Friday, May 30, 2014

bird seed: summer salads

I know it's not technically summer yet, but here in Minnesota we basically went from winter weather straight into summer weather with barely a spring in between, so I am just going with it. From May until September, I basically live on fresh, delicious salads. Well, salads and rosé, really, but we can talk about wine later. Today I am going to share recipes for two of my favorite salads and a homemade vinaigrette to go with each of them! Yum! I hope you enjoy!

Nectarine and Arugula Salad with Bleu Cheese and a Raspberry-Champagne Vinaigrette
for the salad:
2 cups arugula
two nectarines, sliced
1-2 tablespoons bleu cheese
combine all the ingredients in a bowl.

for the vinaigrette:
5-6 raspberries
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon dijon
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
Add all of the ingredients, except the oil, to your blender. Blend to combine while gradually adding the oil until the dressing thickens. Drizzle over salad. This recipe will make enough vinaigrette for 2-3 salads, depending on how dressed you like your salads! Mine lasted for two. ;)

Fruit and Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese and Honey Toasted Pecans in a Lemon-Balsamic Vinaigrette
for the salad:
two cups baby spinach
2-3 large strawberries, sliced
small handful of raspberries
one kiwi, peeled and diced
1-2 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
12 honey toasted pecans (I bought mine, but this looks like a good recipe!)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

for the vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons lemon juice (or the juice of about two lemons)
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1/2 cup olive oil
Same process as above. Blend everything while slowly adding the oil until thickened. Drizzle over salad. This recipe will also make enough for about 2-3 salads.

I have eaten both of these salads this week. I was literally eating the fruit salad while typing this post. The nectarine one I have eaten twice since Tuesday and I might just make it again this weekend! And I'll likely enjoy it with a nice big glass of rosé! Because, weekend! Happy Friday, all!

Do you have a favorite summer salad?

xoxo, nora bird

Thursday, May 29, 2014

outfit of the day(bird): thoughts on style

shirt~ hand-me-down from megan
jeans~ b. (a resale shop)
shoes~ ??? (so old)
watch~ Michael kors
bracelet~ H&M

I recently had someone ask me to describe my style in three words and I couldn't do it. Not only because I am super awkward and get completely tongue tied when put on the spot (like forget my name and how to use my voice and totally freeze up type of awkward), but also because I am not certain I have a specific style. There is definitely a certain look that I love and, when I see celebrities or people on the street dressed that way, it definitely resonates with me. It is a sort of classic yet messy yet pulled together, slightly boho, sort of 'out there' but not too 'out there' look (see, that's totally more than three words!) that seems like it would be easy to pull off but actually takes some work to make look right. It's definitely not a look that I wear every day or even aspire to wear every day or even really think about every day, but it's definitely a look that I aspire to sometimes. I guess my question is this: what is style? It's so different for everyone. What I love, someone else might hate. Life isn't Pinterest. We don't all look and dress the same. And we shouldn't! That would be no fun! To me, style isn't about wearing the latest trends and the most expensive fashions. It's so much more personal than that. It can sometimes be so hard not to get sucked into certain trends and covet what someone else might wear or have, but I guess I would rather look unique and wear what I love than to fit in and be as trendy as possible. And not everyone will necessarily think it's fashionable or whatever, but it shouldn't matter, because it's what I love. I don't really know where I am going with this other than it has been something I have been thinking about lately. My style has evolved and changed quite a bit since I was in my twenties and I kind of feel anther shift coming on, so it's just been on my mind. And, since this is a personal style type of blog, I thought I would try and sort my thoughts out here. Maybe not my best idea!?!

Aaaannnnnywaaaay...what do you think? Do you have a personal style that could be described in three words? Did you even make it this far in this post of ramblings? If so, congrats and thank you and I'm sorry!

xoxo, nora bird

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

bird.i.y.: beach waves hair texturizing spray

Summer hit Minnesota full force last weekend. Spring was hit and miss, but all of a sudden, we got the heat and the humidity all at once. Don't get me wrong, I love a good summer day, and I don't even mind the humidity, but my hair does. I was not blessed with that wake up and go sort of hair. That doesn't mean that I don't wake up and go, I just don't look like this when I'm waking up and going.
However, as I get older, and especially after I had kids (that mixed with a magician hair stylist) my hair has gotten itself a little wave. Usually it looks its best after 3 no-wash days, but I decided to create that same look just after washing it.
Not wanting to add to the multitude of store-bought lotions and potions, I decided that I probably had enough products on-hand to make my own beach waves spray. So I did.
Here's what you need to make your own.
1 cup hot water
2 tablespoons epson salt
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon liquid aloe vera gel
1 teaspoon argan oil
a few drops of essential oil for scent (I used lavender)
1 empty spray bottle (I happened to have an old beach hair spray bottle, how coicidental (or ironic if you're Alanis Morissette))
On a quick side note, I highly recommend stocking up on essential oils and all natural products for your face and body. You can research online for the right items for your skin type, and it's so easy to make your own lotions, serums, and hair products. I have a small apothecary in my linen cabinet and I call upon it all the time for curing all sorts of ailments and beautifiers.
OK, back to the product.

Just throw all of the above into your spray bottle and shake. Spray on your clean, damp hair and dry as normal. I let mine air dry, and here is the look I got. Keep in mind that my hair is basically straight with about one curl behind my left this look is pretty impressive for air drying. If you want more oomph, use a diffuser and blow it dry. I might try that next!

megan bird

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

outfit of the day(bird): impromptu parties

dress ~ Etsy
shoes ~ Ebay
bracelet ~ garage sale
belt ~ from another dress
sunglasses ~ thrifted
necklace ~ Forever 21

We had an impromptu pool day at our parents' house yesterday. We woke up and thought swimming would be fun since it's starting to feel like a Minnesota summer again, and somehow it worked out that three of the five sisters could all make it. We brought some food, some sparkling water, and we all sat around the pool for a few hours. It's a salt water pool set at about 80 degrees, so it's pretty amazing to swim in.

Then we all headed inside, made BLTs (or VLTs for me) and strawberry shortcake, and laughed and laughed over silly childhood memories (apparently two of my sisters used to dance with Chinese Checkers in their underwear). We all went home with curly, salty hair, full bellies, and smiles on our faces. It was the exact way I wanted to spend my extra day off.

I hope your day was just as perfect!
megan bird

Monday, May 26, 2014

inspiration monday: happy memorial day!

the inspiration
Stacy Kiebler
megan bird

shirt, shorts, sunglasses ~ thrifted
hat ~ Marshalls
shoes ~ Kohs

nora bird

shirt ~ Marshalls
shoes, shorts ~ b. (a resale shop)

I will keep this short and sweet..Happy Memorial Day to all of you who celebrate ( and happy Monday to those who don't). Thank you to all the soldiers who fought for our country. Your service is a gift to us all, and we can't thank you enough for your bravery and sacrifice.

two birds

Friday, May 23, 2014

mama bird: family dinner

My parents are amazing role models, just like I hope to be for our kids. They aren't perfect, but I would neither want nor expect them to be. OK, maybe at 7 I both thought they were and expected them to be perfect...but we all know that no parent can be or will be perfect. But they raised five pretty amazing girls (if I do say so myself), while maintaining a happy and healthy marriage (going on 47 years).

One of the things that I both loved (pre-teen), and didn't love (sulky teenage years) were family dinners. It is a tradition that I proudly carry on with our kids. And by family dinners, I mean sitting at the table, saying a prayer, eating together, no TV, and talking about how our days were. We do this every single week night, and most weekends, too.

I brought Eva to her annual doctor's appointment last week, and her doctor asked if we had family meals. She then brought up what I thought was a very good point.
~ If you start family meals young and sit around the dinner table talking about your kids' lives, when they hit those teenage years where they normally don't want to share anything with you, they will be so used to answering your questions that they won't think you are prying, they will just think you are asking like every other night for the past 12 years.
I loved this point, and it really resonated with me. I want my kids to be able to be open and honest with me as they grow up. Granted, I might not like every open and honest thing that I hear, but that doesn't mean I don't want to hear it.
So for now, we sit around the table and ask the same questions every night.
~ What did you learn today?
~ Who did you play with at school?
~ What was the best part of our day?
~ Did anything bother you today at school?

and then we either play our family dinner questions game or we each make up a question that normally is something like:
~ If you could be any animal in the world, what would it be? (eagle)
~ If you could have any wish, what would it be? (more wishes)
~ What is your favorite family tradition? (Our annual trip to Northern Minnesota)
And that's how our dinner goes. Regardless of how mad Eva gets when I make her eat her mushrooms.
megan bird

Thursday, May 22, 2014

outfit of the day(bird): cute!

vest and dress~ thrifted
jeans~ b. (a resale shop)
shoes~ Qupid
necklace~ Etsy, gift
sunglasses~ hand-me-down from sister

Yesterday morning, Mimi put on a dress and ran out of her room to model her outfit for Ben, who was playing in the living room. She stood in front of him with an expectant smile and said, "Ben!!!" and did a little spin. I was slightly worried because I was almost certain that she wouldn't get the reaction she wanted from him. You know, because he is 21 months and doesn't care about clothes and fashion, right? But no. He stopped, looked her up and down, smiled excitedly, put his hands to his cheeks and said, "CEWUUUUUUUTE, MIMI!" She laughed, did another spin, and they continued on, playing together. I about died. It was such a sweet moment to witness between them. I sure do love those two.

On a side note, I am traveling to Seattle tomorrow to visit a few friends for a girl's weekend and I am so excited! I have never been to Seattle, so if you have any suggestions of things I should see, do, eat, or drink, please let me know! Thank you, in advance!

xoxo, nora bird

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

bird.i.y: rosemary and lavender salt scrub

It's nearing the end of Mimi's school year and I wanted to make a small thank you gift for both of her teachers. I decided on a simple salt scrub with rosemary and lavender, which is a great gift for a busy teacher who wants to unwind after a long day!

2 cups Epsom salts
1 cup extra-virgin coconut oil
30 drops of lavender essential oil
1 1/2 teaspoons rosemary, chopped

Lavender is one of my favorite scents and it has such a calming, balancing effect. It's also known as an excellent remedy for muscle and joint paint and headaches. Rosemary can help elevate your mood, is believed to have memory-enhancing properties, and can also help boost the immune system. Epsom salts also relieve stress, relax the body, ease muscle pain, and can eliminate toxins from the body. And coconut oil...well coconut oil is just good for, like, everything. (Seriously! Everything!) All great things for a teacher, or any busy adult, am I right?

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl and...that's it! Easy as pie! (Or...easy as salt scrub???)

 When everything is mixed, transfer the scrub into a container of your choosing. This recipe makes about 16 ounces of salt scrub. I gave each of Mimi's teachers a four ounce jar and also made one for both my shower and Jim's shower! Bonus! I attached labels and an ingredients card to the teachers' containers, but that is obviously optional!

I hope Mimi's teachers enjoy their gift! 

xoxo, nora bird

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

outfit of the day(bird): pajama dress

dress, shoes ~ thrifted, Goodwill
necklace ~ Burlington
ring, watch ~ Charming Charlie's
earrings ~ Heartbreaker
I bought this dress at Goodwill last summer. It's originally from The Gap and I adore it. I adore it, but have never worn it. There are a few reasons for that. #1. It's huge on me. It's about 3 sizes too big, but I bought it anyway. #2. I am well aware that it looks vaguely reminiscent of a nightgown, but again I bought it anyway. #3. Every time I put it on, I hem and haw about how to wear it. It comes with a matching tie belt, but anyone who has big hips knows that belted pleats are not attractive or flattering. Having said that, curvy people also should know that wearing a long and loose muumuu isn't the most flattering look either. But, on Sunday evening, I decided to say screw it, and threw it on for a patio dinner with my family at a neighborhood restaurant. After all, what's better to wear when you're drinking sangria and eating vegan bratwurst and the oiliest fries and onion rings in the neighborhood?
I'm still not sure if I will keep this dress (I'll admit it looks better moving than standing still), but I'm glad I wore it. Because even if it's not the most flattering, I kind of still feel like a princess in it (hence the many spin moves).
megan bird

Monday, May 19, 2014

inspiration monday: dirty martini

the inspiration
Gwyneth Paltrow
megan bird

jeans ~ Opitz
tank ~ H&M
necklace ~ Heartbreaker
bracelets, blazer ~ garage sale
shoes ~ thrifted

nora bird

blazer ~ Marshalls
shirt ~ swapped
jeans ~ Old Navy
shoes ~ Zappos
necklace ~ H&M

Chris and I went to a concert in central Wisconsin this weekend. We drove about three hours to the middle of nowhere, to a place called the Silver Dome, and watched four great bands, and then camped in our scamp that night. It was so fun. 

When we arrived, we were both starving, so we headed to a bar next door to the Silver Dome. Chris read something this weekend that said, "never order a martini in a beer bar, and never order a beer at a cocktail bar." Well, we were definitely at a beer bar, but I have never been one to follow convention. So, first things first, we ordered drinks. I asked the bartender if he knew how to make a good dirty martini. His reply was "I can't, but she can" as he pointed to the other bartender. The woman walked over and double checked that I wanted a dirty martini. When I replied yes, she walked away to make it. Soon after, she walked back and asked:
"So, is that with pickle juice?"
I replied, "no, olive juice" and she walked away again....only to walk right back and ask:
"So, is that with vodka?"
I replied yes and started thinking that I should have followed Chris' rules.
And then she returned one more time with the world's largest dirty martini. I'd say it was at least 6 ounces, but more likely 8...and it was delicious.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that an 8-ounce dirty martini, an 8-ounce manhattan, a beer, and a large handmade pizza cost us all of $16. If we're ever in central Wisconsin again, I know where I'll be eating!
How was your weekend?
megan bird

Friday, May 16, 2014

love*birds: 5.16.14

Things I am loving this week:
~ I've caught the spring cleaning, organizing, and redecorating bug. I have been cleaning out my closets, my kids' closets, and other rooms in the house and getting rid of a ton of stuff we never wear, use, or have outgrown. It feels so good.
~ Thrifting! The kids and I have gone a couple times this week, just looking for inspiration and searching for treasures. Nothing specific, which makes it even more fun because there's no pressure!
~ Speaking of thrifting, Megan and I have started blogging for Goodwill! Check out our first post here!

And here are a few other things we are loving today...

nora bird

I mentioned I have been reorganizing and that includes my jewelry. I would just love one of these pyramid boxes to display some of my favorite pieces! So pretty.

I adore the print and the colors of this dress. And the slouchy style looks super comfy while still being chic!

I love this vintage lace top! It would look so cute layered under a blazer or over another tank. Or just a black bra if you're feeling daring!

Such a gorgeous statement ring! It's so unique and such a pretty color!

Oh my gosh, I love this romper! It's so whimsical and fun! A perfect springtime date night look!


This is absolutely one of my favorite local shops. I could spend all day there, wandering around and looking at all the pretty things! They sell gorgeous, locally and handmade jewelry, clothing, housewares, fragrances, accessories, and so much more! And if you are not local, they have an online shop, as well!

follow along @mrsbeyers

I always get a little nervous when my kids are playing in the other room and they suddenly get really quiet. It often means they are being naughty. This happened the other day and I walked into Mimi's room to investigate the situation only to see this. My kids love books and reading and it makes me so proud and happy to see!

megan bird
tassel necklace
 I love tassels, I know, a lot of people do these days. But this necklace is so unique, it's got the fun lucky charm on it, too. And you can special request a charm! How fun!

verdigris feather ring
This ring is so delicate looking with it's vintage patina. I love the coloring and the beautiful detailing!

block print kimono
 I have been toying with the idea of buying a kimono. I love how they look on other people, but don't love them on me. This one, however, would look great on just about anyone! I love the colors, and fringe never hurts!

tribal beach pompom shorts
I'll be honest, I don't get to the beach much, but I would if I had these shorts!! In fact, maybe I will get them for when we camp...add a little fun to my normal yoga pant camping trips!

ikat messenger bag
This bag is perfect in so many ways. The print, the size, the tassel (I told you I love them). It needs to be mine!

Architectural Antiques
 This store is like a museum. I could (and have) literally spend hours there! They are full of pretty much anything you could possibly think of from vintage Tom Thumb signs to the most amazing lighting you will ever find. If you need it for your home, chances are they have it!! Check it out if you're local, or just browse their goodies if you're not!

follow along @meglets

What's Mother's Day without a selfie with your kids? I snapped this one last Sunday when they kids were in the midst of showing me tons of love!

What are you loving today?
two birds