School of Rock at Showtime

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One thing you will learn about me is that I LOVE the theater! I mean, LOVE the theater! I try to see every show that comes in town (I’m seeing Matilda on Wednesday, review to follow) and I try to make it to NYC at least once a year to see as many Broadway shows as I can in one weekend. Luckily for me, my daughter shares the same love. She started taking classes at Showtime in East Boca in August and it has pretty much changed her life. She literally waits all week for the day she has class. If she could spend every day there, she would. Its has been really awesome to watch our 7 year old blossom in the stage light (yes, I am totally a stage mom. haha).

Showtime has a program they call “Main Stage” that performs for the public every Saturday. The show changes every 6 weeks and the shows they put on are very impressive.

Yesterday we went to see School of Rock at Showtime. I have seen School of Rock on Broadway two times and I fell in love with the music. The score is written by Andrew Loyd Webber and the songs are amazing. I love how the kids carry the show in their amazing talents. All music is live by the kids and the energy is contagious. My daughter saw it on Broadway as well (her first Broadway show!) so she was super excited to see the show.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect because obviously this is a junior version of the show, but WOW was I blown away. The guy who plays Dewey is a guy named Rio Peterson. Not only did he play the lead, but he also directed the show. He came out with the opening song and from that moment I knew the show was going to be awesome. He had the same energy, voice and commitment that I saw on Broadway. Seriously. He was Dewey 100%. Its hard for someone to play that role because they are constantly being compared against Jack Black in the movie. Jack has such distinctive moves and ways of speaking. Rio, did an amazing job imitating him.

Most of the cast of School of Rock is children. So you would expect there to be forgotten lines, here and there….but these kids had it down. They knew there lines and you really felt like they were their characters. A couple of the kids had to play musical instruments during the show and they were very impressive.

Showtime is a very small, personable theater, but it is amazing what they can do with such limited space. I felt they really brought all the aspects of the Broadway show to this small stage.

In the end, my daughter and I both loved the show. There is nothing better than seeing local small theater where kids are learning and growing. I can’t say enough about Showtime and its programs.

If you would like to see School of Rock, there are three more shows left! May 6, 13, and 20th. You can buy tickets here: Showtime Boca

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The Boca Library

I wanted to do a focus piece on the Boca Library. There are two Boca Library locations: Spanish River (1501 Spanish River Blvd) and Downtown (400 NW 2nd Ave).

I started taking my daughter to mommy and me classes at the library when she was just an infant. Over the years, she is 7 now, the library has become a place we go at least once a week.

I am amazed when I speak with other people and they say they never go to the library! The library has SO much more to offer than just books! They offer an extensive list of free classes for both children and adults. I personally, have taken the 3-D printing class and walked away with my own 3-D keychain! My daughter has taken a lot of the classes, including coding which has been amazing for her to learn. When they finish their first coding class they move on to the next level and I can’t wait to see where this skill takes her. And the fact that these classes are free blows my mind. If you are interested in taking a class, here is a link to all the classes they offer: Classes

In addition to classes, the library hosts a wide array of special events geared towards children and adults. Last week my daughter went to the Magic Show at the Downtown library and loved it. Here is a link to their calendar.

I remember when the Elmo faze hit our house. We had to have every Elmo DVD there was. I started buying them here and there…then I learned that the library had DVDs to rent for free (New Releases are $1). I can honestly say since that moment I think maybe we have purchased a handful of DVDs. The fact that you can rent up to 16 DVDs at a time is just amazing! You can also renew them up to 3 times as long as their are no holds on them. We saved so much money on buying DVDs and now our movie selection is constantly changing.

Another great program they have is their rental program of American Girl Dolls, Cake Pans and Literacy Backpacks. Link: Special Collections (American Girl Dolls, Cake Pans, Literacy Backpacks)

If you have a young daughter, you know the obsession with American Girl Dolls! The Spanish River and Downtown Library both have their own set of dolls and they let you rent them on a weekly basis. Every doll comes in their original clothes and with all their original accessories. They also come with the doll’s book and a notebook that you can journal about your week with the doll. My daughter loves reading the journal. Its such a great experience for them.

The other day we were talking with the librarians at check out and I looked up to see all these cake pans on display. I asked them what that is about and they said you can rent them. I found this hilarious. Where in the world did they come up with this idea?? Ha. My daughter saw the cake pop pan and she had to have it. So we ended up checking it out (side note: the pan has sat on our counter for 2 weeks and we have yet to make anything in it. Ha) But I do love the concept of it. Especially if you wanted to make a specialty cake and didn’t have the pan for it. All pan rentals are for one week (you can renew up to 3 times) and they need to come back in the same condition you received them. They have MANY pans to choose from, but I took a couple pictures so you can get an idea of what they have to offer. Also please note, all cake pans are at the Spanish River Location. If you want to pick them up at the Downtown Location, it will take a day or two for the transfer.

 

Lastly they offer Literacy Backpacks for your child to check out. They are geared more towards pre-school/Kindergarten age and they consist of a book, a game, a CD, manipulatives, etc. My daughter was to old for these when they were released, but we did check out a bag once because she didn’t believe me that she was to old (stubborn 7 year old!) and I was impressed with all that was in it.

I have only just scratched the surface on what the library has to offer, there is so much more….like free wifi, free digital music through Hoopla, Free E-Books, computers, used book store (Downtown location), conference rooms, event space (weddings, parties, etc), the list goes on….

For me, not only do I love what the library has to offer, but I love the employees. The librarians in the kid section are so patient and uplifting. They always greet you with a smile and are ready and able to help. They have little kids constantly asking them to look up a book by a title they can’t remember, but they do remember there is a fish in it…haha and they do their best to help them find that book. They know a lot of the children who come weekly by name and are always so happy to see us. Its really special. The same goes for the people who check us out up front. They are always so friendly and we have had some fun discussions about the books we are checking out, etc.

Have I sold you on the library yet? Ha! Ready to get a card? Here is a link to sign up: Getting a Library Card

What do you get for signing up you ask? Click HERE to go to their webpage that explains it all in depth…below is a summary:

  • 7-Day books: 8
  • Compact Discs: 16
  • DVDs: 16
  • Video Games: 16

You may borrow up to a maximum of 100 items.

The only downside to checking out things at the library is you have to remember to return them in time! To help with this, I HIGHLY suggest signing up for email alerts!!! Managing my library account online is a life saver. I probably wouldn’t use the library nearly as much if they didn’t have this feature. From home you can put items on hold, renew items, and pay late fines. Since life is so hectic, this is the only way I can stay on top of it.

Let me know, what is your favorite thing about the library?

 

 

Intex Island With Slide

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I came across this pool float while shopping at BJ’s Wholesale Club. We have been looking for some fun pool toys for our daughter and this looked awesome! She has been making a “house” with her pool toys, so this was exactly something she would want. Then you add the slide portion and were good to go!

Today we surprised her with it as an Easter present from us. The water was cold, but she enjoyed this slide for a good hour. She loved it!! climbing up the back of the island took a lot of upper body strength, but once she got the hang of it, she was good to go. She loved being inside the island portion and jumping around. The float will move freely around the pool unless anchored. There are two anchor spots, one on the front and the other on the back of the island. We attached a rope to each spot and then attached them to a tree and to a hook on our house. This kept the pool float from going all around the pool and kept it more stationery. It still moved some, but not non stop. This allowed her to climb up one side and slide down the other side without running into the wall.

This pool float is pretty awesome. It will hold up to 220lbs and the “walls” on the side of the float can be removed and used as a pool float. I can see HOURS of fun in our future. The float is pretty big, so that can be a factor for some, but for our size pool…its perfect.

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The Orange and Red parts can be removed and used as a float

The set up of the island was pretty easy, BUT my husband used his air compressor and it still took roughly 30 mins to blow up. There are many chambers to be filled and be sure to start with the base and not the top. This float is really good quality and seems pretty durable. I see it lasting a long time.

My daughter gives this float two thumbs up. She told me its “totally awesome.”

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I purchased this slide for $49.99 at Bjs, but they have it both on Amazon and Walmart.com for $45 or less. I choose Bj’s because if it didn’t work out, it would be easy to return and I could have it that day.

 

Smurfs: The Lost Village

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This past weekend we went to an advanced screening of the new Smurfs Movie (thank you Girl Scouts for the passes). My daughter, who is 7, absolutely loved the movie.

Over the past few years it seems they are making cartoons scarier and more grown up. The dialog has felt very inappropriate….like in “Life With Pets” where they discussed how they killed their owners…I wouldn’t say my daughter gets scared easily, but she is very sensitive to somethings and some of the scenes in these cartoons can be to much. I have thought to myself numerous times I can’t believe they have this stuff in a kids movie.

ANYWAYS, I was very happy to take her to this movie and for it to be good wholesome fun. There is a bad guy, Gargamel, but he is silly bad. He really isn’t scary. You laugh at him more than you are scared of him. The premise of the movie is that Smurfette is the only female in Smurf village because Gargamel made her from clay and sent her to the village to be evil. But Papa Smurf turned her good and she has been living her happy life ever since. Even though, she was happy, she always wondered what her purpose was. Every smurf has a purpose….There is Brainy Smurf who is smart and Heafty Smurf who is strong, etc. But she has no quality that explains her. One day she sees another smurf like creature in the woods and accidentally makes Gargamel aware of its existence as well. The rest of the movie is a competition between Smurfette and Gargamel to find the mysterious smurfs in the woods first….For Smurfette, she wants to warn the Smurfs….For Gargamel, he wants to capture them and take all of their magic. Who will win? You will have to go see the movie to find out, but I’m sure you can guess what happens:)

Overall its a very good, kid friendly movie that I think all ages would enjoy.

Beehive Kitchen

A few weeks back I had lunch at a new place in Fort Lauderdale called “Sushi 4 Fun” and when I left I walked past this new restaurant called “Beehive.” They were under construction and in their window was a sign saying to email them with the words “can’t wait” and they will email you a $20 gift card when they open.

Sure enough, this week I received my gift card. I was super excited to try it and headed there today with one of my good friends. We got there right before the lunch rush and were able to get our food and grab a seat before it got crazy. It seems the new craze is fast food restaurants that allow you to build a bowl with fresh, healthy ingredients. Beehive is exactly that. You can choose between two bowls: Small Bowl or Large Bowl. The small bowl comes with one base, 2 Veggies, 1 protein and 1 sauce. The large bowl comes with 2 bases, 2 veggies, 2 proteins and 1 sauce. They also have a variety of special menu bowls where they have already done the paring for you…Like the “East meets West” bowl: whole grain brown rice, sweet potato glass noodles, szechuan green beans, ahi tuna poke, citrus marinated avocado, thai coconut curry. Can you say YUM!?!  Click the photos below to see the enlarged description of all the options. 

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I have eaten at a place like this before (Bolay in Boca) so I was aware that you can usually trade in one or all of your bases for a veg. I’m not to excited about lettuce and I don’t eat grains for the most part. So I choose to trade in one of my bases and got three veggies instead. This is what I had on my bowl:

Base:

  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Veggies:

  • Parmesan Roasted Brocoli
  • Wok Seared Mushrooms
  • Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Protein:

  • Baked Almond Crusted Chicken
  • Rustic Herb Grilled Chicken

Sauce:

  • Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

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It was SO good and very filling. I could only eat half it. Maybe next time I’ll go for the small bowl instead. I really enjoyed the Almond Crusted Chicken and dipped it in the super yummy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. The veggies were fresh and cooked perfectly. Overall, really impressed. I can’t wait to go back!

http://www.beehive-kitchen.com