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Brazil,Travel

10 things to do and see in São Paulo

10 things to do and see in São Paulo | Aliz’s Wonderland

There are so many things to see and do in São Paulo, so I made a short guide for you about my favourite spots. Everyone will find its interest because the city provides culture, street art, amazing and vivid architecture, parks, sport opportunities, gastro experiences and great nightlife. This list could be endless with so many options considering the size of the city.

São Paulo is huge, it is the home of 12 million people + 9 million in the outer districts. People from the city are known as paulistanos, people from the state are paulistas.

The traffic can be crazy. Mostly we used Uber but also tried the public transport, which works totally okay if you avoid the rush hours. The tourist attractions aren’t that close to each other, so you can’t visit everything on foot.

It’s the most expensive city in Brazil. Always take care of your belongings, I will write this down several times because I’ve heard this every day form Brazilians.

Sooooo here is my top 10:

1. Walk on Avenida Paulista

Avenida Paulista is the city’s largest boulevard. It stretches 2,8 km long and it’s bordered with financial headquarters and cultural institutions.

The avenue starts from Praça Marechal Cordeiro de Farias and it ends at Praça Oswaldo Cruz. The construction started in 1891 and it became the 1st paved street in São Paulo in 1909. They imported asphalt from Germany to complete the project.

Avenida Paulista in São Paulo - 10 things to do and see in São Paulo | Aliz’s Wonderland

The avenue is a home of important events and a lot of functions are located on Avenida Paulista: historic and modern buildings, shopping malls, restaurants, coffee shops, excellent schools, parks (Parque Siqueira Campos, Casa das Rosas in Paraíso), cultural centers (Centro Cultural Itaú, Centro Cultural FIESP/CIESP) and the famous art museum, MASP.

MASP (Museu de Arte de São Paulo) is one of the city’s best art museum. It has the finest collection of Western art in Latin America and hosts fantastic temporary exhibitions. The building is a main symbol of modern Brazilian architecture, was designed by Lina Bo Bardi. The glass structure stands 8 meters above ground on 4 concrete pillars connected by two huge concrete beams. The distance between the pillar pairs is 74 meters, which was the largest in the world at that time.

MASP (Museu de Arte de São Paulo) on Avenida Paulista, São Paulo - 10 things to do and see in São Paulo | Aliz’s Wonderland

When to visit MASP?

It’s open longer on Tuesday: 10 am – 8 pm, Wednesday – Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm. The museum is closed on Monday.

Ticket: R$ 35.00 for adults, R$ 17.00 for students

 

2. Enjoy the city view from a skyscraper

There are 3 famous historic skyscrapers in São Paulo.

Edifício Martinelli

Edifício Martinelli is Brazil’s first skyscraper. The construction began in 1922 and it finished in 1934. The building was designed by Italian Brazilian entrepreneur, Giuseppe Martinelli. It was the tallest building in South America from 1934 to 1947. It is 106 meters tall and has 30 floors.

When to visit Edifício Martinelli?

We couldn’t go up to the panorama terrace because it was closed permanently (2017 December). Check out the website before visiting.

Edifício Martinelli - Historic skyscrapers in São Paulo - 10 things to do and see in São Paulo | Aliz’s Wonderland

Edifício Copan

Edifício Copan was designed by Oscar Niemeyer in the 50s and opened in 1966. It is famous for its characteristic S shape. You cannot check the interior because it’s a residential building with 1160 apartments. It’s possible to visit an evangelical church, a travel agency, a bookstore, and 4 restaurants inside. We went up to the 32nd floor to the terrace. The view is amazing in its own way: buildings, buildings and buildings. Those 12 million people have to live somewhere, so no comment 😉 I wouldn’t want to use this staircase, looks a bit scary from 115 m high.

Edifício Copan by Oscar Niemeyer - Historic skyscrapers in São Paulo - 10 things to do and see in São Paulo | Aliz’s Wonderland

Edifício Copan by Oscar Niemeyer - Historic skyscrapers in São Paulo - 10 things to do and see in São Paulo | Aliz’s Wonderland

Currently, the facade is under construction, so it’s covered with a transparent drape to protect pedestrians from the facade’s loose mosaic tiles.

Edifício Copan by Oscar Niemeyer - Historic skyscrapers in São Paulo - 10 things to do and see in São Paulo | Aliz’s Wonderland

When to visit Edifício Copan?

You can go up only at 10:30 am and 3:30 pm during the day.

Admission is free. The elevator is at the F block.

 

Edifício Itália

Edifício Itália (Italy Building) stands next to Copan with its 165 meters and 46 floors. It is the 3rd tallest building in Brazil. It was designed by Brazilian architect Franz Heep in 1960.

It has a rooftop observation deck, which is open for tourists. A restaurant called Terraço Itália is located on the 41st floor and a bar on the 42nd floor. Both of them offer a great panoramic view. We skipped these option after checking the prices on the menu. We didn’t go to the top because we visited Copan and could see Edifício Itália from its terrace.

Edifício Itália - Historic skyscrapers in São Paulo - 10 things to do and see in São Paulo | Aliz’s Wonderland

When to visit Edifício Itália?

Visiting time of the rooftop: 3 pm – 7 pm. The restaurant is open from 12 am to 0 pm between Monday and Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, it’s opened until 1 pm and it closes at 11 pm on Sunday.

Ticket to the rooftop: R$ 30.00

 

3. Check out some buildings of Oscar Niemeyer

Oscar Niemeyer was a famous Brazilian architect, who was born in the city of Rio de Janeiro in 1907 and passed away in 2012, 10 days before his 105th birthday. He is considered to be one of the key figures of modern architecture. In 1988 Niemeyer was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize, architecture’s most prestigious award.

His features are curving lines (which are inspired by the woman’s body), catwalk ramp, white and red colours.

His works can be seen mainly in Brazil such as in Brasília city, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, Niterói and of course in São Paulo, but he has buildings in the USA, France, Italy, Venezuela and Algeria too.

His first building in São Paulo was the Montreal Building (Condomínio Edifício Montreal) in Centro district. The construction of the rounded building began in 1951.

As you could read few lines before (at point 2), Edifício Copan was also designed by Niemeyer. So at the same time, you can be in a Niemeyer building and admire the skyline of São Paulo.

He was asked to design Ibirapuera Park for the city’s 400th-anniversary celebration. The Ibirapuera Auditorium with its red “tongue” is magnificent, just like the sphere form of the Lucas Nogueira Garcez Pavilion (Oca do Ibirapuera).

Ibirapuera Auditorium in Ibirapuera Park - Oscar Niemeyer buildings in São Paulo - 10 things to do and see in São Paulo | Aliz’s Wonderland

Lucas Nogueira Garcez Pavilion in Ibirapuera Park - Oscar Niemeyer buildings in São Paulo - 10 things to do and see in São Paulo | Aliz’s Wonderland

He developed V-shaped pilotis for Palácio da Agricultura, which is currently the Museum of Contemporary Art (Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo). From the park, it can be reached through a bridge above the street.

Museum of Contemporary Art in Ibirapuera Park - Oscar Niemeyer buildings in São Paulo - 10 things to do and see in São Paulo | Aliz’s Wonderland

The Califórnia Building (Condomínio Edifício Galeria Califórnia) in the República district is also supported by his V-shaped pilotis.

Memorial da América Latina is complex of building at Barra Funda district. The buildings (library, research centre, displays of art including Latin American folk art, Brazilian Center for Latin American Studies) are arranged around two squares. The memorial sculpture is a concrete opened hand with the map of Latin America painted in red, which is a reminder of the blood from the sacrifices that were made.

Memorial da América Latina - Oscar Niemeyer buildings in São Paulo - 10 things to do and see in São Paulo | Aliz’s Wonderland

Memorial da América Latina - Oscar Niemeyer buildings in São Paulo - 10 things to do and see in São Paulo | Aliz’s Wonderland

When to visit Memorial da América Latina?

It’s open between 9 am – 6 pm from Tuesday to Sunday. Closed on Monday. The area is surrounded by a fence, which has openings from Rua Tagipuru and Av. Auro Soares de Moura Andrade.

 

4. Street art

São Paulo is a global hotspot for graffiti artists and many painted walls can be found in the city.

Eduardo Kobra

My must see mural was the Eduardo Kobra painting about Oscar Niemeyer at the end of Avenida Paulista at Praça Oswaldo Cruz. First I didn’t know how we are going to find it, but it’s hard not to notice it, it’s visible from the avenue with its vivid colours. Kobra, the Brazilian street artist made this painting in the memory of the famous Brazilian architect, who passed away in 2012 at the age of 104.

Street art: Oscar Niemeyer mural by Eduardo Kobra on Avenida Paulista, São Paulo - 10 things to do and see in São Paulo | Aliz’s Wonderland

After you see few paintings by Kobra, you will recognise the others. He painted Einstein as well at Rua Oscar Freire.

Street art: Einstein mural by Eduardo Kobra on Rua Oscar Freire, São Paulo - 10 things to do and see in São Paulo | Aliz’s Wonderland

We found another one at Ibirapuera Park (spoiler alert: Ibirapuera Park will be the next point) and one at Escadaria Do Patapio close to Beco do Batman.

Eduardo Kobra mural at Escadaria Do Patapio close to Beco do Batman, São Paulo - 10 things to do and see in São Paulo | Aliz’s Wonderland

Beco do Batman

One of the best place for graffitis is at Beco do Batman (a.k.a. Batman Alley) in the Vila Madalena neighbourhood. The alley is located between Rua Harmonia and Rua Medeiros de Albuquerque, but the whole area is full of street art. It got its nickname in the 80s when the DC Comics character Batman was painted on one wall. Later local art students began to fill the walls with psychedelic and cubist influenced designs. I loved it, every wall is covered with a colourful mural. It became a tourist attraction, so the graffitis are continually renovated and new pieces appear on top of the previous ones.

Street art in Beco do Batman, São Paulo - 10 things to do and see in São Paulo | Aliz’s Wonderland

Street art in Beco do Batman, São Paulo - 10 things to do and see in São Paulo | Aliz’s Wonderland

Street art in Beco do Batman, São Paulo - 10 things to do and see in São Paulo | Aliz’s Wonderland

 

5. Picnic at Parque Ibirapuera

Ibirapuera Park is a large green area. It’s one of the largest city parks in Latin America.

It was designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer and landscape architect Otávio Augusto Teixeira Mendes for the 400th anniversary of São Paulo in 1954.

In the 1,5 sq km park, you can walk, jog, cycle, skate, do exercise alone or in a group, have fun on the playgrounds, visit museums or just sit at the lake and enjoy the nature.

Ibirapuera Park, São Paulo - 10 things to do and see in São Paulo | Aliz’s Wonderland

Ibirapuera Park offers several cultural attraction in museums and concert hall. Biennial Pavilion (Pavilhão da Bienal) is a venue for some of the most important events such as São Paulo Fashion Week and Biennial of Architecture. The spherical form of Oca do Ibirapuera a.k.a Palácio das Artes (Palace of Arts) is famous for holding large exhibitions. Japanese Pavilion has an exhibition hall with Japanese art, samurai clothes, pottery, sculptures and a tea room. Museum of Modern Art (MAM) houses more than 4000 Brazilian contemporary sculptures and paintings. Museum of Contemporary Art is home to one of the biggest art collections of 20th-century Western art in Latin America. Afro-Brazil Museum is a space dedicated to showing the cultural achievements of Africans in Brazil.

You can find kiosks with coconut water and little bars with more food and drink. There are plenty of public toilets for free. We went there around Christmas time, so the trees were decorated with lights and we found a Christmas tree as well.

When to visit Ibirapuera Park?

Opening time: 5 am – midnight

Admission is free.

 

6. Visit Pinacoteca do Estado for Brazilian art (and for the architecture)

The Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo is one of the most important art museums in Brazil and the oldest art museum in São Paulo. It provides a huge selection of paintings, drawings and sculptures by Brazilian and foreign artists from the 19th century until today.

Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo - 10 things to do and see in São Paulo | Aliz’s Wonderland

It opened in 1905, the building was designed by Ramos de Azevedo in 1897 and underwent an award-winning renovation between 1994 and 1998 by Paulo Mendes da Rocha, who stripped the interior of the neoclassical building and exposed the brick surface.

Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo - 10 things to do and see in São Paulo | Aliz’s Wonderland

The park, Parque Jardim da Luz next to the museum is worth a visit as well.
Be careful at the area (sorry for saying this again…), in front of the museum we called an Uber with our phone and a security guy from the museum entrance came and warned us to be careful because he saw many people got robbed there.

When to visit Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo?

It’s closed on Tuesday, not like the normal museums. It’s open from Wednesday to Monday: 10:00 am – 5:30 pm.

Ticket: Adult ticket costs: R$ 6.00, student price: R$ 3.00. Admission is free on Saturdays.

 

7. Eat mortadella sandwiches at Mercadão Municipal de São Paulo

São Paulo’s most famous market is not far from the Pinacoteca. Mercadão Municipal is housed in a neo-classical building with vaults and stained glass windows. It is huge and very busy. Keep an eye on your belongings (I could say this all the time), just be careful. The fruits, fishes, spices and cheeses are beautiful.

Mercadão Municipal de São Paulo - 10 things to do and see in São Paulo | Aliz’s Wonderland

The spices and oils are hung like a decorating element. Those cinnamon pieces on the photo were around 30 cms long, amazing!

Mercadão Municipal de São Paulo - 10 things to do and see in São Paulo | Aliz’s Wonderland

Try the famous mortadella sandwiches at Bar do Mané, which is close to the main entrance on Rua Cantareira. The sandwiches are amazing and super tasty. They offer different variations: cold, hot, with cheese, with salad etc. We asked for the traditional warm version with cheese for R$ 22.00. The bread is cut in half, so we ate half-half, totally enough (for me).

Mortadella sandwiches at Bar do Mané in Mercadão Municipal de São Paulo - 10 things to do and see in São Paulo | Aliz’s Wonderland

When to visit Mercadão Municipal de São Paulo?

The market is open from 6 am to 6 pm, but a lot of places close before 5 pm.

Bar do Mané doesn’t serve food after 4:30 pm, be there in time to grab your sandwiches.

The area around the building is an open-air market, which opens at 6 pm when the market is closing.

 

8. Have a Brazilian breakfast in a padaria

Padaria (Brazilian bakery) is a typical place to have breakfast and drink coffee. A lot of Brazilians don’t eat breakfast at home, they go to a padaria to grab some salgados, juice and coffee. The must-try breakfast is salgados: pão de queijo (cheese bread), coxinha (croquette), pastel and empada were my favourites. Read more about Brazilian breakfast and other must-try food in my previous post.

Opposite MASP in Charme da Paulista, we had these amazing salgados and papaya juice for breakfast.

Brazilian breakfast with salgados and papaya juice in a padaria - 10 things to do and see in São Paulo | Aliz’s Wonderland

 

9. Try the Brazilian barbecue in a Churrascaria

When I visit a foreign country I just have to try their traditional food and drink. If you choose only one, that must be the Churrasco, the Brazilian barbecue.

Churrascaria is the most traditional restaurant in Brazil. It works like an all you can eat restaurant, which contains the meat and the side dishes, but not the drinks and desserts. You grab your salad, rice, farofa and whatever you want, then wait for the meat. The waiters go around with the different kind of meats on huge skewers. You have tongs to grab the slice of the meat and put it on the plate. Use the green “sim, por favor” sign, when you are satisfied change to the red “não obrigado” sign, so they will know not to bring more meat.

Must-try food in Brazil: Churrasco, Brazilian barbecue - 10 things to do and see in São Paulo | Aliz’s Wonderland

They also serve grilled cheese, chicken heart, sausage and grilled pineapple.

We visited Tendall grill Bela Vista, which was the closest to our accommodation. The meal for 1 person costs 40 reais.

Read my other post for more traditional Brazilian food and drink.

 

10. Nightlife

Go out and enjoy the various faces of São Paulo. Talk with Brazilians, they are super cool and friendly. The way they dance is amazing.

Visit bars, which offer Live Samba music (usually on Saturdays). The best area is Vila Madalena for that. We weren’t on Saturday in São Paulo, so I can’t tell my experiences about samba music, but my Brazilian friends said Pau Brasil and Ó do Borogodó are famous for samba.

Nightlife is also about drinking. Caipirinha, the original Brazilian cocktail is a must-try drink in Brazil, because it’s made of cachaça, which is the most famous alcoholic beverage of the country. It is mixed with sugar, ice and lime.

Caipirinha in Hotel Unique, São Paulo - 10 things to do and see in São Paulo | Aliz’s Wonderland

This was my São Paulo Top 10!

Which was your favourite? Or do you have more suggestions for my next visit?

dessert,Recipe

Ricotta cheesecake with lemon curd

Ricotta cheesecake with lemon curd | Aliz’s Wonderland

This ricotta cheesecake is almost a normal cheesecake, but not exactly. The cream cheese is mixed with ricotta, so it won’t be as tall as the traditional one. But the taste is mmmmm 🙂 The crust is covered with the ricotta cream cheese mixture and topped with lemon curd. Every layer is delicious and together they are perfect!

I prefer this dessert in summer because it’s cold and the lemon curd is so refreshing thanks to the lemon. Don’t worry, I won’t stop you to prepare it in winter 😉

Tips and tricks before starting

All of the dairy ingredients should be at room temperature, so make sure to take them out from the fridge 1-2 hours before starting. This way the diaries combine better, become smoother and will help to get the perfect texture and taste.

Before cutting the lemon in half, wash the skin so that any dirt or bacteria residing on the surface will not be transferred to the fruit’s interior.

I have a trick how to make crumbs from the biscuits. Place the biscuits into a plastic bag and close it. Roll them on a board with a rolling pin.

Ricotta cheesecake with lemon curd | Aliz’s Wonderland

Every oven works differently, so 1st time check the cake before the required baking time. I baked it on 175 ºC (347 ºF), but maybe your oven is stronger, so be careful not to overbake the cake.

 

Preparation time: 30 min

Cooking time: 20 min

Ingredients for a 30 cm cake form:

For the crust:

  • 250 gr (2,5 cups) biscuit, pulsed into crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 0,25 teaspoon salt
  • 70 gr (0,3 cup) butter, melted (+ few grams to grease the cake form)
  • pinch of salt

For the ricotta cheesecake filling:

  • 400 gr (1,75 cups) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 250 gr (1 cup) ricotta cheese, room temperature
  • 150 gr (0,75 cup) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs + 1 egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1,5 tablespoons whole grain flour
  • juice of 2 big lemons
  • zest of 1 big lemon
  • 1 cup lemon curd (or more)

 

Ricotta cheesecake with lemon curd | Aliz’s Wonderland

Ricotta cheesecake with lemon curd | Aliz’s Wonderland

How to make ricotta cheesecake?

Preheat the oven to 175 ºC (347 ºF). Grease your cake form with butter and set it aside.

Crust

Make crumbs from the biscuits. (I used oat biscuits, but it will work with butter biscuits as well.) Combine the crumbs with sugar, salt and the melted butter in a food processor. Stir well until combined.

Press the crust into the bottom of the cake form. Put into the preheated oven, remove after 5 minutes and set aside to cool.

Ricotta cheesecake with lemon curd | Aliz’s Wonderland

Ricotta cheesecake filling

In the meantime, prepare the filling. In a food processor beat cream cheese and ricotta cheese until smooth, then add sugar and vanilla extract, mix well. Add the eggs, egg yolk and beat until fully combined. Stir in flour, lemon zest and juice. Whisk until it’s incorporated.

Pour the filling on the crust layer. Place the cake form back into the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Be sure not to over bake the cake. The cake is done when the top has some wrinkles and the top is separate from the cake form’s side.

Ricotta cheesecake with lemon curd | Aliz’s Wonderland

Turn off the oven and let the cake cool inside the oven for 15 minutes. Remove it and let it cool down. Refrigerate for few hours.

Lemon curd

I have another post about how to make lemon curd from 4 ingredients. You can prepare it on the previous day, so it will be cold and you have to wait only for the cake to cool down.

Before adding the lemon curd, make sure that the cake is completely cold. Otherwise, the curd would melt and it might mess up the cheesecake layer.

Use 1-1,5 cup lemon curd for the topping.

Ricotta cheesecake with lemon curd | Aliz’s Wonderland

The cake is ready to serve. Enjoy it!

You can store it in the fridge for 7 days (I guess…), but it had never lived that much 😉

 

Try out the cheesecake and let me know about your success. In case you post it, don’t forget to use my hashtag: #alizswonderland.

Enjoy the baking and pin the photo to have the recipe on your Pinterest board!

Ricotta cheesecake with lemon curd | Aliz’s Wonderland

The crust and cheesecake layers were inspired by the cupcake recipe of baker by nature.

Home decor & design,Home decoration

Transform your home into a tropical paradise

Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Have you ever dreamed of an exotic home or an indoor green oasis? I visited Vienna a few days ago, a lot of shop windows on Mariahilfer street had tropical decoration: wallpapers, accessories and leaves. Get ready for tropical mood 😉 I help you to transform your home into a tropical paradise with only three elements: plants, natural materials and tropical pattern. Be creative and refresh your home with exotic patterns.

I visited Brazil a few months ago, it was totally awesome. I admired the nature there with the neverending forest, exotic trees and colourful flowers.

Check out the list how to apply Brazilian tropical mood in home decoration. Make an urban jungle from your home.

Bring more green plants to your tropical paradise

Decorate your rooms with plants, bring the outside inside. Houseplants are good for decoration, and they have also beneficial effects. Plants purify the air and make our environment green. Bring life to your spaces with a green scenery.

First start with few plants, when everything has its place you can extend your oasis. Try to place them close to the window to get enough sunlight.

Some plants don’t need that much sunlight or water. I always check up on the plants before/ after collecting them. I have to admit… accidentally I killed some plants by giving them too much or not enough water. It wasn’t my intention to do that, don’t judge me, please. Nowadays I write a “give water to the plants” note into my calendar to remind myself.

Sooooo read after the needs of flower/ plant before buying, if you’re not a plant geek.

Perfect place for advice is the site of apartment therapy and The Sill. They give you ideas how to choose and take care of your houseplants.

Decorate your rooms with plants - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

House of home shows you guides about monstera, rubber plant, fiddle leaf fig, maidenhair ferns and mother in law’s tongue.

Decorate your rooms with plants - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

The interview of designsponge tells you how to keep alive houseplants in winter.

Decorate your rooms with plants - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

See how beautiful is this wall full of plants. I found this photo on We are scout, presenting the plants and pots of Ivy Muse.

Decorate your rooms with plants - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

You have to find a pot for your plants and you can also dress up your plants with these wood stands for plants by fern.

Wood stand for plants by fern - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

If the plants aren’t enough for you, shake up the plants with tropical wallpaper as well. Like Little Leaf did in Washington.

Decorate your rooms with plants - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Use natural materials

Natural materials make your home look cosy and natural (what a surprise ;)…). You can adopt furniture made of wood such as rattan, bamboo, bark and leaves (palm and banana), just to mention few. Their look is characteristic and simple all at once.

In your home, these components can be used anywhere. I collected hotel rooms, bedrooms, living rooms and outdoor spaces with a natural look for you. Mainly those dressed up in bright colours like white, beige and grey. These are timeless with their elegance and textures.

If you want to experiment, shake up the natural colours with vivid colours.

The natural look can be emphasized by large windows and brightness. And plants of course, as we discussed it in the previous point 😉

My favourite example is the Casa Cook hotel and restaurant, located on the magical Greek island of Rhodes. It emerges indoor and outdoor. The decoration doesn’t include any extravagant items, just working with simple natural purity. The bohemian-style rooms offer peaceful harmony. Photos from knstrct.

Casa Cook hotel and restaurant - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Casa Cook hotel and restaurant - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Casa Cook hotel and restaurant - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

This bright home is located in Cape Town, South Africa, renovated by Michele Throssell Interiors. The white and bright spaces are decorated with rattan furniture, whitewashed wooden floors, plush white rugs and crochet throws.

Natural materials - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

This Belgian natural style home is also decorated with simple elements. The architect, Peter Ivens was using a white base with natural materials.

Natural materials - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Baskets of palm leaves and seagrass

Storage baskets are very stylish and functional as well. It can work like this seagrass basket by H&M Home in the living room as a newspaper holder.

Storage basket by H&M Home - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

These woven baskets are made from palm leaves, created by P.I. Project using techniques passed down from generations of Mexican families.

Woven basket by P.I. Project - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Natural style can also work in a children’s room. The baskets are perfect for storing toys. I was always dreaming about to have a hanging chair. More chairs are coming soon, just scroll down.

Natural materials in children’s room - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Storage cabinets from natural materials

Marius sideboard by Pierre-François Dubois was created for HARTÔ. The curves of Marius recalls the shape of a ship’s hull while the pattern of the doors alludes to its sails.

Marius sideboard for natural look - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Carved Thalia Three-Drawer Dresser on anthropologie is finished with brass-capped legs and rough-hewn brass pulls, it provides a well-balanced juxtaposition to soft bedding and rugs.

Carved Thalia Three-Drawer Dresser on anthropologie - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

The Woodrow Hourglass stump/stool has been crafted from white cedar to fenton & fenton. The stool is suitable for bathroom, bedroom or any place for the house.

Woodrow Hourglass stump/stool to fenton & fenton - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Lamps from bamboo, rattan and wicker

This beautiful bamboo pendant light is designed by Dutch design duo Daphna Laurens. The studio works on the design of poetic as well as straightforward industrially manufactured products.

Bamboo pendant light for natural look - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

This Sinnerlig pendant lamp by IKEA and the small standing lamp are from the same Swedish apartment. The spaces are gorgeous with their simplicity, just using white, grey and beige colours with natural materials.

Sinnerlig pendant lamp by IKEA for natural look - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Wooden standing lamp for natural look - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

The Laika pendant lights by Blu Dot look elegant with the light metal frame and rattan covering.

Laika pendant light by Blu Dot for natural look - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

This huge wicker pendant light by Atelier Vime gives a special atmosphere to space.

Wicker pendant light by Atelier Vime for natural look - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Handmade rattan lamp shapes and seats are part of the tineKhome Rattan Collection. So now we can move to the chairs…

tineKhome Rattan Collection for natural look - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Rattan chairs and bed

I found this amazing Arizona home on the website of designsponge. This topical bedroom looks very cosy with the rattan bed frame.

Rattan bed frame for natural look - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Hideout Lounge Chair is designed by Front for maison & objet. It’s creating an intimate space with its enlarged woven cane backrest.

Hideout Lounge Chair by Front for natural look - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Palermo chair and mirror ALS by maison & objet are elegant and stylish.

Palermo chair and mirror ALS for natural look - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Venice rattan chair is a masterpiece with its details and elegance. The rattan frame is accented with hand-wrapped rawhide around the joints and can be used with or without a cushion.

Venice rattan chair for natural look - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Rattan chair by maison & objet with the tropical wallpaper in the back.

Rattan chair for natural look - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

 

Decorate with jungle prints

If you cannot grow a banana tree or a palm tree in your garden, use the pattern of large tropical leaves and decorate your indoor spaces with jungle print.

The palm, banana and monstera leaves are perfect for every type of room.

Don’t stop at trees and leaves! Animals, flowers and fruits are also part of the jungle. Are you a pineapple fan or do you fancy flamingo? Of course, who isn’t 😉 Be brave, put parrots and monkeys on your wall.

Be creative and refresh your home with exotic patterns.

I give you few tips how to decorate your wall, floor, table, bed with a leafy scene.

 

Tropical wallpaper

Many amazing jungle wallpapers can be found, I’ll show my favourites. I didn’t want to make this post too long, so for more tropical wallpapers, I’ll write another blog post.

Casamance has amazing patterns, of course, they designed a leafy wallpaper called Jungle silk bleu.

Casamance Jungle silk bleu -Tropical wallpaper - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Pierre Frey’s print, Papagayo is inspired by the luxuriant vegetation of the Amazonian forest.

Pierre Frey Papagayo -Tropical wallpaper - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Another beauty from Pierre Frey’s collection: Vue d’en Haut. The painting inspired by the aerial photograph of a tropical forest.

Pierre Frey Vue d’en Haut - Tropical wallpaper - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Exotic Damier is designed by Raw for Wall and Deco Italy. This shows how the tropical pattern, plants and natural materials can work together perfectly.

Exotic Damier -Tropical wallpaper - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Wallpaper can also work in your bathroom. Take a look at anthropologie’s Fanned Fronds pattern.

Fanned Fronds on anthropologie - Tropical wallpaper - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Jumera wallpaper with a floral pattern by Adriani e Rossi edizioni is from the Green collection.

If you are into something abstract, I recommend you KG Wallpaper & Surface Design. I adore the wallpapers of Kirath Ghundoo. Verde from the Mismatch 18 collection is inspired by her travels to Colombia.

Kirath Ghundoo Verde from the Mismatch 18- Tropical wallpaper - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Tropical wall tiles

Let me show you the magical jungle wall tiles in Casa Cook hotel and restaurant. Russian artist and illustrator, Karina Eibatova designed the huge pattern for the restaurant and reception area. The drawing is inspired by the motifs of nature, earth and animal life. The design illustrates the unique flora and fauna of the surrounding environment.

Karina Eibatova - Casa Cook restaurant - Tropical wall tiles - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Karina Eibatova - Casa Cook restaurant - Tropical wall tiles - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

If you want to skip the animal part, here is an example from Francesco de Maio. Verde Verticale wall tiles collection recreates the typical atmospheres of nature through suggestive floral wonders.

Francesco de Maio’s Verde Verticale - Tropical wall tiles - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Paintings, prints inspired by the jungle

Flamingo wallcovering is elegant, colourful and conspicuous. Love it!

Flamingo wallcovering - Paintings, prints inspired by jungle - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Kitty McCally’s Utopia print is part of the New Brasilia Collection 2018. It draws inspiration from Henri Rousseau’s vivid jungle paintings.

Utopia print by Kitty McCally - Paintings, prints inspired by jungle - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Kimberley Dhollander’s Tropical plants art print is rich in colours. The bright pink background emphasises the exotic flowers.

Tropical plants art print by Kimberley Dhollande - Paintings, prints inspired by jungle - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Fabric with a jungle pattern

Jardin d’Osier fabric by Pierre Marie for Hermés is inspired by an Indian garden with its flowers, shrubs and fountains. Pierre Marie illustrates a refined world in which the profusion of plants and flowers symbolise serenity and well-being.

Jardin d’Osier fabric by Pierre Marie - Fabric with jungle pattern - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Palm leaves, flowers and tigers all make an appearance on the Utopia landscape print, designed by Kitty McCally.

Utopia landscape print by Kitty McCally - Fabric with jungle pattern - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Chair and pouf with tropical upholstery

Gubi Beetle chair is part of the Beetle chair collection by GamFratesi.

Gubi Beetle chair by GamFratesi - Tropical upholstery - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Kitty McCally creates amazing tropical patterns for your furniture. The Tropical landscape pouf features an abstract landscape in a rich blue colour palette.

Tropical landscape pouf by Kitty McCally - Tropical upholstery - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

The Queen palm armchair has been beautifully upholstered with Queen palm fabric.

Queen palm armchair by Kitty McCally - Tropical upholstery - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Homeware and textiles brand Solo has patterned recycled fabric with palm trees, flowers and dragonflies for a collection of rugs, sofas and poufs, called Solo Jungle Collection.

Solo Jungle Collection by Solo Athens - Tropical upholstery - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Tropical rugs

Jungle by Jan Kath shows the tropical treetops. The material mix is as diverse as the rainforest itself.

Jungle by Jan Kath - Tropical rugs - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

This rectangular wool rug with floral pattern is designed by Marie-Aurore Stiker-Metral, who stylises her palm trees in pointillist fashion, colouring them with fresh, mainly pastel shades.

Rectangular wool rug with floral pattern by Marie-Aurore Stiker-Metral - Tropical rugs - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Tropical greens washable rug on urban outfitters is sophisticated with its bright background. If your taste isn’t that sophisticated, you will love the next one 😉

Tropical greens washable rug on urban outfitters - Tropical rugs - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

I left my favourite rug for the last: Monstera leaf washable rug on urban outfitters. This rug by Lorena Canals is shaped like a giant tropical monstera leaf.

Monstera leaf washable rug on urban outfitters - Tropical rugs - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Bedroom for your exotic dreams

Leaf print duvet cover set by H&M Home is very elegant.

Leaf print duvet cover set by H&M Home - Tropical bedroom- Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

For vibrant colours choose the Elle floral scarf duvet cover from urban outfitters.

Elle floral scarf duvet cover from urban outfitters - Tropical bedroom- Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

I hope you’re not tired of flamingos because this leafy bed linen with a flamingo pillow from trendesignbook is super stylish.

Flamingo pillow - Tropical bedroom- Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Kariokas’ Pantanal decorative pillowcase is very colourful with its pink and yellow toucans. The design of this pattern was inspired by the wildlife of the Amazon and Pantanal basins in the North and South West of Brazil.

Kariokas’ Pantanal decorative pillowcase - Tropical bedroom- Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Transform your bed or couch into a tropical place with this Oasis palm indoor/ outdoor cushion cover.

Oasis palm indoor/ outdoor cushion cover - Tropical bedroom- Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Bathroom with banana leaves

Take a shower in a jungle! Just use the Tropical plant banana palm leaves bath curtain from amazon.

Tropical plant banana palm leaves bath curtain - Bathroom with banana leaves- Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

If the shower curtain is too much for you, just grab these Jacquard-weave hand towel by H&M.

Jacquard-weave hand towel by H&M Home - Bathroom with banana leaves- Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

For your clothes, the Botanical jungle laundry bag will be very comfortable, available on urban outfitters.

Botanical jungle laundry bag from urban outfitters - Bathroom with banana leaves- Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Tropical kitchen

Basil Bangs has awesome tablecloths. I couldn’t choose between these two, so I show you both. Which one would you prefer? Botanica or Ananas? These outdoor canvases are with all-star stain resistance. How awesome is that!

Basil Bangs Botanica tablecloth - Tropical kitchen - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Basil Bangs Ananas tablecloth - Tropical kitchen - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

H&M Home has nice jungle selection for your kitchen. The Patterned cotton tablecloth and the Patterned table runner look very good too.

Patterned cotton tablecloth by H&M Home - Tropical kitchen - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Patterned cotton table runner by H&M Home - Tropical kitchen - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Banana leaf tray & Banana leaf candles are also by H&M Home. These leafy homeware accessories will provide a tropical mood in your kitchen.

Banana leaf tray & Banana leaf candles by H&M Home - Tropical kitchen - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Tea and coffee will taste better drinking from this Tropical porcelain cup by H&M.

Tropical porcelain cup by H&M Home - Tropical kitchen - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Tropical printed coasters by Zara Home will make your cocktail parties more fun 😉

Tropical printed coasters by Zara Home - Tropical kitchen - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

These bamboo melamine plates on shopterrain are topped with a leafy graphic print. Enjoy your meal!

Bamboo melamine plates with leafy graphic print- Tropical kitchen - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Accessories for your urban jungle

Pineapple ceramic holder by H&M is stylish and totally cute.

Pineapple ceramic holder by H&M Home - Accessories for your urban jungle - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

Look how Taller KEN showcases their playful style with the design of Majadas Once’s Saúl Bistro. The eatery combines festive patterns, materials and textures to create a fresh tropical space. The meeting of colourful concrete tiles, wallcovering, pineapple and wooden chairs with patterned upholstery play with your senses.

Majadas Once’s Saúl Bistro - Accessories for your urban jungle - Transform your home into a tropical paradise | Aliz’s Wonderland

What reminds you of urban jungle? Do you have a favourite tropical pattern?

Brazil,Travel

What to eat and drink in Brazil?

What to eat and drink in Brazil? | Aliz’s Wonderland

Short answer: delicious things, because Brazilian food is super tasty. They have traditional meals like feijoada, barbecue (churrasco) and more meats. Lot of food to try, My boyfriend is Brazilian, so he knew what to eat and drink 🙂

My favourites were the fruits, fresh juices and salgados and …. So hard to pick. Read my food and drink guide and choose yours.

 

Best food and drink on the Brazilian beach

Açai bowl

Look for the huge Açaí signs on the beachside and you won’t regret it. The original açaí bowl is served with frozen açaí, granola and banana. At some places, you can change the banana and top up with condensed milk. For me, condensed milk is too sweet, so I prefer without it. The bowl can cost 10, 15, 20 reais depending on the size. The frozen açaí is made of the purple açaí berries, which is rich in antioxidants and vitamins. The berries are very sensitive, that’s why it’s frozen.

Açai bowl at the Brazilian beach - What to eat and drink in Brazil? | Aliz’s Wonderland

Suculé

Suculé is frozen fruit shake. I tried the passion fruit mousse and açaí flavours. Both are very delicious. First, it looked weird, I thought it has a wooden stick like the ice creams. Just open the plastic with your teeth, suck out the ice cream and enjoy.

Suculé at the Brazilian beach - What to eat and drink in Brazil? | Aliz’s Wonderland

Milho verde (Sweet corn)

You can feel the corn scent from far away. They take out the fresh corn from a hot bowl and remove the corn pieces for you 🙂 It’s good, but I prefer the cold açaí on the beach.

In Guarujá the coconut and the corn shared a truck.

Milho verde (Sweet corn) - What to eat and drink in Brazil? | Aliz’s Wonderland

Água de coco

You can buy coconut water (água de coco) almost in every kiosk on the beach in Rio. We visited other beaches (Bertioga, Guarujá) in São Paulo region. I couldn’t find coconut in Bertioga, but in Guarujá lot of little kiosks can be found at the beach.

The coconuts are hung on the side of the kiosk, I always had to stare it. The others are kept in the fridge, so its water will be cold. One coconut costs around 6,00 reais. At some places, they cut it after drinking if you ask. A piece of coconut can work as a spoon, don’t miss the creamy coconut. Delícia!!!

The guys can do the opening with a knife or can drill it (in the last case don’t hope for the coconut cream). In Rio, it’s forbidden to carry a knife with you, so some places don’t have knives.

In Guarujá one guy had a big curved knife, so he cut the creamy coconut as well.

Coconut - What to eat and drink in Brazil? | Aliz’s Wonderland

Mate tea

A cold mate during the day feels very refreshing. Vendors sell it from their orange Matte Leão bags. The drink is in a plastic box and you have to stab the cover with a straw. Read more info about mate at the “Drinking” part.

 

Brazilian breakfast (café de manhã)

Fresh fruit and juice – My favourite!!!

The Brazilian breakfast (for me) contains fruits, fresh juice and salgados (salty snacks).

Fruits

I ate fruit every day, I was obsessed with fruits. I thought I know banana, mango and orange, but in Brazil the fruits are different. The taste is so intense!!! Daily one mango (manga) was required for me, it is so good, not a surprise this is the origin country.

Also for this fruits: cashew apple (cajú), acerola, jackfruit (jaca), guava (goiaba), passion fruit (maracujá), pineapple (abacaxi), banana, lime (limão), orange (laranja) and papaya (mamão), just to mention some of my favourites.

Brazilian fruits for breakfast - What to eat and drink in Brazil? | Aliz’s Wonderland

I will write another blog post about the Brazilian fruits, my experiences don’t fit only into one post 🙂

Salgados

Salgados are salty snacks usually eaten between meals. There are many kinds of shapes and the fillings.

Brazilian salgados - What to eat and drink in Brazil? | Aliz’s Wonderland

We had this amazing breakfast in São Paulo at Charme da Paulista opposite MASP: salgados and papaya juice.

Brazilian salgados for breakfast - What to eat and drink in Brazil? | Aliz’s Wonderland

Coxinha (croquette) is a drop shaped salgado filled with cheese and meat, mostly chicken. It’s melting in your mouth. Delícia!

Pão na chapa (grilled bread) is made of buttered French bread (pão francês).

Pão de queijo (cheese bread) is so cheesy and delicious. Can’t be to get bored of it. In the supermarket, the frozen version is also available, if you want to start the morning with pão de queijo. I found a recipe, I’ll have to try it when I miss it very much.

Pão de queijo - What to eat and drink in Brazil? | Aliz’s Wonderland

Empada is like a mini pie with different fillings. I very like the one with shrimps (empada de camarão). It can be filled with palm heart (palmito), cheese (queijo) and other meat as well.

Empada - What to eat and drink in Brazil? | Aliz’s Wonderland

Pastel is made with different flavours. We tried the one filled with bacalhau and cheese.

Pastel - What to eat and drink in Brazil? | Aliz’s Wonderland

Bolinho de feijoada is a ball of mashed bean and meat. We had this balls at Bar do Mineiro at Santa Teresa as a starter. Very tasty!

Bolinho de feijoada - What to eat and drink in Brazil? | Aliz’s Wonderland

If you choose to eat at home, just buy some fruits and other Brazilian delicious pieces. When we had breakfast at home, we bought bisnaguinha, requeijão (creamy cheese cream) and queijo minas (cheese from Mina region). And fruits of course: mango, papaya and banana.

Brazilian breakfast - What to eat and drink in Brazil? | Aliz’s Wonderland

Queijo Minas - What to eat and drink in Brazil? | Aliz’s Wonderland

 

For lunch (almoço) and dinner (jantar)

Brazilian barbecue – Churrasco

Churrasco places are the most traditional restaurants in Brazil. They work like an all you can eat, which contains the meat and the side dishes. The meal for 1 person costs 40 reais. You grab your salad, rice, farofa and whatever you want, then wait for the meat. The waiters go around with the different kind of meats. You have tongs to grab the slice of the meat and put it on the plate. Use the green “sim, por favor” sign, when you are satisfied change to the red “não obrigado” sign, so they will know not to bring more meat.

Brazilian barbecue - What to eat and drink in Brazil? | Aliz’s Wonderland

They also serve grilled cheese, must try. In the supermarket, you can buy it and grill it at home.

Tendall grill Bela Vista was the closest to our place.

Feijoada, the black bean stew

Feijoada is another Brazilian national dish, its name comes from feijão, which means bean in Portuguese. It is a stew made of black beans and pork (or beef).

We choose Feijoada especial com carnes nobres (noble meat), couve (wild cabbage), farofa, torresmo (pork rind), laranja (orange) e arroz (rice). This is the version with the selected meat, it doesn’t contain the ear, feet and other weird parts of the pig, just the best bites. Choose the feijoada completa, if you want to experiment.

Feijoada, the black bean stew - What to eat and drink in Brazil? | Aliz’s Wonderland

We had feijoada for lunch at Consulado Mineiro restaurante in São Paulo. This restaurant chain has many places in the city, it offers other traditional Brazilian meals. The portion was very big, it costs 108 reais. The feijoada completa costs 104 reais.

Carne seca (jerked meat / dried meat)

Another meat in the row 😉 Carne seca com aipim (jerked meat with cassava) is also very good. They serve different kind of potato to various meats. The restaurants know what they do. We had this meal at Bar do Mineiro at Santa Teresa. The place was decorated with small bondinhos, the yellow little tram which goes up to Santa Teresa. Mineiro means food from Mina, they had more traditional food.

Carne seca - What to eat and drink in Brazil? | Aliz’s Wonderland

Escondidinho

Escondidinho means hidden, so the meat is hidden under mashed potato and cheese topping. We visited the truck of Namoita escondidinho gourmet at hype market (Babilônia Feira Hype) in Rio.

First, we tried the Frango com batata barôa (chicken with mashed barôa potato). It was sooooo good so we had to eat another one, Carne seca com aipim (dried meat with cassava). The mashed potato is so creamy 🙂

Namoita escondidinho gourmet - What to eat and drink in Brazil? | Aliz’s Wonderland

Rice, rice and rice

Brazilians eat rice for everything, for me, that’s not usual. In restaurants, rice is served for almost every meal. I like rice, don’t misunderstand me, just not every day…

I guess every Brazilian home has a rice steaming machine to prepare the perfect rice.

It was weird to see eating lasagna with rice. I don’t mix pasta with rice, but for them is natural. In supermarkets, you can buy rice in 5 kg packages.

Sandwiches (Sanduíche)

Try the famous mortadella sandwiches at Bar do Mané in Mercadão Municipal de São Paulo, the sandwiches are amazing and super tasty. They offer different variations: cold, hot, with cheese, with salad etc. We asked for the traditional warm version with cheese for 22 reais. The bread is cut half, so we ate half-half, totally enough (for me).

Mortadella sandwiches at Bar do Mané - What to eat and drink in Brazil? | Aliz’s Wonderland

Bar do Mané doesn’t serve food after 4:30 pm, be there in time to grab your sandwiches. The market is open from 6 am to 6 pm, but a lot of places close before 5 pm.

Another not that famous sandwiches are at Estadão bar & lanches. We had mango juice and Sanduíche de Pernil (pork sandwich). These Brazilian meats are just super tasty!

Pork sandwich - What to eat and drink in Brazil? | Aliz’s Wonderland

Pizza

My Brazilian friends told me pizza is best in Brazil 🙂 It was very very good. I can’t say it’s the best because I haven’t tried all the pizzas of the world (yet) 😉  It was very rainy, just arrived from our walk in the rain (without an umbrella) so didn’t want to go out again. We ordered pizza from Pizzaria Fratello Bertioga. Here you can order half pizza, so we choose 2 types, both with the Brazilian cheese called catupiry. Frango com catupiry (chicken with catupiry cheese) and Lombinho (lombo com catupiry=pork loin with catupiry cheese).

Pizza with catupiry cheese - What to eat and drink in Brazil? | Aliz’s Wonderland

Hamburger

One night in Rio we tried the hamburger at T.T Burger. These hamburgers are different because the bread is made from sweet potato and they use chuchu instead of pickles. The place has its own ketchup from guava: Goiaba ketchup.

Hamburger at T.T Burger - What to eat and drink in Brazil? | Aliz’s Wonderland

 

Desserts and sweets (sobremesas)

Brigadeiro

Brigadeiro is the most famous Brazilian dessert. The original version is made from condensed milk, cocoa powder, and butter, and chocolate sprinkles. There are many variations, it can be covered with shredded coconut or ground biscuit. Can be mixed with fruits or peanut butter. Try some and tell me what was your favourite 😉 Photo from Wikipedia.

Brigadeiro - What to eat and drink in Brazil? | Aliz’s Wonderland

Torta de coco

I didn’t take any photos because it didn’t look that nice, but when I started to eat it was too late for photos…. The coconut cream was sooooo delicious. I had it at Consulado Mineiro restaurante in São Paulo, where we tried the feijoada.

Doce leite

It means sweet milk in rough translation, which is true, it’s from caramel and milk, a very good one. Works individually and as a topping.

Doce leite - What to eat and drink in Brazil? | Aliz’s Wonderland

Pudim de leite

The pudding cake is also very popular, it’s similar to the Spanish flan, which means this is also tasty.

Quindim

Quindim is super delicious (yes, for me almost everything is delicious, I recommend you only delicious foods and drinks 😉 …) It contains coconut so it can’t taste bad. The coconut bottom is topped up with egg cream, nice combination! I’ve already checked few recipes, and I prepared my own version with less sugar.

Quindim, the traditional Brazilian dessert | Aliz’s Wonderland

 

Must-try Brazilian drinks

Caipirinha, the original Brazilian cocktail

Caipirinha is a must-try drink in Brazil because it’s made of cachaça, which is the most famous alcoholic beverage of the country. Cachaça is a distilled sugar cane liquor. It is mixed with sugar, ice and lime.

Also possible to mix it with different fruit (but those aren’t original caipirinhas). My other favourite version was with passion fruit. We tried it with tangerine, but for me, it was too sweet.

Available almost everywhere: beach, bars, restaurants. In the kiosks of Ipanema, one caipirinha costs 10-12 reais. I drank my first at Bar e Restaurante Urca after visiting Pão de Açúcar, that cost 17 reais.

Caipirinha in Rio de Janeiro - What to eat and drink in Brazil? | Aliz’s Wonderland

I’ve heard about another place in Rio, which has the best caipirinha. We wanted to visit Kiosque do Português at Lagoa, but they closed the bar. They have more locations, so maybe next time 😉

We had the most expensive caipirinha in São Paulo, at the rooftop bar of Hotel Unique called Skye. The glass was big, but we paid 35 reais for it. The bar has a big indoor area and a smaller part outside with a swimming pool. Enjoy the skyline of São Paulo, view to Ibirapuera Park, the skyscrapers of Avenida Paulista and even more skyscrapers. It was nice there, but I expected a better view.

Caipirinha in São Paulo - What to eat and drink in Brazil? | Aliz’s Wonderland

Beer

The most famous brand is Skol. I don’t like beer, so no idea about the taste, but almost everyone drinks it, so I guess it’s good. For me, it was very funny, that a can contains 269 ml of beer. The cans are small to avoid warming up because of the warm weather.

Juice (suco) or smoothie (vitamina)

Juices from fresh fruits are almost as good as the fruits. Many restaurants serve fresh juices, but you can find places specialized for juice.

Mate

Today, Brazil is the largest producer with its 53%. It is very popular to drink mate tea mainly in South-Brazil. As I mentioned earlier at “What to eat and drink on the Brazilian beach?” paragraph, Matte Leão is very popular on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro.

There are 2 more famous chains: Mate do Vovô and Rei do Mate. I tried their traditional mate tea, but more versions are available in different flavours. They also serve sandwiches and snacks.

Mate tea - What to eat and drink in Brazil? | Aliz’s Wonderland

Água de coco

Yes, again… Never enough of coconut water (água de coco). My favourite drink on the beach. It is also available in the cities at breakfast places and kiosks.

Drinking coconut water (água de coco) - What to eat and drink in Brazil? | Aliz’s Wonderland

 

I finished my list, you must be very curious if you reached the end 🙂 Thank you and try out these amazing foods and drinks!

Which one is your favourite? Can you recommend me any new one for my next trip to Brazil?

dessert,Recipe

Quindim, the traditional Brazilian dessert

Quindim, the traditional Brazilian dessert | Aliz’s Wonderland

Quindim is a classical Brazilian dessert (sobremesa in Portuguese). The smaller size is made in mini cake mold (ramekin) and called Quindim. I prepared the bigger size, which is called Quindão. This way more people can taste it because it’s bigger.

Made from only 5 ingredients: eggs, sugar, shredded coconut, lemon zest and butter. That’s it!

It contains coconut, so it can’t be bad 😉

Portuguese and Brazilian desserts have this characteristic egg custard filling such as pastel de nata in Portugal.

Read about more traditional desserts and other foods in my Brazilian food and drink guide.

I experimented with a Brazilian recipe found on Globo, their most popular TV network. I translated the recipe from Portuguese and I modified it a bit. Fortunately, it has a video, so it made my work easier.

I decreased the amount of sugar and I added lemon zest, but I didn’t use yellow food colouring.

 

Tips and tricks before starting

All of the dairy ingredients should be at room temperature, so make sure to take them out from the fridge 1-2 hours before starting. This way the diaries combine better, become smoother and will help to get the perfect texture and taste.

First I baked it with brown sugar, because I only had that at home, so the top of the cake wasn’t that yellow as it should be (like the one I had in Brazil). Next time I used normal sugar and the custard had that amazing yellow colour. It’s your choice, now I’m going for the yellow colour.

The original version is made in a Savarin ring mold, I don’t have that, so I used my kugelhopf mold (22 cm diameter x 8 cm high and a hole with 5 cm diameter). It can work with a coffee cake pan as well.

You might find interesting the water bath part in the recipe, but don’t skip that step. Otherwise, it will be dry.

 

Preparation time: 30 min

Baking time: 1 hour +10 min

Ingredients:

  • 6 egg yolks, sifted
  • 6 egg whites, beaten
  • 300 gr (1,5 cup) sugar
  • 100 gr (0,5 cup) butter, room temperature
  • 100 gr (1 cup) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • zest of 1 lemon

Quindim, the traditional Brazilian dessert | Aliz’s Wonderland

How to make the Quindim?

Preheat the oven to 200 oC (392 oF).

Grease a (Savarin) ring mold (22 cm diameter x 8 cm high) with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Set it aside.

Quindim, the traditional Brazilian dessert | Aliz’s Wonderland

Separate the 6 eggs. Beat up the egg whites in a bowl. Pass the egg yolks through a sieve into another bowl to make them completely smooth.

Mix the 6 sifted egg yolks with the sugar and butter, beat them until the mixture is creamy. Add the shredded coconut and the lemon zest, whisk again. Finally, add the beaten egg whites and mix carefully.

Pour the mixture into the mold and cover with aluminium foil.

Quindim, the traditional Brazilian dessert | Aliz’s Wonderland

Fill a cake pan with warm water and place the mold into that, then put into the oven.

Bake in the water bath for 1 hour, remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes. Take out from oven, wait 1-2 hours till it’s not warm and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

Time to overturn it to a plate. A little trick for that, if it’s not coming out from the mold at the 1st time. Warm up the bottom (I used my gas burner) and turn.

Quindim, the traditional Brazilian dessert | Aliz’s Wonderland

Woooow it’s so yellow 😉 Beautiful!

Serve cold and keep it in the fridge.

Quindim, the traditional Brazilian dessert | Aliz’s Wonderland

Pin the photo to have the recipe on your Pinterest board and try it out!

Share and enjoy the dessert! In case you post it on social media, don’t forget to use my hashtag: #alizswonderland.

Quindim, the traditional Brazilian dessert | Aliz’s Wonderland

This is one of my favourite Brazilian desserts, hopefully, you will like it too 🙂

Soooooo did you like it?

DIY,Home decoration

DIY Origami envelope

DIY Origami envelope | Aliz’s Wonderland

Forgot to buy an envelope?

Want to create your own envelope?

Or need a unique way to wrap Christmas gifts?

Not a problem, I have the solution. You just need A4 paper and sticker or tape.

I show you few creative folding techniques from A4 paper and square paper (created from A4). Of course, you can work with bigger paper depending on your gift sizes.

Have you bought your Christmas gift? Don’t leave it for the last minutes.

I will give “experiences” to my loved ones. I prefer to surprise my friends and family with something priceless and meaningful. I bought it, so it has a price of course, but I give them adventure, event, happening and time to spend with me 🙂 Priceless 😉

Read my post about How to choose the perfect Christmas gift? And you will understand what I’m talking about.

Soooo I hand out the ticket / gift card / postcard in envelopes. I created my DIY Christmas patterns on A4 papers and folded envelopes from the wrapping papers.

Make your presents personal with a special postcard and a unique package. Check out the Christmas gift wrapping paper ideas or if you are lack of time to create your handmade patterns, download my pine branch and heart-shaped patterns.

 

Materials for your DIY envelope

  • Gift wrapping paper (A4)
  • Ruler
  • Sticker (+ pine branch for decoration)
  • YOUR GIFT 🙂

 

Try out my folding methods

I present 4 easy and quick techniques for you to choose the best one for your gift. They are super simple, you just have to follow my instructions and fold this way, that way, up, left, aeroplane, down, right…

Just kidding, keep reading and you will see 😉

 

DIY Minimal envelope

DIY Origami minimal envelope | Aliz’s Wonderland

  1. Fold the present in three parts in equal length, this folding is more elegant than the average folding of an A4 paper (horizontally in half and vertically in half folding).
  2. Place it on the wrapping paper with the paper’s patterned side facing down, so it will be visible from the outside. Fold the bottom of the paper to cover the half of your present.
  3. Fold the rest of the wrapping paper covering the gift.
  4. Close the folded envelope with a sticker.

 

DIY Longish envelope

DIY Origami longish envelope | Aliz’s Wonderland

  1. Fold the present in three parts in equal length, this folding is more elegant than the average folding of an A4 paper (horizontally in half and vertically in half folding).
  2. Turn around the A4 wrapping paper. With a ruler connect one corner at the half of the opposite side.
  3. Fold the paper with the help of the ruler, then unfold.
  4. Fold again on the line of the next corner, perpendicular to the previous line. Open the fold.
  5. Repeat this on the other longer side of the gift.
  6. Then fold the last side as well and open it.
  7. Fold the longer sides.
  8. Slide one of the triangular corners into the other.
  9. Fold again the last part. Almost ready.
  10. Close the envelope with a sticker. You can decorate with a pine branch.

 

DIY Square envelope

DIY Origami square envelope | Aliz’s Wonderland

  1. Get your paper and the A6 postcard.
  2. Create a square from the A4 wrapping paper.
  3. Examine your pattern, I’d like to see the most beautiful pattern piece on top, so that part should be on top when you turn around the wrapping paper.
  4. Sign the half of the 2 bottom sides and place your gift 1 centimetre above that line.
  5. Fold the right and left sides.
  6. Fold the bottom part.
  7. Repeat with the top triangle. Do you see? The best pattern is there!
  8. Finally, close the envelope with a sticker. You can also decorate with a piece of a pine branch.

 

DIY Envelope for a gift card

DIY Origami envelope for gift card | Aliz’s Wonderland

  1. You need a square paper.
  2. Fold your paper in half, so the pattern will be visible.
  3. Get your ruler. I folded a 21×21 cm sized paper (from A4 paper), so the diameter is around 30 cm.
  4. Fold one of the left corners at the third part. I measured 9,8 cm, so this way the envelope won’t be too narrow.
  5. Repeat with the right corner.
  6. Slip one of the triangular corners into the other.
  7. Fold the triangular top. Place your present between the 2 layers.
  8. Aaaaand close it with a sticker. That’s it, your envelope is done!

 

Did you like my wrapping paper? Wrap your Christmas presents with this free printables.

Or you can DO IT YOURSELF! (So weird to write down the long version 😉 )

Create your homemade Christmas wrapping paper! Read my post about DIY Christmas gift wrapping paper ideas.

Have fun! Which one is your chosen?

Brazil,Travel

Packing list for Brazil

Packing list for Brazil | Aliz’s Wonderland

I was in Brazil, my dream came true 🙂 I travelled to South-Brazil, to the area of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. I can’t express how super excited I was about the trip.

Before travelling I always think about what I will leave at home. The most important things are the passport, boarding pass, money and vaccines (inside my body). Every other thing you can buy there, just need money 😉

I don’t like to buy the thing I already have, so I tried to pack everything I need. My luggage was almost full (17 kg), so nothing was missing. I just had to buy Brazilian bikinis (what I couldn’t find in Hungary) and Havaianas as a souvenir for myself.

What to pack for Brazil?

 

Valid passport + visa (if needed)

My passport is valid! Yesssss! It depends on your country. For me, it can’t be expired till I’ll leave the country. Hungarians don’t need a tourist visa, but if I wanted to work there, I would need a visa.

 

Make copies of your documents

Make a good quality copy of your passport, identification card and carry the copy with you instead of the real one. Your photo should be clean and recognizable.

Brazil is dangerous country, so you can be robbed any time. The situation wasn’t that serious, but it’s good to be ready for the worst situation. Fortunately, we didn’t see any robbery or worst things, of course, we avoided the dangerous parts.

 

Cash

This will sound a bit scary, I apologize in advance… I quote from the website of consulate: You should always have some cash in case of a robbery, so you can hand out your cash.

The other reason is: some places don’t accept card. On the beach you can pay by card in kiosks, but not at the sellers, who go around and around.

 

Vaccines and vaccination book

Make sure to check the required vaccines if you are travelling to a different continent. I get 3 vaccines for my trip: Hepatitis A, Yellow fever and Typhoid. I didn’t visit the jungle, so I didn’t get any vaccine against malaria, but it’s necessary in case you visit the area of Amazonas.

Don’t forget your yellow little notebook (the official name is International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis) at home 😉

 

Mosquito repellent

When I get my vaccines, the doctor recommended me one type: Ben’s. The effect of a mosquito bite can be dangerous.

He said I should use it every day and before I go to bed.

I didn’t use it every time, my first thought after the shower wasn’t to spray myself. So I wasn’t surprised when a mosquito bit me. I always used it for long walks, after sunset (most of the insects arrive after sunset) and at areas close to the forest.

Packing list for Brazil | Aliz’s Wonderland

 

Sunscreen

Brazilian summers are very hot and the sunshine is intense. The temperature in Rio de Janeiro can be 50 Celsius degrees. Always use sunscreen against burning down, it’s important to protect your skin from damage.

Apply it every 5-6 hours or more frequently if needed. During summer the sunshine is very strong between 10 am and 4 pm, not recommended to stay in the sun because of the UV rays and the heat.

Drink at least 2 litres of water a day to hydrate yourself.

 

Bikini

The less is the best, as my boyfriend said.

Locals wear tiny bikinis showing lot more skin than usual. So buy a tanga, what I couldn’t buy tanga in Budapest. I didn’t mind, in Brazil, the selection is much bigger in colours and patterns 🙂 I imagined a bikini with pineapples or tropical pattern.

 

Where to buy bikinis?

The most famous and stylish stores are água de coco, Blueman, Cia.Marítima and Lenny Niemeyer. You have to pay a higher price for the quality and style. I had luck because these 4 brand made a collaboration with C&A, so I could choose a stylish tropical Brazilian bikini. It’s not totally tanga, it covers more skin. I was surprised, I thought it will be easy to find tanga, but it’s not that simple.

On Copacabana and Ipanema you can also buy bikinis from sellers going around. I don’t know how they provide an option to try it on 😉

 

Canga

The next must-have for the beach is canga, which is the Brazilian beach towel. Brazilians don’t use normal towels at the beach. Canga is more practical because it’s bigger and lighter than a towel. Available in many colours and patterns, I get one from my boyfriend, so this item is also checked.

In Rio de Janeiro the best place to buy is the beach. They have a big selection in patterns and colours.

In every beach the canga seller guys going around and waiting for you to buy a canga.

Packing list for Brazil | Aliz’s Wonderland

 

Light dresses and shorts for summer

The weather is super hot, especially in summer.

Avoid wearing expensive and conspicuous clothes and jewellery (I also read this on the website of consulate). I didn’t care about that, because I like my colourful tropical patterned dresses. A lot of people wear colourful clothes.

Packing list for Brazil | Aliz’s Wonderland

 

Raincoat / umbrella

As I said summer is very hot, but it is also the rainy season. This means there are 2-3 hours (or more) long heavy showers during the day. If you’d like to stay dry bring a raincoat or umbrella.

 

Flip-flops /Havaianas

Every Brazilian have Havaianas. I also bought a pair to act like a local. These famous flip-flops can be found across the world, but it’s more special to buy Havaianas in the country of origin. They have a selection in many colours, but it’s also available with patterns like my chosen one.

There are many Havaianas stores, I bought my pair in a supermarket.

Packing list for Brazil | Aliz’s Wonderland

 

And so so many things: toothbrush, phone charger, the list is endless 😉

What is the most important thing for you to bring?

dessert,Recipe

Lemon curd from 4 ingredients

Delicious lemon curd from 4 ingredients | Aliz’s Wonderland

This creamy lemon curd is made from 4 simple ingredients. Super easy to prepare and lemon gives a fresh taste to the curd. The perfect combination of the sweet and sour flavour.

I use this curd on top of cakes and even put it into my overnight oats. My favourite cake with the curd is Ricotta cheesecake with lemon curd.

Health benefits of lemon

Lemon is a good source of folate and vitamin C, which is one of the most important antioxidants in nature. Contain unique flavonoid compounds that have antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. Vitamin C improves the immune system, it protects you from illness and it increases circulation thanks to its volatile oil content.

Delicious lemon curd from 4 ingredients | Aliz’s Wonderland

Preparation time: 10 min

Baking time: 20 min

Ingredients for 0,75 l lemon curd:

  • Juice and zest of 4 lemons
  • 4 eggs
  • 400 gr (2 cups) powdered sugar
  • 110 gr (0,5 cup) butter

Delicious lemon curd from 4 ingredients | Aliz’s Wonderland

How to make the curd?

Before grating and cutting the lemon, wash the skin so that any dirt or bacteria residing on the surface will not be transferred to the fruit’s interior. Grate the 4 lemons then squeeze them.

Put all ingredients into a heat-resistant bowl. Place this bowl over a deeper pan filled with boiling water in it. Make sure that the heat-resistant bowl’s bottom doesn’t reach the boiling water, we don’t want to overheat the curd.  Stir it all of the time.

Delicious lemon curd from 4 ingredients | Aliz’s Wonderland

After 10-15 the mixture will start to thicken. When the curd makes a layer on the side of the bowl and coats the back of a spoon, remove it from the heat. Set aside to cool.

Delicious lemon curd from 4 ingredients | Aliz’s Wonderland

You can store it in the fridge for many weeks. I can’t say exact time because it’s never stayed there more than 2 weeks.

Try out the lemon curd and let me know about your success. In case you post it, don’t forget to use my hashtag: #alizswonderland.

Enjoy the refreshing taste of the lemon and pin the photo to have the recipe on your Pinterest board!

Delicious lemon curd from 4 ingredients | Aliz’s Wonderland

DIY,Home decoration

DIY Christmas gift wrapping paper ideas + free printables

DIY Christmas gift wrapping paper ideas - with free printables | Aliz’s Wonderland

Excited about Christmas?

Ready for a little DIY?

Create your own special gift wrapping paper for the Holidays in a super easy way. You need only paper, paint and the “pattern”.

What kind of shapes and patterns remind you of Christmas?

Christmas tree, star, heart, snow, snowflake, snowman, pine, gingerbread, reindeer, a box of present, ribbon?

Look around at home, use your imagination and your items in your household.

 

Materials for your DIY gift wrap

  • Paper for the prints
  • Paper for surface / furniture protection
  • Paint + water
  • Stamp: pine branch / potato / pastry cutter / knife
  • Brush
  • Rubber gloves (optional)

 

How to make the Christmas pattern?

Cover your worktop with paper to protect your furniture from any damage.

In a plastic glass or small bowl mix acrylic paint with water. You can play with the texture by adding different amount of water to the paint. For me, the half paint and half water combination worked the best.

Dip your form into the paint or paint the stamp surface with a brush and press onto the paper.

Lay the paper on a safe surface to dry. I used recycled paper because it’s easier to work with. You can use any paper size.

Are you busy? Of course, everyone is busy. In lack of time, you can download my free printable Christmas patterns.

 

DIY Pine branch Christmas pattern

DIY Christmas gift pattern with pine branch - with free printables | Aliz’s Wonderland

Paint the top side of the branch and leaves. If you use too much paint the pattern will be blurred and will lose its original shape.

DIY Christmas gift pattern with pine branch - with free printables | Aliz’s Wonderland

Carefully place the painted branch onto the wrapping paper upside-down (the painted part facing the wrapping paper) and press the top with another paper. Carefully remove the paper and the branches from the printed paper. That’s it.

DIY Christmas gift pattern with pine branch - with free printables | Aliz’s Wonderland

If you have luck, the pattern on the top paper will be also good 😉

 

DIY Pine leaves with metal wire

DIY Pine leaves with metal wire - with free printables | Aliz’s Wonderland

Bend a metal wire piece, dip into the paint and stamp onto the paper. Repeat it as many times needed for the perfect pattern.

DIY Pine leaves with metal wire - with free printables | Aliz’s Wonderland

 

DIY Christmas pattern with a potato stamp

DIY Christmas pattern with potato stamp - with free printables | Aliz’s Wonderland

You can cut out simple forms from a potato easily.

Triangle is a minimal Christmas tree for me 🙂

Cut out a triangle from the potato. Dip the potato into the paint and press onto the paper. Easy-peasy.

In case of too much paint the potato will slip on the paper, so don’t dip it deep into the paint.

DIY Christmas pattern with potato stamp - with free printables | Aliz’s Wonderland

DIY Christmas pattern with potato stamp - with free printables | Aliz’s Wonderland

For more complicated shapes I used my pastry cutters. Just push it into the potato flesh and cut off the edges. It’s easier than you think. The potato surface has to be flat, otherwise, the flaws will be visible on paper.

DIY Christmas pattern with potato stamp - with free printables | Aliz’s Wonderland

Paint a thin layer onto the potato, brushing from the middle to the edges. With too much paint the pattern has a different texture.

DIY Christmas pattern with potato stamp - with free printables | Aliz’s Wonderland

DIY Christmas pattern with potato stamp - with free printables | Aliz’s Wonderland

Always make testing on a different paper. With the sparkling paint, I stamped 1st onto a testing paper and the 2nd stamping went onto the wrapping paper.

After few stamping wipe the edges of the potato form, because the paint can be stuck there and it makes an outline around the shape.

DIY Christmas pattern with potato stamp - with free printables | Aliz’s Wonderland

 

Use your gingerbread or Christmas tree pastry cutter. I don’t have those, maybe I will buy few more for next year.

Send me photos of your DIY wrapping papers and use the #alizswonderland hashtag. Can’t wait to see your patterns.

 

If you looked at the photos carefully, you might notice that I used the papers to fold envelopes. Ream about the simple folding techniques here and make your own DIY envelope.

What kind of shapes and patterns remind you of Christmas?

dessert,DIY,Home decoration,Travel

How to choose the perfect Christmas gift?

Christmas time is almost here 🙂 The Christmas holidays are so peaceful and loving for me, but everyone has the same problem before Christmas: What should I give my loved ones?  I give you a few ideas about how to choose the perfect Christmas gift.

We always look for the perfect gift for family and friends to make them joyful. I like to observe the faces when they unwrap my presents, it’s so good to see their happy faces and smiles.

During the university we had a lot of deadlines before Christmas, I didn’t have time to buy presents on time, so I left the shopping for the last days. In the malls (and almost everywhere) people madly look for the perfect present. I hate this crazy rush for the gifts, I’d like to run away from the mall. Since I’ve finished university I always buy my presents in November or sooner.

This is the 21st century, so we don’t have to go to the shopping mall, it’s possible to buy presents in front of the computer. Always count on the longer delivery time before the Holidays, many people prefer to take care of the gifts via the internet. Order the gifts in time in this case.

Make sure, don’t leave it for the last days! Avoid the crowd in the shopping mall and don’t waste your precious time there.

Let’s go back to the subject, it’s not my intention to waste your time 😉

One of the hardest parts is the idea.

What should I give her/ him?

Have no idea what to place under the tree?

Don’t buy some insignificant thing, because she/he will think: okay it’s nice, but what should I do with this thingy?

Happened to everyone, but make this year different.

I give you a few ideas about how to choose the perfect Christmas gift.

The perfect Christmas gift | Aliz’s Wonderland

 

The secret wish

The best case when you already know what to buy, because she/he made a hint about it. Always listen carefully before the Holidays (and every time 😉 )

During the year you can make notes if your loved one wishes for something. Write it down! Remember!

She was obsessed with that cute bag in her favourite store, but she didn’t want to spend money on it. Go back and buy it for her.

His laptop bag is old and torn. He will need a new one to carry his laptop. Purchase him a new one, so when he grabs the bag, it will remind him of you.

Your mom’s cream will be over soon. You can’t let her skin to dry for the winter season 😉

Your dad doesn’t have a wine bottle holder? Good deal: functional and stylish.

Is your sister a cupcake and baking lover? Surprise her with some baking equipment, she will thank you for that with trying out the new tool.

Your brother’s headphone is old and dirty? Present him with a new one for better sounds.

What are you waiting for?

 

Give experience as a present

Collecting experiences are more valuable than putting another present on the shelf. (Yeah, we need to put things onto the shelf, but leave it for the person, who knows exactly what he or she wants.)

Everyone has some obsessions, just think about it! You know the person, so free your mind and find the perfect experience. What is his/her dream?

Is she or he a music / classical music fan?

Does your friend like to travel or need a peaceful day/ weekend somewhere?

Like to experiment in the kitchen?

Buy experiences to remember that any time:

  • tickets for a concert, theatre or exhibition
  • workshop
  • massage
  • cooking class
  • flight ticket
  • wellness day or weekend

Make it meaningful.

You can collaborate with family and/or family members to buy something more valuable together.

Don’t forget to wrap it up! The present is a piece of paper in case you buy a concert ticket, so don’t hand over without an envelope.

You can buy a special one in a stationary or fold DIY origami envelope with Christmas pattern. Here are some ideas for decoration and patterns in my DIY Christmas gift wrapping paper ideas post.

The perfect Christmas gift - Give experience | Aliz’s Wonderland

Don’t have time to be creative? You can download my free printable Christmas wrapping paper patterns:

Buy a book

A book is always a good idea, books are useful and entertaining.

Yeah, I know… Unfortunately, not everyone likes to read. But everyone is interested in something. It doesn’t have to be a romantic story or a sci-fi. There are plenty of books about hobbies, travel, movies, history, art, design, music, language, health, gastronomy and cooking & baking (just to mention some).

I sometimes read the book top lists for ideas. Or if you aren’t sure about your selection, buy a gift card topped up with money.

The perfect Christmas gift - Buy a book | Aliz’s Wonderland

Few of my favourite books

Jane Teller: Nothing

Jane Teller’s book Nothing is about kids, who try to prove to their classmate, that life has meaning. It is very instructive and shocking to read the motivations of the kids.

Sofi Oksanen: When the doves disappeared

Sofi Oksanen is a Finnish-Estonian writer, I read many of her books. One of my favourites is When the doves disappeared, which is about two families during the 2nd World War and 20 years later. The story shows how war can change your opinion about friendship, betrayal and love.

Khaled Hosseini: The Kite runner

Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite runner is a must-read book. I bought it for my mom 2 years ago for Christmas, she loved it, so the whole family read it. The book tells the friendship of two kids in Afghanistan, but there’s so much more in the background, so I won’t tell you more, just read it 😉

Stephen Chbosky: The perks of being a wallflower

The perks of being a wallflower is one of my favourite books. I would recommend it to teenagers and millennials. Our main character, Charlie has to deal with his life (like everyone else), his loss, new friendships and love. Not an average teenage novel, this will make you cry and laugh at the same time.

Paulo Coelho: Veronika decides to die

I’m not a big Coelho fan (don’t judge me), but this is an amazing one. It follows the days of Veronika after her failed suicide attempt.

 

Surprise with sweet moments

Bake some cookies.

You might think: Hahaha I can’t bake and don’t have the equipment.

Yes, you can if you want it and try it. Don’t need to make a 7 layer cake with cream filling and everything. Keep it simple.

Every year I bake gingerbread for my family and friends. Aaaaaand I personalize it 😉 Write their name onto the gingerbread and make them even happier.

The perfect Christmas gift - Gingerbread with names | Aliz’s Wonderland

My parents are always so happy for it, my dad boasts with his gingerbread every time someone arrives. He is into every kind of cakes and desserts, but he doesn’t eat the gingerbread with his “DAD” sign, because it has been made especially for him and feels special, because he is 🙂

You can choose any kind of recipe, here is something easier with butternut squash and chocolate chips. This pumpkin cookie also has Xmas smell thanks to cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.

Pumpkin cookie with chocolate chips, butternut squash, oats, cinnamon, clove and honey | Aliz’s Wonderland

 

Try the cake pop recipe of Sally’s baking addiction.

The perfect Christmas gift - Prepare cake pops | Aliz’s Wonderland

Put into a cute box and they will love it!

Enjoy your time in the kitchen!

 

Create a handmade present

We appreciate homemade gifts very much because it was made especially for us 🙂

Don’t be afraid to use your own hands, nowadays DIY is so trendy. There are loads of ideas and inspirations on Pinterest. Check out some of my favourites:

Christmas ornaments from pom poms and pinecones by One little project. Easy to make and look amazing. You can prepare it playfully using more colours or choose the simple style with one colour. The family can use the ornaments in the following years too.

The perfect Christmas gift - DIY pom poms and pinecones | Aliz’s Wonderland

Make a marble planter (I also have this), you need few nail polishes, a bucket with water and a planter. Follow the instructions of oh joy!

The perfect Christmas gift - DIY marbled planter | Aliz’s Wonderland

Let me show you the next marble miracle: marbled clay ring tray by A Beautiful Mess

The perfect Christmas gift - DIY marbled clay ring tray | Aliz’s Wonderland

Is she or he adventurous? Create monthly/ weekly tasks and put the papers into a cute glass. It looks good and it’s personalized. Thank you, Pretty designs

The perfect Christmas gift - DIY tasks in bottle | Aliz’s Wonderland

The terrazzo style soap by fall for diy is soooooo stylish, works for bathroom decoration as well.

The perfect Christmas gift - DIY terrazzo style soap | Aliz’s Wonderland

Does she or he love taking bath? Prepare a bath bomb by Camille Styles.

The perfect Christmas gift - DIY bath bomb | Aliz’s Wonderland

More inspiration for your bath lover partner: rose petal bath salts by Paper & Stitch.

The perfect Christmas gift - DIY rose petal bath salts | Aliz’s Wonderland

These chunky tassel bookmarks by Homey Oh My are totally cool for book lovers. 

The perfect Christmas gift - DIY chunky tassel bookmarks | Aliz’s Wonderland

Did you get any idea what to prepare or buy for your loved ones? I hope so!

 

Tell me 3 words that first come into your mind about Christmas! Maybe: Jesus, the 3 apostles, angels. Or family, feast, celebrating. It might be: kissing under the mistletoe. If I would be a child, my words would be: present, cakes, snowman.

Let me think… My 3 words are Christmas tree, family, happiness.

What are your words?

Merry Christmas in advance 😉