Happy New Year! I can hardly believe the holiday season has come and gone, and yet here we are, beginning the second week of 2018 already! I sincerely hope you all enjoyed some time off with your loved ones, enjoying the festivities, and reflecting on 2017. Last year certainly had its ups and downs (more ups than downs, I am glad to say!), as do most, but I’m feeling extra grateful for family, the countless blessings we have been given, and the opportunity for a fresh start. I love January. I love a clean slate, and how it invites us to begin anew, and take on those goals and hopes we have with a restored sense of motivation.
Can I admit something to you? When January rolls around, I secretly relish in putting all of my Christmas decorations away, giving my house a deep clean, and making it feel simple again. The many odds and ends of Christmas cheer placed throughout my home are festive and fun, but when the new year rolls around, I want it all gone, and for my surfaces to be cleared away. Every season, an inner shift happens that gets me ready and excited for what’s next. As human beings, I think we are all naturally inclined toward seasons shifting, certain ones coming to an end, and new beginnings.
As the lights and wreaths are boxed away until next Christmas, I am given a pristine set of eyes, seeing my home differently, eager to make changes, and most of all…make everything smell like lemon! Perhaps it’s the familiar scent of lemon Pine-sol that sparks a sense of something being clean. Maybe it’s my lemon tree in bloom, and its bright, yellow fruit that breaks through the grey skies like sunshine, leaving me inspired. No matter the cause, the surest way you can tell it is officially January in my household, is when the scent of lemon lingers and wafts through each room.
Cleaning products certainly contribute…and my favorite ones to use are from the Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Lemon Verbena line at Target (and locally semi-available at Estudillo Produce!). The products are effective, and there is nothing more satisfying than lighting the lemon verbena candle, after everything has been scrubbed to sparkle. As I was cleaning just the other day, I felt inspired to try out some lemon-themed DIY’s, to add more of a lemon-y touch to my home, and to encourage you to do the same! After you’ve given your house a vigorous clean, have some fun making a lemon tea light of your own, and then whip up some of my famous lemonade! Personally, I can’t think up a better way to start the new year!
First up…DIY Lemon Tea Lights!
- Glass jar(s)
- Lemon(s) cut into thin slices
- Floating tea light
- Extra: a few sprigs of rosemary, lavender, etc. for additional color and scent
- Enough water to fill jar
This little craft could not be more simple, cute, or quick! I prefer to do a few at a time. I think three lined up on a mantle, or scattered throughout the house makes more of an impact…and really adds a pop of color! All you have to do is pick or buy some lemons, and slice them into thin slices. If you have some fresh rosemary, lavender, or any other delicious smelling herb growing in your garden, or stashed away in your fridge, cut a few sprigs of that too! Fill a glass jar with water, place the lemon slices in, along the sides of the jar, and add the herbs. Place a floating tea light on top, and enjoy!
Now, for that delicious batch of homemade Lemonade!
Trust me, make a pitcher of this lemonade, and keep it in your fridge. You’ll daydream about having a glass when you get home from work. By the way…San Leandro’s soil and climate is perfect for lemon trees. You can thank me later, when you have a beautiful lemon tree, heavy with fruit in your backyard next winter!
Ingredients & Instructions:
- 2 quarts of water
- Equal parts lemon juice and sugar (start with ¾ cup and adjust to your taste)
- Dissolve sugar in some warm water
- Combine ingredients & add ice
- Tip: Meyer Lemons are the BEST for lemonade. Pick some up from the store or from your tree, and get to juicing!
Which DIY are you going to try first? What are you most excited for this month? Share in the comments below! I can’t wait to share more awesome tips and tricks with you in 2018.
Until next time,