Project Wax-candle countdown

In May’s BoB post, Lauren, of Lolo Loves Scents, posed the project wax question; essentially asking if we’ve ever had so much wax product that we felt a purge was needed before acquiring more. My answer is~oh yes, yes I have. It’s been ongoing at a snail’s pace since January and I’ve finally acquired enough ’empties’ to update.

Note that I don’t normally post my empties because I don’t like to see them myself. Something about viewing all of those empty plastic bags, cups and jars makes me cringe at the conspicuous consumption. Inevitably, I start to wonder if all of that plastic is getting recycled, which leads to worry about the environment, which leads to overwrought visions of apocalyptic doom, and honestly, people don’t need to hear about my neuroses. I recognize the benefits of posting photos of one’s empties though, it absolutely holds you accountable, as it’s hard to deny visual proof.

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I started off with a 5:1 ratio of using up jars to adding new, the baby steps approach. With only one semi-sale purchase from Bath and Body Works, I was feeling good. My winter candles lasted through most of spring, but at least I burned my quota. Then one night in March, I got an email for a random $9.50 B&BW’s candle sale and ended up with 3 unintended additions. Major impulse buys that I’m mostly happy with. At least the 3-wicks can be used quickly, compared to the single wick jars from Yankee which take FOREVER.

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I can’t really explain these last two buys, except I got all squealy when I spotted retired, masculine Evening Air for $13 at TJMAXX and this DW home scent is the first Eucalyptus I’ve enjoyed. I didn’t want to chance passing up that lightning in a bottle (jar).

I’m pretty satisfied with this progress actually, because many of these are retired scents that would be hard to repurchase. The old Jay would have burned these 2 or 3 times and packed ’em up for next year. The old Jay foolishly thought she could keep buying candles without finishing them and it would cause no storage/hoarding issues whatsoever.

Tell me I’m not the only one who struggles with so much wax, be it melts or candles, that a “project wax depletion” is required. I’ve since graduated to 10:1 ratio. I declare I won’t get another jar till I’ve used up 10 older ones. 10, I say!

Band of Bloggers-May

 May, May, May. Welcome back, ol’ friend! May is a turning point in the year for a lot of people. The school year is almost over, summer is coming soon, and those mild months will soon become scorchers. The birthstone of May is the emerald, which symbolizes love and success. This month, we’re focusing on those two things!



We all love something with all our hearts, so tell us what you love the most. It could be the story of how you met your spouse/significant other, where you got your pet, or a nod to your parental units.

~*Yeah, so, this was a challenging prompt. In a way, I already share what I love the most by writing this blog, particularly in my monthly Best/Worst posts. Of course, I love my husband, family and friends and write of them often.

I decided instead of focusing on the ONE thing I love the most, I’d dedicate a credo poem to my loves. This provides a rounder picture, still creates a challenge and avoids having to choose only one. I adapted a credo, or “I Believe” poem to an “I love” poem:

I love…

I love fighting for the underdog,
Browsing through my library’s catalog.
I love the rhyming poetry of Ogden Nash,
Pulling out my winter coat to find a pocket of forgotten cash.

I love receiving a package from a distant friend,
Stimulating conversation you never want to end,

Guacamole,

ice cream,

craft brews,
Smiles on the faces of my niece and nephews.
The sound of my grandparents’ old hall clock when it used to chime,
But never the feeling that I’m wasting my time.

I love watching a live production on the stage, A book that stays with you long after the final page.

 Ballgames,

leisurely morns,

the sound of summer thunderstorms.

I love the soft snores of my sleeping pup,
Pouring myself that morning cup.
I love the emotion of laughter through tears,
And the feeling of conquering my fears.*~


In terms of success, and keeping it blog related, have you ever participated in and/or completed a successful “project wax” or spring wax/perfume/makeup/scented product purge? Have you ever had so much product you felt the need to use it all up before you bought again?

*~I’m not a hoarder, but I’m not a purger either. I’m guilty of keeping make-up past it’s expiration, clothes past their prime and accumulating stashes of candles and wax larger than I could ever use.

In January, I claimed I would burn more candles than I would buy and I plan to update the status of that claim soon. Spoiler alert, I’m failing horribly. Letting stuff I love, or loved, go, can be a struggle for me.~*

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Spring Candles
 This month I plan to redouble and triple my efforts to get through some of my spring candles. 
Please, feel free to answer these questions in the comments section below!

I’m looking forward to reading what my blogging friends love today.
We hope you’ll visit these Band of Blogger blogs and help support the blogger community!

 

If you are a blogger and would like to join the Band of Bloggers for our monthly posts, please contact us.

April: Best & Best

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This mish mash of fragrant goodness represents some of the best melts I’ve experienced in quite awhile and they couldn’t be more different! Spring has carried lovely scents my way, ergo these melts are a must for April’s recap.

Best fragrances of the month year:

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I only melted the tail if you must know.

Balance and Glow- Candles from the Keeping Room (gifted) Delicate honey blossoms kissed with sunny citrus, infused with lavender and Echinacea blooms. Ribbons of raw vanilla and honeycomb wrap the scent in sheer delight.

Not explicit in the description, but this is an amazing tea scent. When melted, my husband searched me out just to tell me how good it was. Not dripping with honey, but lightly sweet and invigorating. Imagine sipping a green tea Starbucks refresher, but better with added herbal essence. No tea scent I’ve tried comes close to this uplifting brew.

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Fresh cucumber and Pink sugarRosegirls chunks.

Though I’ve melted this beloved vendor before, I made my first official Rosegirls pre-order last month. Honestly, they all rocked my world, but this simple blend became a fast favorite. Cotton candy perfumed berries and carmelized sugar twines with crisp, crunchy garden cucumber. Though cucumbers may not be for everyone, this blend works. And I’m not the only one who thinks it, as I’ve read others rave about it’s distinctive scent. Fresh, identifiable, sweet and relaxing.

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The Golden EggThe Bathing Garden reviewed here. Sugared marzipan atop dainty almond pastry filled with vanilla bean rose cream. I doled these eggs out like a wax easter bunny. They were such a hit with my entire family and melt like a dream.

Speaking of The Bathing Garden…

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Sugared Pie Crust- The Bathing Garden

This exquisite pie-shaped sample didn’t last 24 hours in my house before I had to try it. My nose was rewarded with warm flaky dough, baked to golden perfection, sprinkled with a dusting of sugar crystals. The blue-ribbon worthy top note is a dash of salt, just like in an authentic pie crust. SPC is the current scent of the month bundle for TBG and the first I’ve had to strrrugggle to resist.

Spunky Monkey Bread- Lasting Scent Candles reviewed here, SPM was the winning scent from my not totally successful LSC haul. And yes, I have no shame in admitting I’d snap this up in a loaf if I ever got the chance. Pure peach perfection.

White Gardenia fragrance plug-in-Yankee Candle Peach, Berry, Clove top notes, with Gardenia, Jasmine, Lily, Freesia and a base of musk.

I’ve never touted a fragrance plug-in before, but this performs too well not to. Diffusing near the garbage bin in my kitchen and every time I walk by I think, who gathered the bouquet of fresh flowers? Dizzy, intoxicating botanical perfume tones.

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Water Garden- Yankee Candle (gifted) water flowers, melon and musk. This takes me back to the floating water gardens of Jardin Botanique in Montreal. Green pools, misty droplets of hothouse air, water lillies, aquatic hyacinths and delicate fern fronds. The epitome of a fresh spring scent. I can’t say how long it’s been since I was excited about a candle from Yankee.

Best:

Way to chisel my heart of stone:

At our annual Speech Night fundraiser held in early April, our graduating seniors surprised us. Whereas, typically after the performances my husband, the coach, gives a few closing remarks on the individual seniors and their accomplishments. This year, the seniors delivered brief letters to both of us, acknowledging how speech has changed their lives, what they’ve gained and how they will miss it, us, each other.

I can’t express how it touched my heart to hear those heartfelt words of admiration and gratitude for the commitment we make to our team. I’ve spoken an awful lot of them because they are so special to us. Painful as it is to see these students go, I’m honored and grateful to be a part of their successes, their failures and a cherished piece of their teenaged lives.

New method of Easter egg decorating: Using shaving or whipped cream, who knew? 

My niece did (those are her hands) and suggested using as an alternative method for dyeing eggs. It takes food coloring, some practice and a lot of cool whip! All worth it to create these artistic eggs. Tip: for a marbled pattern, skim the egg across the swirls, don’t over blend. For a soft watercolor effect, submerge the egg in well-blended colors.

Read: “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr. Listening to the audio of this tightly woven book kept my mind focused on the workday commutes. I plan to review sometime soon if I can do it justice.

Throwback to the early days of dating:

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After striking a deal to fix up his old acoustic guitar, my husband’s been breaking out in impromptu serenades. Not since the days of early wooing, ages ago, have I been treated to 90’s classic renditions of “Glycerine,” “I’m Free” and “Please Do Not Go” by Bush, Oasis and the Violent Femmes respectively. It’s been sweet, mood-boosting nostalgia and I think it’s kinda cool.

I’ve already touched on the lows of this month and sense a slow shift towards feeling more like myself. It’s been a hard climb, but I’ll take it because I have to. 

What have you treasured lately? Any new beginnings or bittersweet endings on the horizon?

Band of Bloggers-April

It’s that time of year again! As the warmer weather soothes stiff joints and brushes off the last vestiges of winter, homes beg for the same fresh start everyone promised themselves at the beginning of the year. Clothes are donated, rooms are scrubbed, and yards are tended. While the fauna leave their winter dens or return from long migrations, the world blooms with new growth in vibrant splashes of color.
 
For April’s Band of Bloggers post, we will answer a few questions about Spring and the ever-loved Spring Cleaning. Feel free to join in and answer these questions in the comments below!
Speaking of fauna, we’ve had a woodpecker visit a tree in our front yard every morning for the last week or two. I don’t mind him too much as the pecking only lasts about 5 minutes and it’s an arousing reminder of spring. I’m looking forward to longer days and getting outside more often. Though, it’s been rather rainy of late, hopefully our weather will cooperate.
Do you decorate for Spring? 
Barely, it’s my least decorated season. However, I grabbed a few more items this year, including the moss bunny below. Love that little woodland creature. I gravitate to
pastel blue-greens and aqua tones during spring. I also love earthy, mossy green tones.
 
Are there any products you find yourself reaching for as the weather warms? This can be anything; food, clothing, bath and body, wax, you name it!
Honestly, without a blog record of what home fragrance I melted last year, I’d have no recollection of the spring scents that I’ve reached for in the past. I can’t remember any before then either, but I know I’ve really only gotten into lavender scents through vendor wax. Citrus fragrance always seems to brighten things up around springtime.
This year, I’ve reached for numerous pink sugar blends, and will continue to do so as I’m expecting more. Two new-to-me categories I recently enjoyed melting are fizzy and laundry scents. I’m interested if anyone has a nice laundry type recommendation, nothing too starchy. I’ve also received some florals I will review soon. The Yankee jar candle is a gift from a friend in the retired scent Water Garden. An absolute pleasure to burn, as cool and soothing as an actual water garden.
I’ll be reaching for my Rose scented natural deodorant from The Dirty Goat, my festive one seemed to last much longer than the drug store brands. The antiperspirant property is holding up well so far. We’ll see if I enjoy smelling of roses.
Food-wise, it’s bring on the spring bounty! I crave nearly every type of salad one can imagine. I always use more herbs in the warmer months when they’re more readily available.
 
Do you participate in the Spring Cleaning craze?
Hahaha! (That’s the sound of my dust bunnies laughing).
I’m more of a summer cleaner, I need longer days and my husband’s help to tackle larger projects. This summer it will be cleaning the garage, but he doesn’t know that yet;) The only spring-oriented cleaning I have on the horizon is switching over my closets this weekend.
Don’t forget to visit these fellow participants in the Band of Bloggers and help support the blogging community!
Liz at Furianne
Sandra at Finger Candy
If you are a blogger and would like to join the Band of Bloggers for our monthly posts, please contact us.

Best & Worst-March

Best:

Month to attend the thea-tah, is March, apparently. From Playhouse Square to the school play, every weekend involved an aspect of attending some performance.

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During the state Speech tournament, I saw some exceptional performances. Judging a state quality competitive Humor round was a highlight. Marveling at the level of talent achieved by these speechies, it was awe-inspiring and fall-out-my-chair funny.

A suspenseful live show of Wait Until Dark was cool and creepy, it’s based off of my mom’s favorite Audrey Hepburn film. My mom enjoys thrillers, who knew? Then there was the Harry Potter CineConcert which was unique and beautiful.

Lastly, we finally saw Beauty & the Beast! Actually, about two weeks after a release is usually when I catch a film. I enjoyed it. Belle was radiant, the Beast could have been beastlier, but there was still a decent transformation of character. I was surprised by the heartfelt and emotional portrayal of Maurice by Kevin Kline, Gaston was the perfectly preening arrogant foil and Lefou, while not my favorite performance (I have a one-sided love/hate with Josh Gad) was well played, if a bit forced.

My only hesitation stopping a full on love fest for it was the CGI in some scenes. During the ballroom scene, the CGI was magical. I don’t think it worked as well in the supporting character transformations and the castle crumbling climax. Still, I’ve been singing the songs ever since.

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The best is yet to come

Best:

Reason to binge watch everything on my DVR- It seems the Mister and I are the last two people of my generation to finally cut the cable cords. From April 1st, it’s the tv streaming life for me. Any favorable recommendations Netflixters and Huluers? I checked out the top 50 currently playing Netflix series and think I’m only interested in a few I haven’t seen. Older series, Firefly and Bloodlines, and original content such as Stranger Things have intrigued me enough to commit, but there has to be more out there.

Melts of note:

While hurriedly binging on the tv seasons stored on our exiting DVR, I subconsciously at first, then purposely paired the shows with fitting fragrances to enhance the occasion.

“Turn:Washington’s Spies” (season 3)

Bonfire Bliss-Candles from the Keeping Room This mysterious melt grew on me with a much improved warm throw. Smoky, woody and dense; a perfect aroma for meeting in the woods to discuss treacherous plots, which the characters are constantly up to.

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Bright Copper Kettles from Yankee also suited the period drama, Paul Revere was a blacksmith and a patriot. It’s my most treasured cinnamon scent.

“The Big Bang Theory” (season I’ve lost count) There were tons of episodes stored up and I got through several but will miss the remaining dozen till I can grab a library copy.

Candied Blackberry Cookie Bread– K’s Kreations A lovely melt, gifted from a lovely person. Tangy, sugar infused blackberry with a crunchy bit of magic that must be the cookie bread. Fruity/bakery goodness in a feel-good scent for watching a feel-good show.

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Key Lime Cupcake w/Mountain Dew overpourSouthern Sisters Wax

This precious piggy mini-loaf was gifted by the Southern Sisters for correctly guessing their next wax sampler theme. (Dirty Dancing!) They are pop culture nuts and amazingly generous.

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I can’t believe how much I love this scent. Some fragrances work with fizzy, some don’t; the effervescence compliments the sweetness without adding to it. The key lime cupcake isn’t even needed but adds a creamy note that takes the edge off the lemon-lime. I don’t drink Mountain Dew but I will require more of this scent, it’s luscious.

“Outlander” (season 2)

Rose Jam SerendipitySniff My Tarts Nothing more serendipitous than Outlander’s plot-lines. Another generously gifted scent, I wasn’t taken with the Rose Jam because I found it watery and not rosy enough. However, the Serendipity note is fruity, creamy and yummy. I’m so smitten that I plan to order it in single scent form when Sniff My Tarts opens.

ClaireL3 Waxy Wonders

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I love an herbal scent that smells of garden herbs! The bergamot is soft, not harsh and the vanilla is tinged with a woody tone. As strong, bright and outdoorsy as it’s namesake.

Worst:

Not following through on my work wellness challenge. I got a few runs in and just restarted my yoga practice, but it was too little, too late for the challenge. On the bright side, nothing gets a butt in healthy gear more than a looming birthday. Mine’s two months away, yikes! Time to recommit to wellness.

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Johnny and I were literally dodging falling trees on this windy trail run in early March.

Worst:

A disappointing wax haul. It’s trivial in the larger picture of life, but still a downer. After a nine week TAT for my Lasting Scent Candles wax order, I was disappointed in much of it and received an incorrect fragrance. Of course mistakes happen and I’m reserving final judgment for when I’ve melted a few, and after hearing back from customer service.

Worst: 

Saying goodbye to the special group of seniors on our Speech team. The final performance fundraiser night is next week and at the thought of those last moments …words fail me.

Was everyone’s March as up and down as the crazy weather? Have you tried any melts that surprised and beguiled lately? More tv series and scent recommendations are appreciated.

Spring scents & suds

The irony of posting about spring scents today is not lost on me as my area sits blanketed under a half foot of snow that’s been falling since Monday night. It looks more like winter around here than all of January and February put together. Still, what better time to daydream of throwing the windows open and letting in the scents of spring?

I had a request to review recent Bath and Body Works‘ soap purchases that I may or may not have needed. This is my first gentle foaming hand soap review, here goes:

Beautiful Blue Skies– Dewy blossoms, a kiss of citrus & sheer driftwood. Most unique of the bunch that smells sweeter when opening the bottle than it does in use. A pleasing mix of citrus is the forward scent softened by a rain-kissed floral, my kind of bouquet. I detect lemony notes and possibly orange blossom.

While not alcohol fumed, or soapy smelling at all, this scent doesn’t linger on the hands after use except for the gentlest citrus kiss.

French Lavender– a soothing blend of fresh lavender with hints of amber. B&BW’s does lavender well and this is no exception. Smells as realistic as if you’ve crushed lavender buds in your hands. Slightly woody but not overly so, I enjoy the powdery finish from the amber. The longest lasting afterward, it was nice to smell the lavender when lifting my hands to my face 30 minutes later.

Pretty Pink Peony– Blushing peony, jasmine petals & sandalwood. I prefer sweeter peony to headier rose fragrance. This scent carries a strong sugar note in the bottle but has an elegance to it. The most fragrant blooms are present as the lather hits warm water, however, the scent dissipates before the bubbles are down the drain. Wish it lingered a little on the skin.

Cool Coconut Colada– Creamy coconut, lime granita & spun sugar. Yummy! Reminiscent of a frozen Pina Colada, substituting lime rind instead of pineapple. I would love to have this scent in wax, and in a cocktail. Similar to, but not the same as the popsicle label version from last year, due to the addition of lime; perfect for summer. CCC lasted 2nd longest on my skin, with a touch of coconut present a few minutes after.

There was another soap sale this weekend, but I have a little stash going already, so I didn’t partake. I’m still working my way through my Winter bottles, tucking these away for warmer months. My favorite of the festive season scents is hands down VMM:

Very Merry Meringue– Whipped lemon meringue, glazed sugar & a hint of vanilla. Not usually a fan of lemon sugar scents, this one is a perfect balance of sweet cream, tangy crystal citrus and decadent vanilla. It brings me back to a lemon dessert I had in childhood, that I just can’t place. Gorgeous and long lasting fragrance.

 

Spring first edition scents by Yankee Candle:

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Emerald Isle– Top:Fresh Meadow, Mid:Green Tea, Wood Anemone, Base:Musk. For me, these notes don’t represent Emerald Isle’s warmed fragrance well. It’s bursting with juicy grapefruit and a reedy green leaf, the likes found around marshes more than meadows. There is a crispness from the green tea and a complexity to it. Much more than just a fresh, or fruity scent. I’m happy YC broke away from the grassy Lucky Shamrock they’ve done forever, it gave me a headache.

These melt cups have a fragrance life of approximately 24 hours. This throws medium, with alternating notes present.

Honey Lavender Gelato– Top:Blackberry,   Mid:Lavender, Base:Vanilla Cream, Honey. On first impression, a toothy gelato; on second, sweet lavender; but warmed, very, very berry. Like many, I was freaking over this scent when previewed, but it didn’t deliver anything special.

Essentially, it’s berries and cream. At least blackberry is my jam, of the jammy scents. My tart threw medium-strong. A nice berry variant but I wished for so much more.

(Let me know if anyone wants a review of any of the rest.)

Yankee released a second spring edition a month ago which I haven’t yet purchased from, but I’m excited for one that I sniffed, Black Sand Beach. Now I’m waiting for just the right sale.

Which new spring scents are you falling for? Have you tried the new Paradise soaps collection? Hope you’re all well and warm if in this snow storm.

Book challenge update/scent pairings

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The most enjoyable book (audio actually) I read last year was The Serpent King, by Jeff Zentner. Just announced as the winner of the William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens. I recommend it as a modern, if sentimental, coming of age in the south story of friendship.

Unfortunately, The Serpent King was one of two bright spots in a personally horrible literary year. Seeking to reignite my reading fire and elevate my choices this year, I entered the Redolent Mermaid’s reading challenge for 2017.

Off to a shaky start, I juggled 3 books at once, delaying the completion of any of them. You may assume being a library specialist makes me a fast reader, sadly, not so. My powers of concentration aren’t what they used to be, often taking me longer to get through most books than it does many of my patrons. Alas, I waded through a few and am currently on my fourth.

*My reviews are for editorial purposes only, book critic I am obviously not.

20. Female authored-

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson, published 2016. Described as “a fever dream” this brief story features a young African-American girl from Tennessee replanted in Brooklyn in the 1970s.

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Woodson writes in memories and memory lapses, so that the reader is spinning, shifting through the storyline on unsure footing. Alternating between a punch to the gut softened by splashes of warmth and humanity, the writing is bare, sparse, and spare. Drifting through the protagonist’s broken memories meant I didn’t really experience or understand the supporting characters. Her best friends, brother and father felt like strangers. Real human beings portrayed in the unreality of snippets of memory, I was never pulled into the story.

The interesting takeaway was that everyone in Woodson’s Brooklyn dreamed of living in better places. If you’re looking for a feel-good read, keep looking. If looking for diverse, LGBT-authored, I lukewarmly recommend it.

21. Paranormal or supernatural-
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker, published 2013.
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For the purpose of the reading challenge, I put the G+J into the supernatural phenomenon category. Cataloged as Fantasy, a more appropriate description is Folklore, or a sort of Historical/ Fantasy hybrid. Unlike anything I’ve read before, I predict it will be the best book I’ll pick up this year. I dare say the best I’ve read in a decade, but while still feeling the post-read pull on the heartstrings it’s too early to say.
Told through seamless multiple narratives, The Golem and the Jinni is a story about legends, good versus evil, the nature of humanity, whose main characters don’t qualify as human. Set in late 19th century New York City, a tale of lost souls seeking friendship, love, community, freedom and acceptance while navigating two different cultures, Jewish and Syrian.
Reviewer William Schwab said, “a good book answers questions you didn’t know you should ask.” Reading this brought forth so many questions: Can people rise above their nature, or are they destined to fulfill it? Which has greater value, one’s duty or self-determination, safety or freedom? What does it mean to be truly free? What is a purposeful life? Who is worth one’s faith and devotion and at what cost? My personal favorite dilemma these characters struggled with; should great knowledge be sacrificed for happiness? 
Never have I read a story containing so many unforeseen and unpredictable developments that I nonetheless knew was barreling toward it’s inevitable conclusion. This is Wecker’s debut novel, researched and written over 7 years and I hope that she carries on. No encounter was wasted, no character or detail superfluous, not a single word. With visceral imagery and impeccable pacing, even at 484 pages I felt I was leaving the Golem and Jinni’s world too soon. I perceive I’ll continue to live with the memorable Chava and Ahmad, the thoughtful rabbi, solitary Arbeely, good Michael Levy, caring Maryam and the fateful Ice cream Saleh a little while longer though, I’m not ready to give them up.
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 At the suggestion of my buddy Sandra, who’s been pairing her challenge reads with nail art, I will tie in fragrances inspired by a few of mine.
The Jinni – a character both “dazzling and dangerous”, fiery and impulsive, is represented by Bright Copper Kettles from Yankee’s My Favorite Things collection. Jinni’s skill at metalsmithing was an integral part of the story and a fitting choice. Cinnamon bark, and spicy clove cast an inviting spell while patchouli and cedarwood radiate the warmth of home.
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The Golem -tougher to choose, I rejected a baked bread scent for one elemental and earthy. Silver Birch, with ozone, Siberian pine, clove, eucalyptus and patchouli fit nicely. Leaning masculine, it represents the strong, stoic Golem, with a steady even throw to it as well. The beautiful birch tree label symbolizes all of the nights wandering the parks.
11. A book with an animal on the cover or in the title.
Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase published 2016 (audio book)
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 A dual narrative flipping between 1960s and present-day Cornwall and the happenings and mishaps occurring at the Alton family’s stately title home. Though a rabbit graces the intriguing book cover, the animals play a minor indirect and unlucky role.
Both premise and character introductions were promising, but the story became disappointing fairly early on. The audio narrator didn’t help as I found myself rolling my eyes at the developing melodrama. Our modern heroine Lorna, initially likeable, came across quite selfish and petulant by the conclusion. The tragic Amber’s flashbacks, though a more stimulating story, began to read like teenage diary entries. There was also a Flowers-In-The-Attic undercurrent happening and if you’ve read it and that’s your thing, then BRH may be for you. I read it as a pre-teen and am not looking for V.C. Andrews read-alikes at this point in life. The revelations and predictable subsequent revelations weren’t worthwhile enough for the rest of the plot. I recommend any of Kate Morton’s novels instead, far better at untangling old family secrets.
Happy Reading friends, send any thoughts and recommendations, I vow to read better in 2017.