fall garland

Fall is now in full swing and it seems like my Bloglovin’ feed is constantly flooded with images of seriously enviable fall mantels.

Here in Hawaii, we don’t have a fireplace which is probably a good thing since from the beginning of this pregnancy I have been ridiculously warm all the time. I try to park myself in front of a fan whenever possible BUT if we had a fireplace that was fully decked out with all of my favorite fall decor items, I don’t think I would be able to resist lighting a fire and roasting relaxing there with a good book.

Since we don’t have a fireplace, we don’t have a traditional mantel to decorate — but that doesn’t mean we can’t decorate! This dresser (lovingly referred to as the “shoe and shit shelf”) was thrown out by one of our neighbors a few weeks after we moved into our house. Addie and I rescued it and gave it a home near our front door. We had/have grand plans for the refinishing of this dresser but until we get moving on those plans it will serve as my makeshift mantel.

For fall, I kept the decorations clean and simple: a few mini pumpkins, a couple of decorative gourds, a delicious smelling candle and a DIY garland. The display was very easy to throw together and brought the right amount of “fall” to our home.

We are currently hosting a giveaway on Facebook so head on over for your chance to win a fall garland of your own!

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be you, bravely

Sometimes I struggle creating content for this blog. Not because I am short on ideas, it’s actually quite the opposite. My thoughts are constantly flooded with ideas for how I can expand my brand. I’m always dreaming up recipe ideas, composing blog posts in my head, and imagining what will be inside NBE’s next celebration box. You will always find a journal in my purse, filled with notes I jot down to remind myself of these fun ideas. Once I get home, I step into the office full of confidence and excitement…

…and then I hit a wall.

All of those awesome creative and productive thoughts almost instantly turn into feelings of doubt. I don’t lose excitement over my ideas, but I wrestle with myself wondering what other people will think.

I am very blessed to have a great number of talented, creative and successful people in my life. Many of my friends and family have taken their passions and turned them into profitable ventures and I honestly couldn’t be happier for them. Their journeys are inspiration to me and I turn to them for advice when needed. And while it’s a blessing to have these wonderful examples of success at my fingertips, it sometimes becomes my biggest roadblock.

Be You Bravely

See, a lot of times friends and family share similar interests right? That’s usually a good thing, as that is what brings you together. But, when you start to build a business around your personal talents and interests, and you are surrounded by family and friends who have done the same you start to feel a little un-original. And really, when you are pouring your heart and soul into developing your brand, the last thing you want to feel is un-original.

I try to remind myself that I am not the first person to feel this way. Almost every small business owner has had to overcome the fact that they aren’t the first. But just because they aren’t the first, doesn’t mean that they are un-original. Every successful business has something special that sets themselves apart from the others which, in turn, makes them original.

I am actively working on breaking down this wall of apprehensiveness. Trying to get past the thoughts of “sure, I would love to add that to my repertoire but “so and so” already does that” that I encounter on a regular basis. Because really, “so and so” wasn’t the first to do it and I definitely will not be the last. All I can do is be true to myself, follow my passion and see where it leads me. If I do what I love, and do it to the best of my ability I will be happy.

There will always be people who compare me to other like-minded business owners. Comparisons are a part of daily life – from department stores to Italian restaurants. Just because Olive Garden and Buca Di Beppo both serve eggplant parmesan doesn’t mean that one restaurant is mimicking the other, right?

Of course, getting to the point of having complete confidence in what I do will take some time. But I truly feel that getting these thoughts written down and sharing them with you all has helped me come to a peace about moving forward with things that I want to do. So thanks for reading, and cheers (non-alcoholic for baby, of course) to living bravely.

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oh baby

Pregnancy Announcement

There are no words to describe how excited I am to announce that Alex and I are expecting our first child in May. I already feel overwhelmingly blessed to be the momma to this sweet little Byrd and can’t wait to meet him/her (or find out if it is a him/her for that matter!)

Of course, so many of my thoughts are now consumed with all things baby so you can expect to see some tons of baby-friendly posts soon!

“For this child I prayed, and the Lord answered my prayer” 1 Samuel 1:27

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apple cider

October is here!

For me, there is something almost magical about October first. It’s the date when fall really, truly arrives. It’s when the air is cleaner, the colors are more subdued, and the excitement of the season is at it’s peak. It’s when I have completely let go of summer and started dreaming of cozy nights at home, pumpkin patches, and warm food. I am almost immediately overwhelmed with the number of recipes I want to try, decorations I want to put up, and parties I want to host.

But this year, I wont be overwhelmed. I’ve got my plans and I’m sticking to them. And I couldn’t be more excited about any of them.

First up on my list of recipes to try? Apple cider. Is there any drink that screams “fall” to you more than apple cider?! (if so, please let me know so it can get on my list ASAP!) One of my husband’s favorite fall treats is this apple cider from Trader Joe’s. Sadly, there are no Trader Joe’s in Hawaii so I knew that I had to make a substitution for him this year.

apple cider from natashabyrd on Vimeo.

Hope you enjoy!

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baby bouquets

They say there is something in the water.

Since I started in my office a year ago, there has always been at least three girls who are pregnant at the same time. It’s pretty exciting – I mean, who doesn’t love sweet little babies?!

Three of the girls are due in October/November so yesterday there was a joint baby shower honoring these mothers-to-be. For their gifts, I put together these baby bouquets. I’ve made some before, and they are always a hit.

baby bouquet

See all that blue? All three of the mamas are having boys – how fun is that?!

Each bouquet included a burp cloth, onesie, a newborn hat, and some pacifiers. I also included some artificial flowers as filler. If you are feeling super creative, you could skip the filler and make the whole thing out of baby items 🙂

Other supplies I needed were a flower pot (or tin pail in this case), scotch tape, ribbon, scissors, wire cutters, wooden dowels and floral foam.

baby bouquet supplies

baby bouquet supplies

To make the “flower” I simply rolled each baby item up then tied a ribbon around it to hold everything together. Then, I stuck the rolled item onto a wooden dowel which acted as a stem. For the heavier items, you may need some scotch tape to help hold up the flower. Once I had all the baby items wrapped, I placed the floral foam into the tin pails and started making the arrangement. The artificial flowers and leaves went in last and served as my filler.

Super easy right? What other items would you include in your baby bouquet?

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we like to party

Here in Hawaii Alex and I are lucky to have a nice core group. We are a mix of family, neighbors, and friends met while surfing the same spot every morning. We call ourselves Team Sharkbait.

And we like to party.

At the beginning of the summer I proposed an idea that we have monthly dinner parties. The idea is that we would rotate host families each time. The host would pick the theme and be responsible for the food and the guests just had to play along. Everyone was on board (how could you not be right?!) and the parties began in May.

First up, we had “mafia night” at the Taniguchi’s. The food was AMAZING and it was so fun to get all dressed up.

Mafia dinner party

Mafia Couple

Next month, we had a fourth of july party at Sash & CB’s new house in Kailua. Food and company was great, we had a patriotic photobooth, and there was a great firework show to end the night.

Fourth of July Table

Patriotic Photobooth

Photoboth couple

In August, it was our turn to host. We decided on a circus theme. When our guest’s arrived they picked up a bag that had their “roles” for the evening complete with props. We even learned of Charron’s special talent for balancing chairs on her chin (?!)

circus dinner party

Just last night we had our September installment at Charron and Jasen’s house. The theme was “trash to treasure” and we all came in our Goodwill best. The menu was full of comfort food taken to the next level and it was SO good. I’m still dreaming about the grilled cheese and tomato soup combo.

grilled cheese

We are going to be taking a hiatus from these themed parties during the holidays but I look forward to starting them back up again at the beginning of the year! If you were hosting next, what theme would you choose?

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bucket list: fall 2013

The leaves might not be changing, but the weather here in Ewa Beach is cooler today (funny how 79 and cloudy can feel so much cooler than 85 and sunny) so it is officially feeling like fall!

I am a total list maker. It’s almost embarrassing how many lists you can find if you look in my purse/planner/notebook/etc. We even have a giant bucket list on our dining room wall of places we want to eat/things we want to do. So of course, I have a fall bucket list.

bucket list

Can’t wait to get started on this! What’s on your fall list?

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