Monthly Archives: June 2010

July!

July is for sailboats and lemonade, thunderstorms and ripe peaches, corn on the grill and  juicy watermelon, fresh cut hay and fireworks, sea breezes and bikinis, full moon nights and popsicles!

Happy Summer,
Love, Laughter & Candlelight!


A Little Fragrance With Your Food

A Little Fragrance With Your Food
By Chris Perrin


There are a million reasons to love candles.  They look nice, they’re elegant, and pyros love them because they’re fire.  Still, the thing we love most about candles is how they smell.  Plug in air fresheners just cannot match the way a candle warms up a room and transforms it through pleasant aromas.  Food can do that, too.

There is an old saying in food: “You eat with your eyes first.”  However, that’s not always true.  When you walk into the kitchen and the smells of baking bread or garlic or cinnamon rolls hits you, you’re eating with your nose first.  The eyes come much, much later.

This is not news to professional chefs, who have been devising ways to turn meals into full sensory experiences for ages.  One of the ways they have been doing this is by serving meals with scented smoke.  It’s a technique that’s been used on shows like Top Chef and Iron Chef, but don’t let that fool you.  Using smells in your own cooking is easy enough to do at home with nothing more than a glass or metal bowl and some plastic wrap.

(Disclaimer: Making smoke is a really cool, unexpected technique that people will love.  It’s also a fire hazard if you’re not careful since we will, after all, be burning things.  Before you try this, have a good kitchen-rated fire extinguisher nearby.  Also, only do this if there is a window you can open lest the smoke detector crash the party.)

The Basic Technique

This is going to be simple.  All you need to do is get some type of food to smolder, lay it in a bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  The smoke will waft from up from the smoldering item and get trapped in the bowl.  All you need to do is set the bowl down in front of your diners, puncture the wrap and enjoy the aroma as you eat.

As a variation, you can use individual non-flammable (stress non-flammable) trays that have lids for each guest.  Put the meal on the tray, then get individual items smoldering and drop them in glasses in each tray.  Cover and the smoke will get trapped until diners remove the lid.

Okay, So What Should We Use for Smoke?

Good question.   There are two things to consider when deciding what to smoke.  The first is what will actually produce the smoke.  Your best bet is to use either wood chips (hickory, mesquite, apple wood, etc.), nut shells (pecans, walnuts), or some herb branches (rosemary or thyme branches work well.)  Things like citrus peels can work, but they take a lot of effort to get to light and they don’t often smolder, they usually catch fire.

The other thing to consider is pairing the smoldering item to the food being served.  You want to add a complimentary ambiance, not an entirely new element to the meal.  If your dish has rosemary, burn rosemary.  If it was cooked on a cedar plank, use cedar.

At the very least, try to match the feel of the dish to the odor.  For instance, rosemary and thyme work very well for earthy dishes like steaks or mushrooms.  Apple wood would do very well for pork chops because it has a sweeter aroma.  Play around with it and see what combinations work well for you.

There is also a third consideration.  You can save yourself some extra expensive in ingredients if you have food-scented candles.  For instance, serve blueberry cobbler with a blueberry candle or ice cream with a vanilla candle.  If you use candles, you can choose to trap the smoke in a bowl or tray or not.

Whichever way you choose and whichever scent you use, enjoy playing with scents and your food.  It’s a fun way to turn meals into a full sensory experience of your own.

Chris Perrin

Check out Blog Well Done today to get tips great tips on things like vegetarian options, $7.00 dinner challenge and cooking with your kids.  I think Chris is a culinary genius and I know you will love his recipes and sense of humor as much as I do!

BlogWellDone.com Good Food, Good Fun, Well Done!

Follow Chris on Twitter

Mangia bene!


Quick (yet delicious) weekend meal.

Here is a delicious quick recipe from my Gran.   (yes, that is really her picture).

Pasta Carbonara

This picture/article is from a magazine my brother Vince is working on for (discoverthepass.com). Check out their site for lots of cool local business info and history!

Millie’s Pasta Carbonara

  • 1 lb. pasta dry or fresh (preferably fresh)
  • 2 eggs
  • 7 chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 4 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 16oz. pancetta (Italian bacon)
  • 8oz. shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz. canned peas (optional) *I add sauteed mushrooms to mine instead*

Serves 4-6

Pan fry pancetta, garlic, basil and peas/mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until cooked.  Boil pasta then drain completely.  Then while pasta is still steaming hot add the eggs and parmesan and stir for one minute.  After stirring add the pancetta, basil and garlic mixture.  Fold lightly and serve.

Love, Laughter & Candlelight!


Happy Full Strawberry Moon!

Full Strawberry Moon – June 2010.

This months moon name was universal to every Algonquin tribe.  However, in Europe they called it the Rose Moon.  It is also called the Flower Moon, the Hot Moon, Planting Moon and the Honey Moon.  Due to the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries that comes each year during the month of June . . . the full Moon that occurs this month was christened for the strawberry!

June 26th there will also be a partial lunar eclipse!

Join me tonight,  outside…light a candle and soak up a little Moonlight!  There is nothing like it!

Lover, Laughter & Candlelight!


Happy Midsummer Day!

Midsummer Day

Although Midsummer Day occurs near the summer solstice, or what we think of as the beginning of summer, to the farmer it is the midpoint of the growing season, halfway between planting and harvesting, and an occasion for celebration.

Although it’s also the feast day of St. John the Baptist, it features pagan traditions such as bonfires, fire walking, and a carnival atmosphere, all of which took place on Midsummer Eve.

Certainly, it’s a night of magic and soothsaying as well, for as Washington Irving said, this is a time “when it is well known all kinds of ghosts, goblins, and fairies become visible and walk abroad.”

After Midsummer Day, the days shorten. In Lithuanian tradition, the dew on Midsummer Day was said to make young girls beautiful and old people look younger. It was also thought that walking barefoot in the dew would keep one’s skin from getting chapped.

It was customary to honor all men named John on this day by fixing wreaths of oak leaves around their doors. This is usually done in secret, and John must guess who did it or catch the person in the act, in which case he must give the person a treat.

Information courtesy Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Love, Laughter & Candlelight!


Ahhh sweet thursday! :)


Oprah’s OWN Show

Join us here at Blue Moon Candles in voting for Donna Maria (@IndieBusiness) to be the Star of Oprah’s OWN show!

If you know Donna Maria at all, you know she can keep you interested and on the edge of your seat!  What better way to keep all of America entertained AND fill them in on the literally hundreds of Independent Small Business owners working for themselves, making great handmade products and history?!

Join us in voting and commenting on her video on Oprah’s site!

Thanks you guys!

Love, Laughter & Candlelight!


Happy Father’s Day

“It’s only when you grow up, and step back from him, or leave him for your own career and your own home—it’s only then that you can measure his greatness and fully appreciate it. Pride reinforces love.” — Margaret Truman

Happy Father's Day

My Dad, after he let me put all my Barbie curlers in his hair.

“A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.”

He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.

Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes.

4 years: My Daddy can do anything!

7 years: My Dad knows a lot…a whole lot.

8 years: My father does not know quite everything.

12 years: Oh well, naturally Father does not know that either.

14 years: Oh, Father? He is hopelessly old-fashioned.

21 years: Oh, that man-he is out of date!

25 years: He knows a little bit about it, but not much.

30 years: I must find out what Dad thinks about it.

35 years: Before we decide, we will get Dad’s idea first.

50 years: What would Dad have thought about that?

60 years: My Dad knew literally everything!

65 years: I wish I could talk it over with Dad once more.

My dad and I hanging out in his favorite chair.

Love you Dad…



Gothic Hollywood Glamour

To me Maila Nurmi is an icon-one of the world’s most beautiful women.

In the early 1950s, Malia was close friends with James Dean, and they hung out together at Googie’s coffee shop on the corner of Crescent Heights and Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Her explanation for their friendship: “We have the same neuroses.”

Malia knew Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and briefly dated both Marlon Brando and Orson Welles.

She was the Original Elvira.  Nurmi made television history as the first horror movie hostess.

Nurmi was featured in Life Magazine June 14, 1954


Nurmi was an Indie Business owner and opened “Vampira’s Attic”, an antiques store in her home on Melrose Avenue. She also sold handmade jewelry and clothing. She made items for several celebrities including Grace Slick of the music group Jefferson Airplane and the Zappa family.

She was ahead of her time, an innovator, icon, inspiration and cult classic glamor girl.

I have her picture on the wall in my Candle Shop, inspiring me every day as we create our Gothic Candles and Bathworks! ♥

Vampira on the wall at Blue Moon Candles!

I don’t like standard beauty – there is no beauty without strangeness.  ~Karl Lagerfeld

Viva Vampira!

Love, Laughter & Candlelight!


Aromatic Living

The thought of pleasant fragrances may be enough to make us a bit more cheerful, but the actual fragrance can have dramatic effects in improving our mood and sense of well-being.

In the heat of summer we recommend using cooling fragrances such as lime, lemon, blood orange and grapefruit in your Candles and Room Sprays-especially in your living room. The citrus notes are uplifting, and not too heavy for hot summer days. We also have tropical fragrances blended with the citrus to take you on a mini vacation! Lime in da Coconut…Blood Orange and Patchouli-*even Patchouli haters love this one.

My mom swears her lemon infused candles are “happy”.  Bergamot and it’s pleasing citrus fragrance has been shown to help people suffering from anxiety, stress and depression.

In an experiment in a Las Vegas casino, the amount of money gambled in a slot machine increased by over 45% when the site was fragranced with a pleasant aroma!

What is your favorite citrus?!

Love, Laughter & Candlelight!


Oprah “Next TV Star” Bloopers

Check out my friend and mentor Donna Maria’s Video Bloopers for her pitch to the Oprah Show!  She also has a Fantastic blog you can read here!

It is refreshing to see someone like dM be REAL and Funny and Fresh.  Thanks for making us laugh and inspiring us to excellence dM!  🙂

Love, Laughter & Candlelight!


Smell Sense

Did you know it only takes two seconds for an aroma to enter your nose and travel to the part of the brain that effects memory and controls emotion?

Fragrance can focus our concentration,  influence us to spend money and even prompt us to settle unpaid bills.

How can just a whiff of fragrance do all this?  Odor particles enter the olfactory sensors just behind the bridge of the nose.  These bind to cells that send out messages to the limbic system (the part of our brains that regulated emotions like fear, rage, anger, aggression and pleasure).

The limbic system regulates our stress responses and influences our sexual, metabolic and hormonal activity.

This is the reason specific fragrances have the ability to stimulate intense memories and re-create experiences and influence the way we behave.

In our next post we will cover some ways to use our Organic Wax candles infused with Essential Oils to help enhance productivity, create a calming mood and set a relaxing area in your home and workspace!

Love, Laughter & Candlelight!


Why do we put Candles on our Birthday Cakes?

In ancient times it was common to believe that birthdays were a time of potential danger.  This originated within Greek culture, where both birth and birthdays were regarded as a time when the Gods may take your soul.

Consequently, when a Greek child had a birthday, s/he was given a little cake with a Candle.  The gods were asked for protection and the candle was then blown out.  The Greeks believed that the smoke from the candle would carry the message to the gods and the child would be spared to continue living.

Worshipers at the temple of Artemis, the moon goddess, used to make offerings of cakes decorated with circles of candles; the ring of light represented the full moon. Hundreds of years later, Germans would put a single candle on a birthday cake, to represent the life spirit. Sometimes they would mark off the candles in segments, symbolizing the passage of the year.
This tradition has survived to present day culture, where candles are still placed on a birthday cake, many cultures believe the smoke from the candles carry your wish up to heaven.

Modern day birthday celebrations include candles on the birthday cake, and when you blow them all out in one breath and make a wish, it is rumored your wish will come true.  Did you wish on your last Birthday?

Love, Laughter & Candlelight!


Happy Hump Day!


How to get Candle Wax out of carpet and fabrics.

If you are like me, then you need to know- just how to get spilled and dripped Candle wax out of carpets and fabrics.❥

  1. Let the wax harden, (I used an ice cube to freeze it first which made scraping it off much easier) then scrap off the excess with a dull knife.
  2. Place part of a paper bag, a sheet of newspaper, paper towels, or a clean cloth over the wax.
  3. Using a warm iron, press gently on the paper bag. Be careful not to leave the iron in one place too long or you may burn the carpet fibers. *Be especially careful if you have a synthetic fiber carpet which may melt if heated too hot.
  4. TaDa! The paper bag, towels or rags will soak up the melted wax.

To remove stains left from colored wax, try gently dabbing the stain with a rag dampened with rubbing alcohol. If the alcohol doesn’t do the trick, you can try a small amount of dry cleaning solvent.

If you can get underneath the carpet, it works great to place a small pan or cookie sheet under the carpet and pour boiling water through the area with the wax stain.  *Test on an inconspicuous spot first to make sure the carpet is not damaged by the boiling water.

These tricks work best with All Natural Wax Candles, but will still work with Paraffin; they may just need to be repeated.  Do you have any tricks you have used successfully?

Hope this helps.

Love, Laughter & Candlelight!


Can you taste it? (via peripheral perceptions)

A perfect summertime ode to my all time favorite (and spellbinding) cool drink on a hot day! 🙂

Can you taste it? Can you taste it yet? It's almost Mojito season. In fact, it may already be here, but my mint is still a little sleepy from the long winter and cool spring. I'm sure it won't be long now before it wakes up and starts to overtake the pot, as only mint can do. So, in preparation for the mojito summer season…let's review: Marvelous Mojito (makes one serving; increase as necessary) 1 to 2 limes, cut into 4 pieces 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, plus a s … Read More

via peripheral perceptions


Gratitude is the heart’s memory.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
-Melody Beattie


Everynight as I fall asleep I always think of the things I am most grateful for.  Some of my friends keep a journal to list these things-I like to simply recall mine.

Here are 101 things that I am grateful for lately (in no particular order).

God
family
sound of kids laughing
books
bookstores
music
gardenias
freedom
full Moons
bonfires
gothic things
smell of rain
thunderstorms
fresh cut grass
tea
Fairies
beauty
sunsets
Moonrise
gardening
people speaking in accents
graphic design
sidewalk cafes
black eyeliner
Candles (of course!)
Vintage Victorian things
ghost stories
film noir
laughing till you cry
makeup
bare feet
new friends
old friends
hot coffee
dancing
pictures of faraway places
piano
jasmine
good red wine
vintage pin up art
tubing on the river
lavender plants
beer
holidays
parties
summer nights
barbeques
love
dry leaves crunching
hot coffee
unexpected kindness
dreams
forests full of green
vintage shops
big soft sweatshirts
pancakes with nuts
crisp fall nights
spaghetti
mom and dad
perfume
high heels
stars
swimming
palm trees
Pirates
sunshine on my back
warm sand
silly cats
dogs
cool crisp sheets
waves on the shore
tiny babies
smiles
sleeping in
staying up late
hot showers
fresh soap
new places
crackle of a warm fire
birds chirping
fountains splashing
butterflies
Santa Claus
movie nights
chocolate
lullabies
glitter
color
purple sweet tarts
mentors
haunting cello music
summer strawberries
poetry
sealing wax
boating
massages
aromatherapy
swimming
fireworks

What are YOU most thankful for?!

Love, Laughter & Candlelight,