Thursday, September 18, 2014

outfit of the day(bird): inspired

sweater~ Marshalls
tank~ thrifted
jeans~ Levis
boots~ b. (a resale shop)
necklace~ Etsy, gift from Jim

Lately, I have become frustrated with the sheer amount of STUFF I have. Mostly, I am talking clothes and shoes here. I have talked about this before as this happens to me almost every time the seasons change. I start to go through my closet and pull out the summer stuff and move the fall clothes to the front and I start to realize how much I have and how much of it I rarely wear and I start to think to myself, "Why???" I love clothes and I love to shop but lately I have realized that I need to buy less and focus more on quality and staple pieces. I tend to always reach for the same items when I am getting ready or going out and everything else kind of just hangs there, unworn and sad. Yet, when I try to go in and do a big closet clean out, I always seem to find a reason to keep that old sweater or make some excuse as to why I might need that rarely worn pair of jeans someday. What is up with that? So, when I read Megan's post last week, I was SO inspired (thank you, Megan!) and I knew this was what needed to happen. I started a bit this past weekend and it felt pretty good. I still have a LONG way to go, but I am excited about starting this process and paring down my closet and making it more workable and simple. I want to open my closet and feel harmony and comfort rather than frustration and confusion. It's overwhelming and, like I said, I have just begun, but I will continue to share my progress here. Any advice you have to give is more than welcome!

xoxo, nora bird

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

bird.i.y.: How to Mount a Staghorn Fern (and a comedy of errors)

This project was an impulse for me. I went to a neighbor’s house for a party on Saturday and saw one hanging on her wall. I will admit I had never even heard of a staghorn fern, but I knew immediately that I wanted one for myself. I mean, it’s a plant, on a wall, that looks like a deer. Who wouldn’t want that?

So I immediately (or Monday night when  I realized I needed to do a DIY this week) ran to Bachman's to buy the fern. I also needed a block to mount it on, and some hanging accessories. On my way to Bachman's, I got the brilliant idea to stop at Goodwill (isn’t it always a brilliant idea to stop at Goodwill?) to see if they had something cheaper than the wood block I was planning on buying at Michael's. Determined to only buy a wood block and a cheap picture that has hook screws and wire (since I was no longer going to Michael's), I happened upon this gem and had to buy it. I mean, dogs in a pink bathroom…it’s a must-have.

Anywho, I found what I was looking for in the form of an old cheese plate. If I can teach you only one thing today, it’s that with a little imagination, you can find almost any craft need at a thrift store. For real. I left Goodwill with what I needed and headed to Bachman's.

At Bachman's, I was determined to only buy the fern and sheet moss. But then I saw this and remembered that I once told Chris that if he ever saw one, to buy it for me. Well, that was reason enough to buy it for myself. I mean, a little fairy plant that looks like peas…it’s a must-have.

So I left Bachman's with the fern, the fairy plant, and peat moss. Not sheet moss. My bad. Luckily, as I was in the middle of the project back at home, I remembered Nora had recently done a DIY that required moss, so I texted her:
“Do you have any moss I can have? I bought the wrong stuff and don’t feel like putting my bra back on.”

 What you need:
~ Wood block and hanging accessories
~ Staghorn fern
~ Hammer and 6-8 nails
~ Fishing wire
~ Sheet moss

Sisters always come through, and five minutes later, I was at Nora’s door in sweatpants and no bra. And a tank top, too…I’m not that indecent!

The actual project itself is pretty easy. 

Here are the steps you should follow:
1. Attach your hanging device to the wood piece, if there isn’t one already. Make sure it’s strong enough to hold some weight.
2. Draw a circle, about an inch larger than the circumference of your plant, where you’d like to place the plant on your wood piece.
3. Hammer about 6-8 nails (leaving at least an inch of nail above the wood) in the outline of the circle.
4. Spread the sheet moss (not peat moss) in the circle.
5. Remove the fern from the pot and break the roots until you have about 1-2 inches of dirt and root under the plant.
6. Place the plant over the moss.
7. Tie a piece of fishing wire to one of the nails.
8. Wind the wire over the plant, around the plant, connecting all the nails and making sure the plant is secure enough to the wood piece (eventually it will root).
8. Tie off the fishing wire to a nail.
9. Hang the plant.

Sounds easy enough.

Here’s what I did:
1. Buy a piece of wood that doesn’t fit where you actually want it to go.
2. Take your bra off, it’s craft time.
3. Attach the hanging device to the wood piece without even thinking/measuring if it will be the right placement
4. Draw a circle, hammer in the nails (I did one thing right).
5. Realize you have peat moss, run (braless) to your sisters.
6. Add sheet moss, tear plant, put plant on wood piece.
7. Wrap fishing wire only around the outside of the plant.
8. Try to hang the fern.
9. Have the fern fall off the wood piece on your face.
10. Reattach the fern to the wood piece, using about 20 yards of fishing wire to make sure it's secure.
11. Hang the fern, realizing it doesn't look good where you wanted it.
12. Take out screws and wire and move them to a new location to see if the fern will look better a bit higher. (It doesn't.)
13. Finally find a new place to hang it that you love.
14. Take out screws and wire and move to their original place so the fern looks perfect in it's new location.
15. Take lots of pictures and hope that the fern is still on the wood piece when you wake up the next morning. (It was.)

And that is how is should and shouldn't be done. A true comedy of errors, but I must say I am delighted with the finished product.

megan bird

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

outfit of the day(bird): Ebay

sweater, jeans ~ thrifted
shoes ~ Target
scarf ~ gift from mom
earrings ~ Opitz

Sometimes I see things at thrift stores that I buy solely to resell on Ebay. I just can't pass up a truly good deal. Mostly if it's a good deal and something that I love and fits me, I will just buy it for myself. But many times I find a perfect pair of vintage cowboy boots that are not my size (or any of my sisters' or mom's sizes), and I just can't stop thinking about what a waste it is if no one were to buy them (yes, I get sentimental about boots). So I buy them.

The problem, though, is that I then get lazy. And I end up with a pile of really great vintage boots in my basement that don't fit me or my sisters or mom, and every time I see them, I think, "this week I will just sit down and post these all to Ebay." And then I walk away and forget about them...until the next time I see them.

So my vow, on this blog, in front of you all, is that I will list all the boots I own, but can't wear, on Ebay before the end of October. That gives me ample time. I can't lie to you guys, so now I have to do it!! (And if you're on the hunt for cute vintage cowboy boots, let me know!)

megan bird

Monday, September 15, 2014

inspiration monday: hairy situations

the inspiration
Cameron Diaz
megan bird

dress ~ Target
booties ~ thrifted
bracelets ~ garage sale, gift
ring ~ shop in Sedona
earrings ~ Opitz

nora bird

dress ~ H&M
boots ~ Sam Edelman

Last week, I had a major PMS moment where if I had had an actual hair appointment, I probably would have chopped all of my hair off. It all started with me thinking that I don't want to be one of those people who grows their hair out just to grow it out. On the other hand, this is the longest my hair has ever been, and I always end up chopping it off right about now, so maybe if I just stick it out a little bit longer, I will actually like it longer. 

So of course I took to Pinterest, and sent emails upon emails to my sisters asking them what I should do. I then moved on to friends, asking their opinions as well. In the end, I still don't know what I'm going to do (I'm open to opinions), but I do know that I am glad I didn't make any rash decisions...or else you might be looking at cropped headless body pictures for the next six months!

megan bird

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

Friday, September 12, 2014

Goodwill Hunting: Inspired by Chloe Sevigny

the inspiration
Chloe inspiration
Chloe Sevigny
Inspiration 1
Inspiration 2
Inspiration 3
Inspiration 4
My husband and kids know the way to my heart … through thrifting. One year, on our way back from a weekend up North, my husband mapped out all of the thrift stores on the way home and let me stop at every single one. It was then that I knew he was right for me (ok I knew long before that). He might sometimes not be so helpful with the laundry, but he sure knows how to plan a thrift excursion.
He has always told me that I am impossible to shop for, and maybe I am — at least for him. My sisters always know what to get me (clothes), and my friends know I’m all set with dinner and a night out. But my husband is always on the hunt for the perfect gift for me … and I think he may have finally found it.
Last Mother’s Day, he was upset because he couldn’t think of what to get me – or so he made me believe. He actually told me that he just might not get me anything because it was too difficult. After all, I’m not his mom, and the kids had made me something already. I was ok with that – really, I was.
And then the Saturday before Mother’s Day, we all hopped in the car under the guise of running errands. And what did my husband and kids have planned for me? Well, they took me first to get coffee, because I would need it for what came next. I got my extra-large dark roast, and then he drove us all to the St. Louis Park Goodwill. They threw me in a changing room, and the kids (and my husband; he was enjoying it too) kept throwing different items over the door. They all picked out what they thought I would love, and had me try it all on and model it for them. Sure, there were a lot of ruffles involved (from my seven year old daughter) and lots of sequins, too (from my nine year old son), but whoever said there was anything wrong with ruffles and sequins?
After the modeling session, I walked around the store on my own and found a few more treasures. But all in all, what they picked out for me was exactly what I would have picked myself — they know me so well. Well enough to know that a modeling makeover at Goodwill would be one of my favorite presents ever. And the kids didn’t complain the whole time we were there. Added bonus.
megan bird

This post was originally featured on the Goodwill blog. Check it out here!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

outfit of the day(bird): tough decisions

top~ Urban Outfitters
jeans~ thrifted
sandals~ Target
watch~ Michael Kors
bracelet~ Mille

Yesterday, the kids and I were in the car driving somewhere when I heard Mimi murmuring something under her breath. I turned down the radio and listened a little harder. "Construction worker or astronaut? Construction worker or astronaut?" she kept saying, over and over. "What are you saying, Mimi?" I asked. "Mama," she said "I just don't know what to be when I grow up! Should I be a construction worker or should I be an astronaut???" She was clearly very distraught over this major decision. "Well, Mimi, you really don't have to worry about that yet. You have a long time before you have to decide what you want to be when you grow up. Maybe you can be a construction worker astronaut and build the very first city on the moon!" I exclaimed. This seemed to satisfy her and she agreed that, yes, this was definitely a good possibility. Little does Mimi know, I still need to figure out what I want to be when I grow up!

xoxo, nora bird

P.S. I had to share this photobomb that happened while Jim was taking these outfit photos. If you can't tell by my face, it was quite awkward for me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

bird seed: apple cinnamon bars

We got some apples in our CSA box last week that, according to my kids, weren't good eating apples. "Too sour!", they exclaimed. So, I decided to use them for baking. My first thought was apple crisp but I wanted to try something new and different, so I decided to attempt apple bars. This is a great recipe since apple season is almost upon us! They turned out really yummy so I thought I would share!

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup apples, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 11x7 inch pan. Mix together flour, baking powder, and 1/4 tsp of cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
2. In a larger bowl, combine the melted butter, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup of white sugar until smooth. Stir in the apple sauce and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture until combined and then add the apples and fold into the mixture. Spread everything evenly into the prepared pan. Mix together the remaining white sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the bars.
3. Bake bars for 25 minutes. Cool in pan and then cut and serve.
4. Enjoy!

As you can see, these bars were a big hit! 

xoxo, nora bird