March 16, 2017

happy st. patricks day!

Wearing green and decorating with shamrocks are a given on March 17th, but the origins of these traditions goes back hundreds of years with Saint Patrick. Saint Patrick is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish. 

The earliest evidence of this anecdote first appears in writing in 1726, though it may be older. The color green has been associated with Ireland since at least the 1640s and green ribbons and shamrocks have been worn on St. Patrick's Day since at least the 1680s. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the association of the color green and with St Patrick's Day grew.  

Here's something really interesting to me... in Buenos Aires, a huge party is held in the downtown street of Reconquista every St. Patrick’s Day, where the Irish community is the fifth largest in the world outside Ireland. Irish emigrants arrived in Argentina mostly between 1830 and 1930. 

In fact, the Irish community in Argentina is the largest in any non-English speaking country in the world! The Irish-Argentines are still trying to keep the inherited traditions alive and are working to rescue older traditions that have been lost over time. It’s believed that there are over a million Irish descendants in modern-day Argentina. One of their most famous or infamous descendant of the Irish is Che Guevara!

Today we celebrate in many ways and the shamrock is still the most significant symbol of the holiday!

ciao! fabiana

(info from Wikipedia, images from BHG)

March 15, 2017

ginko green

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day and the Pantone color of the year, I’m sharing some photos from the “ciao archive”. These pretty shades of green are a sure sign that spring is on its way!  

Who wouldn’t love to enter a door like this surrounded by lush green Boston ivy? It’s like a dream and a fairy tale all rolled into one! 

These next few photos are of my friend and neighbor Nancy’s amazing garden. She chose the perfect shade of green to accent the windows and trim on her sweet garden shed and on her comfortable adirondack chairs.

Nancy’s garden is a tropical sanctuary, and as you can see, she pours her heart and soul into here yard. The result is a peaceful and relaxing retreat, right outside her doors. 

And here’s her darling little companion, Buddy enjoying the garden along with his human friends.

Also, don't forget to check out my new 
 It’s a collection of my favorite tablescapes 
that I’ve created since starting my blog in 2011. 

I'll be constantly updating this page 
with new favorites, so check back often! 
If there are any holidays or themes you’d like to see,
 leave me a comment! 

You can find the tab at the top of my page
 or simply click here.

ciao! fabiana

first photo via bhg

March 14, 2017

succulent inspiration

One of my favorite French bakeries here in Newport Beach, C’est si Bon, has been renovating their exteriors for the past few months to include lots more outdoor seating, and a more garden-y outdoor space

Here’s a little peek at some of the cool pierced metal and reclaimed wood planters that they’ve designed and filled with succulents and some "Hot Lips" salvia, on the left. 

I love this look! 

And they’re so pretty up against 
the aged brick wall too.

ciao! fabiana

March 13, 2017

what's your kitchen style?

Kitchens are such a personal space, and whether you like to cook or not, it’s ultimately the place where everyone likes to congregate. So today I’m wondering what your favorite kitchen style is. How would you describe your perfect kitchen? 

I’m sharing some examples of a few interesting ones I found recently. This first one is Coastal InspiredWhite cabinets, a hint of ocean blue, driftwood tones and beach glass inspired lighting are some of my favorite elements here.

Second, I love this Traditional Modern look. It has all the characteristics of a traditional style, but is streamlined, uncluttered and elegant.

This next style I’m labeling Eclectic Modern Farmhouse. It’s a little boho chic, with a little nod to kitchens from the past. Gathered vintage elements combined with modern amenities create a warm and cozy look.

The best of both worlds, Coastal Farmhouse style! This home would fit in perfectly near the beach or in the middle of a prairie, or for that matter, anywhere you wish! The vibe of this style is easy, breezy, comfortable.

This last style is hard to pinpoint with a name. Vintage Estate style is what I come up with. Picture a stately old home with amazing details and character, and then infuse modern luxuries. (This may be my favorite style!)

You can have the best of both worlds! And, oh that table! Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned eat-in kitchen? 

So remember, let me know what your favorite kitchen style is. It may not be pictured here, but I’d love to know! xoxo 

ciao! fabiana

photo credit: 
Coastal Living
Traditional Home
  House & Home
Coastal Living
McAlpine House

March 12, 2017

white chocolate coconut easter cakelets

I spent part of the day today testing yummy cake recipe for Easter. For the cake itself, I used Miss Jones’ Organic Vanilla Cake Mix, which is just as good as making it from scratch, in my opinion. (Miss Jones' is available at Target.) To the mix, I added 3 eggs, milk and melted butter. I then used a cookie sheet that was buttered and floured as my baking vessel.

I poured the batter straight on the cookie sheet. I’ve never done this before, but I’ve seen it done on “Chopped” and other cooking shows. It’s a great way to bake a cake fast! It was done in about 15 minutes. And when it was done, the cake was about 1” tall. 

After the cake cooled for a few minutes, I then used a round biscuit cutter to cut out as many circles as I could from the cake. I got about 12 cut, so that means I would have 6 little 2-layer cakelets in all.

I put these on a cooling rack and iced them with this amazing white chocolate buttercream frosting that’s soooo easy to make! It’s just cream, butter, powdered sugar and white chocolate (I used about ½ a package of Baker’s Brand white chocolate chips). 

My neighbor Clare, who’s a fabulous baker and caterer gave me this recipe, which she also tops with toasted coconut! I used organic, unsweetened large flakey coconut and toasted it in the oven. I then finished the cakelets off with 3 little speckled malted milk egg candies in a variety of colors. 

The end result is adorable, and so delicious!! The sweet white chocolate frosting with the toasted coconut is a divine combination! I will definitely make these again for Easter.   

Clare’s White-Chocolate Butter-Cream Frosting

1 package (6 squares) premium white chocolate
1/4 cup heavy cream OR: milk
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup confectioners sugar

1.   Microwave chocolate and cream in large microwave-safe bowl on high power 1-1/2 minutes, stirring halfway. Stir to melt chocolate. Let cool to room temperature, 15 minutes.
2.   Beat butter, sugar gradually into cooled chocolate on high speed until smooth and fluffy, 2 minutes. Makes 3-1/2 cups.
3. Don't forget to add the toasted coconut flakes on top!

I invite you to stop by my new Ciao Tablescapes page. It’s a collection of my favorite tablescapes that I’ve created since starting my blog in 2011. I'll be constantly updating this page with new favorites, so check back often! 

If there are any holidays or themes you’d like to see, leave me a comment! You can find the tab at the top of my page or simply click here.

ciao! fabiana


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