Fake it til you make it Truffle Popcorn

Monday, December 22, 2014

I die for truffle oil. It is seriously the most heavenly taste in the entire world.  I had it for the first time in Venice, Italy on our honeymoon.  You can read about that here.  I instantly fell in love with the flavor- the richness, the uniqueness, the oh so goodness!  The bad news is truffles are pricey!!!! Lucky for all of us, Trader Joes makes a truffle flavored olive oil for about $5.  What?!  Y'all, it tastes like the real deal too!  I had to snag it up to see what I could come up with.... Fake it til you make it tuffle popcorn!

The star ingredient!

I just pulled things from my fridge and pantry that I thought might taste yummy with truffle popcorn.  I mixed it all up, and it turned out fab!  It was especially yummy with red wine. 

Fake it til You Make it Truffle Popcorn
1.5 tbsn Trader Joes Black Truffle Olive Oil
1 bag of Skinny Girl Popcorn (sea salt and butter flavor)
4-6 springs of fresh thyme
Cracked Black Pepper
Shredded Parmesan

Make the popcorn as directed on the package.  In a small bowl, mix olive oil, a tablespoon of cheese, black pepper and thyme.  After the popcorn is done, put it into a large bowl and slowly pour your mixture over the popped corn.  I divided mine into two cereal bowls and topped with a little more thyme, pepper and cheese.

Emyli xo

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care......

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

One of my most favorite Christmas traditions is stockings. My husband and I do stockings for each other every year, and I have such a great time finding little things to fill his.  He always does a great job filling mine too.
This year, I have slacked a little with my Christmas decorations because we have just moved into a new house, and I'm trying to finish the house details for family to come over on Christmas Eve.  I am doing a few Christmas things here and there, and I wanted to share my fireplace and mantle.  It's very simple, but I'm very pleased with how it's turned out!

Here are my details:
Fireplace glass::Amazon (60 pounds is what it took at $3lb..Every other site was $5+)
Mirror::Hobby Lobby
Live pine and cedar stems::Trader Joes (only $5 for a bundle)
Stockings::Mud Pie
Decorative Tree::Marshall's
Bottles::My dad found them on our land..They may or may not have been old moonshine bottles ;)

Merry Christmas,y'all!
Emyli xo

Little Putz House Display

Monday, December 15, 2014

I have loved the little glitter putz houses for some time now so I finally decided to make some.  I love shopping small businesses so I searched Etsy and found a great assortment of sweet little houses.  They arrived pretty quickly, and she even included a mini wreath which looks adorable on my church!

Luckily, I had lots of glitter on hand, but I made a trip to Michaels for a couple more options since I wasn't sure what they would all look like on cardboard.  

I did pull a few colors other than neutrals and actually used the green.  It looked cute, but I just love simple look without much color so I Mod Podged over the green glitter with silver.  The Martha Stewart glitter is so fab!  After my glitter dried, I cut squares of tracing paper for my windows and hot glued those inside my houses.  The Etsy shop has two options of solid back houses, or she will cut circles if you want to use battery operated tea lights to illuminate your houses.  Obviously, that was my choice! 

I thought about putting them inside apothecary jars, but my little houses only fit it one of the jars that I had on hand so I ran to Home Goods for a tray and incorporated the jars and my tray.  I had some trees on hand, but I found more at Walmart.  

Next year, I'll make more and put them on some shelving in my entry way to make a whole little village.  But for now, I'll enjoy my little glittery tray set up.
Merry Christmas!
Emyli xo

Painting Furniture with Chalk Paint

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

It seems like painting furniture can easily intimidate people.. I think people fear ruining a piece of furniture.. But it's just furniture!!  It can be sanded out and painted over.. If it eases your fears, find an old piece of wood or buy some cheap wood to practice on first.

My husband's grandparents were from Orleans, France.  We were lucky enough to snag this precious coffee table that his granny had brought over from France.  I knew the style would fit perfectly in our new home, but the color would not so to my chalk paint I went.  
I've used Annie Sloan and Maison Blanch in the past, but this time I tried out Oh Lola in Cathedral and used Maison Blanche  medium dark wax.  What I loved about Oh Lola was that they had small 8 oz jars for just $13.  Most chalk paint comes in 32 oz jars for $32-38.  I actually only used about half of the 8 oz jar for this whole table, and that was using two coats.

First, wipe down all dust from your piece then get to painting.  You do not need to sand or primer at all with chalk paint.  You can paint on pretty much any surface with it too!  When you first paint it on, you'll see thick stroke marks.  Don't let that discourage you.  It will spread out as it dries to have a more even look.  I always do two coats with my first one being pretty heavy and thick then my second coat just a finishing coat. I like to do my first coat a little heavy because I feel like it helps reduce stroke marks.  It does dry pretty quickly so I maybe wait 30 minutes after my first coat to start my second.  

Once your piece is fully dry, it's time to distress.  There are a couple ways to do that- sanding or with damp cloths (shown above from Lowes).  I find that Annie Sloan is best to distress with sand paper as it's very hard and time consuming to do with the cloths.  Maison Blanche is super easy to do with the damp cloth, and the Oh Lola was an either or.  When you do it with a damp cloth, it gives it a more chippy look while the sanding give it a worn from use look.

I decided to do the damp cloth because a lot of my furniture has been distressed by sanding, and I wanted a different look so they don't all look the same.   You get a bowl of warm water and one of the cloths, dampen it and wrap it around your finger.  With this technique, you can distress anywhere since it just looks like paint chipped off.  With sanding, you will want to sand where it will look like it was worn naturally such as around the drawer pulls.

The above is a different piece, but it's an example of what distressing with sand paper looks like.  There isn't a right or wrong way.. Just get after it!  Once you get the distressed look you're wanting to achieve, you have to wax.  This seals the paint and locks the chalk in so it doesn't scratch off.  Maison Blanche has white, clear, medium, dark and black waxes so I tend to gravitate to that brand of wax since I have more choices.  The darker waxes give the paint a tea stained or glazed look which I love.  If you're using Annie Sloan, you will want to do a coat of clear wax then go in with dark.  With Maison Blanche wax, you do not have to clear wax it first.

Here is the medium wax put on without buffing.  You will want to apply with a separate, smaller brush.  Just brush it on lightly then get one of your lint free cloths and buff it.  I don't typically put a lot of elbow grease in it.  I just wipe in a circular motion, and it looks great.  The dark wax will stay in the creases and make them look a little darker and aged. Tip: Do not wash your wax brush off with water.  Instead, just store in a ziplock baggy for later use.

This is what it looks like buffed out.  You can see the difference in shade and how it darkens the original paint color some.  The chalk paint has a very matte finish without gloss at all.  The wax does gloss it up very slightly, but not much.   I think the matte finish adds to the aged look.

After I finished the buffing, I put the glass center back in.  I followed these instructions to turn my glass center to look like an old mirror.  It was super easy, but I did practice with a vase first.

And here she is all set up!  I found old books from the nostalgia section at Half Price Books, cut off the covers with an exacto knife and tied with up with jute.  They fit perfectly in our living room!  At $2-3 each, they made some simple but statement decor.
Happy painting!
Emyli xo

Boots in City Lights

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Hi, y'all!  My name is Emyli, and I was raised on a farm in small town East Texas on land that my papa grew up on and my great granddaddy made moonshine on.  We raised cows and chickens most of the time with pigs and ducks on occasion.  I grew up on a black top road with no city lights in sight.  At night, crickets and coyotes were all you could hear.   I climbed hay bales while my dad worked on our land and helped my grandmother in the kitchen every chance I got.  I think I have her biscuit recipe memorized just by watching her so many times.  I got out of the small town life as fast as I could, and I'm glad I did.  I've grown a lot by meeting friends from other backgrounds, countries and religions.  Most importantly, I met my husband.  He and I have been on an amazing life journey together so far.  We travel the world as often as possible and continue to learn and grow together.  Now that I am older and have learned a little more about what this great world has to offer, I deeply appreciate how I grew up.  I learned so much about nature, animals, creation and family- a lot of what this big city doesn't offer as much.  I'm thankful I have gotten to experience two completely different lifestyles as they have both enhanced my life and my spiritual and creative voyage.  I miss home each and every day and go back as often as possible.  As for now, I wear my boots in city lights.