January 5, 2018

my friday five

The beginning of a new year offers us a time for a fresh outlook on the year to come. I always get really excited this time of year with the prospects that lie ahead on the horizon. A few things that have already caught my attention are the fun decorating styles I’ve been seeing that are hip and modern but use lots of vintage details and accessories.

The house we live in was built in 1976, but I’ve always envisioned myself living in an old house, which is quite rare for Newport Beach. That’s why I love adding collections of things I love to my own home and getting a more lived-in vibe.  

The adorable kitchen pictured above is designed by Holly Williams of Nashville. She's the talented granddaughter of Hank Williams, Jr. and is a talented singer herself, as well as sought-after designer.

In addition to unique vintage style, I love to incorporate elements of coastal d├ęcor into my home, and since I do live in Newport Beach, it’s quite appropriate and works well with the styles I love.

I’m also quite looking forward to the Newport Harbor Home Tour on May 17th. Home tour day is always a fun day spent with friends while exploring new design styles from local designers.    

I’m always on the lookout for pretty vintage china and other tableware. I already have a few festive tablescapes planned for 2018. The first one will most likely be for Valentine’s Day.

Since I started my collaboration with Oriental Trading in 2015, it’s given me the opportunity to set up and host more events. Most of them are intimate for friends and family only, but the whole idea of coming up with a theme and then setting a beautiful table is quite fun!

Here’s a yummy chocolate cupcake recipe from Martha Stewart that’ll be perfect to make for the ones you love.

Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Valentine’s Day Cupcakes

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
Milk Frosting
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners.
2. Into a medium bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each, then beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with sour cream and beginning and ending with flour.
3. Pour batter into cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
4. Cool in pan 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then spread with milk frosting using a table knife or small offset spatula.

Cooked Milk Frosting
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of kosher salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1. In a small saucepan, whisk together flour and milk until smooth. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until mixture becomes thick and resembles pudding, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a heat-proof bowl; stir in vanilla and salt. Press plastic wrap against surface; let cool completely.
2. Beat butter with sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping down bowl as needed, about 2 minutes. Add milk mixture and continue beating until frosting is light and fluffy and resembles whipped cream, about 2 minutes more. Use immediately. Time:1 hour 15 mins. Makes 3 cups.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle really make a striking couple, and the anticipation of another royal wedding is so exciting! Meghan has such amazing personal style and together with Kate Middleton, the new young royals will be a great source for inspiration.

I’m thinking of hosting a very British tea party on the day of the wedding with all sorts of delicious tea sandwiches, scones and other treats to enjoy while we watch the festivities on tv. The wedding date is set for May 18, one day after the Newport Harbor Home Tour!  

Wishing you a fabulous weekend!

ciao! fabiana

photo credits:  
Holly Williams, Coastal Living, 
Food Network, Martha Stewart, Hello Canada

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