Tuesday, March 31, 2015

outfit of the day(bird): california living

tee~ gift from my sister, Kristin
jeans~ Levis
shoes~ Converse
necklace~ gift from my mother-in-law

I'm back! I missed you all so much. I have tried keeping up with all of your blogs throughout the last two weeks, but I haven't been doing the best job. I promise I am back in the blogging saddle now! Thank you so much to Megan Bird for being so amazing and (wo)manning the blog on her own so I could get a bit settled after the big move.

Well, we are finally here. Now you all don't have to listen to me talk about how I am moving to California because we finally moved. It felt like the longest process ever. But we are here now and we are really enjoying it so far. I think we are still kind of in the honeymoon phase. It still feels like a bit of a vacation and it hasn't quite sunk in yet that we are actually California residents. The first few days were sort of rough. A lot of unpacking and figuring out how to fit all of our stuff into a bit of a smaller space (hint: you don't). That ended in lots of trips to Goodwill to donate items that didn't fit or we no longer need. We got the kids rooms set up and all of their toys unpacked first, just to let them feel a bit more settled and start adjusting to their new home. The rest is still coming along, slowly but surely. But I really love our new place. I am excited to show you around once we have everything set up and looking the way we want it to. Other than that, we have been exploring our new neighborhood and the surrounding areas. We have had a trip to the beach, taken some hikes, tried a lot of new and delicious restaurants, checked out local farmer's and flea markets, played in the nearby parks, and have really been enjoying the beautiful weather that California has been giving us lately. I wish I could move my entire Midwest family and whole crew of friends here with me! That's definitely something we are missing a whole lot. But we really are loving this new adventure we are on! I am excited to have you all along for the ride.

xoxo, nora bird

Monday, March 30, 2015

inspiration monday: regular megan

the inspiration
Ashley Greene
megan bird
shirt ~ TJ Maxx
necklace ~ Burlington
leggings ~ Kohls
boots ~ swap
nora bird
shirt ~ thrifted
jeans ~ Jessican Simpson
shoes ~ Marshalls
necklace ~ vintage
I went to a blogger party on Saturday which was a blast. We each brought three of our favorite things to share and we drew names and got to choose from the bounty of what everyone brought. (I brought Smith's Rosebalm Salve and came home with nail polish, two lotions, a beautiful print, and lipstick.) There were two Megans, and one of them was one of the organizers. My friend Lauren was the other organizer. When Lauren drew the other Megan's name for her turn to pick a favorite thing, she said, "OK, it's regular Megan's turn."
I spun around in mock anger and acted as if I were offended. "Does that make me 'Irregular Megan'?" I asked. To which another fabulous blogger responded, "No, it just means you're 'Super Megan'." And I loved that answer the most.
(super) megan bird
For next week's inspiration picture, click here.

Friday, March 27, 2015

mama bird: second best

I have had many times where my own insecurities from childhood have gotten in the way of my parenting. Where I remember how I felt being this kid or that kid, and how I don't want my own kids to feel that way, so I steer them in another direction. I have been that parent that wants to do things for my kids so they get it right, and to make it easier for them.  I want my kids to be the best at everything they do, not because I need them to be the best, but because I don't want them to ever feel second best.
But then again, I sometimes do want them to feel second best. Wait, what? Does that make me sound horrible? Maybe so, but let me explain....I never want my children to be made fun of, to feel left out, or to be the worst player on the team. I want that for them because as a mom, I never want my kids to feel sad, embarrassed, or alone. But if they never feel sad, embarrassed, or alone, they will grow up to be naive. They will be adults who do not know how to deal with loss, who can't overcome failure, who can't walk away from a bad situation when they should. They will not have the ability to take the hardships they have endured and turn them into greatness.
So instead of doing things for them, I stand on the sidelines and hope for the best. When they are not the best player on the team, I help them practice. When they are not the smartest kid in school, I help them study. When they are not the funniest kids in class...Oh wait, they are. When they fail, I let them. When they are sad, I will be there for them. And when they lose, I will teach them how to turn that loss into a lesson, because to me, my kids will never be second best.
megan bird

Thursday, March 26, 2015

outfit of the day(bird): virgin ears

jeans ~ Old Navy
sweatshirt ~ Len Dreskin
boots ~ b. (a resale shop)
sunglasses ~ Francesca's
hat ~ NY & Co.
I have always been the parent who is honest with my kids. Some may say too honest. I am not a liar, though, and when they ask me a question, I want them to know they can trust me to answer honestly...so I do. Well, except when they ask about Santa Claus and the tooth fairy, but that's acceptable.
They have asked me questions about sex, and changing bodies, and other items of the such in the past, and it's never bothered me. I answer very matter-of-factly with as much information as I think is necessary based on their age. But last night, for some reason, I was thrown for a loop. 
Out of nowhere, Henry turned to me, looked me in the eye, and said, "Mama, what does virgin mean?" For some reason, I was not at all prepared. I stumbled around for a minute, throwing out words like "wool, olive oil, pure, not processed". He was confused and Chris was just in the corner laughing at me. So finally I just said, "Well, the word is most often meant to define a person who hasn't had sex."
And Henry pursed his lips together, tried not to laugh, and then said to me, "Mama, I'm a virgin."
And that was that.
megan bird

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

bird.i.y.: homemade natural lipstick

I am a sucker for lipstick. Lip stain, lip gloss, you name it, I will buy it. And the funny thing is that I rarely wear it. So I decided I need to start wearing it more often. If I'm going to wear it more often, I decided it might as well be something that I know is safe and healthy, and I know what the ingredients are. And this is how I came to make my own lipstick.

Well actually, this is how I came to make my own lipstick....

1. It's 7:45 and the kids are in bed. I need one more ingredient for this DIY, but I'm already in my pajamas (since 5:00 when I got home from work), so the best I could do to run to the coop is throw on a baggy sweater to cover the fact that I'm not wearing a bra. And mocs because screw you snow, I'm going outside without socks on.

2. On my way out, I ask Chris if he wants anything from the coop. He answers, "meat". So I grab him some meat, and baked cheese curls for myself, because if they're baked and wheat free/gluten free, that for sure means they're healthy right? I mean, it even says "Feel Good Snacking" right on the packaging. Packaging never lies, right?
3. I can't leave that damn coop without buying some sort of essential oil or aromatherapeutic item. But my life has been quite stressful lately, so why not grab this, too?
4. $50 later, I leave the coop and head home to make my lipstick.

Here's what you'll need, besides the cheese puffs/stress reliever. (Which are not necessary, but I highly recommend them.)
~ 1 T raw shea butter
~ 1 T coconut oil
~ 1 T beeswax pastilles
~ Beet powder for color. Use as much as you want for pigmentation. I used 1 1/2 tablespoons.
~ 1 container (Mine is too big, but it's all I had. You could use an empty chapstick container, but would need to reduce the recipe then.)

5. Add all the ingredients, except the beet powder, into a glass dish. Add the dish into a pan of boiling water and stir until it is fully melted.

6. Remove from heat and immediately add the beet powder. Stir until fully blended.
7. Pour mixture into container and let cool.

8. Apply liberally to lips and bask in the knowledge that every time you lick your lips, it's like drinking a V-8 (no, it doesn't taste like beets).
megan bird

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

outfit of the day(bird): not a keeper but i kept it

sweater ~ Nordstrom Rack
leggings ~ Kohls
boots, tank ~ thrifted
Do you ever see an item on a model in an ad and just assume it will look exactly like that on you, too? I do that all the time, knowing full well that it won't. But still, I buy the items in hopes that they will hang just right, and I will look perfectly polished like I didn't even try. Like I just rolled out of bed looking fabulous in everything I own.
But really, why can't all clothing models be 5'5" with short legs and wide hips? While they're at it, they should also give those models some dark eye circles and a few grey hairs. Because then, I would know exactly if I should buy an item or not. And believe you me, I would not own quite as many clothes as I do...including this sweater.
megan bird

Monday, March 23, 2015

inspiration monday flashback: september 1, 2014

the inspiration
Emmanuelle Chriqui
megan bird
jeans ~ Opitz
shirt ~ Etsy, gift from Chris
shoes, blazer ~ thrifted, Goodwill
necklace ~ Kohls
nora bird
jacket ~ MN blogger garage sale
leggings ~ Urban Outfitters
shirt ~ Victorias Secret
shoes ~ thrifted
necklace ~ Etsy
These pictures are from last September....when it was green and sunny. It appears that Minnesota Spring really did come in like a lamb, and will now be going out like a lion. As I type, I am looking out at a few inches of snow, maybe the most snow we've had in a few months here. I think historically, March is the snowiest month in Minnesota, but I am always ok with it because warm weather and longer days are just on the horizon. So today I will wipe the snow from the car knowing that this yucky snow will soon melt and feed the trees that will make Minnesota that beautiful state that we sometimes forget about for 3-6 months every year.
Bring it on Minnesota, I still love you.
Happy Monday!
megan bird
For next week's inspiration picture, click here.

Friday, March 20, 2015

mama bird/bird seed: flashback july 17, 2014 (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!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

bird.i.y.flashback: May 14, 2014 (ombre yarn wall hanging)

For a DIY flashback, I thought I'd choose a DIY that I actually kept. Yes, I admit, I don't keep them all. But this one, I love, and it still is in the same place I originally hung it...which for me is a big deal. Nothing stays in the same place at my house for long.
So, I hope you enjoy the flashback...
I have forever loved macrame wall hangings and have forever (or for the last few months) wanted to make one of my own. Since I have no knowledge of how to macrame, and have about enough patience for crafts as Solange has for Jay-Z, I decided to make an easier version of a yarn wall hanging. And honestly, I love how mine turned out so much, I'm almost happy I don't know how to macrame.
Here's what you'll need.
yarn in similar colors, dark to light
a stick
Yep, that's all you need. Super easy!
To start, trim the stick to the length you need. I knew where I wanted to hang my art, so I measured, made a slight cut in the stick with the scissors and snapped the branch off where needed. I trimmed any loose edges to make it look neat.
Then cut the yarn. I measured the way my mom used to measure yards of fabric, with the length of my arm from finger tip to my chin (that equaling about a yard, according to my mom) (I have never actually measured) (because I believe my mom). By these measurements, I cut about 20-25 two-yard lengths of each color yarn.
Start with the darkest color yarn. Fold each piece of yarn in half, loop the folded yarn around the stick and pull the loose ends through the loop and tighten. I don't know quite how to put that part into clear words, so see the picture below.
Ignore my dry, dry hands.
Continue to do this in the same color with the 20-25 pieces of cut yarn and then move on to the next darkest color.
Once you have finished all the colors, trim the ends in any shape you'd like. Then simply hang on the wall and enjoy!
Take a super close up picture...
Back up a bit...
Then take one more step back.

And scene.
megan bird