March 31, 2015

an elegant Easter table in pink

Mixing dish patterns is a great way to set a unique and fun table. This table in Southern Living magazine uses light pink chargers and delicate, gold-edged bone china in two patterns. 

Then they chose a graphic napkin and tied on a tulip with ribbon for each setting. 

Teacups are a fun way to anchor the place setting and hold a personalized golden egg for each guest. A bit of moss or Easter grass is nestled under the egg.

Beautiful ribbons are simply woven to add the perfect amount of color. 

Start with a crisp white table cloth. Use the length and width measurements of your table cloth and cut about five strips of ribbon for the length of the table and about sixteen, in groups of four, for the width (add a few inches to each piece of ribbon you cut to trim later). 

Weave them, lattice piecrust style, over your tablecloth. Trim the ribbon even with the hem of the tablecloth. Make sure the ribbon is pulled taut.



A precious golden egg.

Single flower groupings pack more of a punch. Hot pink striped tulips are the perfect choice for this table!

Ornamental kale in terracotta pots balance the ends of the table.

A separate bar area is always a good idea.  Here beverages are color coordinated. Guests are offered rosé, pink champagne and pink lemonade. 

Drink tags are made with more pretty ribbon. Mint garnishes remind us of Spring and delight our senses.

For the finale, don't forget to impress guests with dessert.

A store bought coconut  cake was
 dressed up with tulips and a trio of Easter eggs.
More ribbon laid as a runner on the buffet completes the look. 

I think I might have to  incorporate 
this ribbon look at my Easter Table!

ciao! fabiana

a bright and cheery family room

Here's a unique idea.  A sectional is placed right up to the kitchen island creating a generous family room that ties in with the hub of the home, the kitchen.   The cream colored sofa can easily be updated with a variety of pillows.  The selection here of boldly patterned blue and pink pillows works nicely against the neutral room.  I love the colorful display of books in the dining area too!
Organization is the key in this built-in media center, but they haven’t forgotten to keep it pretty.  Personal photos and vintage items are arranged in a soft display that brings in more of the blue and pink colors.  What do you think of this arrangement?  Read more about this in the April issue of Better Homes and Gardens

ciao! fabiana

chalk paint projects for the garden

We just finished having the whole outside of our house painted.
After years of living in a beigy tan house,
we decided to choose soft white for most of the house,
with “pigeon grey”  and black as accent colors.

I LOVE how it turned out!
The look of a classic white house with
black shutters and trim has always been a style I love.

With such a clean slate, I'm motivated to add accessories
and furnishings that reflect a bit of California style,
incorprated with a  little European vibe.

Today, I updated some of my clay pots 
that I have displayed
in two different wrought iron pot holders.
The one above holds three small  clay pots 
with succulents planted in them.

Annie Sloan "Provence" chalk paint 
livens up these plain clay succulent pots.

I planted Echeveria agaoides ‘Lipstick’ in a couple of the pots.

Here's how it looks from the house.
The wall above is the side of our garden shed
with a pergola and vintage swing next to it.

We definitely needed some color on this wall!

These hot pink geraniums are amazing and so cheerful!

My favorite color "Florence" is perfect for the 
geranium pots in my wire window baskets.

I have two of these wire window baskets on my kitchen 
windows that now hold six pretty vibrant turquoise clay pots.
So easy to update and so fun to look at. 

ciao! fabiana

March 30, 2015

simple easter eggs

With simple household items, you can create gorgeous abstract designs on your Easter eggs this year.  In this month’s Better Homes and Gardens, string, electrical tape and even rubber cement are used to produce pretty and unique patterns on each egg.  For beautiful and organic egg dyes, try these natural recipes here, using different spices and vegetables.

ciao! fabiana

mini Easter cheesecakes

These Mini Easter Cheesecakes are so cute and fun and easy to make!

I love the addition of coconut nests on top filled with wee Cadbury eggs.

ciao! fabiana

March 29, 2015

color inspiration : cobalt blue

Cobalt blue  is soothing, peaceful, and can also suggest richness, but not all blues are in the cool color family.  For example, cobalt blue is warm, and ultramarine blue is so warm that it's almost purple.  

Blue represents both the sky and the sea, and is associated with open spaces, freedom, intuition, imagination, expansiveness, inspiration, and sensitivity. 

Blue also represents meanings of depth, trust, loyalty, sincerity, wisdom, confidence, stability, faith, heaven, and intelligence.  

Owning an oil painting made with 
expensive blues was once a status symbol. 

Painters who were poor or who didn't live in cosmopolitan areas never used any blue at all. 

 Jan van Eyck used lapis.
 but only at the request of his patrons.  

The color blue has positive effects on the mind and the body. As the color of the spirit, it invokes rest and can cause the body to produce chemicals that are calming and exude feelings of tranquility. 

Blue helps to slow human metabolism. It cools us down, and helps with balance and self-expression. Blue is the color of truth, serenity and harmony, by helping to soothe the mind.  

In our homes, cobalt blue is stunning and commands attention.  If you want an attention-grabbing color to use as an accent, try cobalt.  

Outdoors, cobalt blue works beautifully with crisp whites and the soothing greens found in nature.  Add a little cobalt to your table setting for real wow factor! 

ciao! fabiana

photo credits:  
Southern Living, Pinterest, Schoener-Wohnen, Coco Kelly, The Every Last Detail

March 28, 2015

cousin Lee's pepper jelly appetizers

Our cousin Lee Oakley makes the most delicious pepper jelly from an old treasured Douglas family recipe. She incorporates this yummy pepper jelly with brie cheese and chopped roasted almonds to create a scrumptious filling for little phyllo dough cups. 

These Mini Pepper Jelly appetizers are amazing and the perfect party starter for your guests!  Lee recently added the sweet and hot pepper jelly to her already established line of southern pickles. 

Her company, Oakley's Southern Delights is a true family business. Lee and her son Kerry are the team behind the delicious treats and their recipes are passed down from Lee’s mother Leila and from Leila’s mother. 

This is a real southern recipe handed down by many generations of Douglas’ in Nashville. Oakley’s pepper jelly and pickles area a real homemade treat for us Californians!

In a bind with unexpected guests?
and serve on crackers with cream cheese.
It’s a classic that everyone loves!



2 (1.9 oz) packages of frozen mini phyllo pastry shells, thawed
3 oz Brie cheese, rind removed
Oakley's Southern Delights Sweet and Hot Red Pepper Jelly
             3 Tablespoons chopped roasted salted almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place mini phyllo pastry shells on a baking sheet. Cut Brie cheese into 30 small pieces and place in pastry shells. Spoon 1/4 teaspoon of OSD's Sweet and Hot Red Pepper Jelly and topped with crushed almonds. Bake pastries for 5 to 6 minutes or until the cheese is soft.

Meet Lee,
 and try one of her yummy recipes! 

do something amazing today! 

ciao,  fabiana


While I’m here today, I wanted to share some of my "Tablescaping Essentials" with you. I have a whole page on the Amazon website with my favorite picks for setting a beautiful table.

Quite often time is of the essence, and I have last minute projects or events to work on, so I turn to Amazon for one or two day delivery. You’d be surprised at how many amazing items they have to offer! And I'm constantly updating this page with my new favorites. 

You can check it out here, at Tablescaping Essentials.

March 27, 2015

spring colors : yellows and greens

Better Homes and Garden magazine’s  April color palette is so pretty and inspiring for Spring!   The variety of greens is pale and fresh and the yellows are bold and tangy.  The colors remind us of being out in the garden with different hints of sunlight. 

We can use these colors as a design incentive in our own homes by adding new accessories and accents in to liven up our rooms as we say goodbye to Winter.  Pillows, lamps, glassware and plants are a great start in revamping our spaces. 

You may even want to think about painting an accent wall or piece of furniture!

ciao! fabiana 

photo credits: BH&G, Brooke Wagner Design


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