SOME FAMILY TIME

10/20/2014

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Sorry for the crickets around here lately. We’ve been taking some much needed, personal family time over the past few weeks, which I am sure all of you can relate to in one form or another. I’m not going to dive into details, but I appreciate all of the sweet notes that some of you have sent our way. We are all doing well and are healthy, except for a few runny noses in the house right now that are on the mend. I will be back very soon with some recent bits and pieces, a new Sunday’s cake, some favorite Worn photos, and my updated Vanity Project of what I’m using currently, as I know many of you have asked for one.

Above are some photos that I snapped for another round of the Brother’s and Sister’s campaign for Zara Kids. Sadly, Julian isn’t able to participate since he’s a giant, standing at 6’4, and no longer fits into the clothes. I am not asked or required to post these photos as a part of the campaign, but I love some of these photos too much not to share.

CUTE FALL KID’S CLOTHES

10/01/2014

It’s cooling down outside, which means it’s time to start stocking up on warmer clothes for the kids. I am completely obsessed with the fall/winter selection of clothing and accessories from Darling Clementine, one of my long-time favorite shops. From the cutest knit long johns and stuffed knit toys, to star covered tights and jellyfish sweats, here are a few of my favorite things that are on our list for Birdie and Sailor this season.

To celebrate this new season of layers, knits, and hats, Darling Clementine is offering Bleubird readers 10% off at checkout, using discount code: Bleubird. The code is good from now until Oct. 31st! Happy shopping.

(This post is in partnership with Darling Clementine, a long-time sponsor and family run site we adore.)

BITS + PIECES

09/28/2014

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Bits and pieces of our weekend.

1. Morning coffee.
2. Morning light.
3. Frances’ favorite spot.
4. Hot pan, ready for eggs.
5. Afternoon walk.
6. Elephant ear hiding place.
7. Favorite new dress.
8. Always barefoot.
9. Evening snack.
10. Testing out one of Sailor’s birthday gifts.

We spent the weekend at home getting caught up on housework and our long to-do list that was left over from the busy week behind us. Fall is finally here and although it’s been pretty warm during the day, it’s starting to cool off a bit once the sun goes down. I’m looking forward to the changing leaves, chunky knit sweaters, making autumn vegetable soups, and homemade bread for dipping. Sailor is turning two in just two days. I’ve been collecting wooden tops for him since he was a little baby, so of course I had to get him an extra special set for his big day. We were originally planning to throw him a small party in celebration of his induction into toddlerhood, but instead we are going to keep it just family. There will be plenty of time for bigger celebrations once he’s older.

I hope you all had a nice and relaxing weekend. Happy fall!

VANITY PROJECT / 13

09/26/2014

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Name / Occupation: Courtney Ebner, Co-owner of Norman & Jules Toy Shop

Currently working on: Inspired by the Waldorf philosophy, we recently transformed our 800 square foot backyard into a natural and engaging open-ended world for explorative play and events. Designing and building the space ourselves was a huge labor of love. Now, we are planning for next year’s improvements (you can never start too soon). Along with the new space, there’s that crazy realization that in August we are already deep into collecting inspiration and researching items for the holiday season.

What’s in or on your vanity?

Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser. After years of different facial scrubs, I brought it back to basics, about a year ago, and couldn’t be happier.  I enjoy washing twice in the evening with this simply-soft cleanser.

Dr. Hauschka Clarifying Facial Toner. I use a few sprays after I wash at night. The scent is so relaxing after a busy workday. I find my skin looking clearer and even keeping my Rosacea at bay. My husband actually started using the toner first, and once I tried it, I was a convert.

Sonya Dakar Omega-3 Repair Complex. I only apply this in the morning. At night, I let my natural oils do what they are meant to do. I find that I need less moisturizer in the a.m. if I leave it alone at night. I was introduced to the complex during a facial at D’mai in Park Slope. It was recommended to me because I was feeling dry and looking a little red. It has kind of changed my life.

Fresh Sugar Roll-On Deodorant by Fresh. Best deodorant EVER! I’ve tried many natural deodorants and they just don’t work for me. I’ve been using this for years and years…I even turned my husband on to it.

Davines Solu Shampoo. I started using this shampoo because I was a sucker for the clean, modern packaging, but I have say that I am addicted to it. The smell is earthy, which is hard to find in hair care. I’m not into the flowery scents.

Redken Thickening Lotion 06. I used to use a hair cream by Fresh but they discontinued it. In a pinch, I bought the Redken Lotion and love it. It just adds the little bit of thickness that I need. I basically blow-dry my bangs and air-dry the rest of my hair.

Aesop Rejuvenate Aromatique Body Balm. This body balm makes every shower a complete pleasure. The sweet, earthy aroma appeals to my senses and leaves my body feeling well moisturized.

Rosebud Salve, Dr. Hauschka Lip Care Stick, and Neutrogena Naturals Lip Balm. As far as my lips go, these three are on constant rotation.

Which product(s) you can’t live without? I definitely need my lip care. It’s a bad day if there isn’t one in my bag.

Favorite place to shop for your goods?  With Norman & Jules, I don’t have a ton of time to run around, but luckily, we have so many great local places in Brooklyn to stock up. I enjoy going to Pure Essentials in Park Slope for a one-stop shop, but otherwise, I go straight to the source — Aesop at The Invisible Dog on Bergen St. and Fresh in Union Square.

Biggest beauty secret? I don’t really have a beauty secret. Aside from the above, I’m a no-make-up kind of gal. Oh, I do drink a ton of water.

Vanity Project and illustrations by Alessandra Olanow for Bleubird.

SALAD, SLIDERS, AND FRIES + A GIVEAWAY – NOW CLOSED

09/15/2014

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We recently received a care package from Oliviers & Co, a company that works with top artisanal producers to offer the world’s best olive oil. Inside were so many fun, specialty olive oils, vinegars, and other fun kitchen condiments to try. We decided to create a regular family meal (salad, sliders, and fries), but to kick each dish up a notch with these new fancy flavors. Each dish was a success and turned out pretty special. We will make this meal time and again. I hope you will give them a try one day.

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Fig Sliders With Onion Jam and Lemon Aioli

We grill burgers and sliders often—I leave that job to Aubrey, while I work on the other meal components inside. For the sliders, we took 2 pounds of lean ground beef and formed them into little patties, then seasoned with salt and pepper, and grilled them until medium. For those who love cheese (ME!), we melted a good swiss atop our mini burgers.

Meanwhile inside, I worked on fancy stuff…

Red Onion Jam

2 Tbsp butter
2 large red onions sliced into half-moons
1/3 cup or sugar
3/4 cup of red wine
1/4 cup Reserve Sherry Vinegar

On medium-high heat, melt butter in a large skillet. Add sliced onions and cook down for 4-5 minutes. Reduce heat and cook for another 12-15 minutes until completely softened. Stir in sugar, then add wine and vinegar. Cook for another 15 minutes until liquid is reduced. Turn heat down to low to keep warm until needed.

Lemon Aioli

1/2 cup mayonnaise or Nayonaise
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp Olive & Lemon Oil
1 1/4 tsp dijon mustard
2 minced garlic cloves
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all of the ingredients above into a small bowl with a spoon or whisk, and set aside.

You will also need:
Arugula
Small buns (We love to use Hawaiian rolls.)
Fig preserves

Time to build your sliders… On slightly toasted buns, spread a thin (or thick) layer of lemon aioli on one bun, and a thin layer of fig preserves on the other. Place your burger on one side and then layer on some warm red onion jam. Top with arugula and enjoy!

 

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Quick & Simple Truffle Fries

Using fresh cut potatoes or frozen fries, bake until golden brown at 400 degrees. Once cooked thoroughly, and while fries are hot, drizzle a small amount of Black Truffle Oil over them and grate some good quality parmesan cheese, to taste. Serve with Ketchup or some of the lemon aioli from above. So good!

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Kitchen Sink Salad with Mandarin Oil

I call this salad the kitchen sink salad, because I literally threw in whatever I could find from our pantry and fridge. It was delicious, light, and refreshing!

Add the following ingredients (or what ever you have on hand), in desired quantities, into a large salad bowl:

Arugula
Spinach
Orange segments
Grape tomatoes
Sliced red onion
Avocado
Persian cucumber
Dried cranberries
Chopped almonds

Combine ingredients and toss salad with a drizzle of Olive & Mandarin Oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

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Oliviers & Co. is involved in every step of the olive oil production process—from overseeing family farms throughout Europe, to the mills and bottling facilities, and ultimately to its boutiques—from grove to table, O&Co. is focused on maintaining the highest integrity in their products and their ‘olive oil & culinary’ service. As part of the olive oil selection experience, Oliviers & Co. emphasizes each oil’s unique taste profile, emphasizing its best use, food pairings, the terroir of its grove and its notes in an easy to digest How To Taste guide.

::CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED::

Bonus: Oliviers & Co. is giving away a $300 shopping spree to one of you! Visit Oliviers & Co right here and enter a valid email address to win, take a look around the site and then come back here and leave a comment with a product or two that you’d like to try. Easy peasy! Good luck and thank you for playing. (Contest open to US readers only.)

Also, receive a 10% off your first purchase discount code by signing up for the Oliviers & Co newsletter!

This post is sponsored by Oliviers & Co.

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