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[Dream of Italy - a la Fresco Tablescape]

During the hot summer months, we all want to create a feeling of being in a happy place. When I think of being in a happy place, my mind wanders to a wonderful table eating a la fresco in Italy - great pottery, and lemons, lemons everywhere. I transfer myself there with a tablescape.

I pulled out my Italian bowls and mugs, and thought how can I entertain with these? What Italian small bites can I server.

Centerpiece: Sunflowers were my choice for the floral. These are always so leggy, I took a chance and cut the stems to fit in 3 Italian pitchers. I have been saving the lemon tea lights and they were perfect for the cobalt blue tea light holders. Turning the bowls upside down, made great candle holders for the larger lemon candles. Adding fresh basil plants to the mugs filled in the gaps. You can also add some fresh cut herbs, specifically oregano around your display. The sent of the herbs is wonderful!

For a beverage, ice water with floating lemons, and mint. You can add basil leaves to the water. With little ones, we opted for the mint. Remember to rub the leaves so they release the oils to flavor the water.

Float some candles to enable a citrus sent to float thru your home and to welcome your guests.

Add some sliced tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, a bowl of olives and some rosemary crackers. You are now ready for an impromptu get together!

Relax and enjoy!

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