The Blog by Moss

Some Inspiration For Your Summer Reading

Oh the beautiful relaxing times (pre-kids life) when we could actually delight ourselves in a book for hours or days...let's say those days are in a long term parenthesis...until the kids are more independent.

At least, I can be grateful now I can dedicate some time every week to one of my favorite pastime: Reading. Of course the price I had to pay was quitting Netflix and movies...it is ok for now, I've already finished The Handmaid's Tale so I will be good for a while without TV.

I have enjoy reading my entire life, our parents introduced us to the pleasures of a good story book since Marilo and I were very young.

A book is also one of my favorite gifts to give to a child, because you are not just giving them something they can play and throw around, but you are giving them the door to this fabulous World created by the words and the characters in the story. You are giving the gift of creativity and inspiration.

I love reading about different subjects. For fun, and to completely forget who I am, I love of course the pleasures of a good novel. I usually like to alternate between Spanish and English works, I also enjoy adding a variety of  subjects. I go from fiction, to historical non fiction, to spiritual and personal development, to (right now) deep inside business and finances, this last one is definitely NOT  recommended Summer reading material.

I believe a good book has the power to change something in you, to inspire you and help you feel more complete. In this list I'm including some of the titles that have helped to awake something in me, have served as a reminder, or have helped me grow in new directions.

Today I'm inspired to share with you some of my favorite titles, spiritual, personal development and enrichment material that I've read and I think is worth sharing with you.

Passage Meditation by Eknath Easwaran. Explains the method created by the author to help you get started in what I think is "the very difficult practice of meditation" but at the same time so important to help you develop the skills to quiet the mind for a bit.

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra. This is a MUST read for everyone. I wish I could memorize it word by word. An excellent guide to help you accomplish anything you want in this life.

Mother Teresa Come be my Light, The private writings of the Saint of Calcutta. She is one of the most inspirational figures I've ever read about. She was extremely kind, selfless, and an icon of compassion. 

The Path to Tranquility by HH The Dalai Lama. A compilation of his quotes that offers guidance, compassion, and inspiration.

And a couple more titles that teach us about resilience and the powerful feeling of being in control of your thoughts.

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Option B, by Sheryl Sandberg

 

Wishing you many fruitful Summer reading days.

 

Read more

Oh the beautiful relaxing times (pre-kids life) when we could actually delight ourselves in a book for hours or days...let's say those days are in a long term parenthesis...until the kids are more independent.

At least, I can be grateful now I can dedicate some time every week to one of my favorite pastime: Reading. Of course the price I had to pay was quitting Netflix and movies...it is ok for now, I've already finished The Handmaid's Tale so I will be good for a while without TV.

I have enjoy reading my entire life, our parents introduced us to the pleasures of a good story book since Marilo and I were very young.

A book is also one of my favorite gifts to give to a child, because you are not just giving them something they can play and throw around, but you are giving them the door to this fabulous World created by the words and the characters in the story. You are giving the gift of creativity and inspiration.

I love reading about different subjects. For fun, and to completely forget who I am, I love of course the pleasures of a good novel. I usually like to alternate between Spanish and English works, I also enjoy adding a variety of  subjects. I go from fiction, to historical non fiction, to spiritual and personal development, to (right now) deep inside business and finances, this last one is definitely NOT  recommended Summer reading material.

I believe a good book has the power to change something in you, to inspire you and help you feel more complete. In this list I'm including some of the titles that have helped to awake something in me, have served as a reminder, or have helped me grow in new directions.

Today I'm inspired to share with you some of my favorite titles, spiritual, personal development and enrichment material that I've read and I think is worth sharing with you.

Passage Meditation by Eknath Easwaran. Explains the method created by the author to help you get started in what I think is "the very difficult practice of meditation" but at the same time so important to help you develop the skills to quiet the mind for a bit.

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra. This is a MUST read for everyone. I wish I could memorize it word by word. An excellent guide to help you accomplish anything you want in this life.

Mother Teresa Come be my Light, The private writings of the Saint of Calcutta. She is one of the most inspirational figures I've ever read about. She was extremely kind, selfless, and an icon of compassion. 

The Path to Tranquility by HH The Dalai Lama. A compilation of his quotes that offers guidance, compassion, and inspiration.

And a couple more titles that teach us about resilience and the powerful feeling of being in control of your thoughts.

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Option B, by Sheryl Sandberg

 

Wishing you many fruitful Summer reading days.

 

Read more


How to Decorate with Trays

When my twins were 2 years old I decided it was time to bring back from our  garage our highly missed glass, mirror, and metal coffee table (probably not the safest materials around toddlers for sure ...but it is still there in one piece ...even though it doesn't last very clean for too long...).

The table stayed in the living room for a few months empty, sad...and I couldn't really find a good way to decorate it or bring that space to life. One day, I started researching on Pinterest, gathering ideas...and I came up with the idea of a tray with multiple objects on it. It would be easy to remove (just one piece) when you have to clear the table. Then, I went out and about to a couple of home decor stores to gather several items that will work well together (candle holder, candles, greenery pot, reed diffuser) until I was able to create a balanced composition that actually brought up the table and the entire space. Some friends commented a few times how much they liked it...and believe it or not (more or less) that is how MOSS Accent Decor was born. 

Here is a look at that first composition:

 

I have loved trays since then. Actually they are one of our Star Product in our catalog. Trays are so resourceful, they can be used to transport items or food, to storage useful things, and also as a base for a centerpiece. We have customers placing theirs in the entryway, living room, kitchen island, or even their bathrooms! you'll be surprised what a nice touch can add to that space.

Tips to design your own centerpiece

1. Apply the principle of symmetry. It is important to use the space correctly for a nice visual impact. You can divide the table in four equal spaces, but if you have a tray you can just condense everything on it because it is a square or round geometric shape.

2. Gather several items: greenery for a touch from Nature, light and movement with a candle, an animal figurine for another element from Nature, add visually heavy objects and also tall items to bring balance to your composition.

3.Follow the rule of three. Group three items together, sometimes two of the same nature plus a third one. It works really well if they can form an imaginary geometric shape (like a triangle) because  is attractive visually to the eye.

Here are some ideas:

At Moss Accent Decor we offer free design services. If you can't find what you are looking for in our predesigned kits, contact us, and let us know what you are trying to accomplish. We will be happy to assist you in creating the best piece for your favorite table! We are happy to help!

Don't forget to subscribe to our blog for inspiration, tips, decor ideas, and more!  

Read more

When my twins were 2 years old I decided it was time to bring back from our  garage our highly missed glass, mirror, and metal coffee table (probably not the safest materials around toddlers for sure ...but it is still there in one piece ...even though it doesn't last very clean for too long...).

The table stayed in the living room for a few months empty, sad...and I couldn't really find a good way to decorate it or bring that space to life. One day, I started researching on Pinterest, gathering ideas...and I came up with the idea of a tray with multiple objects on it. It would be easy to remove (just one piece) when you have to clear the table. Then, I went out and about to a couple of home decor stores to gather several items that will work well together (candle holder, candles, greenery pot, reed diffuser) until I was able to create a balanced composition that actually brought up the table and the entire space. Some friends commented a few times how much they liked it...and believe it or not (more or less) that is how MOSS Accent Decor was born. 

Here is a look at that first composition:

 

I have loved trays since then. Actually they are one of our Star Product in our catalog. Trays are so resourceful, they can be used to transport items or food, to storage useful things, and also as a base for a centerpiece. We have customers placing theirs in the entryway, living room, kitchen island, or even their bathrooms! you'll be surprised what a nice touch can add to that space.

Tips to design your own centerpiece

1. Apply the principle of symmetry. It is important to use the space correctly for a nice visual impact. You can divide the table in four equal spaces, but if you have a tray you can just condense everything on it because it is a square or round geometric shape.

2. Gather several items: greenery for a touch from Nature, light and movement with a candle, an animal figurine for another element from Nature, add visually heavy objects and also tall items to bring balance to your composition.

3.Follow the rule of three. Group three items together, sometimes two of the same nature plus a third one. It works really well if they can form an imaginary geometric shape (like a triangle) because  is attractive visually to the eye.

Here are some ideas:

At Moss Accent Decor we offer free design services. If you can't find what you are looking for in our predesigned kits, contact us, and let us know what you are trying to accomplish. We will be happy to assist you in creating the best piece for your favorite table! We are happy to help!

Don't forget to subscribe to our blog for inspiration, tips, decor ideas, and more!  

Read more


The Avocado Theory and other foods...

Two of my dear friends and I share this theory about life and avocados: If you get a good beautiful perfectly ripe avocado for breakfast ...you are definitely set for a beautiful day. We actually share the picture when we get a really good one. It definitely sets the mood to a great start.

Talking about mood...food puts me in a really good mood! I have to admit that makes me very happy. I love it even more when I'm cooking and eating around the people I love, double enjoyment for the palate and the soul. And I also enjoy it in my own, when I can actually delight better on textures, flavors, and aromas.

As much as I love it, most of the time I find myself caught in the midst of the busy daily life, and  I don't have the time to cook elaborate dishes. Because of that, I kind of developed  a system, that I'm sharing with you, to cook and prepare easy and healthy quick meals, specially if you have little kids at home, and it works very well on weekdays.

I'm going to share with you some quick and healthy meal ideas for you and your family. These are examples that I hope will help you find inspiration to make your own creations.

On a "perfect day" when all the food choices are wise and thoughtful and not emotional (hehe, talk about utopias here) we'll have something similar to the following meals:

Breakfast: Spicy Lemonade Morning Drink (just for adults). This makes a healthy start in your system. Loaded with powerful ingredients, easy to prepare, and I personally enjoy the flavor. You will need: a cup of lukewarm water, the juice of half a lemon, 1 tbsp of ACV with "the mother" preferably, 1 tbsp of organic maple syrup (my favorite) or you can also use honey or agave, 1/4 tsp of turmeric, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Ideally after about 15-20 minutes you can have something else like an avocado toast with some berries on the side.

 

 

Lunch: Lunch time around home is always a brief break (we take our time to talk about our day and other shenanigans at dinner time) but nowadays with everyone around the house 24/7 we also sit down for lunch but it is usually not an elaborate meal. Little kids love finger food served at room temperature, something they can grab and go...I make Power Plates where you can literally prepare a healthy and nutritious meal in 5 minutes or less.

Some ideas of ingredients (if possible opt for organic): apples, celery, carrots, grape or cherry tomatoes, berries, garbanzo beans, peanut or almond butter, hummus, cheese, soft boiled egg, naan bread or crackers, and maybe even seaweed sheets.

Choose and option under each food category: a fruit, a veggie, some protein and fat, and fiber, and voilà you have just prepared a healthy and nutritious meal for your loved ones and maybe even for you too!.

 

Dinner: Easy peasy...for a quick healthy fix on a Tuesday night...how about fast fish tacos in lettuce "taco" shells (my husband's creation), or a quick vegan kale and cannelini bean soup.

For the tacos: grill/ pan sear some cod adding some lemon juice, for toppings: black beans, avocado, purple onion, and Mexican blend cheese.

For the kale and  bean soup: Sautee some garlic, onion, carrots, kale, tomatoes, add vegetable broth and cannellini beans. Salt and pepper to taste. Let it simmer until the flavors are blended, and enjoy with some freshly grated parmesan cheese on top.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A little dessert: One of my favorite cookies is shortbread. I found a quick and easy recipe for  Scottish Shortbread. Super easy and delicious. You will only need: 150g of flour, 100g of cold butter (I recommend Kerry Gold) and 50g of sugar. Preheat oven at: 302 F. Mix flour, sugar, and butter until it looks like breadcrumbs. Make a ball with the dough, put it on baking sheet, roll it into a 7 inch diameter circle shape, make 7-8 cuts along and pierce around with a fork (see picture). Bake for about 25-30  minutes or until is firm and golden. Once is out of the oven, sprinkle a bit of sugar on top and let it cool down.

 

 

 

Wishing you a great avocado day,

 

Cristina

Read more

Two of my dear friends and I share this theory about life and avocados: If you get a good beautiful perfectly ripe avocado for breakfast ...you are definitely set for a beautiful day. We actually share the picture when we get a really good one. It definitely sets the mood to a great start.

Talking about mood...food puts me in a really good mood! I have to admit that makes me very happy. I love it even more when I'm cooking and eating around the people I love, double enjoyment for the palate and the soul. And I also enjoy it in my own, when I can actually delight better on textures, flavors, and aromas.

As much as I love it, most of the time I find myself caught in the midst of the busy daily life, and  I don't have the time to cook elaborate dishes. Because of that, I kind of developed  a system, that I'm sharing with you, to cook and prepare easy and healthy quick meals, specially if you have little kids at home, and it works very well on weekdays.

I'm going to share with you some quick and healthy meal ideas for you and your family. These are examples that I hope will help you find inspiration to make your own creations.

On a "perfect day" when all the food choices are wise and thoughtful and not emotional (hehe, talk about utopias here) we'll have something similar to the following meals:

Breakfast: Spicy Lemonade Morning Drink (just for adults). This makes a healthy start in your system. Loaded with powerful ingredients, easy to prepare, and I personally enjoy the flavor. You will need: a cup of lukewarm water, the juice of half a lemon, 1 tbsp of ACV with "the mother" preferably, 1 tbsp of organic maple syrup (my favorite) or you can also use honey or agave, 1/4 tsp of turmeric, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Ideally after about 15-20 minutes you can have something else like an avocado toast with some berries on the side.

 

 

Lunch: Lunch time around home is always a brief break (we take our time to talk about our day and other shenanigans at dinner time) but nowadays with everyone around the house 24/7 we also sit down for lunch but it is usually not an elaborate meal. Little kids love finger food served at room temperature, something they can grab and go...I make Power Plates where you can literally prepare a healthy and nutritious meal in 5 minutes or less.

Some ideas of ingredients (if possible opt for organic): apples, celery, carrots, grape or cherry tomatoes, berries, garbanzo beans, peanut or almond butter, hummus, cheese, soft boiled egg, naan bread or crackers, and maybe even seaweed sheets.

Choose and option under each food category: a fruit, a veggie, some protein and fat, and fiber, and voilà you have just prepared a healthy and nutritious meal for your loved ones and maybe even for you too!.

 

Dinner: Easy peasy...for a quick healthy fix on a Tuesday night...how about fast fish tacos in lettuce "taco" shells (my husband's creation), or a quick vegan kale and cannelini bean soup.

For the tacos: grill/ pan sear some cod adding some lemon juice, for toppings: black beans, avocado, purple onion, and Mexican blend cheese.

For the kale and  bean soup: Sautee some garlic, onion, carrots, kale, tomatoes, add vegetable broth and cannellini beans. Salt and pepper to taste. Let it simmer until the flavors are blended, and enjoy with some freshly grated parmesan cheese on top.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A little dessert: One of my favorite cookies is shortbread. I found a quick and easy recipe for  Scottish Shortbread. Super easy and delicious. You will only need: 150g of flour, 100g of cold butter (I recommend Kerry Gold) and 50g of sugar. Preheat oven at: 302 F. Mix flour, sugar, and butter until it looks like breadcrumbs. Make a ball with the dough, put it on baking sheet, roll it into a 7 inch diameter circle shape, make 7-8 cuts along and pierce around with a fork (see picture). Bake for about 25-30  minutes or until is firm and golden. Once is out of the oven, sprinkle a bit of sugar on top and let it cool down.

 

 

 

Wishing you a great avocado day,

 

Cristina

Read more


Home Decor 101

How to succeed decorating a room when you don't know where to start.

Did you just  get your living room remodeled? maybe the keys to your new house? or perhaps you just moved into your first apartment solo? No matter how big or small is your space, it is nice to make it feel cozy and personal.

That area should be the place where you want to be on a rainy Saturday evening, and also on a Monday off...if you have no idea how to start the process of decorating it, here we offer you some tips to start right away and get a successful result.

Fashion and interior decoration are well related. The use of patterns and color combinations have to be mastered if you want to acquire a good final product. Just a few experts are really good at that...for the vast majority of mortals, I would say that starting with neutral tones will be a great start and probably a great ending too. For some, it might seem boring but you will be able to create an environment that will last for a long time without seem outdated (as opposite as following trends). And I promise you, the result will be outstanding.

When you mix items, linens, fabrics, and pieces that are in the range of whites, beiges, light grays, natural wood tones...it is materialistically impossible to go wrong. The most important thing is: to STICK to those neutrals, no matter what. I know it might seem boring for some people, but believe me, if the purpose of your decor project is to create a welcoming and relaxed environment, you won't go wrong with it. 

It is also important, if possible, to invest your money in some good basic items: the linens, some accents, make sure they are long lasting items that won't deteriorate quickly. For example, in the case of bedding, it makes a huge difference to buy a good quality cotton or linen duvet cover. Same with your sofa pillows, make sure they are cute and durable.

In the last few years I have love the idea of "Totals", a room where the walls, the couch, the floors, the furniture, and accent pieces are all within the same range of neutrals, that combination instills balance. Start there, and once you are almost done, go ahead and add a touch of something you really would like to see in that room that it is not within the neutrals range.That piece will pop up immediately!

Here is some visual inspiration to start with your project right away!




 

 

 

 

Read more

How to succeed decorating a room when you don't know where to start.

Did you just  get your living room remodeled? maybe the keys to your new house? or perhaps you just moved into your first apartment solo? No matter how big or small is your space, it is nice to make it feel cozy and personal.

That area should be the place where you want to be on a rainy Saturday evening, and also on a Monday off...if you have no idea how to start the process of decorating it, here we offer you some tips to start right away and get a successful result.

Fashion and interior decoration are well related. The use of patterns and color combinations have to be mastered if you want to acquire a good final product. Just a few experts are really good at that...for the vast majority of mortals, I would say that starting with neutral tones will be a great start and probably a great ending too. For some, it might seem boring but you will be able to create an environment that will last for a long time without seem outdated (as opposite as following trends). And I promise you, the result will be outstanding.

When you mix items, linens, fabrics, and pieces that are in the range of whites, beiges, light grays, natural wood tones...it is materialistically impossible to go wrong. The most important thing is: to STICK to those neutrals, no matter what. I know it might seem boring for some people, but believe me, if the purpose of your decor project is to create a welcoming and relaxed environment, you won't go wrong with it. 

It is also important, if possible, to invest your money in some good basic items: the linens, some accents, make sure they are long lasting items that won't deteriorate quickly. For example, in the case of bedding, it makes a huge difference to buy a good quality cotton or linen duvet cover. Same with your sofa pillows, make sure they are cute and durable.

In the last few years I have love the idea of "Totals", a room where the walls, the couch, the floors, the furniture, and accent pieces are all within the same range of neutrals, that combination instills balance. Start there, and once you are almost done, go ahead and add a touch of something you really would like to see in that room that it is not within the neutrals range.That piece will pop up immediately!

Here is some visual inspiration to start with your project right away!




 

 

 

 

Read more


How To Create a Hygge Atmosphere.

What is Hygge?

Northern European countries are the creators and masters of Hygge (pronounced Hooga). One way (among many others) to explain this style/way of living is a cozy environment surrounded by the people you feel more comfortable with. Due to climate and Sun hours, Nordic people spend many months in their homes. And now due to the Covid-19 crisis, the rest of the World is learning to do that too.

For Nordic people life happens mostly at home. The gatherings, the cooking, the playing... They have mastered the creation of really cozy places. In the last few years that trend has started spreading around the World too.

Your HOME should be YOUR TEMPLE, it should be the place where you long to arrive after a long trip, after a hard day at work or a challenging time in your life. Home should be where YOU WANT to be, if it is NOT that place yet, you should start working on making the necessary changes so it happens. YOU DESERVE IT.

  Items that will make your home more "hygeellig"

  • A comfortable seating area (a couch, a loveseat, a reading chair...you name it)
  • Candles (lots of them, light them up every evening!!)
  • Books 
  • Things made out of wood (trays, picture frames, tables...)
  • A high quality soft blanket
  • A teapot (are you a tea drinker?...there is a ritual on every cup of tea. You can never drink tea in a rush...it has to be at the right moment.

One of the most important Hygge factors (and my very favorite): delicious food!

As a confessed foodie who can actually plan any trip around restaurants, local gastronomy and new cuisines, this is my very favorite factor on the Hygge lifestyle. A perfect gathering of delicious food and the people you love to be around the most. Personally, that beats anything in this life! and if the event can take place al Fresco in a nice Spring or Summer night that's extra points for the "Hyggiliest" experience...

Read more

What is Hygge?

Northern European countries are the creators and masters of Hygge (pronounced Hooga). One way (among many others) to explain this style/way of living is a cozy environment surrounded by the people you feel more comfortable with. Due to climate and Sun hours, Nordic people spend many months in their homes. And now due to the Covid-19 crisis, the rest of the World is learning to do that too.

For Nordic people life happens mostly at home. The gatherings, the cooking, the playing... They have mastered the creation of really cozy places. In the last few years that trend has started spreading around the World too.

Your HOME should be YOUR TEMPLE, it should be the place where you long to arrive after a long trip, after a hard day at work or a challenging time in your life. Home should be where YOU WANT to be, if it is NOT that place yet, you should start working on making the necessary changes so it happens. YOU DESERVE IT.

  Items that will make your home more "hygeellig"

  • A comfortable seating area (a couch, a loveseat, a reading chair...you name it)
  • Candles (lots of them, light them up every evening!!)
  • Books 
  • Things made out of wood (trays, picture frames, tables...)
  • A high quality soft blanket
  • A teapot (are you a tea drinker?...there is a ritual on every cup of tea. You can never drink tea in a rush...it has to be at the right moment.

One of the most important Hygge factors (and my very favorite): delicious food!

As a confessed foodie who can actually plan any trip around restaurants, local gastronomy and new cuisines, this is my very favorite factor on the Hygge lifestyle. A perfect gathering of delicious food and the people you love to be around the most. Personally, that beats anything in this life! and if the event can take place al Fresco in a nice Spring or Summer night that's extra points for the "Hyggiliest" experience...

Read more