Tuesday, July 22, 2014

outfit of the day(bird): crust whisperer

dress~ c/o texturable
shoes and head scarf~ Target

Jim and I have almost never seen Mimi eat a crust of any sort. Not a pizza crust, nor a sandwich crust, nor any other sort of crust that exists. Even hamburger buns, that basically have no crust, she will eat all but the edges. It's so strange and practically unexplainable. I don't usually eat pizza crusts, so we assume that is where this crust ban sprung from, but she is really not a picky eater otherwise, so it confuses us. We have tried many things to get her to eat her crusts, including telling her that the crusts are the healthiest part of the bread (she's very impressed and will almost always eat something when it's claimed to be healthy), but even that didn't work. It may not have helped that even Jim didn't believe that claim, which lead to some extensive research (AKA Googling) as to whether or not it was true (IT IS! Google said so!). Anyway, why am I telling you all of this? Well, last night we went out for pizza with Megan and Chris and Mimi ended up sitting next to Megan who somehow talked Mimi into eating all of her crusts. I am not sure exactly how it happened, but clearly Megan is a crust whisperer and she needs to teach me her secrets. For this reason and many many others, it is so wonderful to have sisters who have been moms for longer than me and have more experience and more tricks up their sleeves. I learn so much from each of them every day and I am so thankful and so lucky.

xoxo, nora bird

Monday, July 21, 2014

inspiration monday: amazing friend bracelet

the inspiration
Olivia Polerma
megan bird

shorts, blouse ~ thrifted
shoes ~ Kohls
sunglasses ~ Target
necklace ~ vintage, thrifted
bracelet ~ gift from Eva

nora bird

tank ~ H&M
shorts ~ Loft
shoes ~ Target
necklace ~ Etsy

Eva made a friend at Henry's soccer games this summer. Last week, she decided to wrap up a few of her favorite bracelets and write a card to bring to her new friend during one of Henry's games. She was so excited, and was so antsy to see her so she could give her the gift.

We got to the park and Eva saw her friend. She got a little shy and nervous, but eventually grabbed the gift bag and walked over to her. I didn't see what happened, as I was watching Henry's game, but a few moments later, Eva came back with the bag in her hand, and put it next to me. I asked what happened, and she said, "She didn't want it."

My heart broke a little. And then I opened the card she had written and it said, "You are an amazing friend", and as I read it, my heart broke a little more.

The good of it was that Eva was totally non-plussed and the two girls continued to play as if nothing had happened. Plus, the next morning as I was getting ready for work, I grabbed one of the bracelets and asked Eva if I could be her amazing friend. She agreed, and I got to keep the bracelet.

megan bird

Thursday, July 17, 2014

mama bird/bird seed: family traditions -- sushi sunday

I don't know why I love traditions so much. I think it's because the few we had in our family growing up stuck with me and are still some of my favorite childhood memories. I want to create the same kind of memories for my kids. 

I knew that as they got a bit older, I wanted to teach the kids how to cook. I loved watching my mom cook, and even if I didn't love everything she made when I was a kid, I love it all now, and she is by far the best cook that I know. I'd like for my kids to have the same appreciation for food as I did growing up. And in my eyes, part of that appreciation comes with knowing how to make it. I mixed this thought with my love for sushi, and we decided to make it a Sunday tradition. And so Sushi Sunday began.

Here's how we made our first round...

We went to United Noodle and bought everything we would need for probably the next 32 Sushi Sundays. Seriously, we have 30 pounds of sticky rice (not pictured). The basics for classic sushi that you will need are:

~ Nori
~ Sticky rice (plain white rice won't work)
~ Rice vinegar
~ Any vegetables of your choosing, sliced in long slices
~ Soy sauce
~ any protein you want (I used tofu and the kids and Chris used fake crab)
~ Sesame seeds
~ Sushi mats
~ saran wrap
~ Wasabi

Start with a dry Nori sheet. They tell you to soak them, but trust me on this, don't. They become a disgusting pile of mush if you do. We simply laid saran wrap over the sushi mat, the Nori over the saran wrap, and then brushed the Nori with a mixture of water and rice vinegar. This softens it up enough to roll them without cracking, but not enough to make them into Nori porridge (Norridge??).

The add enough rice to spread over 1/3 -- 1/2 of the Nori.

Hint: dip your fingers in the rice vinegar/water mixture so that the rice doesn't stick too much. The name sticky rice is not a lie.

Then add whatever veggies and protein on top of the rice to form a nice line. Try not to make it too thick, or it won't roll properly.

Start rolling the mat, pulling the saran wrap out as you go. You want to roll it very tight so it doesn't come apart when you cut it.

Looks appetizing, no?

Using a very sharp knife, slice the sushi roll into bite size pieces.

And enjoy!

The kids especially enjoyed them because they made them themselves. There's a great satisfaction in enjoying your own creations. They were so proud and so happy!

megan bird
We have also made Mexican sushi. Follow me on Instagram if you want to see what we make every Sunday!

outfit of the day(bird): deep thoughts on a thursday

sweater~ b. (a resale shop)
shorts~ Urban Outfitters
shoes~ Target
necklaces~ Etsy (gift from Megan) and b. (a resale shop)

Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu. 
"May all living beings be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all."

My friend, Becky, posted this Sanskrit mantra on her Facebook wall the other day and it completely resonated with me. I was overwhelmed with the feeling that this is exactly how I want to live. I want to be truly happy and I want to be free and I could do neither of these things if I am causing someone else's unhappiness or depriving someone else of their freedoms. I want my relationships to be mutually beneficial. I want to live in a world of positivity and love and kindness and peace. Hate dissolves in the company of love, so I am going to try and live with intention and grow my actions out of love and tenderness and humanity. She followed up the mantra with this question: "What if we all tried to out-kind each other?" I love this. I am so game. There is so much negativity and sadness and violence already in this world. Why try to compound it? It seems so simple, but, of course, I know it won't always be easy. Everyone has a bad day now and again. But I am going to do my best. Who's with me? Anyone else want to join in the out-kinding competition?

I hope you all have an awesome day.

xoxo, nora bird

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

bird.i.y: deodorizing kitchen and bathroom cleaner

Recently, I have been really interested in essential oils and their many uses and benefits. Essential oils are natural and safe and have been used for hundreds of years for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. I have been reading this book, and it is a really excellent source for beginners to essential oils and aromatherapy. It is extremely informative, comprehensive, and easy to read. On the last few pages, there are tons of super easy recipes for all sorts of things, from aromatherapy, to cosmetics, to products for your home and garden. I have been wanting to make my own cleaners and detergents for my home, so I started with a super easy recipe for a deodorizing kitchen and bathroom cleaner. It uses lavender, lemon, and tea tree oils, which are all antibacterial and will keep your kitchen and bathroom clean, sanitary, and smelling great!

5 drops lavender oil
5 drops lemon oil
5 drops tea tree oil
1/4 ounce liquid castile soap
18 ounces distilled water

Simply blend the oils and combine them with the soap. Use a funnel to pour the mixture into a 22 oz spray bottle. Add water and swirl to blend. Use the mixture to clean your sinks and toilets. Like this:

See how happy I am? And Jim only looked at me like I was a little bit crazy when I asked him to take a photo of me cleaning the bathroom. What a guy!

Honestly, though, this is a great cleaner without all the harsh chemicals of some store bought brands. Plus, it spells great! I will definitely be experimenting more with essential oils and trying many more of the recipes in the book and I will be sure to share the good ones here!

xoxo, nora bird

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

outfit of the day(bird): is it bad? (the Law & Order edition)


whole outfit ~ thrifted
necklace ~ Minneapolis Blogger Sale
earrings ~ Forever 21

~ Is it bad that I DVRed seven episodes of Law & Order because I have been waking up at 3 am every
night, and they are the only thing that puts me back to sleep?
~ Is it bad that when I fall asleep to Law & Order, both Chris and I dream about crime and Jerry Orbach?
~ Is it bad that after four hours of inactivity (after I fall asleep), our Directv box turns off, but not our tv, so I oftentimes wake up to Poltergeist-like TVstatic?
Is it bad that I can't fall asleep without the TV on?
~ Is it bad that if I am awake, in bed, with no TV on, I make countless lists of what I need to do, need to buy, need to clean, etc.?
~ Is it bad that sometimes at 3 am, I am excited to watch Law & Order?
~ Is it bad that I have seen hundreds of beginnings of Law & Order, and almost no ends?
~ Is it bad that I dedicated almost a whole post to Law & Order?
Share your "is it bads" with us today!
megan bird

Monday, July 14, 2014

inspiration monday: eddie

the inspiration
Hannah Bronfman
megan bird

skirt, necklace ~ Ebay
shirt, shoes, hat ~ thrifted

nora bird

dress ~ Emily and James
shirt ~ vintage, thrifted
shoes ~ Forever 21
sunglasses ~ Free People

Last week, I posted my 6th grade class picture on Instagram. I showed it to my kids and asked them if they could pick out which one was me. Eva guessed correctly right away, but Henry did not. He picked a girl who looked pretty similar to me, though. However, he didn't stop there. He pointed to a little boy (top 3rd from the left if you opened the picture) (Eddie), and said, "That one is for sure Auntie Izzy!" In his defense, he knew this pic was very old, and Eddie does have similar eyes to my sister. However, the comparisons definitely stop there.

So I sent the picture to my sister, laughingly telling her that Henry thought she was the 3rd top from the right (meaning to type left), and she immediately texted back saying, "Well at least he didn't think I was 3rd from the left!" Oops.

She's a good sport, luckily, and also super gorgeous, so she never has to worry about ever looking like 6th grade Eddie (although Eddie was, and still is handsome).
megan bird