Saturday, October 17, 2015

succulent ideas for fall

The transitional time between summer and fall is a great time to replant some of those large pots in the garden, and succulents are the best choice for low-care, beautiful pots.  They always look great, and you can get so creative with the different varieties there are to choose from.  The colors, textures and size of different succulents really let you create unique arrangements that will grow and grow to become more and more beautiful.  And why not try filling a pumpkin or large gourd with succulents?  Find a small pot that will fit perfectly inside your pumpkin, so that the edges don’t show.  Then just plant it tightly with your choice of small succulents.  Voila!  You will have a gorgeous fall arrangement that will last you at least through Thanksgiving!   
Small branches are cut into ¼ inch slices and layered around the perimeter of this glass bowl.  The addition of spanish moss along the bottom edge completes the look.   Pebbles on the bottom of the container will keep it from getting water-logged.
A tall spiky variety looks great 
surrounded by rosette-shaped succulents. 
Mix and match.  It all looks great! 
images via

ciao! fabiana

Friday, October 16, 2015

easy to transform gold pumpkins

 These little pumpkins and gourds were only $1 and can
easily be transformed with a little gold spray paint!
(purchased at the Dollar Tree)
Here's how I used them at my own table...
These little gold pumpkins can now be incorporated into a fall, Halloween or Thanksgiving tablescape.  At my table, I added orange napkins and neutral accessories to create a soft palette.  These look great on the mantle too!     
 Knotted napkins make it fun and casual.
 Each guest gets their own unique golden pumpkin to keep!
 I chose burlap runners and a knarled olive branch for texture. 
 Bamboo cutlery adds more texture and a hint spookiness.
 Owls and a few white ceramic pumpkins round off the look.

ciao! fabiana

Thursday, October 15, 2015

rooms that feel like autumn’s that time of year again!
rooms that make you just want to hang out!

images  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5 

ciao! fabiana 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

a fun and easy fall tablescape

Use clear glass dinner plates to showcase your pretty table linens. These are pretty dishtowels that can be used as Thanksgiving napkins.

ciao! fabiana

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

sweet potato creme brulee

This is an elegant alternative to pumpkin pie!

Sweet Potato Creme Brulee
8 servings
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, baked, peeled, and pureed
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 quarts heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split in half
16 large egg yolks

In a medium bowl, mix together the pureed sweet potatoes, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the lemon juice until combined. Butter 8 8-ounce custard cups or ramekins. Spoon 2 to 3 tablepoons of the sweet potato mixture into each cup to form a 1/4-inch layer.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream, vanilla bean, and 3/4 cup of the remaining sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and another 3/4 cup sugar. Gradually pour the egg mixture into the saucepan, whisking constantly. Return the saucepan to the stove and cook on low heat for 3 minutes, or until the mixture thickens.

Fill the custard cups with enough of the cream mixture so they are about seven-eighths full. Place the filled cups in a baking pan that is large enough to hold them all. Add enough hot water to come within 1 inch of the top of the cups. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the custards are barely set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out a little wet. Remove the custards from the baking pan and place them in the refrigerator. Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the broiler. Lightly sprinkle the surface of each custard with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the remaining sugar. Place the custards under the broiler for about 30 to 60 seconds and let them brown. Keep an eye on the custards, as this happens quickly.

Remove the custards from the heat, and once the sugar has hardened (1 to 2 minutes), serve the creme brulee.
Recipe courtesy of The New, Low-Country Cooking 

Ciao! fabiana

Monday, October 12, 2015

spooky halloween dinner party update

A couple of years ago, my husband and I hosted an elegant but Spooky Halloween Party for our friends.  We had each place setting set with a photo of one of our favorite classic spooky characters, like Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wicked Witch of the West.  Each guest was then given a sticker on their back with the name of one of those characters, without them knowing which one they had on their back.  They were then to go around to the other guests and ask questions so they could try to figure out who they were and where they were seated.  Everyone really enjoyed this game, and it was really cute when a newly engaged couple found out that they were Frankenstein and the Bride of Frankenstein.  I am planning to host a similar party this year, so I have already started planning out my spooky people for this year’s party.   It’s such an easy and fun theme for a Halloween dinner party, and you can really personalize it with your favorite movie and tv personalities.   All you have to do is print out an 8x10 copy each of the spooky faces you select.  Use a round salad plate as a template to draw a circle around where you will cut your printed face.  You now have a circular photo that can be nestled under a glass plate and be visible to your guests.  You can use a charger plate under that to finish off the look.  Accent your table with lots of candles, owls, spiders and pumpkins!
Bela Lugosi as Dracula & Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch

ciao! fabiana

Sunday, October 11, 2015

that orange door!

How do you create a fun and charming impression for friends and family walking through your front door?  Consider painting your door a happy color like orange.  Fall is the best time to make this transition into the fun color palette of all shades of orange!  What do you think?  Here’s some of my favorite eye candy for you to enjoy…

images  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  

ciao! fabiana

Saturday, October 10, 2015

lovely, affordable chandeliers & pendants

I have recently discovered a great source for lighting called “Parrot Uncle”. They have a huge selection of beautiful lighting fixtures and great prices! If you are looking for a particular handmade original design or if you are looking to redecorate a specific room, shopping for lamps and light fixtures is such an easy, fun and interactive experience on  They have gorgeous chandeliers, table lamps, floor lampspendant lights, and wall sconces. And, they have a huge variety of design styles too, like traditional, modern, mid-century, farm house and more!  In addition to great prices and quality, they offer free shipping and free returns.   Here are some of my favorite chandeliers and pendants.  Just click on the name of the fixture for a direct link!  

Drum Shape Brass & Crystal Chandelier with Fabric Shade

Modern Iron Pendant Light with Hemp Rope

Modern Style Wooden Pendant Light with Lantern Shape Shade

Rustic Industrial Style Pendant Light with Chrome Shade

Iron Chain 8 Lights Rustic Resin AntlerChandelier

Modern Style Polyhedron Shape Wooden Pendant

Vintage Industrial Style Pendant with MetalFramed Glass Box

Small Style Pendant Light with Bucket-Shape Shade 

P.S. I just ordered the Modern Iron Pendant Light with Hemp Rope for my dining room!  Will post photos soon!

ciao! fabiana