Monday, September 29, 2014

Costa Rica's International Book Fair

Book Fair's are the best, you can learn about new up and coming authors or new published books. You can meet face to face with editors and publishing companies. You can find items that are exclusive to the fair. 

A few weeks ago Costa Rica hosted their annual International Book Fair, each year they chose a special guest country; last year it was Mexico, this year it was the United States. We were very excited to go and find new books to read. We love reading and through the years our family has managed to collect our favorites allowing us to have a small library at home. The Annual Book Fair in Costa Rica was held at the building known as the "old Customs" in the downtown area of San Jose. 

Here is a collection of photos of what we saw at the 2014 International Book Fair:

There was a section designed specially for kids to be able to play, lounge, draw or get their face painted:

One of the exhibitors that caught our attention the most was "The Smallest Book!", it had books the size of my preschooler's hand! This one was about jokes. 

Pricing for books are discounted up to 20%, something many took advantage of. We had just gotten many new books while visiting back home and were mostly there to see what the book fair here offers and to see if we found a new book in German for my kids. Unfortunately we didn't find any German books, but we did see books in Portuguese, French and even Japanese. We also learned about other book stores in Costa Rica and publishing companies here. 

The building behind the "old Customs" one is called "Casa del Cuño" which means house of the seal, there local artisans had their designs on display. I was lucky to meet my favorite designers Priscilla Aguirre from Hola Lola which I've mentioned before on Stroller Adventures. 

I also met one of the founders and designers behind one of my new favorite brands: Puercospin, I love their sailor designs. I first discovered them while shopping at Espacio in Escazu and now I am following them on all their social media, I look forward to featuring them in the future. 

Cotidiano is the creation of Daniela, she has recently launched her handmade shop; however I'm already a fan of hers. I particularly love her coffee mug designs and bookmarks!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

How we protect our phones (*) Speck {Review}

I've mentioned before how much I love my iPhone, lately I use it more than I use my desktop. It's convenient, you're out and about and can't find your destination and you just click on an app get directions instantly or you're out shopping and want to compare pricing, in a few minutes you know where you'll find the best deal.

I also share my phone with my kids who are 9 and 4 but very techie, specially when we are waiting for something.  They understand that a phone is something you take care of specially when it holds all of mommy's pictures of them. However it is inevitable for one to accidentally drop their phone to the ground and sometimes even into water. Which is why from the moment we purchase our smartphones we protect them.

Usually I chose a cute case that is bold, colorful and feels practical. A few months ago I was invited to try [*]Speck's ipad, iphone cases. It was great timing too because my year old case was cracked on the edges and was showing normal wear and tear, what can I say my iPhone is a permanent fashion accessory for me and that means it takes time for me to decide on a specific case due to color and texture.

With [*]Speck I took a while deciding because they have so many options, which is why when I had finally narrowed it down to 3 I asked them for help deciding on which one would suit our needs the best.

My husband likes discrete colors which means usually black or gray along with simple, clean lines and textures, nothing bulky or heavy. His is an iPhone4 and he charges it using an iDock which also allows him to listen to music, lucky for him [*]Speck has a case perfect to fit his needs: the CandyShell Flip Case. It is absolutely perfect for him, I'll tell you why. The CandyShell Flip case allows you to flip back the lower half of the back panel so your phone will stand alone and/or you can place your phone on a dock without taking the casing off. 

In my case, the more vibrant in color the better. Slim casing with a bezel because let's be honest I drop my phone occasionally specially since I let my kids use it to watch videos, take pictures of places and things they find interesting and we listen a lot to music on my phone. Which is why I chose a CandyShell Inked case for my iPhone 5 this year, it has military grade protection which means it's the perfect case for me.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Happy Anniversary to us!

Last June we celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary, in summary we've moved 7 times. Lived in 4 different cities, 3 different countries, had 2 lovable and kind children and survived a life threatening illness. We've been through a lot, I'm sure every marriage goes through many ups and downs after all it's what we sign up for "to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health to love and to cherish, from this day forward until death do us part". Which is why each year we make it a point to celebrate our anniversary, to celebrate all the obstacles we've managed to pass and all the lessons we've learned. This year we celebrated evolving to the team, marriage and family we've strongly built with solid foundations. 

It's been 2 months since we flew back from the U.S. to Costa Rica and since last week we've been craving one specific restaurant's food: Benihana. Growing up my family has celebrated many birthdays and anniversaries at Benihana, there's something about having your meal cooked right in front of you that makes it even more delicious! You are sure it will be off the grill and at the perfect temperature, also you'll notice how fresh the ingredients used are I mean you get to see all the vegetables chopped up and ready to be cooked. 

We make it a point to visit Benihana to celebrate my birthday and our anniversary, you see my birthday is a day before our wedding anniversary which means we have been visiting Benihana together to celebrate both events for the past 13 years! 

This year our anniversary dinner was unplanned, it was our first night back in San Diego and the kids were getting ready for bed when my husband mentioned he was hungry and was craving Benihana. We called to check what time they closed our nearest location, 5 minutes after we were on our way to dinner as my parents watched the kids. We arrived 20 minutes prior to them closing and they were already organizing silverware and table cloths and more, however they still took us and were amazing at preparing our meal and even checking in on us to see if we wanted anything else. 

I love when a restaurant and its team are all about having happy customers, this truly showed us how much Benihana cares for their customers and made us feel so comfortable. On this visit we decided to order the hibachi chicken, which starts off with a garden salad and a bowl of onion soup: 

Hibachi Chicken, is boneless-skinless chicken breast grilled with mushrooms, butter and sesame seeds. It is served with grilled vegetables on the side as well as as shrimp. 

Spicy Las Vegas Roll, this roll is our favorite anytime anywhere. We've actually asked local sushi restaurants wherever we go if they can make something similar for us, they never get it as perfect as Benihana! This roll has salmon, avocado, cream cheese and it is deep fried. Topped off with a fresh slice of jalapeño that has spicy sauce on top. 

Business' that care about their customers like this one and providing great service should always get the recognition, which is why I decided to share our experience with you. Through the years and all the visits they have always provided us with excellent service and food quality. 

I truly wish they had a Costa Rica location, before our move here I searched to see if they did and it had a San Jose location listed. When we arrived we searched for it and found out it has shut down. Hopefully we get to travel where they do have a location to enjoy another delicious meal. If not, there's always our next travel to the U.S.