Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!!!

We hope you all have a very safe, very fun, and a very happy Halloween filled with full-sized candy bars, spooky treats, and maybe even a nice cold witch's brew! We will be out and about with our little ones tonight, with maybe even a costume or two for ourselves. But for now, we'll share with you our Lego Man, Cowgirl, Fall Fairy Princess, and Astronaut.
Aren't they amazing???
two bats

Thursday, October 30, 2014

outfit of the day(bird): it's the little things

leggings ~ Forever 21
boots ~ Ross
tank, coat, scarf, hat ~ thrifted
A list of the little things that have made me happy lately:
~ My son holding my hand without me asking.
~ Finally having the motivation to clean my basement.
~ Meeting new blog friends (or as I like to call them, friends) like Lauren and Ralph.
~ Having someone trust me enough to ask for, and accept my advice.
~ Getting a complimentary free night's stay at the hotel next to my work.
~ Especially right after my kids told me they would love to stay overnight in a hotel.
~ Letting my kids climb the apple tree even though the sign told them not to.
~ Fresh apples.
~ Friends who know what your life is like.
~ Friends who don't yet (but some day will).
~ My sisters' emails.
I could go on, but I'd rather stop now and hear yours...
megan bird 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

baby bird.i.y: trick-or-treat tote bag

I haven't done a baby bird.i.y for a while! Since I had no other DIY ideas for this week and the kids and I were going to decorate trick-or-treating totes anyway, I thought I might as well feature those! This is a really fun DIY to do with kids of any age. And the totes don't even have to be for trick-or-treating. They could really be decorated and used for any reason which you would use a tote. With Halloween just around the corner, the kids decorated their totes with some spooky googly eyes, skulls, and skeletons! Just for reference, Mimi, age 4, had a lot of fun with this one and Ben, age 2, needed a bit of help!

Here's what you'll need:
~ Black canvas tote bag
~ Apple
~ Sponge brush
~ White fabric paint
~ Fabric glue
~ Scissors
~ Black felt
~ Stickers and ribbon (optional)

1. Cut the apple in half, remove the seeds, and place it cut side down on a paper towel to remove any excess moisture.
2. Place a piece of paper inside the tote to avoid paint soaking through.
3. Paint the cut side of the apple with the fabric paint using the sponge brush. Press the apple onto the bag, as you would a stamp, using firm pressure. Remove the apple and touch up any spots that were missed using the brush.
4. Continue to stamp as many pairs of eyes as you like! Let dry according to the instructions on the paint bottle.
5. Cut out small circles of felt for the pupils and glue to the dry apple prints with fabric glue.
6. Decorate the rest of the bag with ribbons or stickers if you like!
7. Go trick-or-treating with your new bag!

Trick or Treat!

xoxo, nora bird

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

outfit of the day(bird): bits and pieces

vest~ Marshalls
sweater~ Forever 21
jeans~ Gap
shoes~ H&M
necklace~ gift from mother-in-law

As I type this, I am listening to my husband read The Little Prince to my daughter. It is my very favorite book ever in the world and neither of them have ever read it or heard the story. It brings me such joy to overhear them reading and discovering it together. They are about halfway through and, so far, they are both really enjoying it which also makes me happy! It is such a beautiful and heartbreaking story. If you haven't ever read it, I highly recommend you do. I promise you won't be sorry!

This past weekend, Megan and I got the opportunity to meet a new friend, Ralph of Shybiker. We really had such a great time chatting over dinner and drinks. It's always such a treat to meet a blogger friend in person, especially when they are as kind and intelligent and funny as Ralph. I am now even more inspired, after talking to him, to enjoy life to the fullest, to take in more theater and live music, to travel around the U.S. and discover cool new cities, and to maybe even hop on the back of a motorcycle someday! Maybe! 

 Jim, the kids, and I also attended two Halloween parties this past weekend as well as getting our annual family photos taken. This is the third time that Erin has taken them and she always does such an awesome job. My kids are both at an age where getting them to sit still and smile for a camera is not an easy task, but Erin always handles it like the pro that she is and we always end up with some really great shots. I am excited to see how they turned out this year!

Oh, and in a post a while back a few of you mentioned in the comments that I looked tall. I remember that because I was SO HAPPY that someone thought I looked tall. I am not tall. As you can see in the photos above, I am a miniature person. I stand at about 5'4" on a good day. I was laughing to Jim while I edited these photos about how short I looked. I'm not used to seeing photos of myself in flats, even though I wear them all the time!

That's all I've got today for this super random post. Unless you want to hear about how I cleaned my house, caught up on laundry, and did yard work. No? Okay, fine. Another time.

xoxo, nora bird

Monday, October 27, 2014

inspiration monday: First Class Wings

the inspiration
Paula Patton
megan bird

entire outfit ~ thrifted

nora bird

jacket ~ Fashionologie
shirt ~ Marshalls
jeans ~ Gap
shoes ~ Ebay

I had a very vivid dream on Saturday night. My dream was telling me that I should open a restaurant called "First Class Wings" and the attraction of this restaurant was that you could eat wings with stars. I'm not sure why a vegetarian would open a wings restaurant, or more importantly, how I would get celebrities to show up, but my dream was very adamant in telling me that I needed to do this. So adamant that I woke up, found my phone, and sent myself a reminder. I set the alarm on the reminder and everything, all in my sleep.

The reminder read:
" First Class Wings. Trademark. Eat with stars."

Apparently my sleeping self thought this was such a good idea that I needed to trademark it. So hopefully none of you steal this idea before I can make it a reality.

I even dreamed the signage. (In my dream it looked more like a street sign, this was the best I could do with my level of design expertise.)

What's your craziest dream?
megan bird

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

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.