Summer in New England

DIY Lemon & Herb Citronella Candles

Simple and easy DIY lemon & herb citronella candles are the perfect way to ward off summer’s unwanted biting insects.

It’s officially summer at our house when the sun begins to set and the yard becomes filled with our least favorite insect, mosquitos. They are a nuisance and force us to head indoors sooner than we are ready. With our property surrounded by wetlands, we will never be able to rid our yard of all mosquitos. However, these lemon & herb citronella candles may provide us a little sanity and a few more minutes outside!

Citronella Candles

This was my first time making DIY citronella candles. I can assure you, it will not be my last. These candles are unbelievably easy to assemble, smell divine, and repel mosquitos naturally.

Ingredients
Lemons & Limes

Supplies You Will Need:

  • Gather mason jars of varying sizes (or use all the same size). I like grouping these candles in 3’s with jars of all varying heights.
  • Round up a few floating candles. I used these.
  • Snip fresh rosemary sprigs from the garden. Fresh sprigs of lavender or basil would also work for this.
  • Slice lemons and limes. The amount of lemons & limes you need will depend on the amount of candles you are making & the size of the jar. On average, I used about 2-3 lemon slices and 2-3 lime slices per jar.
  • Purchase an organic lemongrass or citronella essential oil. I used this lemongrass essential oil.
DIY Citronella Candles
Floating Candle

How to make DIY Lemon & Herb Citronella Candles:

Fill your mason jars this way:

  • First start by adding the lemon and lime slices. I used about 3 lemon slices and 2 lime slices for the large mason jars and about 1-2 lemon slices and 2 lime slices for the small mason jars.
  • Add 1-2 springs of rosemary.
  • Fill mason jar with water until an inch below the lid rings.
  • Add about 20 drops of the essential oil. Take a butter knife or spoon and mix the ingredients in the jar carefully.
  • Place the floating candle on top.
Summer Tablescape

These DIY citronella candles will last up to 3 days before the fruit and herbs will start to go bad. However, you could add the fruit and herbs to a stovetop potpourri for a day or so before tossing! Stovetop potpourri is such a great use of old fruit & herbs. You can find one of my stovetop potpourri recipes here.

DIY Citronella Candles

Not only do these candles repel bugs naturally, but I cannot get over how beautiful they are too! How perfect would these be for summer entertaining?! These candles would be so gorgeous lined up down the center of a table for an outdoor dinner party. Or grouped together in odd numbers like I have here!

Summer Tablescape
DIY Candles

For a video tutorial on how to make these simple DIY lemon & herb citronella candles, visit my reel highlight on Instagram titled DIY. I would love to know if you make these! Tag me on social media or leave me a comment here and let me know!

Links to products featured in this post can be found in our new “Shop Our Home” page. I hope this page makes shopping our home a little easier for you! I earn a small commission when you make a purchase from one of our LTK links. Your support helps me continue to create meaningful content for you!

I look forward to sharing more of my home with you and inspiring you to have a well loved home! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LIKEtoKNOW.it.

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DIY Mother’s Day Gift & Tablescape

Mother’s Day is less than a week away, are you ready?! If not, I’ve got another Mother’s Day gift idea for you! Last week, I shared gift ideas from some of my favorite retailers, you can read that post here. However, this week I wanted to share with you an inexpensive and easy gift that little ones can help with and one that mom will love.

Fresh herbs planted in aged terracotta pots. Each Mother’s Day, I ask Dave for herbs to plant in our planter we have on our back deck right next to the kitchen. I love having fresh herbs all summer long that I can easily access while I’m cooking. I use them in everything from salad dressings to sauces to marinades for meat & poultry, and even ice cream! (You can find my rosemary ice cream recipe, here.) One of the other great things about growing herbs is the delicious scents that eminent from them and the wonderful aromas that fill our deck and kitchen!

Instead of gifting mom an herb in the ugly plastic container that comes from the store with the ugly plastic plant label…let’s make it special by transplanting the herbs into beautiful aged terracotta pots (that we aged ourselves!) and adding super cute wooden plant labels! I had aged terracotta pots a few weeks ago for our front porch (read that post here) and had such a fun time doing that, I thought I would age more pots for these herb gifts. Some other fun ideas to dress up a basic terracotta pots besides aging them would be painting with acrylic paints or decoupaging (littles would have so much fun helping with any of these techniques!). Aging terracotta is super easy technique I found on Liz Marie Blog.

Mother's Day Gift Idea
Herbs
Herb Labels

To age terracotta pots you only need a few things; organic garden lime, water, clay pots (for the herbs I bought 4″ pots), matching clay saucer, bowl for mixing, and a paint brush. To make the aging mixture, add 1 cup of lime to bowl and mix with 1 cup of water (ratio is 1:1). Stir until lime fully dissolves in water, mixture will resemble mud. To apply the lime mixture, use a paint brush to brush the mixture onto the clay pots & saucers, making sure to coat pot evenly. Allow to fully dry and if desired, apply 1 to 2 more coats (I applied 3 coats to the pots pictured here). That’s it!

Once your clay pots are fully dried from the aging process (should only take an hour or so) you can transplant your herbs into their new pots. You can use any herbs that you or mom like for this DIY. I purchased rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, chives, and mint. Note: You may need a handful or two of potting soil when transplanting (we like to use Miracle-Gro Potting Soil). Once you’ve transplanted your herbs, water in, and add the wooden herb tag. You can purchase the tags I used here (I also like these), or you can also make your own with popsicle sticks!

Mother's Day Gift Idea
Herbs in Terracotta Pots
Herbs

Your DIY herb pots are now ready for gifting to mom, how easy was that! Let’s not stop there though…

I took the herb pots and made a tablescape with them! If you’re hosting a Mother’s Day breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner this would be the perfect tablescape to display your potted herb gifts and then have mom take the centerpiece when done!

Mother's Day Tablescape
Herb Centerpiece

For this tablescape, I started by adding a runner to the center of the table. Then, I centered two of the herb pots in the middle of the table and the runner. I added three mason jars on either side of the herb pots using a large, medium, and small mason jars on either side of the centered herb pots with a votive candle inside each mason jar. I then added another two herb pots on either end of the table (other side of mason jars) to complete the center of our tablescape.

Mother's Day Table
Place Setting
Candles in Mason Jars

I kept the place settings simple for this tablescape with white plates, clear drinking glasses, and gold utensils. I used a napkin that matched the table runner which I then tied with a simple twine bow and inserted an extra wooden plant tag into each napkin.

Light the candles and your table is ready to celebrate mom this Mother’s Day!

Herbs as a Centerpiece
Mother's Day Tablescape

Links to products featured in this post can be found in our new “Shop Our Home” page. I hope this page makes shopping our home a little easier for you! I do earn a small commission when you make a purchase from one of our LTK links. Your support helps me continue to create meaningful content for you!

I look forward to sharing more of my home with you and inspiring you to have a well loved home! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LIKEtoKNOW.it.


Seasonal Dinnerware – An Easy Kitchen Update

While I patiently wait for spring to make her appearance and our kitchen remodel to start, I wanted to share with you a simple update in our home last week that made the kitchen feel fresh and new without moving furniture, painting cabinets, or spending a chunk of money to update appliances, fixtures, or hardware (that will be happening soon enough at our house!). What is this easy kitchen update you might ask? I added a beautiful, botanical set of dishes to our cupboard. I love our everyday, white dinnerware from Mikasa (linking that set here), however it was fun adding a botanical print to mix in with our everyday dishes. Adding new, botanical printed dishes to the kitchen created a fresh feel that I was in desperate need of. Warm weather and blooming flowers is still a ways away in New England (spring is fickle in the northeast). Not to mention our kitchen remodel is taking much (much) longer than I anticipated!

To quell my craving for fresh, spring vibes in the kitchen; I added these ceramic Fern & Grass salad plates, dinner plates, and bowls from Bico Ceramics to our kitchen. Not only are these dishes beautiful, but they are functional as well. With a family that includes two teenagers, functionality is key. These are high quality ceramic dishes that are both dishwasher and microwave safe (a must with teenagers!). These dishes are white and printed with eucalyptus, ferns, and other greenery patterns in shades of green, blue, yellow, and orange. Perfect for spring but for summer as well!

Dave and I recently discovered a market near our home that we love visiting each Saturday when we run our weekly errands (you know you’re getting old when running errands is the highlight of your weekend!). This local market has a fresh meat counter, deli, artisan cheeses, coffee shop, bakery, among other things. Our first stop at this market is the coffee shop. Dave and I both order panini’s and I order the most amazing peach blossom iced tea (to say I’m obsessed with this tea is an understatement). While we wait for our panini’s, we shop the rest of the market. I typically make a bee line for the bakery, as many of you know, I tend to have a weakness for sweets and carbs. The bakery has the most delicious cakes, muffins, and Italian pastries. While there last week, they had amazing looking spring cupcakes that I knew would look so pretty on our new plates, so we bought some! When we arrived home, I decided to put together a quick tablescape to feature our new botanical dishes, cupcakes, and a few small floral arrangements.

For this tablescape, I placed a Turkish linen hand towel on our island as the base. I added a stack of the botanical dinner plates, a stack of the botanical salad plates, and the botanical bowls in the center of the towel. I then added a few mason jars filled with fresh Lilies, Ranunculus, St. John’s Wart, white mini Daises, and…a few carrots! Have you ever thought to add carrots to a floral arrangement?! These little arrangements are so fun with the addition of the carrots. I think they would look amazing on an Easter table, or for a spring birthday centerpiece, or even for a Peter Rabbit themed baby shower. Finally I added the pièce de résistance…the delicious cupcakes!

Our kitchen is the heart of our home so if you’re like me and craving an update to one of the most loved and used rooms of your home, consider adding seasonal dishes to your everyday dinnerware. It will make your kitchen feel fresh and new with little to no effort! If you’re interested in purchasing the dinnerware featured here or any other dinnerware from Bico Ceramics; use code ELEANORRFG for 10% off your purchase (code only valid through 3/16/2022). What ways do you update your home for spring? Do you change out your dishes according to the season? Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you!

Links to products featured in this post can be found in our new “Shop Our Home” page. I hope this page makes shopping our home a little easier for you! I do earn a small commission when you make a purchase from one of our LTK links. Your support helps me continue to create meaningful content for you!

I look forward to sharing more of my home with you and inspiring you to have a well loved home! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LIKEtoKNOW.it.


Simple Early Spring Tablescape

Spring was in the air, and I loved it. Last Saturday, we had bright sunshine and temperatures in the mid-sixties. When you live in the northeast during the winter, sunshine and warmth are things to celebrate! New Englander’s embrace the few, rare days of sun and warmth during the wintertime. We head outside for fresh air, roll our windows down in the car, and enjoy the feeling of the sun on our skin. I think it’s natures way of giving us hope that as with most things, nothing lasts forever, even winter. Mother Nature did quickly bring us back to reality when she gave us a snow storm the following day, dumping a bunch of the white stuff in the northeast. Don’t get me wrong, I love living in New England and the four seasons we have. However, after a day of flaunting a vest and some slip on shoes and not having to worry about throwing on a thick winter jacket to leave the house or cranking the heat in the house and the car to stay warm, I am craving all things spring. While I can’t control Mother Nature and when spring will truly arrive, I can bring the feeling and the warmth of spring to the inside of our home.

I created this super simple tablescape or in this case I should say “islandscape” to start to bring that feeling of spring into our home. Tablescapes do not need to be elaborate or fancy, they can be as simple or as complicated as you would like. Lately, I’ve been leaning more to the simpler side with my décor. For me and my anxious mind, simple is calming and in some ways can be more beautiful and impactful. Tablescapes are not just for tables, they can be for kitchen islands or other surfaces too. Our family congregates around the kitchen island most of the time, so I always have something styled on our island to brighten up and add coziness to our kitchen.

Most of the items I styled in this tablescape were items we already had in our home. All that was purchased for this were the flowers along with a couple of items to bake the muffins. For any tablescape, you want to make sure you have height and texture. For height, I decided to use white pitchers as the vessels for the flowers. The flowers I purchased were white tulips along with white ranunculus. These looked beautiful and fresh in the store and fit the spring vibes I was going for. What screams spring more than fresh Tulips! You can purchase whichever flowers you love and look the freshest in the store that week. I added the taller tulips to the bigger, taller pitcher and the smaller more delicate ranunculus to the shorter, stout pitcher.

For another element of height, I added a covered cake stand full of lemon blueberry muffins. The covered cake stand will keep your muffins fresh and allows anyone craving carbs to grab one (and that is typically me!). I love muffins. I am not sure that I have ever found a muffin that I did not love. My favorite store bought muffin is chocolate chip and my favorite homemade muffin is blueberry. I have been on a homemade blueberry muffin kick the past few weeks. Each time a batch is gone, I have to make another one. I wish I could say I bake my blueberry muffins from scratch, but this busy momma just doesn’t have them time! I take the help from the store when ever I can get it. I do have my go to, favorite mixes and currently I am loving the blueberry muffin mix from Trader Joe’s. It is easy to whip up and tastes like the muffins were made from scratch. To take these blueberry muffins to the next level and to make them a little more “spring like” I added the zest of a lemon and about a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. I also added a handful of fresh blueberries to the mix and sprinkled them on top of the muffins before baking.

Now that we have our larger items for the tablescape (large & small pitchers of flowers and cake stand filled with muffins), it is time to create our tablescape. To group the items together, I love to use a cutting board or a bread board as the base for the tablescape. The wooden base adds texture and height to the surface of the counter. Add the pitchers and cake stand to the wooden base, add small plates & linen napkins for the muffins, and you have a simple, easy, and beautiful tablescape perfect for the start of spring!

I hope this tablescape gets you into the spirit of spring like it did for me and our home! I am looking forward to warmer weather in the months ahead, but for now, I will have to rely on the spring vibes I create in our home to keep us warm and cozy. How do you add spring vibes to your home? Are you looking forward to spring as much as I am? Let me know by leaving a comment, I would love to hear from you!

Links to products featured in this post can be found in our new “Shop Our Home” page. I hope this page makes shopping our home a little easier for you! I do earn a small commission when you make a purchase from one of our LTK links. Your support helps me continue to create meaningful content for you!

I look forward to sharing more of my home with you and inspiring you to have a well loved home! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LIKEtoKNOW.it.

P.S. Did you notice that some of these photos had more lemon blueberry muffins than others?! If so, your eyes did not deceive you! Muffins were being eaten between the taking of the photos…I will however, not name names.