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


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


-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


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


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

June 24, 2019

patriotic tablescaping monday

It’s tablescaping madness here in the breakfast room today. I got out a big part of my transferware collection, particularly the blue and red, to start playing with different combinations of patterns.

I usually like to go red-blue-red or blue-red-blue when layering the different sized plates.

Here’s some past inspiration using some of these same dishes…  

I just can’t get enough of blue transferware, and red is a close second. I love combining the different colors of transferware plates together for unique looks each time.

The red and white also works fabulously for Valentine’s Day and Christmas of course! Stay tuned this July for my favorite transferware combos using other types of plates like cabbageware and majolica.

I’m off to the Orange Circle right now to meet up with my dear friends Laura who recently purchases a little vintage cottage there, and we’re going to hit some of the local antique stores there. Transferware beware, Fabiana is headed your way!

ciao! fabiana

Ciao Extra:  A favorite book on tablescaping.


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