Statement Tiles in the Home

Tiled 5

Tiled 19


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


Tiled 18


Tiled 12

Tiled 23

Tiled 13

Tiled 16

Tiled 11

Tiled 5

Tiled 6

Tiled 7

Tiled 15

Tiled 3

Tiled 4

Tiled 8

Tiled 14

Tiled 10

Tiled 9

Tiled 1



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Decor, Food

Natilla de Cumpleaños




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!


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


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!




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Statement Tiles in the Home
May 4, 2016