Friday, October 24, 2014

bird seed: chocolate and toffee cashew clusters

I love making treats for my neighbors. I often get a hankering to make treats but I hate having them around the house, tempting me to eat every. single. one. of. them. So I tend to make said treats, package them up, and send my little delivery girl out to drop bundles of cookies or bars or candy on the neighbor's front stoops. My neighbors have yet to complain! And I always leave a few for Jim, the kids, and myself, of course! This week, I made these chocolate and toffee cashew clusters and, let me tell you, they are so good.

~ 4 cups raw cashews
~ a hefty dash of sea salt
~ 1 bar (4 oz) white baking chocolate, chopped
~ 2 bars (8 oz) bittersweet baking chocolate, chopped
~ 2-10 oz bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips (or milk chocolate, if you prefer)
~ 1-8 oz bag of toffee bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cashews on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 5 minutes, shaking pan every so often to avoid burning. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt. Set aside. (Or you could buy pre-roasted and salted cashews and skip this entire step.)
In a large saucepan over low heat, cook the chocolate until melted, stirring often. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in the cashews and toffee bits. Drop spoonfuls of mixture onto parchment paper. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until set. Store in an airtight container. (I keep mine in a zip lock bag in the fridge.) I made my clusters quite large and this mixture made about 30 pieces.

The clusters before and after setting.

All packaged up and ready for the neighbors! These yummy treats make great gifts for any occasion!

Happy Friday! Have an awesome weekend!
xoxo, nora bird

Thursday, October 23, 2014

outfit of the day(bird): love bird

(That awkward wave to a neighbor while taking outfit photos.)

 shirt~ Target
jeans~ b. (a resale shop)
shoes~ BGBGeneration

Things I am loving this lately:
~ Shopping followed by happy hour with my fellow bird and two other blogger friends (or friends that just happen to be bloggers), Beth and Erin!
~ The two new-to-me pairs of boots I bought last night (even after Erin, ever so subtly, suggested that, perhaps, I might not need two more pairs of boots!)
~ The cutest new-to-me hat I bought last night after Megan tried it on and I told her, if she did not buy it, that I would. And then she gave it to me to buy even though she really did want it!
~ Coffee. I have not been sleeping much at all this week, so coffee has been my best friend in the mornings.
~ I know it's boring to discuss weather, but ours has been seriously amazing here in Minnesota. We have been having a perfect fall! Warm temps and gorgeous colors. I love it and have been savoring every moment.
~We have two Halloween parties coming up this weekend and I am excited to see the kids in their costumes!
~ We are also having family photos taken this weekend. It should be fun and I am excited to see how they turn out!
~ This song. Such a good cover. Billie Joe and Norah sound amazing together (even if she does spell her name incorrectly.) I'm excited to hear more from them. Oh, and this song, too. I'm really loving the entire Hozier album right now.
~ Did I mention coffee???

What are you loving today?

xoxo, nora bird

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

bird.i.y.: Halloween "Dream Catcher"

I have never been a 'decorate on holidays other than Christmas' sort of person. Frankly, I don't have enough storage space to house so many decorations. OK, I do, but I choose to save that space for shoes instead. But, I figured that Halloween is one occasion where people do actually come to our door, so I thought that at the very least, we could have something hanging on the front door. That, plus candy....and good candy, too...not that junk mix of Double Bubble and tiny Dums Dums, or dare I say, raisins!! So yes, good candy and a super easy Halloween dream catcher. You can have one too, in just a few (super) easy steps.

Here's what you need:

~ orange and white yarn
~ embroidery hoop
~ cardboard (for backing)
~ poster letters
~ hot glue gun

And here's what you do:
1. Wrap the white yarn around the embroidery hoop, making it resemble a spider web...or something vaguely like one.

2. Cut a very long piece of orange yarn (long enough to wrap the entire hoop).
3. Tie off the yarn at the top of the hoop.
4. Turn on a two-hour episode of The Voice, and start wrapping the yarn around the hoop, hot gluing as you go to make it stay in place.
5. Glue the word "BOO" to the cardboard.
6. Cut the cardboard to fit. As sloppily as you can, because wow that guy on The Voice has a really great voice and you're not paying any attention to what you're cutting.
7. Unplug the glue gun because wow that woman on The Voice has a really great voice and you're not paying any attention and glue is melting all over your bedroom floor.
8. Pause The Voice and finish your project!
9. Hang it on your front door.
10. Buy a new bag of Halloween candy because, who are you kidding, you ate it all already. (That wouldn't have happened if you had bought raisins.)

megan bird

outfit of the day(bird): he really loves me!

 sandals ~ Target
necklace ~ Forever 21
rest of outfit ~ thrifted
I have always considered myself a romantic. I go for the big sweeping worthy. You know, the throw your coat over a puddle kind of move (even though the coat would get ruined and my feet would still get wet) get the idea, though.
But, since I have been with Chris, I have really come to appreciate the smaller romantic gestures that he does for me on a daily basis. Some might not think they are romantic, because he is not outside my window blaring Peter Gabriel songs, but I really love how he shows me he loves me in small ways. Two examples from last week's vacation:
1. I mentioned yesterday that we played a little game where we each had $5 to spend at the dollar store to see who would come up with the best stuff. Well, part of his $5 was spent on me. You see, I don't sleep well, and he bought me some melatonin. As I was buying lipstick and a scarf for myself, he was spending his cash on me.
2. The very next day, he checked the time of the sunrise, and set his alarm, set up coffee to start brewing early in the morning, and planned a whole little sunrise date up on the roof of my parents' condo. It was chilly and windy, and frankly the sun was hidden behind the clouds, but I had Chris and the kids, and a huge mug of fresh coffee to keep me warm.
We might not have a ton of time for grand romantic gestures these days, but you know what? I love Chris' little ways of showing me he loves me. In fact, I think I even love them more than a sweeping gesture...because it shows that he's thinking of me on a daily basis, and not just a few times a year when you're "supposed" to be romantic.
What's your favorite romantic gesture?
megan bird

Monday, October 20, 2014

inspiration monday: whoopee cushion

the inspiration

sweater ~ b. (a resale shop)
clogs ~ rummage sale
jeans ~ thrifted
tank ~ H&M
hat ~ garage sale
necklace ~ Buffalo Exchange

nora bird

sweater ~ Forever 21
tank ~ H&M
jeans ~ Levis
shoes ~ Ebay
necklace ~ gift
We had a little contest over our long weekend. There isn't much shopping in the small city we stayed in, but there is a Family Dollar right next door to the condo. Armed with $5, we each walked to the store and picked out what we thought was the best bang for our buck. (See our picks and vote here.) So far, Henry is in the lead, mainly because one of his items was a whoopee cushion.

That night, as I was getting ready for bed, I happened to move my pillow. As the pillow went falling to the ground, I spotted the whoopee cushion underneath it. Henry was trying to get me. So what did I do? I snuck into their room and put the full cushion underneath a towel right next to Eva's side of the bed (thinking Henry would be exiting the bed on that side). It would make for a funny prank when he woke up the next morning....

Except instead of Henry waking up the next morning, Eva woke up in the middle of the night, a little scared because she was in a new place. She ran into our room ~ missing the whoopee cushion ~ where I calmed her down a little. And then she ran back to her room, only to step straight on the thing...scaring her all over again.

megan bird

For next week's inspiration picture and how to play along, click here.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

mama bird: happy birthday mom!

You know that old saying where a man is supposed to look at his future mother-in-law to gauge whether or not he should stay with his girlfriend? Well, in the case of all of our husbands, I think it was a very easy decision. Our mom is beautiful, inside and out...and on Saturday, she is celebrating a monumental (momumental?) birthday!

Mom, you are truly the best mom we could ever have asked for. By being the beautiful person you are, you taught us how to be the beautiful people we are. You are a friend, a mentor, a teacher, and the light that has led us to where we are today. Thanks for being you, and happiest of birthdays! We love you!!!!
megan & nora bird

outfit of the day(bird): weird facts

jeans ~ Ross
sweater ~ Alloy
tank ~ Target 
scarf ~ from mom
boots, hat ~ thrifted

A few weird facts about me...
~ I hate odd shaped fruit and veggies. If a carrot looks like it has arms and legs, I won't eat it. Or a baby orange inside of a large orange. Gross.
~ I am the queen of dumb jokes and puns.
~ I pride myself in being quick-witted in coming up with dumb jokes, puns, and comebacks.
~ I can be terribly inappropriate. But I'm still pretty funny.
~ I will wear heels over flats any day.
~ I have very short legs for my height (hence the heels). My sisters make fun of me for this often (in a nice way).
~ I am loud, and love being the center of attention. Unless it's a public speaking role.
~ I'd be a great public speaker if all events were held at bars.

And that's all I can think of for now. I'm sure there's more. Share a fun fact about yourself with me!
megan bird

PS, Nora and I both changed our Instagram names. Check us out if you don't already @meganbirdmork and @norabirdbeyers