June 30, 2019

blue and white forever!





This month’s Better Homes & Gardens magazine has the prettiest backyard in it. Blue and white plates, stripes, coastal charm and just the right amount of my favorite hot pink accent color for good measure.

Homeowner Emily has created a gorgeous backyard oasis that reminds me a little bit of my backyard, and offers tons of inspiration!    




Pretty Fabrics




A gorgeous secret garden




Traditional style




You can’t go wrong with stripes!




Interesting plants and succulents on display




It reminds me a bit of my own back yard

This is just a little snippet,
we'll get to see more of it in Cottages & Bunglows.




And don’t you love all these pretty blues?




And speaking of blues, Architectural Digest is featuring a little peek at Mark D. Sikes’ backyard. He’s the master of blue and white décor.




You may remember the plates, napkins and tableware he designed for Blue Pheasant.  




I used them to set my Mother’s Day table that was influenced by my visit to The Ivy. You can read all about here at Cottages & Bunglaows.




You may have seen Mark’s garden lots of times in magazines or on Instagram.




It’s truly iconic!




And isn’t this the most perfect shade of blue?


ciao! fabiana


For more on Mark, Check out his book Beautiful.







Photos courtesy of 

BHG, Mark D. Sikes & Architectural Digest




June 29, 2019

easy to make treats for 4th of july





Just sharing a few fun and easy ways to create a memorable patriotic dessert for friends and family. The first is an embellished ice cream sandwich that is taken to the next level of yum with the addition of white chocolate and red, white and blue sprinkles.


Patriotic Double Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups white baking morsels
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
6 Kroger® Big Wheels Vividly Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches
Cooking spray
Parchment paper
Red, white and blue sugar sprinkles

Directions

-In saucepan over medium heat, add morsels and heavy cream. Heat and mix until white ganache forms.

-Dip each sandwich ice cream cookie halfway into ganache. Place on slightly greased parchment paper.

-In bowl, roll sandwich cookies over sprinkles to cover. Place in freezer until completely frozen and ready to serve.

Serves: 6

Recipe courtesy of Kroeger





If you don’t have much time or prefer a little patriotic cupcake, dress up homemade or store-bought cupcakes with these adorable 4th of July toppers and muffin-tin liners.  I like these... 




and these. With these adorable embellishments,
you'll save time and create the cutest dessert!



ciao! fabiana



June 28, 2019

seven times bistro chairs stole the show





I’m just popping in today with a little alfresco inspiration from Serena & Lily

Each of these seven outdoor spaces has something in common, besides being lovely. It’s my favorite French bistro chair in lots of different outdoor styles! And no one does the Riviera Chair better than Serena & Lily.  









ciao! fabiana


And here's my pick for 

the perfect companion book for French style alfresco dining







June 27, 2019

red, white and blue table settings




Hi! I’m back today with a little peek at the process I go through to create just the right look for a tablescape. This week, I pulled all my blue and white striped table runners out as well as a bunch of my red and blue transferware plates.

Every plate’s patterns are so unique that I love to mix and match them just to get the right combination that pleases my eye.




The possibilities are endless for pretty combinations and mixing the right shades of color are just as important as coordinating the patterns.

I absolutely love how this blue and white striped runner makes all the plates just pop, and it also gives a nod to the stars and stripes of our flag.

And speaking of stars, aren't these starfish adorable? Another nod to the flag, but this time with a fun coastal vibe.

This combination actually took place quite by accident when my husband just happened to move the starfish off the plates (at another table setting) so we could eat and he set them down on the runner...

Voila! Inspiration for the 4th of July! Thanks, honey!




I typically use three plates for this kind of look,




alternating the red and blue colored plates.




But sometimes to really make the place setting pop, I add a white plate either at the bottom of the stack or in between the red and the blue.

In this case, above, I used five plates! If you have enough plates of each size, this is an amazing look, but for practical purposes, we're gonna stick to three plates.




We’re getting close to revealing the final look for the table. I will tell you this, I am using natural textured raffia placemats and I also throw in a bit of gingham for fun!



ciao! fabiana


June 26, 2019

collecting: thrifting for transferware





Monday was a fun day as I had a chance to catch up with my dear friend Laura at her adorable new home in Orange and do a little thrifting with her as well!

Laura recently moved to the historic district in Orange to be within walking distance of the adorable downtown area there. Her home is actually a little 1946 cottage that she and her husband recently updated with the most amazing mid-century style!

We had fun catching up at Pandor for breakfast and then immediately hit a few of the antique stores there near the Orange Circle.

Laura and I are truly thrifters at heart, so we quickly moved on to a few of the local thrift stores, and began fun treasure hunt, with transferware being at the top of my hunting list!




I rarely find purple transferware and couldn’t pass this plate up. It’s actually a souvenir plate, similar to the state plates that I love, and just look at the floral border!




These shops did not disappoint, and here are the handful of pretty plates I found. In addition to this fun transferware, I also found three more faux bamboo forks and knives to add to my collection. 😉 




I just love blue and white state plates, and I found the Chicago and Nashville ones on Monday! They're going to look great on my red, white and blue table that I'm setting for 4 of July. 

What could be more patriotic that featuring your favorite states at each place setting?




Red transferware is always on my radar as well, and I just love the tea cups that have intricate designs on the inside as well.

This one had no saucer, but guess what?! It’s so easy to mix and match single cups and saucers and make new sets.




Sometimes the hallmarks on the bottom of these pieces are just as interesting as the intended design on the top!





Since I was a little girl, I’ve always loved the patterns on this type of china. The red transferware also works great with green, which is harder to find.




I think I only have two sets of green, and you may remember I used these for a Christmas tablescape a few years back.




Black transferware is also amazing! I love it at Halloween, or just to set an elegant table any time of year!




And then there’s brown which is so pretty for fall. Here I've combined it with this pretty April Cornell tablecloth that coordinates so well wit this viney pattern on the plates.




I especially love the brown transferware that’s hand painted with some color. You see a lot of this for Thanksgiving featuring a turkey or fruit.





I have used purple for this Mardi Gras table a couple of years ago, but like I said, it's hard to find vintage purple transferware while thrifting. 

I got lucky on Monday with that one plate! The ones above were actually found at TJ Maxx years ago!

So now that I’ve got a few more state plates, I’m working on a fun red, white and blue table.




Are you a crazy dish collector like me, and do you collect transferware? If so, what’s your favorite color?

I hope you’ll check back later this week for more on the patriotic table I’m working on…


ciao! fabiana





June 25, 2019

time for pie





Vintage pie plates are really fun inexpensive collectables. I pick them up here or there at thrift stores, rummage sales or yard sales for only a dollar or two.

Not only are these ceramic pie plates cute, what makes them really fun is that the pie recipe is already printed on them as part of the design!




And I don’t know about your family, but mine absolutely love any kind of pie especially fruity summer pies, so today I’m sharing a few additional recipes that we love.




Martha Stewart’s Strawberry Icebox Pie

Ingredients

10 graham crackers (2 1/2 by 5 inches)
1 cup sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
2 quarts strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced (a few whole berries reserved for garnish)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, blend graham crackers with 2 tablespoons sugar until finely ground; add butter and pulse until crumbs are moistened. Press mixture into the bottom and up the side of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake until crust is lightly browned, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar, cranberry juice, 2 cups strawberries, cornstarch, and salt. Using a potato masher, gently mash strawberries. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until very thick, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in remaining strawberries. Pour into cooled pie crust. Refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours (or up to 1 day).

3. In a large bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over cream and continue to beat until soft peaks return (do not overbeat). Spread whipped cream over pie, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border around edge. Garnish with whole berries. 



Very Berry Cream Tartlets recipe found here



Tommy Bahama's Key Lime Pie recipe found here



Lemon Meringue Pie recipe found here



Homemade Pumpkin Pie recipe found here




Please stop by again later this week 
when I'll share a few of my new vintage finds
from my visit to the Orange Circle yesterday

What’s your favorite collectable?



ciao! fabiana






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