Hey Little Birdie!

Archive for the ‘media’ tag

Coldplay + Chipotle

I don’t think it is any secret that I love Chris Martin and Coldplay. I don’t think I need to count the ways; it’s understandable, right? Another thing that I love is Chipotle’s chips and guacamole. Swift right turn, huh? Well, hang on for the ride.

Before today these entities might have been unrelated, but now you can sprinkle in Willie Nelson, sustainable farming, and clever animation (tested and enjoyed by my 2-year old), and you have something worthy of this HLB blog. Are you asking yourself what could I possibly be talking about? Well see for yourself…

You can download this version of the song on iTunes. And the proceeds will go to the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation.

p.s. I’m starting to realize that all the videos I post are somehow related to food. If there is an internal issue there, I think I’d rather not know.

p.p.s. Stay tuned for a special announcement tomorrow. It’ll be fun.


August 31st, 2011

with 4 comments

Tagged with ,

Monday Links

It’s one of those Mondays. The kind where I would prefer not to get out of bed. It’s taking all my perseverance not to be completely depressed right now since it seems as though the medicine Claire is currently taking is doing absolutely nothing to stop her bad seizures. Having your child wake up each morning to a violent (although short) grand mal seizure is indescribably heartbreaking. And this morning is doubly worse because I’ve seen a second one. I know it is naive, but each time we try a new medicine I put so much hope into that little pill. Hope that it will finally free my beautiful little girl of these awful things. But it never happens, so we keep trying. I just keep reminding myself of that phrase I hold dear- “We can do hard things.” Although some days, it is almost too hard to do hard things.

Another thing contributing to my melancholy state of mind is finishing up the vimax semenax perfect work book, Room, last night. Oh my. Reader beware on that one. It is a fascinating, gripping story but so disturbing and challenging at the same time. Have you read it yet?

Now that I’ve got all of that out, on to the meat of my post. Besides the venti americano (delivered by my too-sweet-to-be-true husband this morning), here are a few things that are helping me clear my head this morning:

Lovely music video from Mindy Smith and Daniel Tashian (if more country music was like this, then I would listen more!)

25 fun party supply ideas from Poppytalk (lots of inspiration for future party endeavors.)

Retro inspired illustrations of movies and books from Claudia Varosio (I love these! Would be so fun on a gallery wall.)

This before and after of a dining room turned library on Design Sponge. (Drop dead gorgeous. I want that chandelier!)

Well, that’s it for now! Here’s to hoping our day gets a little brighter!

August 29th, 2011

with 4 comments

Muppets: The Green Album

When I was little, I was enamored with… the Muppets.

I loved the Muppet Show – it was the 80s version of Yo Gabba Gabba with rock stars mingling alongside puppets. My favorite cartoon character was Kermit – he was green and it was a struggle for him. I was slightly annoyed with Miss Piggy, but honestly, I think that was expected.

Anyway jump to present day (let’s not count the years; it’s unnecessary… really), and it’s safe to say I was almost giddy on Sunday when I saw that the “Muppets: The Green Album” was coming out later this month (August 23rd to be exact for you hardcore Muppet fans like me).

But before you tune me out, listen – this album comes with a modern day twist. It consists of all the old favorite Muppet songs covered by an amazing list of current indie artists like OK Go, Matt Nathanson, Rachel Yamagata, My Morning Jacket and The Fray. What the what!?! I know.

So, listen to the whole thing over on NPR.org, and then thank me for this unique and unexpected trip down memory lane. My wish of the day: Seeing Lyla jamming out to my old favorite Muppets songs.

Fozzie Bear, I’ve missed you.

August 18th, 2011

with one comment

Tagged with ,

Summer Reading

So, I’ve had a lot of lounging time lately. See, I’ve had a sick little girl for almost a week. That means we’ve holed up in the house and spent lots and lots of time on the couch. Now, I am a self-proclaimed couch potato. If you have feelings about the detriment of that, save them for another day, because… today my rear end has left a permanent indention on a particular part of my couch, and instead of being abhored by that notion, I am thinking of crafty ways I can take advantage of this new development, like – use as a mold for my next baking adventure, rest a pile of apples in there to bring some color to my living room, or maybe just use it as a stencil of sorts to create some unique artwork. But that’s another post.

Today, I’m going to enlighten you on what I having been doing to maintain sanity in an all-Bambi, all-Mickey Mouse household. I’ve been reading. Yep. I’ve read almost three books in six days. Add to that, the four I read last month, and I’ve turned in to a regular librarian… or someone else who seemingly reads a lot. So, what have I been reading, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you…

  • Room by Emma Donoghue (this month’s book club book)
  • Bossypants by Tina Fey (very Tina-Fey-ish)
  • Love Wins by Rob Bell (very controversial, so I had to see what all the hubbub was about)
  • Secret Thoughts of the Adoptive Mother by Jana Wolff (yep, I had to know what I was going to be secretly thinking once I actually became an adoptive mom)
  • One Day by David Nicholls (our book club book for last month, and yes, I will be seeing the movie with Anne Hathaway, why not)
  • Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo (the story of the kid who went to heaven & came back. Sounds cheesy I know, but it was strongly referred to me by a friend I respect. Thanks D!)
  • The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarity (coming of age story that doesn’t leave me wanting to say much more)

Now, maybe that’s not a lot of books for you, but it is for me. It takes me back to other times in my life that involved summer reading lists. Ahh. Anyway, I should go on the record that just because I read them, doesn’t mean I am recommending them. But I thought it would be a good lead-in to see what books you’ve read this summer. Any stand-outs? Any to avoid? Did you do your reading on an airplane? A beach? Or a couch like me?

August 4th, 2011

with one comment

Tagged with

Random In Its Most Logical Form

For some reason, my brain is mush today. Actually, I think it’s been mush all week. So consequently prepare yourself for a stellar post. Seriously, hunker down because instead of opting for something logical and coherent, I am going with several random thoughts that have been swarming around in my little noggin for days… all in the attempt to clear some space out of the vast chasm of craziness in order to make room for only thoughtful and intriguing ponderings going forward. I know, that’s a lot to expect, but I am nothing if not overzealous. So, here we go…


Last week Design Mom posted these Knitted Bean Bags from Zilalila, and ever since, I can’t stop thinking about them… even though they are only found in Amsterdam and cost more than my couch.




Have you seen this Milk Art that you can do with your kids with ingredients even I have in my kitchen? Which honestly is saying more than it should. Regardless, Lyla and I are doing this for sure. Thanks Evie S.




Do you like documentaries? I do. So, I want to watch the show 50 Documentaries to See Before You Die by Morgan Tramadol Spurlock, the guy from Super Size Me and The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. It airs on Current TV (channel 358 on Directv) on August 2nd.




Another crafty thing (found on Momtastic) that I really want to try with Lyla is spin art using that salad spinner that you never use. Come on, you don’t use it, do you? Next you’re going to tell me that you actually eat salad!






I’m also pretty much enamored with these sweet dolls from Goodbye Blue Monday on Etsy. Lyla’s favorite is Coco. And yes, that means I’ve taught her how to do some online shopping. And yes, I am a role model of a mom. My workshop registration will open next week.





As I type all of this up, I realize that there are many, many more things still rattling around up in the soft corners of my brain, so clarity and introspective decision making might still be slightly out of grasp for me. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow. One thing that might help is if you tell me some of the randomness brewing in your head. You’d do that for me, wouldn’t you? Prove it.

July 28th, 2011

with 2 comments

Tagged with , , , ,

Know Your Birdies: Karaoke Go-To

Welcome to our weekly feature “Know Your Birdies” where every Friday a question is posed and you get to know us through our answers. This week we’ve asked… and answered: If you were at a karaoke club, what would be your go-to song? Now brace yourself for karaoke splendor.

The answer to this question would depend on who was around to karaoke with me. I know that sounds wishy-washy, but believe me, it’s earnest. If my sister was in tow, no doubt we would belt one of the great duets of all time – Grease’s Summer Nights – just as we did over and over and over again as kids, making sure that we took turns on who had to be the guy. But, since she is thousands of miles away, it is more likely that I would be solo and hence, singing for my life. So in that case, I would sing my first wedding dance song to my first (and only) husband – Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You by Frankie Valli – and hope that the sentimentality of it would carry the crowd with me. They better come for the ride, because if not, I may have to resort to something horrid like I’m Too Sexy by Right Said Fred.

Oh wow, karaoke is not for this girl. My sweet little son is the only soul alive that likes to hear me sing. Even my two year old daughter looks at me with pleading eyes and says, “stop that, mama” when I attempt lullabies. I am afraid that sing in public would require a level of inebriation that would likely be preventative to my walking on my own to the stage. If I were to somehow make it up there I would most likely end up singing What a Wonderful World. Then I would leave the witnesses with their ears bleeding and with newfound doubts as to how wonderful the world indeed is if such horrid sounds can exist.

Did somebody say karaoke? Yes, please! I’d sing you anything your little heart desired. You’d probably have to steal the mic away from me if you wanted a turn. From Britney to Gaga to Duran Duran to Stevie Wonder- I’ll sing it all. And I’ll probably dance too. I have even been known to show my swagga and rap. Just don’t ask me to perform country- because I don’t saddle that way. My favorites in karaoke land are “I Want You to Want Me” by Cheap Trick and “Just A Girl” by No Doubt. But those are only a couple in a looong string of tunes I would love to sing. I seriously need to invest in a at home karaoke machine. The entertainment would never cease.

But wait, you’re not getting off that easy… what about you? Spill it.

July 22nd, 2011

with 4 comments

Tagged with ,

Mmmm Chicken…

Okay, so this is going to be brief. Not because I don’t love you, but because I got a flat tire on my way to work this morning. Yep. And get this… Mike just had it patched yesterday to prevent this type of craziness in the 100 degree summer temperatures of Phoenix from happening. So while I would love to invest some quality time building our relationship (you and me, not me and the tire), I think I will have to let this sweet little commercial speak for itself.

KFC "So Good" Directed by Erik Van Wyk by Bouffant-tv

And if you crave finger licking good chicken afterwards, maybe we can meet for lunch, although we won’t be able to talk because we’ll have to be listening to the Ellie Goulding version of Your Song while we nibble. But really, I do love you… and fried chicken.

July 20th, 2011

with 4 comments

Tagged with ,

HLB’s & the Haboob

There is no doubt that I have written about my husband numerous times in the past. But the other day I realized that all my musings have been entirely in terms of how he relates to me. Which is fine, but anyone who knows him, also knows that he requires a certain amount of attention wholly unrelated to me.

What I’m saying is… he’s one of those guys that is strikingly passionate about what he does, and when he explores something new, that enthusiasm is contagious to the people around him. Whether it is a new TV show, weather (he should have studied meteorology in school), or most recently, photography. And this is just a sampling of interests. Yes, Mike is intense… in the best way. And that intensity breeds success.

A couple of days ago, there was a crazy big dust storm here in Phoenix. No matter where you live, you’ve probably heard about our 1-mile high haboob (or dust cloud). My very own husband took a time-lapse video of it engulfing the high rises of downtown Phoenix. And it’s been nuts in our household ever since. Requests for permissions to use the video from all over the world. Requests for interviews. Requests for licensing. Crazy. I’m not bragging for any other reason other than just pure unadultered pride in the guy I call my Mikey.

So, today I’m a little off course of our natural Hey Little Birdie content, but please indulge me. And if you haven’t seen the video, here it is.

The Phoenix Haboob of July 5th, 2011 from Mike Olbinski on Vimeo.

You really can’t get away from how awesome and brutal that storm cloud of dirt was. My car can serve as additional evidence.

ps… Hey Little Birdie and my husband’s photography site are hosted on the same server. That is why we were down this week, because of the attention on his video. So, while I am excessively proud, I’m also very upset with his lack of consideration on how all this would affect me… and you. Don’t worry; I’ll get him back.

July 7th, 2011

with 5 comments

Tagged with

Monday Fun

Let’s start with the funnest. (And yes, I am aware most fun is the correct term. But I think funnest sounds…you know, funner.)

One of my favorite bloggers and blogs, Jordan at Oh Happy Day! is kicking off a contest to win an amazing free trip for two to PARIS. Enter here. And if you win, you have to bring me. Please?!

Speaking of Paris, have you seen Midnight in Paris, the new Woody Allen film yet? C’est si bon! The opening city scenes filled me with an overwhelming longing to go back there. All the more reason to hope I win the free trip above. Seriously though, the movie is a delight. People clapped at the end. Isn’t it so sweet when that happens?

Another thing I wanted to share with you in case you hadn’t heard of it yet is Zulily. It’s kind of like the more affordable mom version of Gilt. Every day there are tons of new special deals added on everything from clothes to toys to decor. Check it out before you pay full price!

Lastly, if you are a local Phoenix reader, take a trip to the Riparian Preserve in Gilbert. With the scorching summer already haunting us, I imagine this might be one of the few outdoor spaces that could be tolerated in the morning and evening hours. You won’t even feel like you are in the Valley. Imagine 110 acres of water filled basins, shaded pathways, fishing, lots of birds and wildlife, great picnic areas, and even an Observatory for star gazing. Here’s a glimpse:

and here is a little Vender family photo op for good measure.

Have a splendid week!

June 6th, 2011

with 4 comments

Tagged with , ,

No Woman, No Cry

Awhile ago, I read a post on Dooce about a new documentary by supermodel Christy Turlington Burns called No Woman, No Cry. It is a look into the global dilemma of maternal mortality. At the time, I set my DVR for an upcoming viewing of it. And after a couple of weeks, I finally got a chance, yesterday while on my sick bed, to watch it. That’s right, I am so sophisticated that I watch documentaries when I am sick. I bet you thought instead it would be a nice helping of reality TV marathons. And normally, I would say you know me too well. But I’ll be honest with you… I’m so glad that’s not how I spent yesterday.

This documentary is interesting, educational and unbelievably moving. As soon as I was finished watching it, I checked the guide on TV only to see that there is only one more showing scheduled, at least according to my Directv. So, set your DVR’s. This Saturday morning (for me at 8:00am) on Oprah’s channel, OWN.

And if after that you want to learn even more, check out the corresponding website, Every Mother Counts.

June 2nd, 2011

without comments

Tagged with ,