August 2, 2015

entertaining alfresco

some of my favorite tips... 

*Greenery from the garden and candles are the perfect combination for setting an outdoor table.  Bring out some interesting accessories from indoors to add ambiance.

*Have fun with your seating, your chairs do not all need to be the same. 

*Decide whether you want your dinner to have a rustic feel or a more elegant feel as you plan your gathering.

*Set the mood with creative candle light and globe lights hung above the table.

*Keep the surroundings simple and focus on your beautiful table. 

*Save yourself lots of return trips to the kitchen by staging a pretty table near your dinner table with the things you might need during your meal, such as extra water and wine, linens, and condiments.

*Cold food is often an easier choice than hot food, unless you have a barbecue or warming pad near to the table. Salads, sliced vegetables, fruit, pasta, and cheeses work well for alfresco dining.

for more inspiration, visit outdoor entertaining.

image this old house.

ciao! fabiana

August 1, 2015

heirloom tomato bruschetta

We are growing heirloom tomatoes in the garden this year for the first time, and, oh my goodness, they are amazing!  Here is my favorite and easy go-to recipe that’s even really good for breakfast!    

Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 ripe & firm heirloom tomatoes, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
red pepper flakes, to taste
1/4 teaspoon salt

Let this mixture sit for at least an hour and serve on slices of toasted rustic Italian bread.

image via 

ciao! fabiana

sharing with  natasha in oz

dutch doors in the kitchen

A kitchen door to the backyard is useful, but when you make it a dutch door, you have a whole other outlook on life!  Originally these stable doors or half doors were meant to keep animals out and children in, while providing some fresh air.  Nowadays, they can still serve the same purpose, but for most of us, a dutch door is eye candy!  They are so charming and versatile, especially near the beach where you can enjoy the cool summer breeze.  

image 1  |  2  |  3  |  5   6

ciao! fabiana

sharing with natasha in oz

July 30, 2015

my friday five

I haven’t shared a Friday Five round-up with you all in a while, but there are a few new products I am obsessed with this week, and I wanted to share them with you guys!  
First off, are these FIGI EXISTENCE mixed color skinny jeans.  I just got a pair this week, and the fit and look of these jeans is amazing.  They are a really fun alternative to denim for the summer too.  FIGI uses artist John Rossi as inspiration for  the designs of their unique jeans and t-shirts. The colors they use are so pretty!
Aurorae’s luxurious microfiber beach towels are a big hit around here.  My kids have been using them all summer long.  They are super absorbent and a great size at 32” x 68”, but are very lightweight and fold up compactly so they don’t take up too much room in the beach bag or backpacks.  They are great for travel and camping too, and they come in a great selection of pretty colors, so everyone can pick their favorite color.  My favorite is Kauai Coast.  They also make a great yoga towel that I love!  
Card Ninja makes life so much easier!  It combines your wallet with your phone in an easy to use compact way.  The Card Ninja attaches to your phone like a sticker, and holds your cash, credit cards, i.d. and more.  Even ear buds can fit in the flexible pocket.  I got these for my boys, and husband and they have kept their shape and are still working great after several months.      
Mendocino Farms in Costa Mesa is now my go to restaurant for lunch.  They offer a really yummy but healthy menu and have just opened a second location near UCI that we are so excited about!  My favorite menu items are the Kale Caesar, the Farm Fresh Turkey Club and the Prosciutto and Free Range Chicken Ciabatta.  Their food is so yummy and popular that they even catered our lunch this year for the Newport Harbor Home and Garden Tour.  Mendocino Farms has several locations that have popped up recently in Orange and L.A. Counties.  Have you tried one yet? 
Another new discovery I have made lately are Chalk Ink Markers.  They are basically chalk in marker form.  Chalk Ink takes your chalk board to a whole other level.  With them you are able to create beautiful lettering, so it makes them perfect for party menus, decorating furniture and walls, labeling items, place settings… the possibilities are endless!  I am working on a fabulous blog post for next week with lots of examples. 

Enjoy the weekend!

ciao! fabiana

color inspiration: navy

Navy blue is an elegant accent color for the home and such a lovely alternative to black.  To me it’s a color that reminds me of summer, but can transcend any season.  It’s timeless and can even be used as a neutral.  Calm, cool and collected, navy is so chic!    

images  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  | 8  |  9  

ciao! fabiana

July 29, 2015

my favorite summer cocktail

Prosecco is a sparkling white wine made only in specific provinces of northeastern Italy.  All Prosecco wines are made primarily from the Glera grape, a native variety with origins in the lovely village of Prosecco, near Trieste.  All my father’s family comes from this region of Italy, and I feel like I have a deep connection with this “Italian champagne”.   And now, with the addition of a little pear and citrus, The Sparkling Portofino has become my favorite new summer cocktail.  It’s so glamorous and refreshing!  
And, I love that they have these adorable set of “go-anywhere” flutes available for a limited time that epitomize effortless summer fun.  These unbreakable flutes are perfect for poolside or beachside with their gorgeous floral design and are the perfect complement to those sun-soaked get-togethers that define the summer months.  The limited edition flutes by Ruffino and Govino are available on Amazon. They make a really fun hostess gift too!  Sharing this recipe with you all...
The Sparkling Portofino
16 oz chilled Ruffino Prosecco
4 oz pear nectar (or pear juice)
4 strips of orange zest
4 strips of lemon zest

Place two strips of zest into the bottom of each flute
Pour pear nectar into flute, filling 1/3 full
Top off with Ruffino Prosecco
Makes four cocktails

ciao! fabiana
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