~the littlest birds sing the prettiest songs.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year!

Chocolate Mint Martini

1 oz. vodka
1 oz. white creme de menthe
1 oz. Godiva liquer(or other chocolate liquer)
mint sprig

*Combine in shaker with ice, strain and serve with a sprig of mint.
(If making for a crowd, mix equal parts in a pitcher with ice, strain and serve)
optional: rim glasses with liquer and dip in sugar and drizzle chocolate sauce in bottoms of glasses for that extra touch!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Vintage inspired Etsy shops

Today I discovered several new shops, all offering beautiful items and featuring vintage finds in their designs.

Lady EM creates gorgeous one of a kind ornaments, embellishments and jewellry. My favorite use for the ornaments is as a gorgeous gift charm on a bottle of wine. What a perfect hostess gift!

PinkDragonfly98 features pretty, vintage inspired and shabby chic jewellry pieces:

Another great store uses vintage linen tablecloths, chenille and handkerchiefs in creative new ways. The shop is Poppylarity

This last store has many unique, cute items, but this bag immediately caught my eye. The creator used a vintage doilie in the design-it's FABULOUS!

Monday, December 28, 2009

I adore vintage. (Part 1)

Here are a few of my favorites that I have received as gifts, or found on treasure hunts. These are not necessarily items of great value, but to me they are priceless.
I gaze lovingly at each one of them every single day, and wanted to share them with you...

               Beautiful bone china repaired the old way...with metal staples

                               Antique painted wooden canisters

                      My prized silver tea set with it's lovely oxidized patina-
                      another one of my daughter's amazing Thrift store finds!

                                Vintage Doctor's bag?

                My favorite tea cup, a gift from my favorite(and only:) sister

Antique washstand lovingly(and painstakingly)refinished by my Mother

                         Salt and Pepper-shabby style!


                 Pretty and delicate china bouquet...a gift from my Auntie

                 Probably not vintage, but I love it just the same.


Thursday, December 24, 2009


(sale: Dec.26-Jan 1)

Victoria in December

Victoria is a beautiful place year round, but here are a few pictures of what it looks like at this festive time of year!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Snow Day!

Well, we had snow for 1 day and the kids took full advantage of it. They went sledding for 3 hours!
It all melted the next day, and now we're dreaming of a white Christmas...
...except for Dad who is mainly in charge of snow removal !

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Make-ahead Festive Strata (aka: "wife-saver")

Statas are the perfect make-ahead, time saving choice for a Holiday breakfast or brunch.
Assemble the day before, refrigerate and then pop into the oven for 35-45 minutes until crisp, puffy and golden brown.
This recipe contains meat, but you could easily substitute mushrooms.
Serves a crowd (10-12)

ingredient list:
2 tbsp butter
16 thick slices bread-cubed (preferably not too soft-ciabatta or sourdough work well)
8 links Italian sausage(remove casings), 1 cup chopped ham, or 1 lb bacon(cooked & crumbled)
1 red pepper
1 lg. onion
3 cloves garlic
1 pkg. baby spinach
2 c. shredded cheese (I use a combo of cheddar and jalapeno havarti)
12 eggs
3 c. milk
2 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tbsp. basil, 1tbsp thyme
salt & pepper
chopped green onion or parsley

   *Fry sausages until browned and crumbly, then add chopped onions, red pepper & garlic.
Lightly saute until soft, then add spinach. Cook another minute to soften.
Season with basil and thyme and remove from heat.
Beat eggs in a bowl, add milk, dijon, and salt & pepper.
Layer bread cubes, meat, (or mushroom mixture), and egg/milk mixture and cheeses.
End with an additional layer of cheese on top.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
The next morning, bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing into squares and serving. Top with chopped green onions or parsley...simply delicious.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

and the WINNER is...(drumroll)


You have won the $25.00 gift certificate giveaway!
(details will be sent to your email)


*THANKS to everyone who signed up or left comments and stay tuned for more great GIVEAWAYS*


Friday, December 11, 2009

Tips for a stress free Holiday season

   It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season; searching for the perfect gifts, staying up until all hours wrapping them, cooking and baking like a madwoman, trying to decorate "just like Martha" and in between attending party after party. Some enjoyable, some obligatory. Have I mentioned the cleaning house for overnight guests, or the strain of dealing with family members that may be less than a joy to behold?
   Although I realize it is difficult to avoid stressful moments altogether at this time of year, I have decided to focus on the traditions that are really important to our family, and which ones won't be missed. In years past, you could say our family was over the top with everything...decorating, entertaining, food and gift-giving. Such decadence! Some of these traditions will remain (hey, it's traditional to eat until you can't breathe, isn't it?) but since I am hosting the festivities I plan to do the following, for my own sanity and so we can fully enjoy what the season is really all about:

1. Sending greeting cards: Sorry no family photos this year, and no guilt for not getting them done in time either! The important thing is letting your friends and family know you are thinking of them, even if you don't have time to visit as often as you'd like.
2. Pared down baking: Shortbread, ginger cookies, butter tarts, & chocolates. (what else do you need?) Food is a big part of the Holidays for most.
Pick your favorites and skip the rest.
3. Cleaning: No cleaning until 2 days before guests are arriving. Yes, those two days will be stressful but why drive yourself crazy trying to maintain a perfect household so far in advance? Impossible in my case with 3 teens and twin toddlers.
4. Gifts: Make a list! Keep track of what you've bought, so you don't overspend- a major stress inducer, and really try to buy thoughtful gifts rather than expensive ones.
It makes people feel warm and fuzzy if you remember, and buy something they mentioned months ago.
Buy a few extras for unexpected gift givers or guests. Things such as chocolates, wine or gift certificates are always appreciated.
Pick one day and WRAP IT ALL. Yes, that day will be busy but you will only have your supplies all over the place for that one day. Use brown craft paper(eco friendly) and plaid or gold ribbon, or even twine; saves on waste and still looks "Country Chic." Top it with a pine cone or berry sprig for a bow.
5. Decorating indoors: Keep it tasteful...not tacky. I prefer to decorate the main living areas injust a few colors and add lots of natural greenery (which I am fortunate enough to be able to get from my backyard) and white twinkling lights. Clear bowls with sparkling ornaments, lots of candles, and potted amaryllis or paperwhites all look elegant with little effort or expense.This creates a unified warm look and feeling to the space. Instead of spreading your collection of snowmen throughout the house, display them in a group for more interest.
Don't feel like you have to decorate every nook and cranny; remember, less is always  more.
6. Decorating outdoors: Light up one big tree or several shrubs-don't risk life and limb scaling a frost covered slippery roof just to hang lights that you will be taking down 3 weeks later with your frost bitten fingers. (or leaving up to annoy neighbours well into Spring)
Hang a beautiful wreath on the door. Don't be afraid to skip the giant inflatables and  fake jumbo candy canes either.
7. Hosting parties: Do as much as you can ahead of time so you can really enjoy yourself too. It makes your guests more comfortable if you can relax and have fun, and not just spend the whole evening catering, cooking and cleaning up the kitchen. The mess can wait until later. Keep the menu to "make aheads" and remember, most people are happy to bring something.
If you have overnight guests, prepare a make ahead breakfast (stratas are GREAT for this...recipe to follow) Pair it with a fresh fruit platter and voila...you're an amazing hostess!
8. Attending parties: Pick a maximum of 2-3 so as not to overwhelm yourself with obligations. If one of those is a staff party, keep it professional by refraining to over-imbibe. People will not let you forget it if you end up dancing on the table with your boss or knocking over the Christmas tree on your 10th visit to the washroom.
9. Embrace your families personal traditions: Remember, you are creating memories for your children that they will never forget. Go ice skating or sledding, play board games, make a Gingerbread house, do a craft or bake together, have an "ugly Christmas sweater" contest, blast the Holiday music...you get the idea. Just don't forget to ENJOY!
10. Give.
You will feel the true meaning of the season once you experience helping someone less fortunate than yourself. Involve your children in this life changing act, even if it is just a small token or gesture.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Only 1 more days until I announce the winner of the $25.00 gift certificate to Three Little Birds Boutique.
It's not too late to enter, all you have to do is subscribe as a follower, leave a comment (include your email or check back here for posted winner) or send a pic of your child wearing our clothing...it's THAT easy!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How do I look?

Okay, my son Roman got a hold of my camera (for literally 5 seconds) and this was the result.
What a character!
I guess he was tired of me taking pictures of his twin sister Sage, as she is my main model.
...and yes, he does need a haircut, although I love the "hockey hair" look and I can't bear to cut off his curls.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Pretty in Pink!

Speaking of shortbread...here is Sophie in her "WhiPpeD SHoRtBReaD" peasant top!


Although this is clearly a blog to promote Three Little Birds clothing, I can't help but share with you a few of my favorite dessert & treat recipes. My love for sweets should be evident by now, ( I name all of my clothing pieces after them as a marketing gimmick to get you salivating/buying) and I am  very serious about certain traditional family recipes. Shortbread is at the top of that list.
Over the years I have dabbled with variations: lemon poppyseed, pecan walnut, brown sugar,coconut lime, marischino cherry topped, chocolate covered, rainbow sprinkle whipped, even lavender honey and cheddar with black pepper. Shortbread in all shapes, shades and sizes! And although MOST of these were yummy(lavender honey was interesting), if there is one thing I have learned, it is: "Don't mess with the shortbread!"
There is just nothing like a thick, buttery, triangular shaped, fork-poked slab of the melt in your mouth classic. How is that for adjectives?!
So here is my "recipe." Nothing fancy, just pure caloric goodness.


3 c. all purpose flour
3/4 c. powdered icing sugar(plus additional for "dusting")
3/4 c. slightly soft unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. REAL vanilla extract

*Pulse in food processor or mixer until a ball forms. Gently knead a few times then press into a round fluted metal tart pan or make a freeform, thick(at least 1") circle on a cookie sheet. Poke with a fork all over top and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until edges just barely turn golden. Do not overbake!
Place on rack to cool. Dust with icing sugar while still hot,  then cut into triangular shaped wedges while warm, and finally dust with more icing sugar when cookies are cool. This creates a nice powdery "icing."

note: I like to use sweet unsalted butter for these(and add my own salt) as it has a totally different taste than the salted butter. (and please don't even think of using margarine!)
Vanilla is optional, and not really a classic ingredient, but I think it is a nice addition. Again, only the real thing will do here.

Just TRY and save these for the Holidays:)

Friday, December 4, 2009


Katie & Ellie sporting their "HooT ChoCoLaTe" outfits...Whoo Whoo!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The season for GIVING

I recently learned of a family, a single Mother and her two children, who are in desperate need in our area. They have lost everything in an accidental house fire.
This mother is not asking for any help, although currently residing in a shelter where they will probably be throughout the Holidays, and well into the New Year. The church where my children attend preschool has decided to step up and make a difference.
Many have donated clothing and furniture, and I know every little bit counts towards getting them on their feet again. Give them a door to hang a wreath on!
Three Little Bird's Boutique would like to contribute all proceeds (100% of sales) for December directly to help them. Dress your children, but more importantly, feel great about helping a family in need!
Thanks so much for your support and have a wonderful Holiday season!

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