March 31, 2017

favorite new baby products

It seems like lately, I’ve been invited to a lot of baby showers. I’m always looking for unique, but practical ideas for gift giving, especially for a new little baby. 

This is such a special time in the lives of these young families, so it’s always fun to give something a little different. Here are two of my favorite baby wear companies that I’ve discovered lately and a couple of organic, baby-friendly products that I love…

juDanzy makes the most adorable little boxed gift sets in all sorts of themes and designs. They each come with a little onsie, fun little headwear and matching leg warmers! Check out their fun selection! Their products are so soft and they have a huge variety of styles, and also offer free shipping.  

Who wants to use harsh chemicals on a little baby? I stay clear away from chemical-filled products for  myself and especially for a newborn. That’s why I love WaterPura Natural Baby Wipes

They’re completely chemical-free and soft. They use 99.9% Water & 0.1% Citrus Extract, and hold up pretty well for face, hand and bottom wiping, lol. Most “natural and fragrance-free” wipes are still loaded with chemicals, so this is a great option, especially if your little one has sensitive skin.    

Searching for an adorable outfit for your favorite mini prince or princess? Tenth & Pine offers adorable gender neutral pieces like rompers, onesies, beanies, tees, and leggings. Owner Kerynn created this line of one-stop shopping for all things gender neutral and hip. And best of all the fabrics are ultra-soft and comfy!

Summer’s around the corner, and I’m relieved to find True Natural Sunscreens. They set have the purest, chemical-free sun care products that are safe for you, your family and for the environment. 

True Natural uses only biodegradable and reef-safe ingredients to protect you & environment and offers a nice variety of products. My favorites are their SPF 30 lip balm and Caribbean Coconut SPF 30 Sunscreen

I’m always drawn to coconut products, especially at the beach, thee smell puts me tight at ease and in vacation mode, even when I’m not on vacation! They also have unscented varieties as well.

ciao! fabiana

Disclosure: I did receive complimentary items for testing. The opinions on this blog are honest and my genuine intent is to share wonderful things and things that I love with my readers.

March 30, 2017

coffee and then ikea

I started out my day having my coffee at my newly set up table in the back yard and contemplated all the spring cleaning and sprucing up that needs to be done out here. Made a list... somehow, that led me to Ikea later in the day. 

I think what really got me there was needing to go to Peinture to buy some more Pure White chalk paint for some of the projects that need to be done. You see, Peinture is very close to Ikea, and I always need an excuse to go to Ikea

Once you figure out your way, navigating through Ikea's a breeze! I know right were to go now, and where to find what I’m looking for.

I guess when I got there, I decided that I really "needed" some “blush” dinner plates, in that very, very pale pink color that's so pretty for spring and summer. And they had just what I was looking for, and more

The best thing about these plates, besides their gorgeous soft color, is the matte finish. Love these! Here are a few other things I found today…

1.  geometric design place mats,
 that look great with my Serena & Lily chairs.
2.  a nubby raffia rug for outdoors,
this will look great on the patio or on the lawn.
3.  the blush dinner plates,
the prettiest color!
4. a beautiful oval white metal tray,
perfect for serving drinks and more!
5. blush water glasses,
a must have with the blush plates.

Now there’s just a little painting to be done…
Luckily, it’s almost the weekend,

And I might get a little help with the “sprucing up” part! 

ciao! fabiana

March 29, 2017

today's outdoor vignettes

Today I set up my new “old” distressed farm table
outside my back door next to the pool.

It’s a great spot that I’ve never utilized before,
and there's a really handy shelf under the window
that serves as a little bar area.

I think we’ll be spending more time out here,
for sure, this spring and summer! 

more photos coming soon...

ciao! fabiana

March 28, 2017

white for the backyard

White furniture for the back yard, yes or no? I love the look of it, but I’m just not sure how practical it would be. Aerin Lauder is pictured in the first two photos in her back yard in East Hampton. 

I LOVE the look of the all-white picnic table. It looks so amazing with all the lush green and accents of blue. In fact, I’m debating whether to paint my Crate & Barrel outdoor table white. 

I’m just worried that the glare would be really bright! But, that fact might just overshadow how fabulous it would look. What do you think?

Here’s another lovely white look with a more modern style from Room & Board. I really like this too! It's so clean and elegant. I love the simplicity of this outdoor space.

This last pic is from last year’s Newport Harbor Home Tour. All white lounge chairs, umbrellas and even an outdoor fireplace are once again an white elegant look, and offer you that resort vibe too! So what do you think? I'd love  to hear your thoughts…

ciao! fabiana

1.   Aerin Lauder
2.   Aerin Lauder
3.   Room & Board

4.   KRS Development

March 27, 2017

white house, black shutters

I know I’ve blogged about this before, but I can’t get enough of this classic curb appeal style. There’s something so familiar about a white house with black shutters. This is the look of the all-American dream home, but the style can vary from region to region. This first photo is of a beautiful house in Newport Beach. 

Now, compare it to the more historic New Orleans style with the fabulous red door. You have the ever popular Cape Cod style, and then we see this stately southern Victorian cottage style. The thing I really love about this color palette is it's so flexible. And, I’m seeing it more and more around my neighborhood on lots of new modern farmhouses.

Here’s another beauty from here in Newport Beach,

and one in Beverly Hills.

Here are a couple of great examples of this updated farmhouse look. These renderings are from a new community in Eastside Costa Mesa called Tablelands. I can’t wait for the model to open in May. It’s being designed by Shannon Wilkins of Prairie Home Styling, and she’s doing the specs for all the homes in this community. She’s a favorite designer of mine and her own home was featured on last year’s Newport Harbor Home Tour.  

Surrounded by gorgeous flowers, this last home is just dreamy. 

ciao! fabiana

1.   Blackband Designs
2.   Southern Living
3.   Brandon Architects
4.   Houzz
5. Matt White Custom Homes
6. pinterest

March 25, 2017

planning my Easter table

Planning my Easter table is so easy with the fun and so budget-friendly with the goodies that I get at Oriental Trading! This year, I chose a few key items for my table as well as a few little treats for the kids. Of course, the adults will love the treats too! 

This is the kids table, set with fancy scalloped edge paper plates, fun glasses, bright napkins and then to finish off the look, a cute little take-home gift. Each of our young guests will get to take home this darling little flower pot filled with real Easter grass and planted in the middle is a tasty chocolate lollipop!

At the center of the table is Oriental Trading’s long wood box filled with lush green wheat grass and surrounded by tiny purple wax flowers. This Easter grass will come in handy when we’re hiding Easter eggs throughout the house, but for now it’s a gorgeous living centerpiece. 

This versatile wooden box can be filled with so many different plants, flowers and candles and it can even be painted a fun color for a future holiday table. 

Each place setting is ready with fun scalloped edge paper plates in mint green, hot pink napkins, and our little chocolate friend that’s all planted and ready to bring smiles to young faces. 

This “Easter Grass” keeps growing, so the kids will have fun giving it a haircut! They can even draw silly faces on the pots when they get home and they’ll have a new easy to take care of little pet! And there’s no mess like you have with traditional Easter grass. That stuff is soooo messy!

I love the adorable moss bunnies that I got at Home Goods. They’re simple but have lots of personality. 

Next to those are the silver lanterns. I use them so much year long! I always have candles in them and they’re one of my favorite ways to add a little ambiance when evening arrives. 

They even look great outside the front door lighting the way for guests.

Setting the table is easy with just a few key components to get you started. These little pots were so easy to put together and really only took a few minutes to make.

I’m so looking forward to Easter with the family! What are your plans? Will you be hosting a group at your home?

And, it all came together like this: 

 Dinner Plates: Wedgwood
 Scalloped Edge Paper Plates: Oriental Trading
Napkins: World Market
Flatware: World Market
Water Glasses: vintage
Wooden Flower Box: Oriental Trading
Flower Pots: Oriental Trading
Wheat Grass: Mother’s Market
Chocolate Bunny Lollipops: Oriental Trading
Flowers: Trader Joe’s
Moss Bunnies: Home Goods
Eggs in Nest: Home Goods
Silver Lanterns: Oriental Trading
Market Basket: French Basketeer
Salt & Pepper Shakers: vintage

Pink Lemonade: Trader Joe’s 

Here are some of the other looks I’ve 
put together using pieces from Oriental Trading.

ciao! fabiana

Thank you to Oriental Trading for sending me these products to review. 
The opinions expressed in this post are truly my own.

March 24, 2017

travel together as a couple

Most people would agree that traveling together as a couple is an enjoyable escape from the day-to-day grind of life. We look forward to vacations, come back and share stories with our friends, and reminisce about our travels for years after. 

But, did you know that studies actually show there are real relationship benefits that transpire when you travel together as a couple? 

Here are the top 6 reasons you should travel together with your significant other, according to American Express.


When you travel, you see and learn new things, meet new people, taste new foods, and immerse yourself into a brand new experience. It doesn’t matter if you travel to the same destination repeatedly or consistently knock off destinations from, your list. 

Among non-married couples 79% say that sharing new experiences is an important reason to travel together. Finding shared ground is key when learning about one another, especially early on in a relationship. 

Traveling together as a couple and in turn creating shared ground to relate to one another on, can even further relationship bonds. It can provide you with inside jokes and memories only the two of you will share, all the while you will be learning about one another’s tastes, interests, and habits.


Couples who travel together report that they are over 10% more likely to communicate well with their partners than those who do not travel together. Traveling together provides you with opportunities to talk to one another, whether it be on a flight, taxi ride, at dinner, or in your hotel room. 

The amount of uninterrupted time that you’ll have while on a vacation tends to be far greater than during your typical business week, especially if you truly try to “disconnect” from the digital world during your trip. 

More than seven in ten couples who travel together agree that talking and reconnecting is an important reason to vacation.


According to the study, couples who travel together are more likely to say that they share similar goals and desires, that they have a good balance of time together and apart; that they have shared hobbies and interests; that they agree on how to spend money; that they laugh and have fun together; that they handle differences well; that their partner is patient; and that they are best friends. 

84% of respondents who travel as a couple believe that they spend quality time together, compared to only 70% of respondents who do not. For many relationships, quality time together is key for a meaningful and fulfilling relationship.


A lack of energy and time can have an adverse impact on intimacy. However, a couples getaway, if planned with the intent of relaxation and connecting with one another, can provide an opportune time to reconnect and romance one another. 

During the study, 58% of married respondents said that being intimate is an important reason to vacation together.


Strong relationships are built on a variety of different components. According to the study, almost two-thirds of couples believe that travel helps couples stay together longer. It seems rather logical when you consider all the benefits of traveling together. 

You are able to build your relationship on shared experiences, communicate, learn about each other more in depth, as well as connect or reconnect romantically. The study even goes on to note that divorce rates are higher among couples who do not travel together.


Vacation or new car? Survey says, 63% of respondents rate a vacation or weekend getaway as important in sparking romance where only 15% credit a big gift to sparking romance. Chances are, your vacation may even end up being more budget friendly than a brand new car. It’s a win-win.

Do you have any couples trips planned in the near future?

My favorite weekend getaways here in so cal are:

Santa Barbara,
Palm Springs, 

ciao! fabiana

March 22, 2017

easy italian coffee at home

Italian style coffee or espresso is so easy to make! I do it every morning, and then just add foamed milk to make a cappuccino. All you need is a moka pot or machinetta which works on the stove top. 

For a cappuccino, all you do is add warmed frothy milk to the espresso. My frother of choice is the Nespresso Aeroccino. It heats the milk in it’s little thermos-like compartment and all you do is top of your coffee


1. Unscrew the base of the caffettiera and take the coffee basket out of the base. Fill the base of the caffettiera with cold water, ensuring the water level is just to the level of the valve.

2. Fill the basket to the top with ground coffee and use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface, without pressing the coffee into the basket. Place the coffee basket back into the base and screw the base back onto the caffettiera.

3. Place the caffettiera over medium heat (a hotplate, or gas or electric stovetop is fine) and heat for about 8-10 minutes or until the gurgling sound subsides and all the coffee has risen to the top half of the pot. Don't put it over a high heat as a slow extraction will yield a better result. When the gurgling noise stops, immediately remove caffettiera from the heat (it should be about half-full with brewed coffee). If you leave it on the stove too long, the coffee will boil and may develop a burnt flavor.

4. Stir coffee with a spoon and pour into warmed serving cups. This method makes espresso coffee for 4. If you like weaker coffee, add hot water to taste.  This is the way my mother and grandmothers always made their coffee too! 
(Instructions via taste .com)

Do try this at home!
ü Cappuccino: equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and foamed milk

ü Caffè latte: espresso with more steamed milk and less foam

ü Latte macchiato: steamed milk “marked” with a splash of espresso

ü Caffè macchiato: For the softer side of coffee, enjoy this espresso “marked” with a splash of frothy milk. Unlike the breakfast drinks, this lightly milky caffè can be enjoyed as frequently as caffè normale.

ü Caffè americano: After trying drip coffee in the United States, Italians decided to offer tourists a taste of home. Their interpretation: espresso diluted with plenty of hot water.

ü Caffè lungo: This “long coffee” comprises espresso with a splash of hot water but is stronger than the americano.


ciao! fabiana


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