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Giannetti Home and Your Chance to Visit Patina Farm

On a trip to Santa Barbara a few weeks ago, I made it a point to stop into Giannetti Home owned by Brooke and Steve Giannetti. They are an incredibly talented couple who have managed to establish a design and architectural firm, retail shop (which they’ve designed a clothing for), build a home/farm in Ojai (and chronicle it on their wildly successful blog Velvet & Linen and new site Giannetti Home), as well as author three books (Patina Style, Patina Farm, and Patina Living). And if that’s not enough, in Steve’s free time he also manages to paint! The retail shop, Giannetti Home, is located along State Street, one of the City’s most prominent (albeit touristy) streets. The shop is housed in a charming two-story Spanish building with a small courtyard out front.

Above Image via Giannetti Home

I love the work of Steve and Brooke Giannetti and have wanted to visit their shop for quite some time. Many of my readers may be familiar with at lease some of their endeavors but may not have had an opportunity to visit their shop so I thought I would share a bit of that with you today. Unfortunately, I stopped by on a day the shop was closed. It’s only open a few days per week, so plan your visit accordingly if you ever pay a visit yourself. Luckily, I was able to walk into the courtyard and sneak a peek through the glass storefront windows to snap a few pictures…

You can see copies of Patina Farm, the Giannetti’s second book, prominently on display.  I shared pictures of Patina Farm in a prior post that you can read about here. You also have an opportunity to visit Patina Farm in person…keep reading. 

I recently received a couple of emails about an event tied to the release of Brooke & Steve’s newest book, Patina Living. Since the information is now being shared on their website I feel it’s okay to share here on my own blog.

If you happen to be in California next month you don’t want to pass up an opportunity visit Patina Farm. On May 11, 2019, Brooke and Steve will graciously open up their property for a party to celebrate the release of their newest book. You won’t be able to tour the house, but you can walk the gardens, mingle with the animals on their farm, purchase antiques and furniture, and purchase clothing that will be displayed in the guest house. It sounds like a wonderful event and if you would like more information, check out their post here. 


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Embrace the Exotic: Finger Limes

At a lavender festival I attended several years ago there was a vendor selling finger limes. I didn’t know what they were;  I had never seen them. My curiosity got the best of me so I bought a few.

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I took one to a party and treated it like an elementary school “show and tell” exercise. It seemed like a novelty fruit. People were amused, just as I had been when I laid eyes on my first finger lime. A short time after that I received an email from a local nursery advertising the availability of a limited stock of finger lime trees. I immediately called and was told they only had two left; the rest had already been sold. Who knew they would sell out so quickly. The nursery reserved one for me and I picked it up the following day. Last year I had real hopes for it bearing fruit. Unfortunately, the buds it produced did not survive.

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In the garden of Reviving Charm: Our Finger Lime tree

This year seems promising. I’m so excited because we might stand a chance at getting some real fruit off the tree. There are many flowers and several large pods of fruit forming, one of which you can see in my picture below.

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In the garden of Reviving Charm: Our Finger Lime tree

So what exactly is a Finger Lime? The botanical name is Citrus australasica, but is commonly known as the Australian finger lime. It is a thorny shrub/tree native to Australia. You can grow them in California but will do best if you are in a coastal, Mediterranean climate like us. They produce a small flower and pod-shaped fruit. Inside the pod are small beads known as “juice vesicles” where the juice is stored. These vesicles look similar to caviar which is why finger limes are often referred to as “citrus caviar”.  Sounds exotic, right?

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Finger limes can produce fruit in an array of colors. The small citrus beads are best used as a garnish when a hint of citrus flavor is needed. They will definitely add a bit of the exotic to your recipes.

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How to use finger lime. 

Use as a garnish on desserts. Here it is accompanied with mint on a key lime pie tart.

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Cucumber popsicles with finger lime & coconut water.

Dress up scallops with a finger lime garnish.

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Scallop ceviche with finger lime. 

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Salmon stuffed avocados with finger lime garnish.

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Use them as a cocktail garnish. I would love to try the Bixby Bloody Bixby. 

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If you happen to come across finger limes for sale, do not pass them up. You can host your own “show and tell” to put your own citrus caviar on exhibit to wow your guests.

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Why My Dog Has His Own Custom Stationery

There is an etiquette column in the March issue of Good Housekeeping that provides tips for “Saying Thanks”. Good manners never go out of style so I thought I would share some useful information as a reminder of what an appropriate level of “thank you” should look like. In my own life, I don’t practice a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes time to expressing gratitude. We may have busy schedules and it may be easy to take advantage of technology to send a quick text, but depending on the gesture this might not be enough. The list below was taken directly from Good Housekeeping and provides rules for what level of gratitude is most appropriate given a particular situation.

  • Send a text or email: appropriate for when a person’s thoughtfulness doesn’t require them to go out of their way. For example, a colleague shares notes from a meeting you couldn’t attend or a friend refers you to their doctor who turns out to be great.
  • Call or say it in person: appropriate when a small effort was extended. For example, a neighbor collects your mail while you’re away for a weekend or a fellow parent drives your kids home one day.
  • Send a handwritten note: appropriate for when time, energy, expertise, or effort was given. For example, someone gives you a gift for a special occasion, an acquaintance lets you pick their brain over coffee or a colleague covers for you at work. Personally, I love sending and receiving snail mail and I take great pride in purchasing stationery and composing a handwritten note.

We added a new Italian Greyhound puppy to our family several months ago (@orvietotheiggy) who, not surprisingly, has turned out to be quite the spoiled pooch. He has been lavished with gifts from friends and family since we got him and I found a fun way to show our appreciation for their thoughtfulness: I ordered personalized stationery for our dog! After all, good puppy manners are very important! Personalized stationery would also be a fun, unexpected gift for a new pet owner.

Here is our puppy checking out his new order of stationery.

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The pets in our family always give each other gifts for special occasions. Here is a thank you note being composed for Bradford, his Greyhound cousin.

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Our dog has perfected his paw print “signature”, with a little help from a rubber stamp and my favorite ink pad (StazOn ink).

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I might consider buying custom postage stamps in the future that feature a picture of my dog. However, in the meantime, Scooby-Doo will have to do.

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Here you can see notes done and ready to be mailed. You can bet that our pup will be accompanying me to the post office to drop off his mail.

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Resources: I love supporting small businesses and was looking for something specialized so I first turned to Etsy to purchase both the stationery and rubber stamp.

  • Correspondence cards: I purchased my correspondence cards through this vendor who has stationery for specific dog breeds.
  • Rubber stamp: You can probably find a paw print rubber stamp at most craft stores. However, I wanted a very small stamp that I was able to find here.  

Paying Tribute: Marella Agnelli

I woke up this morning with Mr. B informing me that Marella Agnelli passed away today at her home in Turin, Italy. She was 91. Marella came from an aristocratic family; her mother was a whiskey heiress from Peoria, Illinois who married into Italian nobility. Marella married Gianni Agnelli, late Fiat president, in 1953 and they stayed together until his death in 2003.  They had two children, although her son died tragically of suicide in 2000. She had a sophisticated look and was referred to by Truman Capote as one of his “swans”, the nickname he gave to some of his inner circle, wealthy and stylish women friends that also included Babe Paley, Slim Keith, Lee Radziwill, C. Z. Guest, and Gloria Guinness. The nickname was appropriate since she was known for her elongated and slender neck. Marella was also a former Condé Nast photographer and editor. She designed textiles and published books, including “The Last Swan”,  an autobiography published in 2014 that was co-authored with her niece, Marella Caracciolo Chia. Marella and her husband were avid art collectors and she served as the honorary president of the Pinacoteca Giovanni and Marella Agnelli in Turin, which Mr. B and I visited during our trip to Italy this past fall. 

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For more about the stylish life of the Agnelli’s, check out my prior post here. You can also read a 2014 article written by her niece in T Magazine that provides a comprehensive overview of Marella’s life. 

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1966 Black and White Ball

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Remembering Lee Radziwill with a Look at Her Former Paris Apartment

Yesterday Lee Radziwill, former princess and sister to the late Jackie Kennedy died of natural causes, as confirmed by her daughter. She was 85. She lived what seemed to be a happy, free-spirited life that was also shrouded by sadness. Like Jackie, she had a soft spot for Paris and once owned a beautiful sixth-floor apartment in an 8th-arrondissement neighborhood facing  Avenue Montaigne with views of the Eiffel Tower. Lee put her 1,625 square foot apartment up for sale in Fall 2017 citing that she was no longer spending enough time there. In memory of Lee Radziwill, let’s take a look back at the beautiful Paris apartment she once owned and decorated herself. In a comprehensive article by T Magazine, Lee was quoted as saying that the Paris apartment was her “favorite of any home I’ve ever had”.

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Photo credit: T Magazine photographed by François Halard circa 2013; Match Magazine circa 2015; Real estate listing photos circa 2017.

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In the Mood

It’s currently raining at our Seaside Ranch Home. It wasn’t supposed to rain until tomorrow but apparently, Mother Nature had other plans. So did I…and they involved being outdoors. I’m quickly shifting into Plan B which includes sitting in front of the computer (with the pup in my lap) and composing a long overdue post. I was researching some information for another post idea that’s been swirling around in my head when I stumbled across the Italian blog of Antonella Pagliaroli, a full-time Italian food blogger and photographer who lives in the small town of Bracciano located about 20 miles northwest of Rome. The blog is called “Fotogrammi di Zucchero”, which translates to “Frames of Sugar”. It is a beautiful site chock full of captivating photography and recipes that even non-cooks (like myself) can appreciate. The site has a dark, moody quality to it that captures the feeling of this winter day perfectly.

The inspiration for today’s post title, In the Mood, is actually the name of Antonella’s online magazine, which led me to her website. The most current magazine she publishes is from almost a year ago but the 7 issues she has posted are a feast for the eyes and are still relevant today. 

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reviving charm blog archives

From the Archives of Reviving Charm

With 2018 now behind us I thought there would be no better time to introduce you to a new feature here on the website. New year, new feature. The top menu bar and sidebar now have links to an “archives” section so you can easily find your favorite posts or discover some new ones that you may have missed along the way. The archive currently features all posts over the last year but will eventually include all posts going back to 2015 – the year I started the site. What prompted the change? I visit a lot of websites  and blogs and realized that when I find one I like I generally want to dig deep and read many of the older posts. Lots of websites don’t make this very easy to do and, at best, they may include a way for you to filter all posts by a particular year. This is a good start but I still find myself still having to scroll through an endless number of posts and wading through those I want (or don’t want) to read. As a result of trying to figure out the best way to approach my archive, I decided on a format that reads more like a “table of contents”, as you can see below.

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For me, the exercise of putting together an archive was particularly enlightening; it revealed how much or how little (sorry!) I posted in a particular month. It was also interesting to see how the look and feel of the website has evolved. I hope you find the archives useful, easy to navigate, and a great resource to share with friends (I love new readers!).  Be sure to checkout the 2018 archives HERE. Happy reading!

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The Pink House Outside Paris

It’s been a challenge to find time to write a proper post since we’ve been back from our Fall trip to Italy. Today is a good day to break my silence. After seeing this home online at Architectural Digest I knew I immediately had to share it with you. It is the home of Jason Basmajian, CEO of the esteemed menswear line, Cerruti. Basmajian is a Boston native but now lives in London. This is Basmajian’s country home located outside of Paris that serves as his weekend retreat. I love that he maintained the home’s original antique, rosy hue. Isn’t it beautiful? The interior was remodeled and required the installation of new bathrooms in the attic space since the original home had none. Creature comforts!

I left all the creaks in the floors and wanted to keep the old house’s sensitivity, but with all the modern comforts. –Jason Basmajian

a twostory pink stone house with trees around it

The Queen Anne sofa is from Basmajian's mother recovered in a Loro Piana linen. The other sofa is from Christian Liagre....

The vintage lamp at left is from Flair in Florence and the ceramic sculpture is by local French artist Nadia Pasquer....

Everyones favorite room in fashion designer Jason Basmajian's house near Paris the Farrow and Ballpainted library. The...

Belgian gray stone floors and the original staircase. Basmajian replaced one of the walls with glass panels to let the...

This room was previously the refectory and is now the central room of the house connecting the terrace to the front...

We play cards and board games out here on summer evenings and have afternoon tea in the autumn Basmajian says. The...

I wanted a soothing calm bedroom and colors that didnt compete with the nature outside he says. The wall paint is Farrow...

Also in the master bedroom the staircase was copied from an original in the house and was added to lead up to the master...

Under the only dormer in the house and with a great view out the little window an extra deep tub with a stone surround....

A pretty window seat located in one of the two upstairs guest rooms. The kilim pillows were brought back from a trip to...

Weather permitting there is lots of outdoor dining. Basmajian created this outdoor area as an extension of the house it...

stylish dog products gift guide

The Newest Member of Our Family Plus Gifts for the Dogs in Your Life

After 20 years, Mr. B and I decided to get our first dog together: an 8-week old, 5-pound Italian Greyhound puppy. Preparing for his arrival was a LOT of work. We puppy proofed the house, purchased all the necessary supplies and read up on what to expect with a new puppy. If you have any tips on training a young puppy, please leave a comment below so I, and other readers, can benefit. Without further adieu, here’s our new puppy. He even has his own Instagram handle @orvietotheiggy that Mr. B has been managing but I will soon be managing also. Learn more about our adventure to bring him home here. 

“Happiness is a warm puppy.” – Charles Shultz

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It goes without saying that we’ve done a lot of shopping before and after acquiring our new puppy. There are lots of products offered for pets so I’ve come up with a roundup of several companies offering stylish pet products that would be perfect for the dogs in your life this holiday season.

Some of the cutest toys are offered by Nandog. We already purchased the alpaca for our dog but have a feeling we’ll be purchasing a few more items from them.

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Clothes shopping for our dog is a must. Italian Greyhound’s have very little fur and almost no body fat so it’s important to keep them warm. If your dog needs a new winter coat, this one from Dog Moderne has some great classic styling and detail.

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If you live in a more mild climate, this sweater is adorable. It’s also offered by Dogue Moderne, a new Los Angeles based company that offers cute clothing at prices that won’t break the bank. dog moderne stylish dog clothes_reviving charm

The Seattle based Maison Luxe home store and design studio recently opened Maison Woof. They are offering some of the most stylish bedding options made out of washable fabrics – a quality you definitely need in a good dog bed. They are a bit pricey but if you are looking for something stylish and durable, this is a great option. 

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A more affordable option is this bed from Teddy Maximus. The bed offers an interchangeable cushion allowing you to mix and match fabrics. teddy maximus_stylish dog bed_reviving charm

I remember seeing the Good Dog day spa gift set several years ago at Neiman Marcus but this year it caught the attention of Oprah Winfrey and it made it to Oprah’s Favorite Things list for 2018. I particularly like the terry cloth doggie robe that is only available in this gift pack.

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Here’s another great gift set from Harry Barker that includes both toys and treats. harry barker_stylish dog_Reviving Charm

The Foggy Dog, based in San Francisco offers a great selection of doggie bandanas. They also offer some of the most stylish waste bag holders on the market that coordinate with their rope leashes that feature solid brass hardware. the foggy dog_stylish pet_reviving charm

Any dog would appreciate a nice cozy blanket to snuggle with. I purchased this blanket in brown but it also comes in grey. I like that it also comes in a variety of sizes. Our pup snuggles with it each night and I’ve washed it several times already. So far it seems to be holding up well.

I know many dogs that love rope toys, including my own puppy. These from Jax & Bones are seriously cute!

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What dog doesn’t like to play a good game of fetch? These fetch balls by Harry Barker are offered in two sizes so dogs big and small can enjoy.

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How You Can Tour the County Estate “Patina Farm”

If you’ve never been to the charming town of Ojai, located in Ventura County 80 miles northwest of Los Angeles, then I highly suggest you plan a trip this upcoming weekend. It may be last minute, but wouldn’t life be dull without a little bit of spontaneity once in a while? A trip to Ojai any time of the year is wonderful but this weekend is particularly special – especially for all you design enthusiasts out there. To kick off the holiday season, the annual Ojai Holiday Home Tour & Marketplace will take place November 10 & 11.

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The official website describes the event as follows:

“Each year the Ojai Holiday Home Tour welcomes designers and florists, each of whom are assigned a home and tasked with bringing their own vision of décor and the holidays to life. This year (November 10-11), we have lined up the following designers Bruce Abbott, Angela’s Flowers, Carolyn Bennett of cdb gardens, Laurel Crary, Brooke Giannetti of Giannetti Home, and Ojai Blooms.”

What particularly caught my attention is that the home of Brooke and Steve Giannetti is included in the home tour this year. Inspired by the country homes of Europe, the talented architect and designer/husband and wife duo Brooke and Steve Giannetti designed and built a country house in the Ojai Valley of California. It took them 6 months of planning and  18 months of construction to develop the five-acre site that is now their home and farm. Brooke is also the author of a website that I’ve followed for many years, Velvet & Linen, where she chronicled the project that ultimately led to the publication of a beautiful book that I am happy to have on my bookshelf. I’ll also be preordering their latest book, Patina Living, that provides insight on what they’ve learned while living on the farm. Patina Living is due out in April 2019 and is available for pre-order on Amazon.

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Patina Farm via Reviving Charm

The Ojai Holiday Home Tour is a wonderful opportunity to step inside some of the most beautiful properties in the valley, including Patina Farm. Tickets to the event can be purchased on-site or in advance here, with proceeds benefiting the Ojai Music Festival. I have other commitments this weekend and am very disappointed that I won’t be able to attend to tour Patina Farm. However, I do hope that one day I might be invited as a guest. In the meantime, I will sit back and enjoy Brooke and Steve’s lovely book. You can purchase your own copy here. 

If you happen to attend please send me a note to let me know…I’d love to hear all about it…

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