Wednesday, May 27, 2015

bird seed: no-bake breakfast bars

My kids love granola bars and would eat them all day if I let them. But I do not because, oftentimes, store-bought granola bars are just glorified candy bars. They are full of sugar and other ingredients that I don't want my kids eating on a regular basis. And the bars that actually are healthy usually cost an arm and a leg. So, I decided to start making my own granola-type bars. This way, I know exactly what is going in them and can feel good about my kids eating them. Plus, I might save a few dollars, which is never a bad thing, amiright?

These breakfast bars are no-bake, gluten free (check your oats to make sure they are labeled as gluten free if you have a gluten intolerance), and can be made vegan if you sub the honey for maple syrup. And you only need 10 ingredients!

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cups whole, raw almonds
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup pistachios
1/3 cup ground flaxseed
2/3 cups raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup raw honey
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 cup nut butter (I used peanut butter)

1. Line an 8"x8" baking pan with parchment paper. 
2. Combine the first 8 ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined.
3. Add the honey and apple sauce to the bowl and mix until combined.
4. Add the peanut butter and mix until everything is fully combined.
5. Place the batter in the prepared pan and press down firmly until the mixture is distributed evenly.
6. Place pan in the freezer to set for at least one hour.
7. Once the bars are set, remove pan from freezer and lift the entire block from the pan using the parchment paper. Peel the paper away and slice into bars. My pan made 12 bars.
9. Enjoy!

I keep my bars in a sealed container in the freezer to ensure freshness. Jim and the kids love these breakfast bars and I love that they are healthy and easy to make!

Have you ever made your own granola bars?
xoxo, nora bird

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

outfit of the day(bird): back to reality


shirt~ TJ Maxx
jeans~ Levis
shoes~ H&M
necklace~ gift from my in-laws

Hello! I hope you all had a good weekend. My sister, her husband, and their daughter were here, visiting from Vegas. It was such a fun weekend and I have gone into a tiny bit of a depression since they left. I just love having family around. Lots of snuggles with my niece, laughs with my sister and brother-in-law, and seeing my kids and their sweet cousin playing together was just what I needed this weekend. After having Jim out of town for so long and then my sister and her family visiting, it is going to be tough to get back to reality. But it'll also be good. I find lots of comfort in routine, but it's definitely good to shake it up every once in a while. Especially when it involves family and fun.

Oh, and sorry about the washed out photos. Apparently, 7:30 on a super sunny morning is not the best time to take outfit pictures. Oops! This blog is aways teaching me something.

xoxo, nora bird

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

We want to say thank you to those who have served, who are serving, and who will serve to protect our country. Your service is truly an honor to us, and a blessing to our country.
two birds
In honor of the holiday, we decided to take the day off. Inspiration Monday will continue next week

Friday, May 22, 2015

bird seed: peach-grapefruit sangria

Jim has been out of town for 8 days. He left for a bachelor party in New Orleans last Thursday, made a brief appearance back home on Sunday only to leave again for business in Minneapolis on Monday.  I am very very excited for him to get home today. To celebrate his return, I decided to make a big batch of peach-grapefruit sangria for us to share tonight. Well, we will see if he gets any! I kid, I kid. I will let him have a small glass.

This sangria would be great if you're having a Memorial Day bbq this weekend. Or just need something to drink on your patio on a sunny day. Or a drink to enjoy while cuddled up watching movies on a rainy day. Okay, okay, this sangria is yummy enough for any occasion! 

1 bottle of dry white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
1 cup orange liqueur
the juice of one lemon
2 peaches, cubed
1 large grapefruit, cut into small wedges
1/4 cup simple syrup (to make, cook 1/4 cup sugar in 1/4 cup water in a saucepan until the sugar is fully dissolved. let cool completely before using.)
about 15 blueberries, for color

Simply mix all of the ingredients in a large pitcher and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. I like to let mine refrigerate overnight to get the best flavors!

To serve, fill a wine glass about 3/4 full with the sangria (make sure to get lots of fruit!) and top with a bit of soda water. Now go enjoy yourself!

I recently discovered that we have a Saturn peach tree in our yard (yay!), so I am sure to be making batches of this sangria all summer long! And please send any of your favorite peach recipes my way!

I hope you all have a great weekend!

xoxo, nora bird

Thursday, May 21, 2015

outfit of the day(bird): my husband, the wine model

sweater, shoes~ thrifted
shorts~ b. (a resale shop)
necklace~ made by my lovely friend, Erin

The other night, on his way home from work and per the request of his ever loving wife, my husband stopped to pick up a bottle of wine. While he was there, perusing the shelves, a man walked up behind him and said something like, "Yes, yes. You will be perfect." If you know Jim, he of course agreed with the man immediately before even knowing what he was perfect for. But he was curious, so he turned around and asked, "Excuse me?" The man introduced himself as a wine rep for the store and told Jim that he would like to take a few photos of him holding a bottle of and drinking some Bulgarian wine. Jim, of course, asked why and the man told him that the photos would be on "some advertisements". Jim asked where these advertisements would be seen and the man told him, "Only in Bulgaria. I would like you to be the face of Bulgarian wine." And, well, Jim let him take the photos. So now he, my proud Irish American husband, is apparently the face of Bulgarian wine. This story will never stop making me laugh and, if I ever find myself in Bulgaria, I truly hope to see his face on all of the billboards.

Bonus: We totally got a free bottle of Bulgarian wine and I can assure you, it is as delicious as it's spokesman.

xoxo, nora bird

And because I love sharing outtake photos and because Ben's "WTH are you doing?" face is priceless in this one:

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

bird.i.y.: polymer clay necklace

This isn't really a DIY, and when I say that, I mean two things by it. 1. it's so easy even a caveman can do it, and 2. cavemen must have more patience than me when it comes to making jewelry.
So really, this isn't a DIY because it's more of a DIYTAYHTHBHHMP (do it yourself then ask your husband to help because he has more patience).
The end result was good, though, so I thought I'd share.
What you'll need:
~ polymer clay
~ spray paint
~ chain
~ jump rings
~ ring clasp
~ pliers
~ a McGyver-like husband (not pictured)
I first rolled out the clay to be about 1/8" thick and cut it in a half circle shape. Really you can use any shape you want, I just happened to like this. Oh, and I happened to have an old padlock that was the perfect shape to trace. Yes, I am very professional like that, using a padlock as my form.
Keeping along the lines of professionalism, I used a kitchen knife to cut the clay, and a cuticle stick to poke holes in it (this is where the jump rings will go). Who needs Martha Stewart's crafting tools when you have a padlock, a dicing knife, and a cuticle stick? Not this girl.
Bake the clay per the package instructions. I think I went a little longer than it said, but that's because I forgot it was in the oven. Luckily our oven sucks, so it didn't burn.
Then tape off a section of the clay that you want to keep white. Spray paint the rest back and front. Let it dry.
Next, realize that the chain you bought is WAY too small to fit the jump rings you bought. At this point, run around the house looking for an old necklace that may have smaller jump rings. When you can't find one, yell for your husband to help.
And because your husband is so nice and so resourceful, he will finish the necklace for you while you change into a  shirt that isn't an old baggy sweatshirt so you can take pictures of your new necklace.
Unfortunately, I didn't take the time to make sure I had a bra on that you couldn't see through the shirt. But let's be honest, I was taking this picture at 9:00 PM, you guys are lucky I'm even wearing a bra at all.
And that, my friends, is how you make a polymer necklace. Questions?
megan bird

outfit of the day(bird): Nyquil

shoes, jeans ~ Target
shirt ~ thrifted
necklace ~ Tess + Tricia, gift from Nora
hat ~ TJ Maxx
Eva gave me her sick, so I have been taking Nyquil at night to get to sleep. I always have to warn Chris that I will be taking it because it knocks me out. Normally I'm "in charge" at night when the kids wake up, not because Chris won't do it, but because they usually just come to me when they have a nightmare or need anything. So, when I take Nyquil, he's in charge.
Except on Sunday night. I took my dose and was pleasantly sedated. Eva had a nightmare and came in to our room. I actually don't remember what happened, but I know I made her feel worse. You see, she came in and told me she had a bad dream. Normally what would happen is I would bring her in to bed with us and we'd talk about the dream, and I change the dream's ending to be good. That is what Eva was expecting. Instead, she shook me once, shook me twice, and I didn't wake up. Then apparently, I did wake up with a loud and kicking start, and promptly told her to go back to bed. Not only did I not comfort her, I probably scared her even more.
And then I woke up and realized what had happened. Eva was in her room crying and scared, and I came to my senses and had her come snuggle, so not all was lost. When we were up for the day, I explained to her why I had acted the way I did, and we had a good chuckle, and Chris of course apologized for not waking up. All was good.
megan bird