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And speaking of plastic… It seems like melamine is making a comeback! Growing up, my family had a set of turquoise blue bowls that were for “salad”, which consisted of iceberg lettuce (and maybe some sliced carrots and a cherry tomato thrown in for good measure) and Catalina dressing. That bright orange dressing on the pale green lettuce in those blue turquoise blue bowls: WOW, Technicolor meals! These kaleidoscope plates come from Jonathan Adler, who seems to always nail my generation’s nostalgic touchstones, and the smart monogram plates are from La Plates and have found themselves profiled in a ton of publications this season. Both companies also offer a wide range of color and deign options with these plates, as well. If your going outdoors to eat this summer, you may want to look into these. They aren’t your mother’s melamine!

As a side bar, the topic of cloth napkins came up this past weekend, and it was expressed that these can really make guests feel like company, even the simple cotton ones from CostPlus. They don’t always need to be linen! Another idea that has gained traction is using tea towels as napkins, which is the best idea yet for a barbeque! In any event, buy a dozen- always by napkins in dozens! Buying in dozens can really save you from forgotten laundry, or when you have an onslaught of unexpected guests. Oh, and don’t worry about ironing these (at least not all the time!) Simple give then a snap after you take them out of the wash and then smooth them out to dry! The 12 don’t have to match each other, they can coordinate together and with the dishes, but I can’t tell people enough how having sets of a dozen has helped me not panic at the last minute! Of course, if you feel jaunty, Jonathan does have some zippy examples in those crazy patterns and colors that go with his plates!

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