Design Inspiration | El Arbol Bougainvillea

I'm doing a series on my San Miguel Collection prints and am collaborating with interior stylist Mylene Raspado

This week I'm featuring: El Arbol Bougainvillea

You can find this plant in warm climates and even though they don’t require much water, they are evergreen if there’s rainfall all year. The flower itself if very fragile, thin, and paper-like, and usually doesn’t last long after they’re picked from the vine. Its colors include magenta, purple, red, orange, pink, white, and yellow. A tree in full bloom offers a breath-taking explosion of color.

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I love this piece for a kid's room. It's vibrant colors are sure to catch a little kid's attention and inspire curiosity. Parents who create wonder about different places in this world will raise their kids to respect and embrace other people easily...which should be our goal.


This week only (until Sunday), I'm offering free framing on all orders of the "El Arbol Bougainvillea" print. Let me know if you have any questions about this design mood board, or this specific print. Just send me an e-mail, or leave a comment below. 


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Recipe | Molletes

Can you believe back to school season is happening right now? I'm prepping our first semester and trying to figure out how I'm going to pull it all off by the time school actually begins in a few weeks. I know with busier days coming up, the kids are going to say they're "SOOOOOOOO hungry" all the time. (Actually, that's no different from how they are now.) 

They say that molletes are like a grilled cheese or like toast. A super quick under 5 minute snack to prepare when you're in a hurry, or when the kids come  home and seem to have never eaten a day in their life. 

 
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Gather your ingredients:

Bolillo bread

Beans: It's usually made with pinto beans, but we like black beans in our house.

Cheese: You can use queso fresco or shredded chihuahua cheese.

optional toppings: avocado, tomato, salsa, pico de gallo

NOW WHAT?

1. Warm up beans. Once hot, mash.
2. Slice the bolillo in half long-ways.
3. Slice the tomatoes & avocado and crumble the queso fresco
4. Put a layer of beans on the bread.
5. Add the cheese & let melt for a minute or so. 
6. Layer on your toppings!
8. Enjoy!

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I first had molletes in San Miguel de Allende in 2017. I was naive and ordered what said "Molletes - Mexican toast" I thought it was a toasted piece of bread with some jelly and cream. What came out was this amazingness! I was so full after eating it. This little meal is so versatile, you can eat it for breakfast, lunch, or snack.

My mom said she even had it with steak...but in my opinion you're getting into torta territory when you start adding a protein. 


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FoodKarina Metts
Design Inspiration | Nopales

I'm doing a series on my San Miguel Collection prints and am collaborating with interior stylist Mylene Raspado.

The week I'm featuring: Nopales

While cactus and succulents are a popular addition to homes due to their low maintenance, especially among the younger generation in the US, it’s nice to remember that the earliest encounters with cacti are from Central and South America.

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This cactus wall is found in a little store, Mixtas, in San Miguel de Allende. It is filled with handmade home decor, clothing, and textiles. For the traveler who finds inspiration in nature, and neutral warm colors. This is a great addition to a living room especially to accent any plants already used for home decor. Pairing this photo with colorful baskets and other textured wall art will really give the space that inviting and adventurous spirit. 


This week only (until Sunday), I'm offering free framing on all orders of the "Nopales" print. Let me know if you have any questions about this design mood board, or this specific print. Just send me an e-mail, or leave a comment below. 


The story behind the brand

Hi there! I'm Karina.

If you've been around for a while you know I'm a photographer that has a passion for sharing my Mexican culture with others through beautiful, ready-to-hang prints for your home. However, I'm ready to go a little deeper.

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I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. My mother stayed home with my sister & I, and my father worked his hardest to provide a great life for us. He is a self-made entrepreneur and has pretty much taken classes to do just about anything. If he didn't know how to do something, he went to school to learn. He taught me that education and knowledge are my greatest assets, and that I should never stop learning.

While I'm obviously Mexican-American, it was always a tricky balance to be Mexican enough...but not too Mexican. 

Can anyone relate? Spanish was my first language, and my father always pushed me to speak it as much as I could. On the other hand, in school it was treated like a game. As kids shouted out words in english they would make me teach them the Spanish word. Over, and over again.

Situations like this happened often.

I know there are more people like me, who were raised in a Mexican home, but were pushed into the American culture as soon as they walked out of the house. It's hard to balance both, but I want to share my journey now as I raise bi-racial kids and help them navigate and be proud of their cultures. 

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I am so thankful for my parents who gave everything for their children.

My father keeps on inspiring me with his desires to learn and grow, as well as his constant flow of generosity with everyone he meets. He truly sees the maximum potential in people, and will do anything to help bring that out in them.

My mother always made sure we worked to our fullest potential. She also built a safe home for us and encouraged us through every extra-curricular activity, and is now doing the same for my children.

These values are what I want to share and pass on. While I'm going to enjoy sharing about Mexican traditions, family vacations, I'm going to love passing down lessons, and encouraging others based on how I was raised.

My first encounter with racism was when I was 5. I was coming home on the bus from kindergarten. I had already found my seat, but the bus continued filling. A girl, a few years older came and sat down next to me. After a few seconds, she turns to me and asks, "Are you Mexican?" I nod my head yes. "Oh ok. My parents said I can't sit next to a Mexican," she said, as she got up to find another seat.

I realize that that kind of thinking starts in the home.

They learn from the examples around them. If I lead with kindness and love I know they will then treat others with kindness and love. I think it's so great for them to have my husband as an example of a white male who is supportive of who I am, with a humble, compassionate and understanding of his role in the world. He is able to help both my son and daughter navigate through life with a different perspective and awareness for the privilege they will have. Hopefully they will take both of our experiences and backgrounds to help advocate for others.

I never thought I would be a homeschool mom.

But here I am, the director of a homeschool community, talking to people for hours and hours about it. This is a part of my life that I tend to be more private about. I'll be completely honest and say that it's in some part because of guilt and shame.

The homeschool community from what I know is largely white. I always saw it as something privileged, conservative, pretentious families did. It's been a journey for me to even be able to talk about this openly.

When we had kids, my husband worked full-time, and I worked part-time as a wedding photographer. We still do. That means that I worked a lot of evenings and weekends. My husband works during the days. With that schedule, when the kids became school age, I would not see them very much due to our opposite schedules. That was the number one reason I decided to homeschool.

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Now that I've been homeschooling for 4 years, I've come to appreciate it, and really feel like it's an amazing opportunity that gives us a huge amount of freedom as a family, but also for the kids to pursue their passions individually.

While I am a huge advocate for homeschooling, I also know that it's a privilege and not everyone has the same opportunities to do it. I think the most important part about having any sort of privilege is living through it with humility and responsibility. I hope my children use their education and talents to bless others.

I know I still have a lot of preconceived notions to work through as a homeschool type-A, public school raised mom, but I want this to be a platform to be honest about our journey and encourage others who are on the same path.

The arts weren't looked at as a career choice.

Who else can relate to parents wanting them to go for an MBA or to become a lawyer or a doctor. I'm sure parents always have the highest of hopes and the best intentions, but as soon as I discovered photography, and was able to build a business with it, I knew this was my path.

In the past year I've been wanting to shift the wedding photography business to something that gave me more flexibility with my schedule, and that also came from my heart. I communicate best with photographs and stories, so after going to Mexico for a workshop, I was energized and felt this responsibility to share my culture with the world. It's frustrating how Mexicans can be portrayed, especially when I grew up with such vibrant, relaxing, family-oriented, and beautiful experiences of Mexico and the people there. There are so many things in America that people don't realize have come from or at least been inspired by Mexico.

I want to travel Mexico telling it's story through pictures that can then be brought into the home as an encouragement, a conversation starter, and something that makes you feel like home.

 

 

 

 

As I take a deeper dive into my heritage I'll be bringing you and my family along for the ride. I'm excited for the conversations that will stem from this.

As I move from Karina Mora Prints to Karina Mora I want to share more of who I am, and connect with other people who have had the same experiences as me, or who are trying to find their way along as they raise bi-racial kids.

This is going to be an amazing time.

Thank you for reading this, and I'm excited to connect with you! Leave a comment below and let me know what resonates with you. And if you're in the Chicago area maybe we can hang over drinks...or if you're in Mexico, tell me where you're from so I can visit you!


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Recipe | Agua de Horchata

I remember going to Mexican restaurants and seeing two types of drinks in a huge dispenser; jamaica juice, and agua de horchata. We'd order a big agua de horchata to share. I never knew I could actually make it myself, I just thought of it as a special thing when we went out to eat. It wasn't until my father opened his own restaurant that I actually learned the process of making it. While it's a longer process because you have to soak it overnight, the extra prep you do before is totally worth it to have a really great refreshing drink for a special occasion. 

As many of you will be spending time with family this week, think about adding this to your table. I'm sure everyone will love it! We had this yesterday night for dinner with my in-laws, and they already asked me to make a second batch for the Fourth of July.

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What you'll need:

2 cups rice

1/2 cup almonds

1 cinnamon stick

4 cups of hot water

1 can of evaporated milk

1 cup of milk

1 cup of water

1/4 cup of sugar (more to taste)

cheese cloth

colander

large bowl

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Now what?

1. Put rice, almonds, cinnamon & the 4 cups of hot water in a bowl.

2. Cover with Saran wrap and let soak over night or for at least 6 hours.

3. Blend the rice, almond, cinnamon stick & water well.

4 Put a cheese cloth in a colander and put the colander in a large bowl.

5. Pour rice water blend over the cheese cloth.

6. You'll be left with the liquid in a bowl. Add evaporated milk & sugar. Stir.

7. Add milk & water. Stir.

8. Move liquid to a pitcher filled with ice.

9. Enjoy!

It's been great spending time in Michigan this week spending time with Michael's family. Since they love the horchata, perhaps I'll make some guacamole for them too. ;-)

If you're looking for something to make tomorrow check out the mini cookbook I made with some easy summer recipes. 


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Join the mailing list to be the first to know when there's a new collection launch, exclusive promotions, blog posts, and to get a behind-the-scenes look as Karina travels to capture work for new print offerings.

FoodKarina Metts