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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Summer Days

 

I feel like I haven't blogged in awhile even though it's only been a little over a week. My nephew is visiting us from Texas and this past week has been filled with activities practically every day. This Saturday his parents are coming for 3 days to get him, and 3 days after they leave, my sister in law and her husband are flying in from Jordan. July is going to be full of guests. (Ya'll pray for me...). I'm kidding. Sort of. 

Taking care of 5 kids is no easy task let me tell you, but I've managed. It's been fun. Exhausting, but fun. We've made several beach trips and done different activities like adventure parks, bowling, movies, pool time, petting zoo's, horseback rides. Hopefully my nephew will tell his parents he had a great time. By now being trapped in a house full of  crazy girls, minus my husband, his uncle, he's probably itching to go home...




Friday, June 16, 2017

Feminine & Demure

White lace peplum top {Tobi} c/o

I'm completely obsessed with white lace this year. Seriously give me all the lace! I recently celebrated a birthday and wore the most perfect white lace top for dining al fresco at the new Louis Bossi location in downtown Boca Raton. It's been so hot outside!

I'm wearing a size XS and it fits fantastic. The quality is also very good and it's a strong sturdy lace. You can pair it with any pants or shorts and I love how feminine it feels. As a busy mom of four, one who is a baby who still likes to be carried, it's nice to wear a top that I don't need to worry about moving around too much or revealing anything as I bend down multiple times to pick her up.


In contrast, as much as I love white and lace, I also love scallops and every woman needs a great little black dress. Whether you're going to church, or a charity event, this scalloped black shift dress from Tobi is for you. Super comfortable and chic.

Black scalloped dress {Tobi} c/o

http://www.tobi.com/

Have a great weekend!


*This post is in collaboration with Tobi.com*


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The art of teaching kids to play piano and Zagaria Music Academy review

Girl playing piano {Willem Haenraets}

Studies have found that learning to play a musical instrument strengthens the brain--with the biggest benefits found in those who began lessons while still very young. All instruments from the piano to the accordion help equally. Music is made up of math, history, and language and it taps into pretty much every academic area and developmental area. 

Parents who give their children the gift of a musical education start them out on a path that will enrich their lives in so many ways. 

Studying music develops discipline, hand-eye coordination, and intelligence. From birth to age nine is the best window of opportunity to develop musical sensibility within children. During this time, the mental structures and mechanisms associated with processing and understanding music are in the prime stages of development, making it of up most importance to expose children in this range to music. 

It's important to expose your baby to music, and rhythm, but for formal lessons most teachers prefer to start children on the piano when they can write their name legibly and can sit still for at least 15 minutes. Some people start their children as young as three though. A child who is taking piano lessons should be comfortable placing five fingers on five adjacent white keys. 

The key to learning to play music is practice. 

Create a positive atmosphere with plenty of reinforcement with practices daily, but keep them short so that the kids stay focused and attentive, feel a sense of achievement but don't get worn out. According to the Suzuki method, the stage at which the child begins to learn reading music varies according to age and general development. However, it will always be after basic playing skills have been mastered to maintain the focus on beautiful tone, accurate intonation and musical phrasing.

I have a history with music and I've already begun to teach Layla (6) and Mariam (4), but I'll touch more on that another day. Serena who is now 14 has been exposed to music at a young age much like myself. I started introducing the keyboard to Serena as a baby, and as a toddler she loved it, but once in elementary, she didn't play all that much. I really should have worked more with her on it, but at the time, I worked full time outside of the home and life just happened, and other activities were introduced. Once she was in middle school I discovered she could sing and she started getting back into the piano, up to the point where she was playing every day. She plays by ear, but the problem is she is not up to par with note reading. 


I started to look into formal piano lessons a couple months ago for Serena to get her at the level she wants to be and discovered Zagaria Music Academy. The founder Jeffrey Zagaria has been performing music since his childhood and has been teaching forms and levels of music for over twenty years based out of metropolitan Boston and South Florida. Aside from teaching music and voice full time, Mr. Zagaria has performed with many famous artists including: Celine Dion, Reba McEntire, gospel's award winning Richard Smallwood, and many others! He has also performed in many church events nationally and internationally. 


Jeffrey Zagaria music method takes piano methodology to a whole new level. Time-tested lesson structures taken from piano methods going back to many centuries are honored and become a founding pillar in the ZMM for piano. Whether it's jazz, rock, classical, country, gospel, praise and worship, pop, punk, or blues, the Zagaria music academy can teach you or your child how to play any style and genre you like. 


It's really important to find a teacher that you or your child connects with and Jeffrey has been great. He has a state of the art music studio in Boca Raton, Florida and he's charasmatic and down to earth. It's been easy to schedule a music lesson around Serena's busy school activities, and she has enjoyed her lessons. He's meticulous and precise in his teachings, but in a way that Serena benefits and even gets a few laughs in during her lesson. If you're looking for a true professional to get your child to the next level in music, I highly recommend Zagaria Music Academy. 



Monday, June 5, 2017

Darling dolls by Whimsy Adoration!


I hope everyone had a great weekend. It's the first day of summer vacation for the girls and it's been raining most of the day. It's dampened our plans a bit, and I really didn't have anything outside of the house lined up today except for a trip to the store, but the rest of the week should be a little more interesting. For now, we've just been playing hide & seek, snacking, and playing with some toys and dolls. One doll which has come to be a constant companion around here is Layla's new mermaid doll from Whimsy Adoration.


This doll has quickly become Layla's favorite. She sleeps with it, takes it places and just moves it around with her where ever she goes. It's adorable and the perfect size for her. The doll came nicely packaged and it's beautifully made! Being a designer and sewer myself, I definitely appreciate tiny details. 


I'm impressed with this doll and it is so cute to watch Layla so taken with it. I definitely have Whimsy Adoration down as the place I'll be buying handmade dolls from. She also has something new for the little guys right now. I mean how cute is this?!




Instagram: @whimsyadoration


Friday, June 2, 2017

Five on Friday!

I've actually been meaning to post a "five on Friday" For-EVER now and it just never happens. Whether or not I had something else planned to write about, or just didn't get around to blogging. The three little ones are playing in the Florida room with a neighbor so I have a few moments to spare before H and Serena gets home and I start dinner and then get super exhausted. I've been battling a cold for 2 weeks now! My voice has been raspy for over a week and this persistent cough has been not letting me fall asleep till well past 1 am every single night this week! It's been challenging to say the least, especially since the kids give me no rest. I finally broke down and saw a doctor this morning. I have....brace yourselves.....a cold. At least now I know, it's nothing serious and he prescribed me a z pak and mucinex, so hopefully I start feeling better at least by Sunday! Let's talk about some highlights though. 

One. Yesterday was my birthday and as always my husband went above and beyond in making me feel special and loved. Aside from his generous gifts, we all went out for dinner at the new Louie Bossi's which is really close to us. I loved it! From the handmade pastas to the details in the decor, you can tell they put a lot of thought into what they do. 


Two. I've always loved lave and white but I'm completely obsessed this year! I wore this gorgeous lace peplum top for my birthday yesterday and will share more pics on the blog next week. 

{White lace top: Tobi}

Three. Aside from being obsessed with white lace, tassel's, pom poms and fringe are right there too. I found the cutest earrings from Francesca's the other day. 

Similar here

Four. My sweet Serena has officially graduated middle school. I can't believe I'll have a high schooler this fall. That's crazy talk! So proud of her and everything she's accomplished this year. She's so smart and talented with a big heart. 


Five: With summer around the corner, I'm sure watermelon is going to be a staple around here. Loving this recent recipe I found and made here


Have a great weekend!



Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sometimes a gal wants to feel a little fabulous...

{Seahorse necklace: Fabulous Central}

With summer around the corner, you're going to be seeing a lot more sea creature and coastal inspired decor, jewelry, and apparel. I mentioned not too long ago that Layla is obsessed lately with all things mermaid, seahorse, and starfish! She is also really into jewelry these days. She actually doesn't have her ears pierced but she brought it up the other day. She asked why she doesn't have them pierced. Our first born is the only one of the girls that had her ears piercerd as a baby. With the others we figured we'd just let them make the choice for themselves when they decided they'd want them. 

Before Layla's birthday came around I knew she would absolutely love a seahorse necklace and I found the perfect one through online retail shop Fabulous Central.


I love how lightweight it is and just the right amount of adornment. A simple yet "different" piece, and sterling silver.


If you're looking for cute silver jewelry for your child or yourself, check out Fabulous Central. Shipping is super fast and the items come gift wrapped. 

Have a great Memorial Day weekend!


Monday, May 22, 2017

Boutique style blueberry muffins


I love to bake, so a month ago I set out to find a really awesome blueberry muffin recipe. I've made blueberry muffins in the past, but hadn't found a go-to recipe. I came across one on Allrecipes.com and Oh. Em. Gee. This is the one! You guys have to try this blueberry muffin recipe! These are by far the best I've ever made. Super moist and delicious with a buttery crumb topping. I'm talking boutique bakery style. I will open up a bakery just to sell these so everyone can try one. I'm kidding. I do love to share these with my neighbors though.


Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil ( I use canola oil)
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries

crumb topping:
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter cubed
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon ( I use 1 tsp)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.

To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.



Enjoy!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Trending with Jmesjewelrybox!


With summer just around the corner, you're going to be seeing a lot more ocean and nautical decor, jewelry and apparel. If you live by the ocean like I do, these things are a staple year round. Lately my girls--mainly Layla have been obsessed with all things mermaid, seahorse, and starfish! Since we did a mermaid theme for Layla's recent 6th birthday, I thought she might love a starfish bracelet since she's started to want to wear jewelry. I came across an online shop called Jmesjewelrybox based in Shoreline, Washington that sells adorable silver jewelry. 

In the shop you can find a plethora of jewelry. Everything from floral to peas in a pod, dragonflies, etc. There are customization's you can add to most of the jewelry as well. 


Jamie the Owner was great to work with and Layla's bracelet came with an L for her name. She absolutely loved it!


{Silver starfish bracelet: Jmesjewelrybox}


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Celebrating mom's fashion show!


This past Saturday the Junior League of Boca Raton had it's 2nd annual "celebrating mom's fashion show" at Lord & Taylor in Boca Raton. I got to model a couple of designer outfits along with a few other mom's and their children. It was so much fun! The girl's did great and it was a great kickoff to Mother's Day weekend. The night before I hadn't gotten much sleep (story of my life), so I was so sleepy. It showed because most of my pictures it seemed like my eyes were closed. Oh well. One of these days this baby has to sleep. 

 
Have a great Wednesday!