Come follow us at COOP!

July 3rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: COOP | No Comments Yet »

You loyal readers may have noticed that we haven’t posted here in quite a while. All of our writing efforts are now focused on COOP, which is our new online lifestyle publication. COOP covers style, outdoor gardening and livestock, do-it-yourself, and, of course, interior design and art.

COOP, coming June 12.

So for those of you that subscribe to our feed here at Birdhouse, just head on over to http://thecooponline.com/ and follow our continuing adventures there. We’ve got several great contributors for each section, and are excited to share many different points of view with you.

You can follow us on Twitter at _thecoop, Facebook at facebook.com/thecooponline, and, again, at http://thecooponline.com/.

Thanks to all of you for being such great and loyal readers, and we can’t wait to have you along for the ride at COOP!


COOP: DIRT

May 22nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: COOP | 2 Comments »

Greetings, Birdhouse faithful! I’m here to give you another preview of what kind of content you’ll be seeing from the COOP team. So, allow me to introduce myself.

A big part of COOP’s mission is to showcase and highlight sustainability. One of the most synonymous terms of that is farm-to-table. You may already be familiar with the term; for those of you that aren’t, it’s the movement behind using organic and local produce and delivering it straight to the consumer in restaurants, or farmer’s markets, for example.

More and more restaurants are taking this approach in their menus. With the recent backlash against heavy use of chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers, and the effect they can have on consumers, chefs everywhere are recognizing that not only are organic produce, farm-fresh fish and meat healthier, but higher in quality and flavor as well.

Arugula

It’s easy to dismiss this movement as something for hippies, or treehuggers, or whatever belittling nickname people are currently using, but in reality, this practice is common at more establishments than you might think. Sure, you can pretty much count on the fact that that “chicken” on the menu at many chain restaurants came off the back of a Sysco truck from who knows where – but when you have places like Burger King announcing that they’re going “cage-free” soon, you know that the movement, and other related areas, are really gaining some traction in the mainstream.

Many local chefs in our area are embracing farm-to-table completely. Paul Kulik at The Boiler Room, Clayton Chapman at The Grey Plume, and Joel Mahr at Lot 2 are just a few examples from Omaha.

Between Jessica and my plan to own our own farm, starting with our ever-growing garden and the soon-to-arrive chickens at our current home, and my enrollment in a Culinary Arts program here in Omaha, we’re excited to start down a road that helps contribute to farm-to-table.

I’ll be showing you how easy it is to raise your own produce and even get eggs out of your backyard. It’s not all easy work, but there’s nothing more satisfying than shopping for groceries without leaving your house.

Herb garden

We all hope you keep coming back to read entertaining, insightful pieces on all kinds of subjects over the weeks and months to come, and don’t forget, you can sign up to get plenty more teasers and info about COOP at thecooponline.com.


COOP: STYLE

May 17th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: COOP | 4 Comments »

In keeping true to our post from yesterday, here is a small sneak peek at some of what you can expect from the STYLE category on COOP.

–Jessica

Hey Birdhouse readers, I’m Ginger from Sequel-Sequel. I’m SO excited to be writing for/helping with Birdhouse’s new adventure, COOP.  So today I’m going to share on a topic that both Jessica and I have seeded in the depths of our bones: fashion. And I’m not talking as if I’m a total snob or that I know the rights and wrongs of everyday apparel, but I would say I’m a first impression observer.  If you dress the part and are confident in your choice, that always makes for a good combination in any practicing field.  I am also an interior designer, practicing on the other side of that world in commercial interiors.  So unfortunately, my first impressions for clients have to come from a very business attire point of view.  It’s a bit of a drag to always shop with an idea of “Okay, how could I wear that to work?” because street clothes are so much more fun to wear and buy.

Let’s face it, clothes are expensive.  As much as I would love to look like a walking Anthropologie or J.Crew ad day to day, reality hits my checkbook every single month and keeps me a window shopper more often than not.  However, with a little thought, a little budget, and a few staple pieces, achieving a personal style fit for you is WAY better than the generic ill fitting suit (which Jessica coined in an earlier post).  Take a look at how I can pull three different looks from one higher priced piece in my closet.  (All of which will keep me flying under the radar of the ever-so-dreaded “write up” in my company’s wardrobe rule book.)

LOOK 1:

Shirt: Banana Republic (regular price staple piece), Blazer: GAP (end of season sale rack), Skirt: Forever 21 (always affordable, just don’t dry it or maybe don’t wash it, Febreze should do the trick), Socks: Target (another affordable clothing/accessory option), Shoes: Franco Sarto (via Von Maur shoe sale. OH: and that interest-free credit card thing? It’s like layaway that I can take home with me that day).  I try to always challenge myself to add some punch of color if my outfit has a lot of blacks or neutrals.

LOOK 2:

Shirt: staple piece, Vest: Express (end of season sale rack), Skirt: thrifted, Belt: thrifted, Shoes: Nine West (end of season shoe sale at Dillard’s).  I can’t stop laughing at how ridiculous I look in that second photo. I mean, senior picture moment!  But I had to include it so you could laugh at my obviously amateur modeling abilities.

LOOK 3:

Shirt: staple piece, Pants: GAP, Belt: thrifted, Shoes: LuLu*s, Necklace: The Oxford Trunk (Gifted by my little boy for Mother’s Day.  Like, melt my face off when I opened that gift up). This look is one of my favorites.  The necklace comes from an online boutique (which I discovered via Instagram) that sells jewelry for a very affordable price.  This will not be my only piece, fyi.