Inquiring minds want to know…

What does 86 Lemons mean?
During college, I waited a whole lotta tables at various restaurants. It was then that I became familiar with the term “86,” which means to remove, end usage, run out of, or take something out or away. For example, a customer might order a burger with no onion, which would translate to the cook as “86 onion.” Or maybe we ran out of ribs, so the manager would scribble “86 RIBS” on the 86 whiteboard in the kitchen. If you’re thinking that the word “no” is just one syllable and much more efficient than the three-syllable term “86,” you are right. I’m right there with ya. (If you care to know how the term “86” originated, click here.) And we all know what a lemon (slang) is:  a person or thing that proves to be defective, imperfect or unsatisfactory; dud (his car turned out to be a lemon). Essentially, ‘”86 Lemons” means no more duds. And that’s what this site is all about…

What is 86 Lemons about?
I spend my time testing out all those fabulous-looking projects, recipes and products so you know which ones are time-wasting, headache-inducing, wallet-draining lemons… and which ones I deem worthy of your attention. Have you ever spotted a project that looked like a no-brainer, only to find out it was far more complicated than you anticipated? (Ahem… like starting a blog.) Or maybe it was a recipe that ended up tasting like crap (darn that mouth-watering photo). Oh, and what about the latest mascara ad/commercial that convinced you it was “the one,” but it was just like all the rest. Don’t you wish some honest person with no agenda would test it for you and give you the inside scoop? Wouldn’t it be lovely if they would weed through mess and toss the lemons? Hey, it’s a dirty job but I’m here to do it. Think of 86 Lemons as your resource for all projects and products that pass the test. I’ll give it to you straight. No sugar-coating here. So before you go hunting down a blue canning jar for every bathroom in your house (don’t tell me you haven’t seen the soap dispenser project on Pinterest like a million times), I hope you’ll visit 86 Lemons and find out if it’s worth the bother.

Who is the wizard behind the curtain?
It’s me! I’m Livvy, founder of 86 Lemons. I’m a thirty-something gal from Michigan (now a transplant in North Carolina) who has creative code written in my DNA. I’ve always loved to create, both with my hands and my computer. I graduated from GVSU with a BFA (emphasis in Graphic Design). Whether it’s in my office, kitchen or craft room, there is sure to be a project in process (along with a trail of resulting debris). So often I will discover a new product, recipe or DIY project that I want to share because it’s so great! Then there are those times when I want to give you fair warning and shout, “That sucked!” And so, my friends, 86 Lemons was born.

My husband (who I’ll term “Hubs” on this blog) and I are parents to two little Havanese fur-babies (dogs) named Dutch and Schatzi. They are so sweet, but they can be so naughty! I don’t know where we went wrong (Cesar Millan, if you’re out there, HELP!). We love to travel and have been fortunate to visit many places. Hubs is a foodie with a major sweet tooth, and people (especially my mom) just love to feed him. I ditched animal products for a plant-based diet in February of 2012. It all started with the Daniel Fast, which I did during Lent. After discovering how much better I felt, I decided to stick with it (plant-based eating, that is). I’m still learning so much as I go, but what a difference it has made already. No more irritable bowel. Clearer skin. More energy. And let’s face it, I’m going to need all the super powers I can get to fearlessly test the waters for you ;)

Lastly, I’m an accessory/fashion junkie. In 2009 I discovered a brilliant little (well it was little at the time) company called Stella & Dot. It was love at first sight. I fell in love with their jewelry and joined the company as an Independent Stylist. I enjoy sharing the style with other women and helping my hostesses earn loads of free jewelry. Who doesn’t love free jewelry?! From time to time, I’ll share my favorite pieces with you on 86 Lemons.