Happy Homey Holidays

December 19, 2012 at 4:47 am (In So Many Words) (, , , , , , , , )

Silhouette

I am currently reading A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg, I thought it would be a nice holiday book that has nothing to do with the holidays.  Instead, it’s about the warmth of family and the joys of a well-used kitchen.  However, I’m not very far into it, and that’s not really what this post is about.

I adore homey, cozy things.  A thick homemade quilt, a pie, a dog, a cup of coffee, a good book (like the one mentioned above), these are all things that make my home feel like the kind of home I want people to remember.  A big part of my home, too, is Scentsy.

I adore Scentsy mostly because candles got way too expensive for how quickly I go through them, and a wickless candle lasts much, much longer.  There’s all the familiar smells: Hazelnut Latte, Baked Apple Pie, the usual suspects in my candle purchases, but instead of a $5 candle that lasts a few days, I can get a $5 bar of wax that lasts months.

I’m sharing this with you for several reasons:

1. It has truly helped me maintain an affordable good smelling home.  Glade plugins and candles were becoming way too much in this economy, and my house smelling good is too high of a priority (for me with 3 dogs and a kid) to just stop buying those kinds of things that help me feel relaxed.  Although those old school gel cones from Wally World are awesome, I also like being able to have my things out in sight of visitors, something that produces ambiance.

2. It is Christmas and they make great gifts.  Order online and get it shipped straight to the intended person.

3. Money is much tighter than usual, and being a stay at home Mom/ part time Event Coordinator/ Writer/ Scentsy Consultant /Kung Fu Instructor without a solid and dependable source of income of my own, I could really use the cash.  Ha! There, I said it, this post is in part a ploy to get you to open your wallet.

So all pride aside, I present in a link  My Scentsy Site and offer a heartfelt thank you to my followers for reading my blog, whether you are a Scentsy shopper or not, I truly appreciate you all and hope you’ll forgive my groveling.

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Cyber Monday

November 26, 2012 at 5:05 am (Events) (, , , , , , )

If you plan to do your Holiday Shopping at Amazon.com, I would appreciate it if you would kindly Click Here.  Thanks!

If Scentsy products are on your list of needs or wants, please shop: https://akklemm.scentsy.us/Scentsy/Home

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Bill Bryson, I adore You

September 29, 2012 at 3:27 am (Reviews, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

Title: The Lost Continent

Author: Bill Bryson

Publisher:Harper Perennial

Length: 299 pages

I read A Walk in the Woods a year or two ago and I remember thinking, “What a witty, sarcastic, jack-ass – I love him!” The same holds true for one of Bryson’s earlier works, The Lost Continent.

This book is a great travel memoir of a road trip in America, back when it was still glaringly clear that we were The United States of America, each part of our country a very unique place, in the midst of the late 80’s and early 90’s when the lines were getting blurred and we as a nation fell more and more into a federal ‘group-think’ existence.

Being from the south, there are many times when I feel I should be greatly offended by the things Bryson has to stay about my neck of the woods.  Three things must be said about my not getting offended 1. We southerners don’t offend easily, we just pat your hand and say ‘Bless Your Heart’ for not understanding us and 2. Bryson is funny and intelligent, and despite a lot of generalizations and false conclusions, many parts of his descriptions are familiar and full of truth. But finally, 3. “The South” and “Texas” don’t always mean the same thing, we are a brand all our own, and mighty proud of it.

Bryson’s version of tourism is wonderful.  It has both the comprehension of American ways and not quite being an outsider, as well as the fresh eyes of someone who has been away for so long.  His adventures around national landmarks, travels through run of the mill towns, and his uncanny ability to not be duped in one instance and be completely suckered in another is fantastic.  He finds himself in both the best and the worst of places.  From the smallest hotel room in NY to the cleanest hotel room in New England, Bryson experiences it all, and shares every scurrilous detail.

If you’ve ever stepped foot in any of these places, you can’t help but enjoy his descriptions.  If you haven’t yet been there, you find yourself intrigued.  If you’ve ever read Conspicuous Consumption, you can’t help but notice how Bryson spells out the concepts Veblen’s concepts with severe imagery.  If you’ve never read anything at all, you can at least appreciate his comedic nature and how much his books will make you laugh.

Scentsy pairing: Clean Breeze or Route 66

As usual, I’m enjoying Bryson’s work quite a bit and am so excited to get a chance to discuss this book with other people at the Half Price Books Humble Book Club meeting on October 1st.  There’s still a few days to find a copy, read it, and pipe in at the meeting.

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Falling Back with Scentsy

September 20, 2012 at 9:35 pm (The Whim) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

It is a bit silly that during the time of the year when money is the tightest for my family, I feel highly unmotivated to push my Scentsy products.  Mostly because I have few summer scents that inspire me.  Just Breathe is heavenly and Pixie and Cerise are both a bit like crack in that you start sniffing them and you just can’t stop.  But for the rest, eh, they aren’t my cup of tea.

Fall and Winter on the other hand is divine.  So divine, in fact, that before last year’s Fall/Winter catalogue expired, I found myself stocking up on Honey Pear Cider bars and Cozy Fireside room sprays.  As my best friend will tell you, ‘the house always smells like cinnamon and food.’

Well, now they are back.  Caramel Pear Crisp, Clove and Cinnamon, Cinnamon Pear.  Check out the catalog: https://akklemm.scentsy.us/Scentsy/Browse

I am a little sad that last year’s December Scent of the Month did not return (Comfort and Joy), I uncharacteristically adored it and warmed in 24-7 until I was all out.  For some reason a lot of people thought it smelled like soap.  I thought it smelled like a clean Christmas morning.

With or Without Comfort and Joy this season, know that the Scentsy pairings will be back for fall.  I’ve been warming Weathered Leather for almost every book I’ve read this summer, but it will soon change!  Expect to know what smells are tickling my nose.

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10 Year Anniversary Party!

August 31, 2012 at 4:52 pm (Events) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

As of September 13th Half Price Books has been opened in the Humble area for 10 years! So on Saturday, September 15th, we’re having a party! Come join the fun… book signings, raffles, barbecue, live music in the evening, what more could you want?

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Bookish Aromas

May 20, 2012 at 5:19 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , )

A Post Devoted to Scentsy

As some of you may know, I am not just a book fiend, I am a Scentsy Consultant as well.  Something I love doing as I prep to read is clean the house, make my coffee, and, yes, put the appropriate scent in my Scentsy warmer.  Through some of my posts and reviews you’ll see mention of a perfect Scent pairing for particular books, smells to help set the mood.  For the record, I’d like to share some of my all time favorite mood setters here:

Weathered Leather

Always enhances the library mood, reminding your nose of all the leather bound books and leather covered winged back chairs your library should have, even if it doesn’t now.  The scent also has a backdrop of Oak, adding to every book lovers nose for the perfect library.  Its especially wonderful while reading a historical piece, or a good old fashioned classic, something that you’d easily find in a leather bound anyway.  You can find it under the Scentsy Man collection, but I would definitely not limit this to men.

Duke

Also found in the Scentsy Man collection, I didn’t like this scent much until it hit the warmer.  Cardamom, mahogany, and amber, it makes for the best of library scents, musky and sexy, and all that reminds me of books.  I got this scent for my husband’s man cave, but this week I am convinced that I must steal it because I’ve been doing all my reading in here since we started warming it.  Went perfectly while reading Cosette of Les Miserables.

Spring and Summer Collection available at https://akklemm.scentsy.us/Scentsy/Buy/Collection/371

Just Breathe

Wonderfully fresh with euclyptus and lemony goodness, its great for summer and those breezy summer novels.  Kick back, lay back, enjoy the spa vacation life and a good book.  This is the kind of scent that early Saturday mornings, when my face is freshly washed, I can open the windows let the summer breeze in and let the scent intermingle with the freshly cut grass.

Pixie

A little bit Spring and Summer, a little bit wood nymph.  Its got both mandarin and teakwood as part of its unique blend, and allows me to dive into the greatest of fairy tales.  Its become a personal favorite that I don’t just warm in the library, but all over the house.  It also makes a fantastic bedroom scent.

Honey Pear Cider and Comfort & Joy

These are both out of season Fall/Winter or Holiday scents.  I love them each, and would love if they would bring these back year round.  Honey Pear Cider would make a fabulous Cafe scent and always go wonderfully when I have Hazlenut Latte and Sticky Cinnamon Bun warming in other rooms of the house.  Comfort & Joy is described as spicy, familiar woods marry with surprising white florals, pure citrus, and just a nibble of gingerbread and I absolutely love it.  This is also a scent that smells incredibly clean and I stocked up at the end of the Fall/Winter season so that I would have it through the summer.

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Teacher Appreciation Celebration!

May 11, 2012 at 4:19 am (Events) (, , , , , , , )

This Week is National Teacher Appreciation Week.  Next week, Half Price Books in Humble will share the love and appreciation.

Win a Teacher Appreciation Gift Basket Our hard-working teachers deserve a well-earned break. What better way to start the summer than with a “Pamper Yourself” gift basket.  From Monday, May 14 to Saturday, May 19, use your Educator Discount Card at our HPB Humble store and you can enter to win a wonderful gift basket full of Mary Kay Mani/Pedi products, an Ophelia’s Quote Mug (http://www.etsy.com/shop/OpheliasGypsyCaravan), plus a Summer Surprise Reading Bundle. See store for details.

The Summer Reading Bundle has several titles donated by Half Price Books that should entice you, but I wont give away the surprise! You’ll have to go into the store and see for yourself! But I will let you know that there is a sneak peek of an event to come with an Advanced Reading Copy of Delaney Rhodes’ first book Celtic Storm.

In additon to that, there’s a Scentsy hand foam and catalogue provided by yours truly (akklemm.scentsy.us) to add to all this Pamper Yourself fun.  Teachers are an important part of our lives and crucial members of our community, we want to let them know it!

If you are passionate about giving back to our teachers, contact me at andiklemm@rocketmail.com.  I am constantly brain storming future events and any contributions whether it be donated items or ideas to help make the celebrations more wonderful, are most welcome.

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The Mother’s Day Post

May 4, 2012 at 5:39 pm (Events, In So Many Words) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Mother’s Day is celebrated all over the world at various times in Spring to, obviously, honor one’s mother.  In the United States, Anna Jarvis founded the day we know now that is celebrated on the second Sunday of May, in 1908.  By 1914 it was made a National Holiday.  By Jarvis’ death, she was renouncing her own holiday as having become too commercialized.

It is too commercialized.  But, who wants to abolish a holiday that celebrates ones mom? No one. Its not like Valentines when you can commit to showing your partner you love them every day of the year.  A lot of children (especially adults) don’t live anywhere near their mothers, and this is a good day to (of all days) let them know that you’re still thinking of them even from afar.

My proposal? Untraditional gifts.  Token mother’s day gifts come in the form of Hallmark Cards and flowers.  That’s all well and good, and if your mother loves those things, by all means, get them for her.  But get her something more as well.

Always, I’m a fan of books, afterall I write a book blog.  There’s always something special to be found at a bookstore.  Whether its the latest and greatest of a beloved series, a funny gift book, a sappy gift book, a history book on a topic of interest that you both share, music, movies, or just a gift card so she can go have some time to herself and pick out something of her own choosing, there’s something for everyone at a bookstore.

For Dads helping small children, a newer (but not too new) overlooked title is Tomie DePaola’s My Mother Is So Smart. DePaola has been an award winning children’s author for years, but even I didn’t know this 2010 publication existed until I stumbled across in the library the other day.  Its beautiful, as are all his books, and celebrates the love and awe he had for his mother as a child.  Its sweet, and perfect for a young mother to read to her toddler… although I did notice how many things I’ve neglected to master as a mom, like the perfect cookie recipe, and the uncanny ability to always know why my child is crying.

Great Gift #2: I dream of having a cleaning service come through my house once a year.  I keep a fairly clean house.  I actually enjoy cleaning, when I find the time and energy to clean up blocks and toys that have been strewn everywhere for the 300th time that day.  But the idea of having a cleaning crew come in every Spring and scrub my base boards, toilets, showers, and maybe also have my AC ducts cleaned out – that would be the BEST mother’s day gift EVER. (Aside from someone purchasing and installing all my hardwood floors over night without any assistance from me… that would be even better, but a little less practical as a mother’s day gift.)  If this awesome treat proved unobtainable, I might settle for lawn fairies to come weed my gardens in the middle of the night.

Shop AKKlemm.scentsy.us

Great Gift #3: After books and a laziness enabler, I choose  Scentsy products.  I love candles and fabulous smells, but the wickless candle deal with mood lighting has proven to be the best choice when a toddler is running all over the place.  When (I say when NOT if) your kid decides to lather themselves in hot candle wax and try to put every blessed thing you own under wax treatment, you want it to be low heat, no flame, I promise.  My favorite spring scents available this year are Pixie and Cerise.  The Just Breathe is also quite excellent and one of my year round favorites of all time.  But you know your Mom and/or Wife, get what she likes.

Great Gift #4: Reloadable Starbucks gift cards.  Who doesn’t practically live at Starbucks, or would if they could?  Its become an American staple.  Cliche, over-rated, over-priced, I agree, but hey, its pretty darn good coffee available on every street corner, I’ll take it.  The reloadable gift cards are pretty sweet.  Reload them a few times and you are an upgraded customer with free birthday drinks, free syrup add ons, free cups of coffee with your bean purchases, the list goes on.  Buy the mother in your life a gift card and take the time to reload it for her a few times before the year is up and BAM! she is one happy caffeined lady.

Whatever you do, be sure to enjoy the day.  Sundays should be lovely days anyway, but I hope one day Ayla will love to spend a lazy Sunday with me, reading, having coffee, or maybe picnicing in the sun if the weather is nice.

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My Very First Giveaway!

April 14, 2012 at 8:11 pm (Events, Reviews) (, , , , , , )

I received a copy of Elizabeth George’s Believing the Lie in December 2011 from Dutton Books.  Its a beautiful hard back, released to the public January 2012.  It has been read twice, but is in excellent condition, and although I am a horder at heart and would like to hold onto and cherish every book I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading, I decided I would use this copy to host my first giveaway.  (Get my hands dirty with all this fabulous giveaway excitement, so to speak.)

The conditions of this giveaway are that you (in good faith and on scout’s honor) follow me on twitter, follow my blog, and leave a comment on this post that includes your email address.  If you don’t leave your email address I will have no way of contacting you if you win!

This book is the latest in the Inspector Lynley series, but you don’t have to have read previous books in the series to get into the story, George tells you all you need to know.  It is the first book in the series that I have read, and I plan to read more once I am done with my Agatha Christie Crime Collection marathon.  Believing the Lie follows the investigation of a supposed drowning on a family estate of a clan full of secrets and shocking lies.  George’s character development skills are surprisingly detailed and thorough for this genre, and its a good book for general fiction lovers to read if they want to dip their toes in the mystery section for a few days.  The 608 pages goes fast.

Along with this book, I will ship a small Scentsy surprise in the form of a Scent Circle.  If you don’t know what that is, check out my website here, and fall in love: https://akklemm.scentsy.us/Scentsy.  Winner will be announced and contacted on April 30th.  Let the comments, twittering, and following begin!

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The Holiday Grind… and its aftermath

January 30, 2012 at 2:27 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , )

A Typical Holiday Clearance Sign

During the Holidays, I get overwhelmed.  The decorations, the obligations, the cold… it just gets to me.  But after its all said and done, when gift giving, chores, and the extreme traffic isn’t constantly flooding my daily routine, when its ripped away from me and I am denied it, I get a little bit nostalgic for what I previously despised.

Its perfect timing too, because everything is on sale.  You go to your favorite bookstore, what do you find? All the holiday titles are on clearance.  You check out any of your favorite retail items for winter, and it’s all so much more affordable than it was the previous months.

So, it’s the tail end of January and beginning of February that I find myself reading titles like Holiday Grind by Cleo Coyle, and stocking up on Scentsy fragrances like Honey Peared Cider, Comfort & Joy, and Pumpkin Roll before they are replaced by Spring and Summer appropriate smells.

Cleo Coyle’s Coffeehouse Mystery Seriesare short, sweet, and cozy. They are the kind of book I either enjoy in a hot bubble bath, or under a pile of afghan blankets, but either way you must have a hot cup of coffee to enjoy them properly. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next: Roast Mortem.

Honey Peared Cider Scentsy Bar - only available thru Feb.

When reading these books, whether it’s a holiday edition or not, its always best to have some café-like scents warming in your burner – like Baked Apple Pie or Hazelnut Latte, typically available from Scentsy year round; or just your usual suspects for fall and winter – like Pumpkin Marshmallow, Central Park Pralines, or Cozy Fireside, scents often only offered during the Holidays.

Despite the disappointment I have that these latter fragrances won’t be available to me during the Spring and Summer months, there is one thing that consoles me: During the month of February, a good portion of them will be 10% off.  Between a Scentsy sale and clearance holiday books, I’m quite certain that January and February are the best parts of Winter.

Purchase your Scentsy products today at AKKlemm.scentsy.us.  There’s a party open.

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