Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Over the last few months you may have seen some posts on the Facebook page or on one of our two Instagram accounts @tattooedgeekboutique or @thequixoticeye about our friend Kim Mesorana.

Mid 2015, experiencing some shortness of breath along with a cough, Kim went to the doctors, but was quickly dismissed. The symptoms continued and were still not taken as seriously as they should have been.  5 weeks later, knowing her own body and feeling like something was off, Kim returned to the doctors and begged for further testing. Eventually the doctors discovered a tumor the size of a grapefruit in her chest, putting pressure on her heart and bronchial cord; causing the cough and shortness of breath.  The tumor lead to a diagnosis of stage 2 Bulky Mediastinal Classic Hodgkins Disease along with rare Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis.  If continued without treatment the combined cancers could have ended Kim's life within a year.

Kim is a wife and the mother of three children, the two youngest are under 5. She has begun chemotherapy and has undergone several surgeries.  I'm sure I don't need to tell you that the bills are racking up, the testing that lead to her diagnosis rang in over several thousands of dollars alone. When this frightening chapter of the Mesorana family history is finally closed and Kim is given a clean bill of health the last thing they need is years worth of crippling medical bills.

I created the Cancer Sucks candle as a means to raise some money for the Mesorana family.  However, since I started selling them they have come to mean so much more, and I've learned a few things because of them.

First, cancer doesn't just suck, it super sucks.  It sucks most for those fighting it, of course! But it also sucks for their family and care givers, it sucks for their friends, it sucks for those that have lost loved ones to it.  It even sucks just to be a bystander and witness the invasive and extreme treatments.  It sucks because its growing and affecting more and more people each day.  It sucks because some treatments are limited state by state regardless of the benefits to the actual patients. It sucks because of the astronomical costs of treatments, treatments that could absolutely mean life or death to most patients. It sucks because the top three most common courses of treatment, chemo, surgery and radiation, all have pretty significant side effects; including but not limited too, infection, organ failure and .....cancer! That's right, cancer treatments can cause new cancers to grow, wtf!  Cancer sucks because not all doctors take every symptom seriously, if my friend Kim hadn't pushed for tests she may still be undiagnosed now, and further away from ever being cured.  Please for your own health and wellness, take symptoms seriously and get regular checkups.  The earlier the detection the better the outcome.

I would sincerely appreciate it if you would consider buying a Cancer Sucks candle. They are available in both shops. and for those of you without an Etsy account you can get them from the website  If you'd rather not buy a candle, but still want to help, you can donate to the Kim Mesorana Stop Out Cancer Fund here:  Thank you!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Halloween Arrives at Shop Along With 4 New Fall Scents:

We're having a party at Tattooed Geek Boutique, a pumpkin party!
And we have 4 new fall scents to help us celebrate:
Pumpkin Party
Rich pumpkin, spiced cake and creamy vanilla frosting. 

Candy Corn
Sweet and traditional, just like its namesake!

Scaredy Cat
Black Licorice and creamy vanilla.

Orchard pears, green apples, warm cardamom and cinnamon and hints of vanilla.
Our Pumpkin Party is also available as lip balms, fragrance oils and 4oz fragrance mists.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Warm Dilly Dijon Golden Beet and String Bean Salad

I'm constantly accused of only preparing dishes that I like, while neglecting ingredients that the others enjoy but I've never acquired a taste for.  Beets would be a prime example.  Michael loves them, I on the other hand could have spent the rest of my life without ever eating a single bite of one and still left this earthly plane completely contented.  That is until a basket of fiery colored beets caught my eye at our local farm store. A quick Googling informed that the golden version had a better, sweeter taste then the standard red ones had, so I decided to give'em a try; hoping the beautifully hued root veggies could help me shed some of  the accusations of meal time indifference.  The web provided a host of various recipe options, (no surprises there!) including a salad that paired the beets with dill and Dijon, I couldn't resist.  So here you have it; a warm Dilly Dijon Golden Beet and String Bean salad that even the most beet leery will enjoy!
The Dressing
Prepare it first and set it aside
Whisk together:
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 TBS chopped fresh dill, or 3 TBS dried
3 TBS prepared Dijon mustard  (you can substitute a yellow mustard if you prefer a more mild tasting dressing, I used Organicville's which is more of a yellow color then most Dijons, but still has a richer flavor then standard yellow mustard).
3 TBS pure maple syrup (non vegans could use honey)
1 1/4 cup olive oil
1 TSP garlic powder
1 TSP onion powder
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
adjust seasoning to taste as necessary (I added more onion powder)
The Veggies
6 medium to large golden beets
1 pound of string beans
1 small sweet onion
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Trim and rinse 6 medium to large beets, then wrap each individually
first in parchment paper and then in foil (Martha said too, don't blame me!)
place the doubly wrapped beets on a baking pan in the center of the oven and bake for 55 minutes
While beets are baking trim and wash 1 pound of string beans
Fill a large pot with water, add salt and bring to a rolling boil, blanch string beans for exactly 6 mins.
After 6 mins strain the string beans and rinse in cold water for a minute, then add to a large bowl
Peel and thinly slice the onion and add it to the bowl with the string beans
After 55 minutes remove the beets from the oven and carefully unwrap them
As soon as beets are safe to handle, but still on the warm side, peel and dice into approximately 1/2 inch cubes
rinse them again if necessary then add to the bowl of string beans and sliced onion
toss with the dressing
add freshly ground pepper, serve and enjoy!
****Peeling the beets before roasting them can cause the flesh of the beet to brown and get dingy looking, peeling them after roasting protects them from discoloring.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Happy Birthday Mr. Poe

Edgar Allan Poe
January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849
A Dream Within A Dream  by Edgar Allan Poe
Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow--
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand--
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep--while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

In honor of Poe's birthday I created a treasury of great hand crafted Poe things.
My favorite finds were:
Poe 11x14 canvas print by Ghoulish Gary
Edgar Allen Poe finger puppet greeting cards by Dear Deer Designs
 Edgar Allan Poe Doll With Raven by Uneek Doll Designs
(which is ridiculously reasonably priced for an art doll, and so detailed!)
All of Uneek Doll Designs are actually pretty amazing. 
You should stop by their Etsy shop and marvel at their wonderful creations.
And the Edgar Allan Poe Author Pendant by Sweetheart Sinner
You can view the rest of the treasury here:

Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;–
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
She was a child and I was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love–
I and my Annabel Lee–
With a love that the winged seraphs of Heaven
Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ao,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud by night
Chilling my Annabel Lee;
So that her kingdom kinsmen came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.
The Angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me:–
Yes! that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud, chilling
And killing my Annabel Lee.
 But out love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we–
Of many far wiser than we–
And neither the angels in Heaven above
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:–
For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I see the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea–
In her tomb by the side of the sea.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year 2012!

Happy New Year!  I feel like a kid on Christmas morning just thinking about the brand new year ahead us.   I have so many  products I want to add to both shops; &  I hope 2012 is a creative and prosperous year for all of us!  

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Our first gluten free Christmas

We recently discovered that both Ryann (oldest daughter) and I are gluten intolerant.  Which kinda sucks considering that gluten based products made up about 95% of our diet.  But, I was feeling really run down and tired, scatter brained and just completely not right.  I decided it was time to make some changes.  After reading an  article  about gluten intolerance I thought maybe the first change to take place should be to rid myself of gluten.   I decided to do a trial run and go two weeks gluten free, Ryann came along for moral support.  Within three days we both agreed that we could breath easier and our appetites had decreased.  By the end of the first week we had both lost a few pounds, our skin looked and felt better and we both just generally felt better - a lot better.  By the end of the second week we were both hooked.  Our digestion was better, our thinking was clearer - everything was better.  I won't lie, gluten free veganism isn't exactly easy.  It takes some effort, only because almost all premade vegan products are loaded with vital wheat gluten.  On long days of filling orders I can't just run to the grocery store and pick up some quick Amy's dairy free burritos, or vegan Boca burgers (which I did all to often.)  We're making  almost everything from scratch, but it helps  force us to premake meals so there's a lot less grabbing quick prepackaged foods; which is a very good thing.  Keep in mind that neither of us are severely allergic to gluten, there's no anaphylactic shock or anything drastic going on here.  There's just this mild yet constant discomfort, just enough to make life stink but not enough to let you know something's going wrong.  If you feel like somethings off, or maybe that you could use a dietary change I strongly recommend taking a break from gluten.  It may prove to be life changing.  It was for me.
There are seven of us, the Mister and I plus five kids.  Only two of us have noticed a distinct positive change since going gluten free.  The rest are clinging to their seitan, and other gluteny foods for dear life.  I've been preparing two meals each night to accommodate everyone.  For Christmas dinner I decided to make all of our holiday favorites gluten free and refused to cook two meals.  We had stuffed peppers, Sicilian rice balls, brussels sprouts with roasted pine nuts and red peppers and a tossed garden salad.  For St. Nick we left out gluten free oatmeal chocolate chip & walnut cookies  and oatmeal raisin cookies.

I stuffed the peppers with roasted chick peas, cashews, brown rice couscous and a pepper and small onion that were diced and sauteed in olive oil.  I topped the stuffed peppers with mozzarella style daiya and an Italian topping made from Almond meal, lemon juice, oregano, S&P, garlic powder and onion powder.  I tossed the chick peas in olive oil and smoked paprika before roasting them for about 40mins at 400 degrees.  Roasted Chickpeas are good enough to eat by themselves.  If you haven't tried them yet you should get to it!
Brussels Sprouts with pine nuts and red peppers is one of my all time favorite dishes to make.  I like mine extra garlicky.  First I blanch two pounds of brussels sprouts for about 5 mins. I drain and set them aside.   I saute about 5 cloves of garlic thinly sliced in some olive oil just until they start to turn golden brown.  I throw in about a cup of pine nuts  and saute for another minute or two.  I add about a cup of thinly sliced red peppers and cook for another two minutes.  I add a bit of lemon juice (about 1/3 of a cup) then add the blanched brussels sprouts and freshly ground sea salt and pepper and cook for a little bit more.  You can transfer everything to a baking dish and roast for a bit in the oven until the brussels sprouts are crispy, but I don't.  I serve it right from the pan. Crusty bread is the next task for me to tackle.  The grocery stores around here carry packaged gluten free breads but they all suck.  I serve the Brussels sprouts with brown rice and brown rice couscous, but it pairs really well with a good bread.  If you have any tips for making an excellent  vegan and gluten free multigrain loaf of bread please, please. please pass it on.  I'm desperate!

Nobody seemed to notice the lack of wheat in their Christmas dinner.  St. Nick definitely didn't pass up the cookies our youngest left out for him.  I think my days of cooking duel meals are numbered.  
For the new year I'll have to figure out how to make a vegan and gluten free buffalo wing.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Labels makeovers and sachets

A few of our original candle labels recently got a makeover.

I'm really happy with the new labels, especially Red Hot.  Hope you like them too!  All of the made over candles are available in both shops and  I'll be adding a Red Hot lip balm this week.  An Apple Of My Eye and Tough Cookie lip balm will be added soon too.  Sachets are also in the Etsy shop now, they'll be up on the website sometime this week.

The sachets are great in the car, or the office, they're great anywhere the air could use some scenting.  Hope you are enjoying the summer.