September 29, 2017

amazing pink wildflowers at home

I spotted these pink flowers on a climbing vine in a friend’s yard the other day, and I couldn’t resist clipping a few branches to bring home with me. Aren’t they the most amazing color?

Pink flowers are always so feminine and flirty, and even though they’re not really much of a fall color, I thought they’d be so pretty in this vintage blue pitcher.

And they look amazing with blue and white for the weekend... then we're back to fall 

I'm so happy it's Friday and officially the last weekend in September. Yes, Monday starts the beginning of my favorite (because it's my birthday) month and it'll be an all-out Halloween pumpkin extravaganza around here!

Seriously, we'll have lots of pretty pumpkins, but for now I'm going to enjoy a little pink!   

ciao! fabiana

September 27, 2017

vintage books and candlesticks

Doesn’t the idea of Fall make you want to break out all the cozy, comfortable things that were put away for the warmer months? Warm throws, fuzzy slippers, and even brass candlesticks lead to thoughts of sipping a warm cup of coffee next to the fire on a chilly morning.

I love getting out my vintage and antique books and setting up a fun Halloween vignette or two. They’re the perfect complement for pumpkins, candles and cute little owls.

So when you’re out at a book store or thrift shop, be on the lookout for pretty shabby chic vintage books

I love ones with titles that remind me of the spooky nights leading up to Halloween… Anything by Edgar Allen Poe is perfect and I love the Gothic novels like Wuthering Heights, Frankenstein, Dracula, The Picture of Dorian Gray and even books of poetry by Lord Byron. Did you ever read the Tell Tale Heart or The Raven in grade school? I distinctly remember reading those Poe stories, and the classic Washington Irving story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, one of my favorites! 

Having grown up near the Catskills and the Hudson River, the Legend of Sleepy Hollow brings back amazing childhood memories of eerie Halloween nights, autumn leaves dancing around me, the wind howling and trick or treating through my quaint neighborhood, with the thought that the headless horseman could appear at any moment... and to add to that, my friends and I were really good at conjuring up spooky tales while we walked from house to house on Halloween night.

That’s why these old books give me such a comfortable, cozy vibe during these amazing Fall months. Thank you to all my English teachers who made reading so fun!! 

By the way, this pretty copy of Wuthering Heights is from Barnes and Noble. I just reread it a few years ago, but I’m ready to dive into it again. It’s filled with romance, as well as gothic elements that I love. The Newport Beach Public Library has a great used book store and that's where I picked up a few more of these lovely little volumes for just a dollar or two. 

I have so much fun looking for quirky, Halloween related titles!  

always an interesting combination.

ciao! fabiana

September 26, 2017

tommy bahama’s key lime pie recipe

Celebrate National Key Lime Pie Day today 
with Tommy Bahama’s special recipe
Drop in to a restaurant near you, 
or whip one up for yourself! 

The one thing that everyone can agree on is that
 the Tommy Bahama Key Lime pie has 
long been a guest favorite and the 
perfect ending to any meal.

Originally, the remote island of Key West wasn’t easily accessible. Transporting food and other supplies was challenging, so local products like Key limes and foods with long shelf lives, such as sweetened condensed milk became essential foods on the island. Now the official pie of the state of Florida, with origins dating back to the early 20th century, one could say Key Lime pie is as American as apple pie.

Tommy Bahama’s Famous Key Lime Pie
Serves 8

1 10" graham cracker crust
1 egg white
2 1/2 cups sweetened condensed milk
9 large egg yolks
1 cup key lime juice
1 lime, sliced into 8 equally-sized "wheels"
White Chocolate Mousse Whipped Cream as desired (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Brush egg whites onto uncooked pie shell using a pastry brush, making sure the shell is evenly coated. Pour off any excess egg whites.

Place pie shell in oven and bake for 5 minutes. Shell should look golden brown.

Let cool at room temperature.

While the shell is cooling, mix the egg yolks and condensed milk together using a wire whip until incorporated.

Pour the key lime juice into the mixture of yolks and condensed milk, slowly mixing with the wire whip until incorporated.

Add the key lime pie mixture into the cooled pie shell.

Adjust the oven temperature to 250° F and bake pie for 25-30 minutes. The finished pie should have a "Jell-O"-like consistency.

Place on a cooling rack for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.

Cut into 8 even slices when serving.

For the White Chocolate Mousse Whipped Cream:
8 fl. oz. heavy cream
3/4 oz. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tbsp. instant white chocolate mousse

Using an electric mixer, combine heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl.

Using the whisk attachment, beat cream mixture on high speed for 2 minutes.

Add the white chocolate mousse to the cream mixture and mix until it reaches the consistency of stiff peaks.

Place the whipped cream into a piping bag with an open star tip.

When serving, pipe it onto each piece of key lime pie. (If you do not have a piping bag, you can simply dollop a generous scoop of the whipped cream onto the center of each piece.)

Cut a slice in your lime "wheels," twist and place in the center of each piece.

ciao! fabiana

photo credit: Tommy Bahama

September 22, 2017

it's pumpkin season

so in my book,
this marks the official start of
 pumpkin season!

Let’s decorate to our hearts delight
with these happy orange gourds.

Place a few on the front porch and
a few small ones on a side table...

dress them up with spanish moss and spooky little owls.

Feature a few on the mantle,
or how about a whole mess of them
 spilling out of the fireplace?

Linus Van Pelt was right,
pumpkins are a sign of sincerity.

They’re the most honest,
natural symbol of Autumn,
and their cheery colors and fun shapes
are sure to bring a smile to your face!

with your favorite succulents
is one of the best ideas yet!

Everything deserves a little 
pumpkin face this time of year!

I will have to get busy making some
jack-o-lantern faced empanandas,
using my mother’s secret recipe of course –

Actually, it’s not so secret,
and I’ll share it one of these days,
if you’re interested  ; )

ciao! fabiana

photo credit:

1. Martha Stewart
2. Roger's Gardens
3. Good Housekeeping
4. Martha Stewart
5. Sunset Magazine
6. Roger's Gardens

September 21, 2017

it's the last day of summer ...

It's officially the last day of Summer
and it happens to be the most un-Summerlike
day around these parts today.

It’s a gloomy and drizzly day,
but that doesn’t stand in my way
for anticipating the beginning
of my favorite season…

You know 
I’ve been a little pumpkin crazy already,
and I’m just imagining what the neighborhood
will be looking like all decked-out
for Fall.

Do you remember the pretty curb appeal
from Barclay Butera’s home last year?

A few simple and elegant pumpkins
are all you need to dress up the
front of your home!

Sunflowers are another one of my favorite ways
to celebrate the season.

They’re like a little bit of sunshine
shining inside your own home…

treat yourself to some pretty sunflowers…

Trader Joe’s is always a safe bet 
for finding something pretty
without breaking the bank.

I’m really looking forward to the
October 24th…

just in time for my birthday.

You can count on the CDM Home Tour
for lots of inspiring décor,
and a full day of FUN!

Isn't this Fall counterscape 
from a few years back gorgeous?!

And what would fall be without
America’s favorite fruit baked with a little sugar
and spice, and yeah, everything nice?

You’ll want to try this easy
recipe for these yummy Apple Tarts.

And yes,
I know I’ve mentioned it before,
but Roger’s Gardens is THE place for
Fall fun and inspiration!

Coming up soon…

a blog post on how to add a little
vintage touch to your Halloween décor
with perfectly spooky antique books!

Wuthering Heights is the ultimate
haunting love story and one of my favorite novels.

And speaking of Emily Bronte,
a sweet little quote to usher in Autumn…

ciao! fabiana

September 19, 2017

tuesday in corona del mar

Just sharing some fun from last Tuesday

My first stop was Roger’s Gardens
and at the top of the list was
to pick up some white pumpkins.

They have a huge selection 
of beautiful pumpkins
in all shapes, sizes and colors.

Herbs and Pumpkins...
two of my favorite things!

And while I was there,
 I got another peek at their

If you’ve never been to Roger’s
during this time of the year,
you definitely need to check it out!

Half their store is converted into
an amazing Halloween fun house.

This year’s theme is Magic & Mayhem…

I’ll share more on that in a few weeks!

Next was a stop for breakfast
and cappuccinos with my friend Nancy
 at Le Pain Quotidien, a super yummy
 and healthy Belgian café.

Nancy and I couldn’t wait to head over to
Anthropolgie to check out their update
showroom and expanded store… it’s huge!

If you’ve ever visited an Anthroplogie store,
you know how amazing their displays are.

And I had no idea that they carried
a full line of wallpaper, did you?

They have books and books of
gorgeous wallpapers and grasscloths.

The one pictured above in this bedroom
vignette is one of my favorites.

Fun and funky décor, for sure.

While I was there, 
I did pick up a few pairs of earrings for myself, 
one with little tassels (see below) 
and a ciao tee-shirt... fabulous!  

I still can't get enough of their styling and merchandising...

so cute!

ciao! fabiana

Just for fun...

photo credit: Anthropologie


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