July 15, 2018

weekend happenings




Happy  Sunday!

Just touching base to share with you some of the latest from around here. I’ve been working on a few new tablescapes for a fabulous website I’m collaborating with. We're currently working on a story all about collecting vintage china and how to use it to set a pretty table.

I can't share too much else about that project, but there's a sneak peek above. 

And there's some news buzzing around the neighborhood about Christina from the HGTV show Flip or Flop...


photo by Page Six


She recently purchased this home that may look familiar because it was featured on the Newport Harbor Home Tour a couple of years ago. Here’s a peek at it.  And best of all, she’s right around the corner from me!

welcome to the neighborhood, Christina!



On Friday I was invited to the Tommy Bahama restaurant in Newport Beach to try all their new menu items! What a treat!

I’ll be sharing all the details soon, but I did want to show you one of my favorite entrees, above, the Ahi Tuna Bowl, filled with lots of healthy ingredients like quinoa, farro, island slaw, roasted corn salsa, avocado and toasted almonds… super yummy!




While we were in Geneva last week, we stayed at our friends Craig and Pam’s beautiful inn, The Herrington. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the only place to stay in Geneva. Located right on the Fox River, it’s within walking distance to all the best shops and restaurants in town.




The stone walls of this build date back to 1874 when it was the Geneva Rocks Spring Creamery. Butter and cheese were produced here and kept cold in the Fox River. In keeping with the dairy tradition, the staff at The Herrington bring guests milk and freshly baked chocolate chip cookies to their rooms every night!




We also had a lot of family history to explore in Geneva. This home called Ridgelawn, once belonged to my husband’s great uncle, Ernest Oswalt, who was a successful publisher and the founder of the Campana Corporation in Batavia. 




After Uncle Ern’s death in 1955, it became a convent and is still occupied by the Servants of the Holy Heart of Mary. Getting to tour this one hundred year old house was quite a treat. It still remains pretty similar to what it was like in the 1940's and 50's when Uncle Ern and Aunt Hazel called this place home.

Our cousin Melinda came along on the tour and had lots of family photos to share with us that all date back to the heyday of Ridgelawn when the Oswalts lived there.




We had a really fun time in Geneva, and even though we’ve only been back a week, I already miss all our fun friends and cousins.

We arrived during a 112 degree heatwave and cooking was out of the question, so Christine opted to order gourmet fried chicken, corn on the cob and salad for all of us to nosh on while we caught up with each other on all the latest happenings.


I miss my sweet Geneva friends, from the top left,
Pam, Lisa, me, Heidi and
front row, Gina, Lori, Christine, and Kristin.



Chicago was all decked out for the Fourth of July. We took the architectural boat tour of the city on one for the hottest days of the year, but still had a really great time!

After the boat tour, we were greeted by the local food trucks and filled our tummies with gourmet lobster rolls and nice cold drinks.  




Back here at home this morning, I set yet another tablescape, this time out in the backyard. And yes, I know it’s a little early for Thanksgiving, but I have my reasons for starting this soon, haha!

I’m going a blue and white themed Thanksgiving. What do you think?  


 ciao! fabiana



July 12, 2018

geneva homes tour part two





I’ve still got all those pretty homes in Geneva on my mind. So today, I’m sharing part two of my mini "homes tour"…

This first home is probably the most prominent of all the homes in town, and it sits just near the train station. The trains don’t run that often so the noise is not at all a bother. I love how immaculately this home has been kept with pretty topiary hedges all around.




This Italianate Victorian style is quite popular in Geneva and I just love the little cupola on the top of this home! And look at all the vintage detail around the roof and porch!




This little update farmhouse is one of my faves! Isn’t the contrasting black and white façade just fabulous? This is how you modernize an older home without damaging all the character it was originally built with.




The courtyard and entry is so inviting! Look at those barn doors on the side of the garage… so cool!




And this house may look tiny, but it extends further back in the yard. The rest of the home is painted black like the garage, and is mostly hidden from the front street view. This home also sits across the street from the home I fell in love with, but more on that later…




This ivy covered home sits to the left of the black and white farmhouse. I also fell in love with the character of this home, especially those huge front windows that are original to when the house was built in the 1800’s. They have that soft wavy quality to the glass that you can’t replicate anymore.




Since this home sits on the corner, you can take in two sides of this ivy-covered beauty.  And speaking of ivy-covered beauties...




Here’s another home that looks like a beautiful mess. The ivy has just the perfect overgrown quality that just draws you in. And how about that red door! Always a welcoming sign, the door is flanked by two urns planted with coordinating petunias.




This pretty home with the red door has a sprawling back yard and sits on the banks of the Fox River. The island park is right across the river and features live bands during the summer! 




We visit this home every time we’re in Geneva because it’s the first house my husband lived in when he was a little boy. He remembers playing down by the cemetery and the train tracks which are both a block away, and that was all before he was six years old! 

He can’t believe his mother let him go on these adventuresome outings with his older brother and sister.




I love the wraparound porch, and with the morning light shining down on the red floor, a pink aura envelopes the whole side of the house. I guess the flamingos and gnome feel right at home! 




Now we’re headed back to my absolute favorite neighborhood in Geneva that features the little black & white farmhouse and the ivy covered home on the corner that I just showed you. Here's a stately and chic antique home that's quite to my liking, but wait…  




The front yard has been converted into an adorable vegetable garden that’s absolutely acceptable from the street because of its symmetrical beauty and gravel paths. Isn't it darling?




A Victorian farmhouse with Annabelle hydrangea for days… another favorite in my little neighborhood. Details, details, details!

Every morning, I'd let my family sleep in and I’d sneak off for an hour or two to walk around town and take in the early morning vibe of town. By day three, my internal GPS would automatically take me to this corner of 6th and Fulton Street where this home sits.




I sort of fell head over heels in love with this pale yellow home, which just happened to be for sale. Day after day, my affection grew, and I could picture myself living in this 1851 home with grand rooms, huge summer porches and a beautiful curving staircase.

It's the sort of home I've always wanted, and by peeking in all the windows, I could tell it was absolutely perfect! Luckily the house was vacant, so I wasn't overstepping my boundaries.




Well, those morning walks through Geneva were precious to me, and that pale yellow house still holds a dear place in my heart, but realistically California is our home, which really isn’t anything to complain about!






ciao! fabiana





July 9, 2018

geneva homes tour part one





Happy Monday, and it looks like it’s gonna be another HOT one!! Even with this outrageous heatwave we're having in Southern California, it's still nice to be home. 

I was gone all last week on a family vacation to Geneva, Illinois and I have a whole lot of pretty pictures to share with you all… 

Geneva's a darling historic town about 45 minutes west of Chicago, and my husband has deep roots there. It’s his home town and his mother’s home town, so we still have lots of friends and family there.

Driving into town, this gorgeous brick Georgian colonial home caught my attention! Look at the pretty sun room on the left side.  




Every street in Geneva is filled with the most charming homes. I walked by this little farmhouse with the wicker swing each morning.




This is one of my favorite styles, and it's white with black shutters! Three stories, plus a basement, of fabulous square footage…wow! 




The variety of architectural styles is amazing!




Some of the stone houses are among the oldest in Geneva.




This Victorian house on the hill sits right behind my husband’s childhood home. It was once the home of the Bogash family, and is a prominent fixture in Geneva on Batavia Avenue.




The Fox River runs through Geneva, so every morning I would walk along River Lane and admire all the pretty homes with sprawling backyards that sit on the riverbanks. We stayed at the Herrington Inn & Spa which is only a few houses away from this stone beauty.  




Huge white hydrangeas are everywhere in town… and they're so perfect for summer! 3rd Street features several blocks of shops and restaurants that are converted from beautiful old mansions.




Most of the side yards are just as beautiful as the front!




I love seeing all the American flags flying proudly on these stately old homes.




More hydrangeas!




There’s really a great variety of vintage farmhouses too.




This farmhouse, below, has really charming Victorian gingerbread details, but it’s not over the top. It’s currently being refurbished, yay!




So cute!




Who doesn’t love a great wraparound porch?!




Besides admiring all the architectural beauty of Geneva, I really enjoyed the little sights and sounds of the town.

I never felt alone walking around, because in the early morning the robins, squirrels, bunnies, chipmunks and songbirds were out and about too. The sound of the train in the distance is also very comforting and nostalgic.





ciao! fabiana





July 1, 2018

red, white and blue decor





Happy Sunday!

My family and I are on the go today, but I wanted to stop in and share some pretty and inspirational red white and blue décor that’s on my radar this week…

enjoy!







ciao! fabiana



photo credit: Country Living and HGTV Magazine








June 28, 2018

my favorite tablescapes for summer






My top secret news is out! One of my favorite magazines and I are collaborating! I put together a vintage and upscale patriotic tablescape Romantic Homes, and in case you haven’t seen it, you can check out all the details here on their website.




My inspiration and starting point for setting this table were some of my favorite pieces of blue and red transferware plates.




And just for fun, here are some of my other patriotic tables from this year and last…



















ciao,  fabiana





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