Wednesday, November 25, 2015

thoughtful holiday gifts

from the East India Company

Looky what arrived for me in the mail yesterday!  A beautifully wrapped box from the East India Company sent to me by a dear friend as a thank you.  She knows me well, because inside this lovely red box I found a few of my favorite things. 
I got to treat myself to an elegant cup of Staunton Earl Grey tea, which was perfectly paired with the Caramel & Sea Salt Biscuits.  The Dark Chocolate Enrobed Strawberries were an extra delight.  What a quintessentially British experience!
I have never before tasted Earl Grey tea quite like this.  The flavors are extra refined and aromatic.  The Caramel & Sea Salt Biscuits are oh, so decadent and so crisp and yummy with the tea.  They would also be perfect with coffee, cocoa and milk.  And the Dark Chocolate Strawberries are to-die-for.  The chocolate is extra rich and luscious! What a treat!  I went straight to their website, and I discovered that the East India Company has a whole line of delicacies that I am going to share with my friends and family this Christmas.

A little bit on the “The Story of Tea” from the East India Company.  This is so interesting that I had to share it with all of you... When tea was newly discovered, it was believed that “Tea is water bewitched”.  New traditions were established when The East India Company introduced exotic delights to England – arguably the most famous of these being tea.  Brought by The Company as a gift for King Charles II during the 17th century, these leaves were passed on to his wife, Queen Catherine of Braganza, who had grown up with tea in her native Portugal. She then slowly introduced this curious drink into aristocratic and noble societies, beginning a tradition that would last for centuries.  Initially tea leaves arrived in small quantities and were so expensive, that only the upper class could afford them.  In fact, tea was once considered so valuable that it was kept locked in caddies.

Flowering Tea is a new discovery for me. I am going to try some myself and give some as lovely gifts to friends. A symphony for the senses!  These delicate, flowering teas gently bloom in hot water to unfold an exquisite bouquet of colors, fragrances and flavors. These clear glass tea pots make the tea look magical!  


For centuries, The East India Company transformed tastes and social customs. Ships and explorers returned from distant lands carrying exotic and vibrant flavors, changing our palates forever. Chocolates, spices, and tea --‐ once new and extraordinary luxuries --‐ soon became an indispensable part of our lives.  
To make shopping more fun, I found out that the East India Company's products can be found exclusively at Neiman-Marcus stores in California (including Newport Beach, Palo Alto and San Francisco) and several other states.  The East India Company’s delicacies can also be purchased online, for the greatest of ease!

ciao! fabiana

mad for plaid table scarves

A beautiful plaid throw and a few vibrant Fall leaves were the inspiration for our Friday night Autumn dinner table.  Have a lovely weekend! 

ciao! fabiana

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

throw in some tartan this season

Fall and winter are seasons when I just want to feel cozy.  While I was shopping the other day, I spotted a few pretty plaid throws that I thought would make great holiday gifts, but then it occurred to me how great these large tartan scarves would look on a table. I remember seeing some tablescapes on pinterest that I loved, using table scarves.  So, I picked up a few at only $10-$15 each.  These are oversized, so they fit beautifully on a dining table.  After the holidays, they are perfect to add to my wardrobe to keep me warm during those cold winter months!
Here are the two I decided to work into a tablescape.  The gray one has pretty orange and yellow accents, so I thought it would look lovely with a bouquet of fall leaves I clipped  a from a tree in the neighborhood.  The “Burberry” print scarf is so pretty for fall or Christmas, since it has hints of red in it.  The real Burberry scarves sell for about $395!  Lovely, I’m sure, but we are just having a little fun here!  
Orange and hints of yellow are perfect for fall.
I like adding a few rustic touches, in keeping with the season. 
This was my Friday night dinner tablescape.
Now for this other scarf, I started playing around 
with my different Thanksgiving plates and accessories
A variety of turkey plates look great with the colors in this plaid table scarf.  I just love the colors of fall!  
I love that this “Burberry” pattern crosses over so easily into Christmas and winter.  This fun little stocking that holds silverware and the little snow globe place card holder are new!  Here are a few of my favorite inspiration photos....
1 | 2 | 3 | 4

ciao! fabiana

Monday, November 23, 2015

my favorite shops: thanksgiving inspiration

As we go in for the final countdown of Thanksgiving week, I wanted to share a little tablescape inspiration from my visit to South Coast Plaza today.  How do you like to set your table for Thanksgiving gatherings?
williams - sonoma home 

pottery barn

Grateful today for the little things….

ciao! fabiana

Sunday, November 22, 2015

more thanksgiving inspiration...

So much lovely inspiration this year from Crate& Barrel !


ciao! fabiana

christmas table in red & green

I know Thanksgiving is just around the corner, but today I was playing around with some of my vintage red and green transferware plates as inspiration for upcoming Christmas celebrations.  I  like the look of this arrangement, but now I need to choose which place card holder looks best.  Won’t you help me decide?  I have four to pick from:  the Christmas tree in a bottle, the nutcracker, the little glittered house or the brass reindeer.  I guess I have a thing about table accessories!  I found the bottle and the house this year at Pottery Barn, and purchased half a dozen of each.  The reindeer (originally from Pottery Barn too) and the nutcrackers I found at my favorite thrift store, in brand new condition.  Let me know what you think!   

These green goblets are also from my favorite thrift store!
and the brass candlesticks are too!
The flatware is Calvin Klein purchased on ebay. 
The red plates are Spode and the green plates are Wood & Sons.
The table runner can be found here and 
the chargers were originally from Sur la Table, 
but can be found in lots of different stores.

ciao! fabiana

Saturday, November 21, 2015

fresh flowers for fall decor

Autumn has got to be my favorite season, with its gorgeous and rich palette of yellows, burnt oranges, deep auburns.  We should not forget to enrich our home environment with the beauty of fresh flowers and foliage during fall, when it may be too chilly to enjoy nature’s bounty outdoors.  As we start the Thanksgiving and holiday seasons, our homes may become a gathering spot for friends and family, so we should remember to add a bit of natural beauty to our rooms.  Creating our own arrangements is an option, but for a truly unique and professional look, consider flower delivery by BloomNation.  I recently discovered  BloomNation as a great resource for sending flowers to welcome a new baby and for a friend’s birthday, but during Christmas, I plan on selecting a gorgeous arrangement for my home.  They offer one-of-a-kind designs for decorating our own homes for that special event or holiday get-together.  I have gathered together some of my favorite fall floral looks for you to enjoy… 

photos  1  |  2  |  3  | 4  | 5  | 6  |  7  | 8  |  9  |  10  |  11  

ciao! fabiana