Exploring the Inspiration Behind ¡Numeros, Baby! – Part II

¡Números, Baby! – our upcoming release introducing little ones to numbers in Spanish is vividly inspired by the authors’ own travels to Latin America and Spain. In the second part of this 3-part blog post, co-author Golzar Kheiltash shares her travel adventure that brought a distinct flavor to Baby Ventures’™ newest board book!

PART II: Co-author Golzar Kheiltash gets a taste of Spain

Before my family immigrated to California from Iran in the 80’s, I had already lived on two continents, across 6 cities. I was bilingual – in Persian and English – and felt the singular childhood excitement that comes from hearing different languages, seeing smiling new faces, and exploring vibrant new locales across the globe.

Happily, this excitement carried into my adulthood, starting with my last summer at university when I traveled across Europe on my own. During my trip, I visited Barcelona, Spain, not once but twice! ¿Por qué? Because one trip wasn’t enough to take in Barcelona’s lively energy, welcoming residents, rich cultural landmarks, and…seriously delectable eats (even on my student budget)!

Barcelona Gaudi

Whether you’re a tourist or native to Spain, one thing is for sure: food – and gathering to eat it – is an integral part of life here. Geography also plays an important role in the fresh and diverse flavors of Spanish cuisine: Located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula, most of Spain’s borders are with water, namely the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Bay of Biscay (it also shares land borders with Portugal and France). This coastal landscape plays a key role in Spanish food, with distinctive culinary elements ranging from region to region.

In Barcelona (located in the region of Catalonia), I started my foodie adventure with a visit to the bustling, 800-year old Mercat de Sant Josep de La Boquería. With an abundance of fresh meats, seafood, fruits, vegetables, and much more (including some tapas bars), La Boquería was a veritable feast for the senses, and the perfect place to get acclimated to tasty Spanish eats. The universally recognized Spanish dish – paella – was what I was keenest to try, and locals assured me that this beloved, saffron and olive oil infused dish was best homemade (though some top-notch restaurants do their best to compete).

Barcelona market

Despite traveling alone, I didn’t eat alone – often a table of friendly locals, or even the restaurant owners themselves – would keep me company as we spoke in Spanish and enjoyed our meal. On my second visit to Barcelona, I was lucky enough to have homemade paella (with a Catalan twist). Paella originated from the neighboring region of Valencia as a hearty dish prepared by farmers. A proud symbol of this region, paella is also enjoyed throughout Spain, particularly at family gatherings and holidays. Traditionally shared right out of the wide pan it’s prepared in, paella depicts the essence of coming together over a delicious meal.

Barcelona restaurant

I hope little ones enjoy our taste of Spain in ¡Números, Baby! as they learn to count from uno a diez!

Speaking of counting – we’re also counting on YOU to help us ensure that fresh food with local flavors gets to communities affected by natural disasters. We are deeply proud to announce that proceeds from the sale of every ¡Números, Baby! book will go to World Central Kitchen, a non-profit organization reaching vulnerable families from Puerto Rico to Guatemala and beyond. Founded by renowned Spanish chef and Washington, DC resident, José Andrés, WCK is at the forefront of providing comfort and sustenance with homemade, locally-inspired meals to communities in need.

Next spring, I’m returning to Barcelona – this time with mi marido y mija (both of whom also happen to be HUGE Barça fans). I can’t wait to venture to this beautiful, historic, and lively metropolis with my family to revisit old haunts and discover new ones. I especially can’t wait to have my little one try paella and practice her números en español!

De mi familia a la suya,

Golzar

 

November’s Giving Campaign: You Shop, We Donate!

Happy November, families!

We’re continuing our Fall Giving Campaign with a special initiative this month: You shop, we donate proceeds to assist the poor and homeless in our nation’s capital.

For several years now, the Washington, DC nonprofit SOME (So Others Might Eat) has been close to our hearts. SOME works diligently to feed, clothe, and permanently improve the lives of poor and homeless DC residents, including families and children. SOME’s commitment to treating our city’s most vulnerable residents with compassion, generosity, and dignity truly inspires us. Continue reading November’s Giving Campaign: You Shop, We Donate!

Where in the World Wednesday – November Contest Winner

Our final Where in the World Wednesday contest photo shows a hilly west coast city with a famous bridge (or two). What city is it? San Francisco!

Baby Ventures co-founder Golzar Kheiltash (re)visited this beautiful city in 2008. Did you know that the city is built on more than 50 hills and that it was originally named Yerba Buena?! Read more fun facts about the city here.

And a big congratulations to our contest winner, Ryan Remley, who correctly guessed San Francisco. Ryan will be receiving a free Baby Ventures toddler tee!

We hope you enjoyed our Where in the World Wednesday 2016 contest series. Thanks so much to everyone who participated and stay tuned for more contests and giveaways in the new year!

Where in the World Wednesday – November

It’s the first Wednesday of the month again, which means it’s time for Baby Ventures’ Where in the World Wednesday series! We post a pic of one of our favorite adventures on the first Wednesday of each month – correctly guess the pic’s location for the chance to win fabulous Baby Ventures products! Plus, we’ll include fun facts and activities about these amazing places to share with your adventure-loving little ones!

So where in the world this first Wednesday of November? For our last contest of the year, we’re showcasing one of our favorite US locales: In fall 2008, Baby Ventures co-founder Golzar Kheiltash (re)visited this hilly west coast city with a famous bridge (or two). What city is it? Email us the correct answer by November 16th, 2016 and you’ll be entered for the chance to win a free Baby Ventures toddler tee! Don’t miss your chance – this is our last contest for 2016!