HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you all had a beautiful holiday season with friends and family. Thank you for stopping by my blog to read my five Citrus & Sun Moments from December! Scroll down to the bottom of my post to check out my December playlist with some of my favorite songs from this YEAR!
This month was all about slowing down and being in the present moment during the holiday season. I am so fortunate with my job to have two weeks off from work over the holidays. In years past, I have put a lot of pressure on myself to fill every second of this time with to-do lists, working on blog content, or random errands. This season I gave myself permission to put all of that aside until after the new year. Instead, I focused on being present and filling my time with new experiences.
I had the most amazing visit with my family and friends in Michigan (where I am originally from), and Chuck and I have been enjoying our downtime back in Chicago this past week before work starts up again. I still can’t believe that the holidays have come and gone, but a new year always excites me! Bring on 2019!
December Zest & Light
Citrus and Sun represents the vision of finding zest in the everyday experiences of our lives, and shining a helpful ray of light on them so that they are noticed. When we shine light on these moments and find some “zest,” in them, we are sprinkling them with energy, interest, and liveliness in order to learn more about ourselves!
Visit my about page to read more about the meaning behind my blog and these 5 December moments that I am about to share with you!
1. My Dad’s New Accordion
Music has always been an important part of my family, especially when it comes to my dad. Along with playing the piano and singing, my dad also played the accordion throughout his life. We were all very sad when his accordion disappeared almost 12 years ago after he played it at my grandfather’s funeral. For Christmas this year, my brother bought my dad a gift that would keep on giving to our whole family: a NEW accordion!!!
Hearing my dad play his accordion on Christmas Day brought up a lot of memories. These memories included moments with my grandparents, Polish festivals, and family Christmas gatherings of the past. It’s amazing how people and places can live on in songs and sounds. I found myself to be in both the present and the past as I watched and listened to my dad play songs that I didn’t even know were possible for me to remember. It was truly a special moment.
If you would have told me 10 years ago that my happy place would eventually be at an EDM (electronic dance music) concert , I would have probably laughed REALLY hard and then turned on a song by The Killers (who I still LOVE btw). Chuck and I first saw Galantis, an EDM band, at Lollapalooza this past summer. After that show, I knew that my world of music was forever changed.
Chuck loves EDM and has helped me bring this genre into my music lineup over the past few years. As confetti was falling and lights were flashing as we danced to Galantis at the Aragon Ballroom last week, it made me realize just how many new experiences (and music) Chuck has brought to my life that probably would not have interest me in the past. When you open yourself up to another person and their passions in life, you might discover new ones of your own.
*Check out this month’s playlist below for a few of my favorite songs by Galantis!
3. New Music Memories
I realized as I typed the title of this third moment that music had a big impact on me this month!! 😉
Hearing certain songs can take me back to an exact moment in time and bring up a vivid memory from my past. Anyone else every experience this?? For a while, I was finding myself tied to old songs and the same memories. I’ve always loved music, but I just wasn’t really connecting to a lot of the new stuff that was on the radio.
This is when I decided to challenge myself to make a playlist each month and find at least 18-20 new songs that reached me in some way. These are the playlists that I share with you every month on my Citrus & Sun Moments posts! As I was listening to these playlists throughout the month, I was shocked at all of the NEW memories that these songs brought up for me! It made me realize that challenging myself to make a playlist like this each month is such a great way to capture new memories and make them live on in these songs forever.
4. Vegetable Chili
Yes, my fourth moment of this month is about chili because it was just THAT delicious. I’ll keep this short. If you are ever in Chicago and enjoy a good bowl of chili, I highly recommend going to RJ Grunts near the Lincoln Park Zoo. Order their vegetable chili and top it with ALL of the onions and cheese they will bring you. The rest of their menu is pretty great, too, but their chili is famous according to me =)
5. December 31st
New Year’s Eve has always been one of my favorite nights of the year. I don’t know if it’s the hope and excitement that comes with a new year or the reflection of the past year, but this day just brings a feeling peace and happiness within me. The hours leading up to the ball dropping always make me feel nostalgic for past New Year’s Eve celebrations. I remember most of them so vividly. Isn’t it amazing how we can remember what we were doing on big moments/holidays like these that reoccur each year but it’s difficult to remember the days that follow? It kind of makes me want to celebrate every day like it’s New Year’s Eve =)
My third Citrus & Sun Moment from this month inspired me to make my December playlist a little different! This month, I picked out 2-3 songs from each of my Citrus & Sun Moments playlists that brought back the most memories from 2018 and put them on this month’s playlist! These songs are my ultimate favorites from this past year!
Preview these songs on the playlist below, or click the playlist to listen on Spotify for free! You can also check out all of my Citrus & Sun monthly playlists by following me on Spotify! Just type “Stephanie Eiler” in the search bar and click on my picture! I would love to hear your favorite songs from 2018 in the comments below!
Thank you for checking out the December edition of Citrus and Sun Moments! Remember to use the hashtag #citrusandsunmoments on Instagram to share your own joyful small moments with me! I am also on Twitter as @citrus_and_sun!
Happy New Year from Citrus & Sun!!!
Wishing you zest & light in 2019,