August 19, 2017

weekend thoughts


5 Great Ways to Relax this Weekend

1. Try a New Recipe

 

When was the last time you cooked something new? The weekend is the perfect time to try one of those new recipes you’ve been saving. For me cooking is a very relaxing activity. How about you?


Or, if you’re not in the mood to cook, order take-out from a restaurant you haven’t eaten at yet. And if you’re really adventurous, go for something exotic like Moroccan, Persian or Thai!

 

2. Start a New TV Series or a New Movie

Do you get hooked into a series on netflix and end up binging the whole season or two? Amazon Prime has a great series that is at the top of my list, “The Last Tycoon”. It’s based on an unfinished book by F. Scott Fitzgerald and takes place in 1930’s Hollywood. I even think my husband would like this one! Have you watched this yet?  

 

3. Read a Book

 

What a novel concept… hahaha, sorry for the silly pun. But really, we spend so much time on our phones and computers, that it’s easy to forget how relaxing and therapeutic reading a book can be. Biographies and nonfiction are my favorite reads. Do you have any favorite books to recommend?

 

4. Take a Walk

 

Being outdoors is a beautiful thing, so make the most of the end of summer by getting out and walking for a good half hour or more. Walking around a favorite neighborhood can be fun too. I love to get an up-close look at some of my favorite homes.

 

5.  Spend time with Friends and Family

 

Weekdays can be so busy, so make time to reconnect with family members and good friends on the weekend. My bestie and I don’t see each other that often because she lives three hours away, but when we do, we start of right where we left off and giggle until our tummies hurt!  



ciao! fabiana




photo credit:

House Beautiful

August 16, 2017

afternoon tea bites


Every summer when I visit Savannah,
my first stop in the city is Gryphon.

Gryphon is an ultra-hip tea room
located in the heart of Savannah,
on a historic corner overlooking
Madison Square.

In its intimate book-filled interior,
I feel perfectly at home and oh, sooo happy!

I always order the tea service complete
with a variety of mini sandwiches,
scones, tarts and fruit.

These two make-at-home recipes
remind me of my favorite days in Savannah 
and noshing at the Gryphon Tea Room.  


Very Berry Cream Tartlets

Crust:
¾  c. (1 ½  sticks) butter, softened
3 tbsp. granulated sugar
¼  tsp. salt
1 large egg yolk
1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour

Pastry Cream:
6 large egg yolks
¾  c. granulated sugar
6 tbsp. cake flour (not self-rising)
¼  tsp. salt
2 ¼  c. whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split
½  tsp. almond extract             
½ c. sliced almonds, toasted

Topping:
blueberries
blackberries
raspberries
small mint leaves
edible chamomile flowers
confectioners sugar

Directions

Make Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 6 (4 ½ -inch-wide) mini tartlet pans with removable bottoms.

In medium bowl with mixer on high speed, beat butter, granulated sugar and salt until smooth and creamy. Beat in egg yolk, then flour until just combined. If dough is too soft to handle, wrap in plastic and refrigerate 5 to 10 minutes.

Divide dough into 6 equal mounds. With lightly floured hands, press into bottoms and up sides of prepared tartlet pans in even layer; place pans on cookie sheet.

Cover each tartlet with small sheet parchment; add enough dried beans or pie weights to fill bottoms. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden. Remove parchment and weights; bake another 5 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Cool tartlet shells completely on wire rack.

Make Pastry Cream: Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk egg yolks, granulated sugar, cake flour and salt until smooth.

In 3-quart saucepan, heat milk on medium-high until steaming and bubbles form around edge; remove from heat. To egg mixture, add splash of hot milk until smooth, whisking. Continue slowly adding and whisking in hot milk until half of milk is incorporated. Whisk in remaining hot milk until mixture is smooth. Return egg mixture to saucepan. Cook on medium 5 to 7 minutes or until very thick and bubbling, whisking constantly. Remove from heat.

Scrape seeds from vanilla and whisk into pastry cream, along with almond extract. Using med-mesh sieve, strain pastry cream into medium bowl, pushing through with rubber spatula. Discard any solids. Cover cream with plastic, pressing against surface.

Refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.

Divide almonds among bottoms of tartlet shells. Spread or pipe chilled pastry cream into tartlet shells. Top one-third of surface of tartlets with berries, mint and flowers. Dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar.



Minty Pea and Pecorino Finger Sandwiches

8 oz. frozen (thawed) or fresh (cooked) peas
1/2 c. grated Pecorino cheese
3 tbsp. Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh mint
1 tbsp. snipped chives
White bread
In food processor, pulse peas, pecorino cheese, Greek yogurt, salt and pepper until mostly smooth, scraping bowl occasionally. Fold in fresh mint and snipped chives.

Serve sandwiched on soft white bread. Cut off crusts and cut into squares or, with 2-inch round cutter, cut into circles.

Good Housekeeping magazine suggests
serving these with pimiento cheese and 
crab, mango and cucumber sandwiches for
a lovely variety that looks
as good as it tastes.


ciao! fabiana


photo & recipe credit:
Good Housekeeping

August 14, 2017

monday blues


No need to feel blue today,

I’ve gathered up a few of my favorite
rooms that feature blue!

A little or a lot,

we all need a little blue in our homes!
















ciao! fabiana




photo credit:

1 8 9 10 11 12 13 House Beautiful
2 Coastal Living
3 Traditional Home
4 7 BH & G
5 6 Good Housekeeping





August 13, 2017

a little bit country


I don’t consider myself a country girl,
but I do love a few rustic elements
thrown into my home to add
a lived-in and homey vibe.

How special is that dutch door?
It sets the tone for the whole house.


In this dining space,
it’s all about the rustic quality of the farm table,
the floors, the hutch. It’s all stripped down and bare,
but there's an elegance to all this.

No rug. No Fabrics.
Just the beauty of the wood coming through.


Country décor can be elevated
to something spectacular.

A home in the country,
designed with the mindset of
a sophisticated city dweller.


The yin and yang of décor…


Country pieces mixed with
high-style classic elements.


Opposite design elements that somehow
complement each other is what I’m talking about.

Like the old saying from Donny and Marie:
"A little bit country


Do you have any favorite country pieces in your home?


I know I do! 
Actually, I have several.

We have a few lovely family heirooms, 
and I guess the one that stands out the most is 
the fabulous antique round pine table.

It's got a nice thick pine top with a lovely patina,
and cute and simple slipper feet. 

It's so wonderful during the holdays
because we add the three large leaves
and the whole family fits at one table!


Happy Sunday...


 ciao! fabiana



photo credit:

Country Living
French Country Cottage
Good Housekeeping

August 11, 2017

a flamingle pool party


According to the urban dictionary,
a flamingle is a combination of flirting and mingling,
but in this case, it’s just a little mingle
amongst the flamingos, 

with a little swimming thrown into the mix!

So here's how I set the scene for
our latest pool party...


To set the table for this fabulous pink soirée,
I started with luau style raffia placemats
and large palm leaves that look
like philodendron leaves.

They’re perfect for a fun summer party! 

Always a great standby for any party are
a great set of clear glass plates.

You may recognize them from 
some of the other tables I've shared on the blog.

They're so versatile, match any style and theme,
and are one of my all-time favorite
tablescape accessories.

Well, look at how they work here...
the beauty of the palm leaf comes shining through
but the glass adds a much needed dose of elegance.

It's so fun to mix high and low pieces on a table.


The little inflatable 
flamingo drink holders were a must for this table.
As soon as I spotted them in the Oriental Trading catalog,
I had to have them for table...

and I ordered a few extras for the pool.


They’re soooo cute!


I love how these little flamingos add
just the right touch of whimsy
to the table.


At the center of the table are
two more friendly little flamingos
that are part of the centerpiece.


These guys came in a set of four,
with two large ones (mom & dad)
and two smaller ones (the kidlets).


I just cut a few leaves from my sago palm
and used two blocks of floral foam as a base
to create a little nesting area
for this pair of flamingos.

Some bougainvillea adds 
a bit more pink.

Bright paper lanterns are always a festive accent
and they look so pretty swaying in the breeze..


Seeing these little guys floating around
just makes me smile.


The larger flamingos are out near the
pool keeping an eye on the festivities, and

I don’t think a pool party is
complete without a few fun beach balls.


I also set up a few cocktail
tables around the pool for extra seating.


Lavender lemonade will be on the menu
to help keep thing cool.



You know me and my succulents, 
well I found the cutest pink succulents
that make the perfect accent for the smaller tables.

BTW, they're faux!


I'm not the only one who's a big fan 
of my new flamingo accessories, 
my dogs got really excited about the 
new inflatable flamingos in the pool.

They actually thought they were real
 and started barking up a storm!

And little Dugan was the biggest culprit...

wishing you a fabulous weekend!


ciao! fabiana


And it all came together like this:

Luau Place Mats:  Oriental Trading
Large Palm Leaves:  Oriental Trading
Inflatable Flamingo Drink Holders:  Oriental Trading
Bright Beach Balls:  Oriental Trading
Pink Napkins: World Market
Pink Glasses:  vintage
Clear Glass Plates:  vintage
Bamboo Flatware:  ebay
Flamingo Party Tea Towels:  Ciao Blog Shop
Paper Lanterns:  Oriental Trading
Bistro Chairs:  Serena & Lily
Faux Succulents:  World Market


Thank you to Oriental Trading for sending me these products to review. 
The opinions expressed in this post are truly my own.



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