November 25, 2017

adorable sisal trees

I can't get enough of sisal bottle brush trees this year. I have them sprinkled throughout house, and I'm thinking I might need a few more. 

These are a few I got at Home Goods recently. The sweet little glittery house is from Pottery Barn and also features a couple of sisal trees.

These are some that I got from Oriental Trading. They were the perfect creamy white color, so I ended up ordering a few more sets. There are so many different options out there for these little trees, new and vintage!

On my mantel, I have a few more decorated trees from Home Goods. I LOVE how they look with these copper lanterns from Oriental Trading. They’re really a nice silhouette against all the white in the background. 

Isn’t this an adorable collection from Anthropologie a few years back? I still love the quirkiness of this holiday vignette!

Fa La La!

Here’s another collection of cheery bright sisal trees.

These trees are the perfect Christmas shade of green and so pretty with the all white candles and mantel.

A pretty group of decorated trees…

And for some reason, vintage toy trucks and sisal trees go together hand in hand to create a very charming scene. 

You can find a large variety of sisal trees at Oriental Trading. Be creative with these little beauties! 

Here’s an idea from Terrain. Fill a large lantern with a sweet winter scene. Start with a few small houses, add a few trees of different sizes and colors, add some fluffy snow, lighting, and you’re all set! 

On my wish list? Yes! These ombre sisal trees from World Market. So cute!

Vintage ones are fun to collect. Keep your eyes open for these little beauties all year long!

See what I mean about how cute they look in an antique toy truck? 

I also love these snowy trees from Pottery Barn

They even look cute on a wreath. This one was created and featured on the Oriental Trading blog.

This cute little bottle brush wreath is available on the Ciao blog shop. I like to display these on my Christmas tree and to embellish an antique mirror in my home. 

Here’s a pretty mossy creation. I love how the white trees really pop! 

And below, Martha Stewart has created the most amazing wreath that holds dozens of trees and little adorable cottages. She’s been obsessed with these trees forever!

I’d love to hear about you holiday décor… leave me a comment and let me know your favorite things to adorn your home with!

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.

Photo Credit: 1.-3. Ciao Newport Beach 4.  Anthropologie 5.  Hooray Everyday 6. In My Own Style 7.  Melrose 8. Rue Magazine 9.  Oriental Trading 10.  Terrain 11.  World Market 12.  BH&G 13. Melrose 14. Pottery Barn 15. Oriental Trading 16. Ciao Newport Beach 17.  Tumblr 18. Martha Stewart

November 24, 2017

my black friday faves

Are you looking forward to Thanksgiving?

I am, of course. You know how much I LOVE Thanksgiving and, this long weekend naturally brings an attitude of gratitude, but sheesh, for me, it's also the time I have to start my Christmas shopping. Have you done any holiday shopping yet? Wow, there are so many great deals out there right now! 

Black Friday is my favorite day to stay home, have some extra family time, put up the Christmas tree and do a little bit of online shopping, so I just wanted to pop in and share some of my favorite picks for Black Friday online shopping. These are my top picks, and the cyber destinations I'll be headed to on Friday (or sooner!)...

Anthropologie is offering 25% so many of their unique items. 

I'm headed to the Tabletop section first!


Then, I’ll be checking out
Banana Republic’s 50% of everything sale!

Shop Here: Banana Republic

Waiting on Martha is a super cute blog,
with an even cuter blog shop.

You’ve got to check out these goodies... 
And, they've got lot's of discount codes on the website right now!!

Shop Here: Waiting on Martha

Old Navy always has lots to offer for the whole family,
and they’re now offering 50% everything!

Shop Here: Old Navy

The Land of Nod, Crate and Barrel’s adorable
children’s store is offering 20% off and free shipping.

They have everything from onsies to cribs, and teepees to toys!

Shop here: The Land of Nod

Shop here: Crate & Barrel

It's the perfect time of year to stock up on UGG boot and shoes.

They’re the perfect gift that everyone loves,
and why not pick up a cute new style for yourself?

By the way, they also have amazing blanket and throws!

See sale items here: UGG

Home Depot is a great place to do some Black Friday shopping… a no brainer, actually! They’re offering 40% off appliances, and can you think of a better place to get something special for the men in your life? It’s power tool heaven over there! I also love their Martha Stewart Christmas items. I’m already spying some adorable vintage looking ornaments!   

Shop here: Home Depot

Over at my Blog Shop,
I’m offering 20% off this weekend,
so stop by and check it out.
And best of all, all items are under $15!

Happy shopping… (I might even have to start today!)

ciao! fabiana

November 23, 2017

happy thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving!

Here's a little peek at our menu...

This looks like the perfect turkey... 
ours was pretty darn close to this! Yum!

We love all pies around here,
but especially pumpkin for Thanksgiving!

What's your fave?

Have a safe and happy weekend...

ciao! fabiana

photo credit:
1. unknown source
2. Ciao Newport Beach
3. Saveur
4.  Poppy Talk
5. Bricabrac blog

November 22, 2017

why I love ancestry

My husband’s great-aunt Hazel

One thing you may not know about me is that I’m a HUGE genealogy buff. I’ve been researching our family history for over twenty-five years, since back in the day, before internet, when I’d have to go to university libraries to do any research. And now I’m so thankful to have and other websites that make finding my roots so much easier and exciting.

My husband’s family has a lot of well documented family history, from a Governor of Tennessee to early Virginia settlers, but my Italian roots are more challenging to research.

A never before seen photo of  my husband’s grandfather

A few years ago I went ahead and tested my DNA to find out any more clues into my bloodline. Since then, I’ve been connected to so many 3rd, 4th, 5th cousins and beyond that help me to piece together my lineage. Once I submitted my DNA and linked it up to my family tree, it opened up a lot of new paths in my research!

I now have over 2,000 people in my family tree, which is nothing compared to my husband’s tree of more than 7,200 ancestors and distant relatives. My husband’s DNA results have connected him to more relatives, mostly because American records are easier for us to research.

My absolute favorite part of this journey is finding photographs of these people. Looking into their eyes really connects with my heart. These were real people with real desires, hopes, dreams and struggles, just like us. It's just so fascinating to me!

With, I've researched newspapers, yearbooks, and passport archives and found lots of photos. I’ve also connected with other members on Ancestry who have photos of our family members because they were friends or distant family.

A never before seen photo of  my husband’s grandmother as a baby
and her parents. We had never seen a photo of her mother, because she died young.
An extended member of our family shared this with us.

I always try to share new found photos, even if we may not be related, because it my help someone else in their research.

Another interesting piece of our family puzzle is this old  newspaper article I found recently mentioning my husband’s great-grandmother. We don’t have any photos of her, but when I found this article, I was able to gather clues to help me research in another direction, and I found that she had been featured in a prominent silent movie with Clara Bow, one of the most popular actresses of her time.

With that info, I found several photos of Martha Douglas Carroll, my children’s great-great grandmother! And not only that, but we have knowledge now of previously unknown chapter in her life, when she was married to a film producer and acted in a full-blown western movie!  

Here she is with the dark hair, next to Clara Bow!

Sadly, this film is no longer in existence, but my research has directed me to the archives of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science Library in Beverly Hills that have several archives, and documents (and photos I hope) of Frank Carroll. I’m planning a visit very soon! 

My ancestry locations

So when I found out was offering their lowest price of the year for DNA tests, I wanted to share a little bit of my story with you. The regular price for the test is $99, and sometimes it goes down to $79, but this weekend they’re offering the kit for $59, the lowest I’ve ever seen it!  

By the way, it’s so easy to do. You just send in a little sample of your saliva in a test tube and put it in a pre-addressed envelope. That it! My mom recently submitted her info, and the results, compared to mine are quite interesting!

I had quite a bit of ethnicity from the UK, which my mother did not. My father passed away many years ago, so I must carry his British and Croatian DNA, yay!  

With this information, I was able to trace this branch of my family tree all the way back to the 16th Century!

The graphics, maps and details on the website are really fun to study! Here is some of my info. 

Over the past year, I’ve help two of my friends find their long-lost parents, with the help of census records and other documents on Ancestry, and they tested their DNA as well, which confirmed the results! 

This is something I do for free for friends and others I've connected with on Ancestry. I've had so many others help me over the years, and it's been a really generous community of people who just share the same passion for this hobby we call genealogy. 

Some of my favorite TV shows are “Finding Your Roots”, “Who Do You Think You Are” and “Long Lost Family”. Oh, I’m just intrigued by the whole search! I truly think we are all shaped by our DNA, and I’m always so humbled by the stories of our ancestors.

Bringing their long-forgotten lives back to light, I can really appreciate the blood, sweat and tears of their struggles and am proud that my body and soul share these elements with them.

If you have any questions on how you can begin your search, or continue your hunt for further info on your family, I would love to gladly help in any way. Genealogy is truly one of my biggest passions!     

I’m not affiliated with, but I saw this amazing offer and wanted to share it with all of you, who may be curious about your family tree. 

Now you can delve into your family history this holiday weekend and enjoy 40% off an Ancestry DNA kit, available for only $59 from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. 

Check it out here: ANCESTRY.COM

(Offer valid 11/24/17 - 11/27/17)

ciao! fabiana


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