Category

Decor

Parties & Interiors

Decor

Statement Tiles in the Home

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Oh hello old world charm! I can’t get enough of tiles these days. I’m especially drawn to the blues and greens and the crispness of the black and white ones. And how beautiful is the incorporation of the tiled and wooded floor?! Cuban, Turkish, Portuguese, Moroccan, Italian, Greek… There’s something so flirty and playful about them, that I can’t help but smile. How I love the old kitchens and bathrooms and courtyards you encounter when you’re traveling. So colorful and ornate, they tell stories of residents past and the old world. Oh that ever romanticized old world. I picture families spending all day in the kitchen preparing a glorious meal, or the soft trickle of water as someone unwinds in a hot and soapy tub, or the gentle breeze and amber sun filling a courtyard as someone sips their cortadito. I hope to incorporate them in a big way into my home one day. Would you?

xo Alina

 

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April 26, 2016
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Nordic Boho

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I could get lost in the rabbit hole of Nordic design. Looking at these images makes me want to stay up all night white-washing everything in my house. I am not alone in my love for all things Nordic, and I think it all lies in how peaceful and zen these spaces are. They feel like a home where I’d wake up to the first rays of sunshine and enjoy coffee in bed, snuggled between all the lamb skin throws and blankets. It feels like a place that would instantly unwind you after a long day of work. There is a crispness and nonchalantness to it all at the same time. And I love how the zen backdrop provides the perfect canvas for art work or plants or textiles to really pop!

Enjoy the rabbit hole :)

xo Alina

 

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Statement Tiles in the Home
May 4, 2016
Jungalow
April 12, 2016
Decor

Jungalow

Jungalow 11

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Jungalow 26

 

Jungalow (Jungle + Bungalow) style is one of my favorite sources of interior design inspiration. It makes me feel like I’m living in a greenhouse or in a tropical tree house. I love the bohemian and chill vibes of artist bungalows and I love how greenery in the home immediately injects a calm and zen tone to a room. How perfect to combine them both!

The base of this look is to start with crisp white walls, neutral black, white and wooden furniture and tons (more is more) of plants. Particularly ones with large leaves and a tropical vibe such as Palms, Elephant Ears, Fiddle Leaf Figs trees, Philodendrons, Ferns, hanging Ivy, and cacti varieties. Think about adding an accent wall with a big bold graphic pattern, but keep the theme simple and green or blue. Once you have the base, bring in sheep skin rugs, and colorful native american, Moroccan, and Turkish textiles (i.e. rugs, pillows, throws, tapestries). The key here is the art of draping and layering. All of these rooms look effortless and have a lair like quality to them. They look lived in and cozy. The last step is to bring in candles (all about the warm lighting), black and white photography prints, and cool toned or white ceramics and glassware.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this style and how you’d incorporate it into your style.

xo Alina

 

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Statement Tiles in the Home
May 4, 2016
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Decor, Food

Natilla de Cumpleaños

alina7

alina7

alina8

Natilla conjures up images of my Abuela’s kitchen and nights where my Cuban family would linger at the table hours past dinner was over, chatting away and slurping up this creamy treat. Two things we’re great at: talking and eating. Especially when it’s something sweet!

It’s something that feels so old world cooking and decadent but in reality is quite simple to make. I bet you have the ingredients in your kitchen right now! And there’s something so unassumingly dreamy about that combo of milk, citrus and cinnamon. It’s rich and creamy yet fruity and light. Writing about it has me thinking about the leftovers downstairs…

But back to the point. It’s delicious and easy and festive! The perfect treat for my birthday dinner!

Ingredients

1 liter of milk (I used 2%)

1 large piece of lemon rind

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 egg yolks

1 1/2 cups sugar (I reduced this to 1 cup)

4 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 cup cold water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Combine the milk, lemon rind, cinnamon and salt in a pot and bring to a boil. Let cool. Mix the cold water and cornstarch until dissolved. In a separate medium to large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar and the cornstarch mixture. Add in the milk and mix until blended. Pour back into the pot and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly until a pudding consistency. You will be stirring and then from one second to the next it changes from liquid to a thicker pudding texture. This is what my family calls “el punto.” Once you reach el punto, take the pot off the burner and continue mixing for another minute or so.

When it comes to serving the Natilla, it is up to your discretion. We chose to serve ours in individual dishes and make little parfaits. My Abuela always lays out lady fingers in a glass pan and pours the natilla over them and leaves them to soak. Whatever floats your boat!

Recipe source: Cocina al Minuto by Nitza Villapol (the blue version with an hourglass on the cover)

This book is a staple in my house. It’s kind of the Cuban version of Julia Childs’ “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” And it is in Spanish. There is an english version, though I’ve been told it is hard to come by. My suggestion would be, use a Spanish/English dictionary and take a stab at it!

xo

Alina

 

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Statement Tiles in the Home
May 4, 2016