Monday, December 22, 2014

inspiration monday: Iron Chef

the inspiration
Olivia Palermo
megan bird

jeans ~ Old Navy
shirt ~ Ross
shoes ~ b. (a resale shop)
ring, earrings ~ Forever 21

nora bird

hat ~ made by mom
shirt ~ vintage, thrifted
jeans ~ b. (a resale shop)
shoes ~ Shoedazzle

Tomorrow our family will be participating in our first ever Iron Chef competition. I hope we make it a new Christmas tradition. We are pairing up and each team will be cooking three dishes. The only rules are that we have a $25 limit, and it has to be vegetarian. (I know, I'm so selfish, but how else would I get to be a judge?) The "secret" ingredient is squash. 

I don't sleep very well, and one night a few weeks back, I woke up with mine and Chris' full menu planned in my head. Now, I haven't written any recipes down or even tried to see if they will work and/or taste good, but in my head, they sound delicious, so wish us luck! With any luck, I will be posting the recipes in the next few weeks. If you don't see them on the blog, well, you'll know they weren't the best! So here's hoping!!

Happy Monday!
megan bird

For next week's inspiration picture, click here!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

bird seed: red velvet cream cheese cookies

Mimi and I made these cookies a couple of days ago and...they are all gone. I could not stop eating them. Jim could not stop eating them. We let the kids have a few. So bad, yet so so good. The diet starts on January 1st, am I right? In the meantime, here's the recipe. You're going to want to make these. You won't be sorry!

For the cookies
1 cup butter (I used lightly salted, but unsalted would work, too.)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp red food coloring
2 tsp natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar

For the filling
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Beat the butter, brown sugar, and 1 egg yolk in a large bowl. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour, food coloring, and cocoa and mix until combined and a soft dough forms. Roll the dough into balls. My batter made about 18 balls. (Why am I laughing at the word 'balls'? Apparently, I am a third grader.)
Place the egg whites in a small bowl and lightly beat. Place the granulated sugar into a separate bowl. Roll each dough ball in the egg whites and then in the sugar. Place the balls on an ungreased baking sheet. Make an indentation into each cookie with your thumb.
To make the filling, beat the cream cheese, sugar, extra egg yolk, salt, and vanilla in a bowl until combined.
Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven and fill each cookie with about 1 teaspoon of the filling. Return the cookies to the oven and bake for another 12-15 minutes, until the cookies and filling are set.
Cool cookies on the baking sheets and then transfer to baking racks to cool completely. Once cookies are cool, store them in the fridge. Or just eat them all in one sitting! You may not be able to help yourself!

Happy Friday!

xoxo, nora bird

outfit of the day(bird): a silly photo and a really good joke

vest~ TJ Maxx
sweater~ Forever 21
jeans~ H&M
boots~ thrifted
hat~ Target
necklace~ gift from mother-in-law

Jim takes my blog photos and he always takes a ton, so I always end up goofing around at the end and there are usually a few hilarious and/or totally embarrassing shots. I don't usually share those outtakes, but I thought that one up there was particularly funny and deserved a place on the blog. In case you didn't already know, which is highly unlikely, I am a huge nerd. But at least I don't take myself too seriously and can laugh at myself, right?

Another thing I have laughed at recently? This joke that Ben told at dinner last night:
Ben: Knock Knock?
Me: Who's there?
Ben: An interesting sheep.
Me: An interesting sheep who?
Ben: Neigh!
Cue Ben cracking up hysterically at his own joke. But really, a sheep that said "neigh" truly would be an interesting sheep!

And that's all I've got for you today. I hope you are all having a great week!

xoxo, nora bird

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

birthday bird.i.y.: fairy garden birthday party favors

OK, enough feeling sorry for myself. I can only handle about two days of self pity before I want to slap myself in the face and tell myself to suck it up. Instead of being tired and crabby, I'm going to focus on all the good things.
Like the first and foremost, it's my baby girl's birthday today! Eight years ago, she completed our family, and I have loved her more every minute that goes by. Happy birthday Eva Diva!!! I love you to the moon and back!
Secondly, I'm going to focus on all the good that happened last weekend. Sure, it was a lot of work, but it was a lot of work in order to throw the best party for my little eight year old that I could. And it was pretty fabulous. This year Eva chose a fairy garden theme, and I was pretty excited about it.

For these parties, I never want to send home the typical gift bag with the kids. Sure, every kid loves a good gift bag, but parents don't always. Instead, I like to come up with a craft for the kids to work on at the party, turning it in to something they can take home and show off (and yes, it also eats up an hour of what might be very loud, very crazy girls running around the house). This year, I decided we would all make fairy gardens. To make one (or 10) of your own, here's what you'll need.

~ small bowls (I thrifted these)
~ rocks or sand for drainage, and rocks for decoration
~ succulents
~ fake flowers
~ dirt
~ stickers, or any other decor you prefer (I couldn't find fairy dolls small enough)
And then it's simply as easy as 1, 2, 3, (4):
1. Add rocks to the bottom of the bowl.
2. Add dirt.
3. Add as many succulents as you want and cover with more dirt and rocks to keep in place.
4. Decorate as you want with stickers, or whatever you have on hand.
Then simply send the kids home with their creations, happy in the fact that they proudly created something and had fun doing it!

Oh, and of course, make one for yourself, too!

megan bird

Monday, December 15, 2014

outfit of the day(bird): tired thoughts

shirt ~ Kohls
jeans, hat ~ thrifted
boots ~ b. (a resale shop)
necklace ~ Forever 21

Things I do when I'm tired:
~ Put my leggings on inside out, and wear them that way for a good portion of the morning without realizing it.
~ Put dinner in the over without turning the oven on.
~ Cry.
~ Write boring blog posts about what I do when I'm tired.
~ Think long and hard about whether or not I've posted this outfit on the blog before.
~ Eventually give up and hope I didn't.
~ Cry some more.
~ Watch sad movies to make me cry some more.
~ Eventually, sleep.

How about you?
megan bird

inspiration monday: pity party

the inspiration

megan bird

leggings ~ Kohls
sweater ~ Marshalls
shoes ~ Shoedazzle
hat ~ TJ Maxx

nora bird

sweater ~ TJ Maxx
shirt ~ Old Navy
pants ~ thrifted
shoes ~ Ebay
necklace ~ vintage, gift

I will admit, I had a huge pity party this weekend. It was the weekend of multiple parties. All parties I was excited for, but still, a weekend full of parties I had to get ready for. I took Friday off to clean and cook. I needed to cook for the whole weekend, so I needed to cook for about 30 people. I also got into the groove and super duper cleaned my house. Like scrubbed the bathroom floor on my hands and knees sort of cleaning.

And I cooked, and I didn't sleep well, and I woke up the next morning and cleaned and cooked some more. And then I had to go to Ikea on Saturday evening. That's what really did it in for me. Ikea, on a Saturday night, with the carts that have wheels that require super core strength to move. And a store that requires a map and a compass to move around in. It was just that kind of day.

And then the next day, I woke up and cleaned again, and cooked a little more. And during one of the parties, I even had a little private cry in the basement because I was so tired. And then I got over myself...then the parties were over. I just needed a little bit of time to feel sorry for myself. A little bit of time to be THAT martyr mom. I didn't want to do it, but I did. 

But when I looked at Eva, and I saw the smile on her face at the success of her birthday parties, I immediately felt both happy and guilty. But mostly happy.

I guess everyone is entitled to a few minutes (hours) of feeling sorry for long as they quickly get over it.

And by the way, here is her cake. I think I did a pretty good job!
megan bird

For next week's inspiration picture, click here.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday's Random Thoughts

1. I wrote two books. Two children's books, one for Eva and one for Henry. They are written, and the kids are illustrating them, and then I don't know what I'll do with them. For sure we'll get them bound so the kids can have a copy, but after that who knows. Here's the funny thing ~ I actually think they're pretty good. Maybe when they are done I will share them with you, but for now it's good enough to know that when I read them to my kids, they were honestly impressed. Happy mom.

2. This weekend we are having both the kids and the family party for Eva's 8th birthday. As I type, I have about 15 pounds of chicken marinating, and I took today off to clean and cook.

3. I have to make a cake, too. I am notoriously bad for making really good bad themed cakes. To me, the fact that I make them at all is pretty good, considering I'm not a baker, but I have a ton of fun decorating them, even if they always turn out horribly (I'm sure I'll share some pics on Instagram this weekend. The theme is fairy garden.)

4. I took a half day yesterday and decided to go to Home Goods. I didn't need anything, but ended up with a new rug, a new knit basket, and a new tray to top an end table with. All because the rug was on mega clearance for $18. I mean, how could I not get it? Plus, our living room got a mini makeover and I love it!

5. My house is a total mess, even though I deep cleaned it last week. But today, I'm going to turn some more bad music on, dance a little, and clean again. It will be fun.

Have a great weekend!
megan bird