When Life Gives you Lemons...

Arizona may not be top of mind when one questions where lemons, or other citrus fruits for that matter, are grown. But in fact, Arizona is one of only four states that produces mass amounts of citrus (the others are California (southern), Florida and Texas. Citrus growing requires just the right combo of balmy days and warm nights.

Now that we are deep into November, lemons are falling off the trees en masse and, more than just a bright addition to my water and daily smoothies, they are good for oh-so-many things. Read on for some of my favorite lemon-infused products (a lemon bikini?!?), gifts, DIY ideas and more.

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Treat Your Skin to Citrus

Who doesn’t love silky-smooth, clean skin that smells like Meyer lemon? Treat yourself or gift your hostesses this holiday season with Williams Sonoma’s Meyer Lemon Essential Oils Soap and Lotion Collection, from $9.95.

Be the Hostess with the Most-est

Table settings are one of my favorite places to play when I’m entertaining. To freshen up your next brunch or lunch get-together, be sure to accessorize your table with these bright and sunny Lemons Paper Placemats from Hester & Cook; $29.00 for a pad of 30 placemats.

 

Wear Your Citrus

Nothing says sun quite like lemons—and what better way to wear the sun than a lemon bikini? Show off your beach bod in one of these lemon-inspired swimsuit designs available at CUPSHE, an affordable online boutique retailer specializing in women’s swimwear. Suits starting at $24.99

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Have your lemons and eat them, too!

Most people have tried lemon meringue pie or lemon bars, but we dare you to attempt some of these other mouthwatering recipes from one of our favorite celeb chefs Martha Stewart, including Glazed Lemon Cookies, Lemon Pine Nut Tart, and the cutest Little Lemon Soufflés.

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Put Them in Your Cocktails (or make lemon liqueur)

Citrus rules in most mixed drinks, offering a much needed contrast to sweet, bitter and salty. However, we are taking it one step further and infusing vodka with lemon peels to make Limoncello—a traditional Italian liqueur made with lemon rinds, vodka, sugar and water. It tastes fantastically refreshing, is super simple and will impress even the most discerning cocktail snob. Click here for Bon Appetit’s no-fail recipe.

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Clean Your Home

The citric acid in lemons make them a natural cleaning agent—have you ever squeezed lemon juice on your hands to clean them? Same sort of idea for cleaning your home. In this article on RealSimple.com, learn 7 ways lemons can make your day—and your home—a little brighter.

Drink Lemon Water!

Beyond giving your drinking water a bright boost, adding lemon to your water also offers other benefits. An article on Swedish.org points out 5 unexpected benefits of drinking lemon water:

  1. Keeps your skin blemish free

  2. Helps prevent infection

  3. Freshens breath

  4. Helps regulate stress levels

  5. Increases potassium intake

Need we say more?

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Attend a Lemon Festival

For two days every fall the city of Goleta, California (located about 8 miles west of Santa Barbara) celebrates everything lemons at the Goleta Lemon Festival. The family-friendly festival turned 27 last September and the event draws thousands with a full schedule of lemon-themed activities and events.

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Grow More Lemons

Good news: even if you don’t live in a sunny, warm climate, you can still grow lemons at home. The easiest way to begin is with a potted lemon tree (vs growing from seed, which can take four years to produce fruit). Potted trees can thrive inside during colder weather and Meyer lemon trees are especially adept at flourishing indoors. Click here for a step-by-step guide to purchasing, growing and caring for potted lemon trees.