallows bits

M&M’s

sprinkles

Anything else you may want to add.

Melt half stick of butter with a full bag of marshmallows.

Melt other half of butter stick with bag of white chocolate chips. When bother are completely melted incorporate them together and stir.

Pour into a bowl of chow mein noodles. Mix well and pour onto a cookie sheet or other flat surface.

Pour chocolate chips on the top while still warm. The chocolate will start to melt as well.

While everything is still warm flatten the noodles and add your toppings.

Once the treats come to room temperature and harden, cut, and serve.

Make for someone special of course.

Disney Inspired Gifts – Ages 4 – 8

I absolutely love the magic of Disney… I can say the same thing about toys. When I’m able to find toys that tie in with our lifestyle and get the boys excited about the next trip I grab them. I’m also “that” Disney aunt. You know…the one that always gives Disney gifts… guilty as charged and not one regret about it.

Sometimes I feel like I can’t find any new one though, or run out of ideas for them. As I was looking for holiday gifts I can across a few that I wanted to share in case you might be looking for some too.

One gift that never gets old is a game to add to our game night rotation. These came in perfectly during quarantine and now that the world is a little back to normal, we’ve decided to keep our game nights. Finding games that all of our family can play and enjoy can sometimes be a challenge, but these are two I was excited to add to our collection. Mad Tea Party and Meme the Game.

I wasn’t sure how the Doorables would go over, but after I grabbed the Villans set for Halloween, I knew I needed more. My youngest loves little figurines and the fact these are all different versions of Mickey is awesome. Again, depending on what your child is into — there are probably Doorables for that.

I love Melissa and Doug toys because they are a quality product and hold up well for years. My boys love spending time in the kitchen and have a play kitchen too. These pizza and cake slices are amazing for little hands.

Bath toys are great for siblings. Either they can play with them together in the tub or one on one – but there is no fighting with them outside of the bathroom. I actually grabbed both of these sets for my nephews. Here is the Finding Nemo bath set – and the Mickey Mouse Basket Ball set.

Something that drove me crazy is that I could never get LEGO bricks that were Disney unless it was a princess. I wanted classic Mickey but non in DUPLO form. I was so excited when I saw these. There are actually quite a few to choose from. I’ve put these on our holiday wishlists for other family members to grab too!

Trick or Treat — But keep it SAFE…

I can not tell you my level of excitement this year for trick or treating. Last year I wasn’t sure if the boys would ever have a “normal” Halloween, but as I’ve started making plans and looking for Halloween costumes – I’ve partnered up with Palm Beach Children’s Hospital to help make sure our night of trick or treating is safe and not scary.

Halloween Safety Tips from the Palm Beach Children’s Hospital

Choosing Your Costume

  • Make sure you can see. Masks and hoods can make it hard to see. Non-toxic face paints are a much better choice.
  • Wear something that reflects light. You can add reflective tape to your costume and treat bag so that drivers can see you. Carry a flashlight to light your way. You can even find one to match your costume!

Fun With Friends

  • Younger children should always have a responsible adult or older teenager with them while they trick or treat.
  • Take some friends along. A group of three or more is much safer than one.

Plan Ahead

  • Plan your route and decide with your parents what time you should be home.
  • Only visit the houses of people you know and where an outside light is on. If the light is off, they are probably away from home or not giving out candy.
  • Don’t go inside a house to accept candy.

Safety First

  • Don’t stand too close to a lighted candle – especially in a jack o’lantern. Your costume might catch fire.
  • Whether walking, using your super powers or flying a broom, watch out for traffic. Stay on the sidewalks. Cross only at intersections. Don’t cross or hide between parked cars. Look both ways before crossing the street.
  • Don’t cut across yards.
  • Have one of your parents or a responsible adult check your candy before eating it. Throw any open packages or homemade treats away. If you have younger brothers, sisters, cousins or friends, don’t give them small or hard candies that can choke them.

Tips for Parents

  • Children often want to help carve the pumpkin, but little fingers and sharp objects don’t mix. Let your children draw the face on the pumpkin while you handle the carving. Your children may enjoy cleaning out the pumpkin and saving the seeds to bake for a snack.
  • Make sure your children understand the rules of Halloween safety. Develop a game plan and agree on the rules ahead of time. If older children are going out without an adult, make sure they understand the difference between vandalism and tricks. 
  • When shopping for costumes, check to make certain the material is flame retardant and that your child’s vision won’t be obscured by any part of the costume. Make sure the costume isn’t too long to prevent tripping. If your child is wearing a hat, check to see that it won’t slip down over the eyes.
  • If your child is carrying props like a sword, knife or scythe, check to see that the tips are smooth and flexible enough to not cause injury.
  • You may want to find an alternative to door-to-door trick or treating such as going to a mall or community event. You also may want to host a special Halloween party for your children and their friends.
  • Make your home safe for those little treaters. There are special lights that mimic a candle for jack o’lanterns. If you do use a candle, keep the pumpkin on a sturdy surface away from where the children are likely to stand. Don’t leave a burning candle unattended.
  • Teach your children that Halloween is about fun. Throwing eggs at a house or car or even toilet-papering trees can be considered acts of vandalism. 

In case of an emergency, the Palm Beach Children’s Hospital is here for all of your child’s emergent needs. When an emergency occurs you want the best treatment possible for your child as fast as you can get it.  Palm Beach Children’s Hospital can provide your family access to some of the best emergency care treatment around, designed specifically for the needs of children. 

In fact, their pediatric emergency room has been voted as Best Pediatric ER in Palm Beach County by readers of South Florida Parenting Magazine for three years. 

For more information on our services go to www.palmbeachchildrenshospital.com or call 561-844-6300.  

Stay safe… and Happy Halloween!

Fall Getaway to Fantasy World Resort – With a Haunted Manor

I have found one of the best times to visit Orlando is during the school year. Why? Because most of the travelers and families to that area come when school is out. September to November is usually a little more quiet and restful for Florida families.

Fall in Florida is my absolute favorite time.

Fantasy World Resort – Kissimmee, Florida

If you have never planned a fall weekend away, I promise it will become something you look forward to every year. Fantasy World Resort in Kissimmee, Florida has practically everything you need right on property. No matter what your family interests are, it is the perfect place to plan your getaway.


Pool cabanas at Fantasy World Resort in Kissimmee, FL

I’m not sure what you might look for in a family getaway, but for us it’s all about comfort, convenience and plenty of things to do to keep the boys active and away from screens.

The lazy river and pool area at Fantasy World Resort is the first thing my boys want to do, even before we take our bags in the house. That’s exactly what it feels like too! A private family townhouse. With a full kitchen, living and dining room. Two bedrooms, two full baths and the lifesaver of a washer and dryer. Heading home with no laundry to do is a different type of happiness. Plus they are pet friendly, so the whole family can stay together.

Fantasy World Resort, master bedroom

I honestly don’t think I’ve ever blogged about a hotel bed being comfortable. I’m actually quite used to waking up with aches and pains from sleeping in a new place.

I don’t know what kind of magic was in this, but I woke up after the best night of sleep I’ve had in years knowing I need to buy everything on this bed. Pillows, sheets, bedding. It was that amazing. Not what you would expect to hear right?

They have started upgrading all of their units on property and even the smallest detail hasn’t been overlooked.

Fantasy Wold Resort – second bedroom

The boys had their own room too. That’s probably why I had such a great night of sleep. They didn’t have to share the same space with us like at a normal hotel. If you are looking for a resort to stay for an extended time…this is a huge perk. Separate spaces for family members.

Haunted Manor Tour at Fantasy World Resort

Something amazing that the resort does is find special ways to celebrate the holidays. We checked out their haunted house last year, and the one they put together this year is longer and scarier. Yes, we all did it…

I’m not a fan of jump scares, but watching Billiam and Haven jump was well worth it. If you are a member of their Free Rewards Program, you can go through the Haunted Manor as many times as you’d like.

Fantasy World Resort, Kissimmee, FL

The amount of activities they have poolside is awesome. When you check in make sure to get a list with times throughout the day. Sno-cones and cotton candy, tie-dye shirts, Teddy Bear building, Bingo, as well as children’s trivia. Billiam and I were able to lounge poolside and the boys were entertained for hours.

See last year’s post to find out more about the dog park too.

Like other properties Fantasy World Resort has a rewards program that is completely free to join. But unlike others, there are no points that need to be accumulated to use. It doesn’t matter if you just joined or if you’ve been a member for a while… everyone gets the perks. 

Some of the perks are: 

  • Arrival Gift – (this changes month to month) Key shaped 16GB Flash Drive
  • Two complimentary welcome drinks at Oreo’s Poolside Cafe
  • Grab’n Go Complimentary daily Continental Breakfast
  • Discounts for local restaurants and entertainment venues

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