Happy Halloween!!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween from The Freebird!!!

Stay tuned for an update on tonights halloween costumes. Anyone else dressing up!?
Be safe and have fun!

Homemade French Vinaigrette

Saturday, October 27, 2012

You are sure to impress with this delicious homemade French Vinaigrette salad dressing! This recipe is one I learned during my cooking class at Laguna Culinary Arts and it is seriously the BEST thing ever. It is so yummy and surprisingly easy to make. I have made this dressing in double batches and saved the extra in the fridge to use for the rest of the week and it tastes just as good the next day!

Here's what you'll need:

2 Tablespoons vinegar of your choice (I have made it with red wine vinegar and also with champagne
vinegar.... you can also use sherry vinegar if you want)
1-3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons olive oil (I actually used canola oil because olive oil tenders to solidify in the fridge, which I didn't want since i was making enough for the whole week)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a mixing bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk to blend well.

While whisking, gradually add the olive oil (or canola, if you choose)in a stream. Whisk continually.

**Quick tip: Since you need both hands for this step,
 if you are using a bowl that doesn't have a lip on the bottom to keep from sliding around the counter, 
twist a dish towel up and wrap around the base of the bowl. This will hold the bowl in place, freeing both hands to whisk and pour.**

Adjust seasoning to taste. Toss with 6 cups of greens.

**Another quick tip: To tone down the bite from the vinegar, 
you can add a tiny bit of honey. The honey neutralizes the bitter vinegar taste.**

Hope you all go try this tasty recipe and enjoy it as much as I do!


Wedding Attire: Bridesmaid Dresses

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It's time for me to start thinking about bridesmaid dresses for all my gorgeous bridesmaids! There are so many options out there..... Matching dresses or different styles? Same color or different colors? 
I checked out good 'ole Pinterest (you can follow me Here) for some inspiration to get me started.
Same length, different styles and colors
Same color, different styles

Same dress style, different colors
Different styles, different colors within a color story

With the colors for my wedding being blush/soft pink and gold,  I  have decided to go with a multi color theme for the girls' dresses. All my girls have such incredible, individual styles and personalities that I want them to pick their own dresses. I really want them to pick something that they are comfortable in and that reflects their style. The only thing I requested was that they stick to the color story of light pink, blush, nude, or gold. I can't wait to see what all the girls pick out!
This was an inspiration board I sent to the girls for them to start thinking about their dresses.

Can't wait to share the final outcome with you all when the wedding rolls around.


Hot for Fall: Oxblood

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I posted previously about Oxblood nail color, so I thought I would follow it up with an Oxblood fashion inspiration board and outfit ideas. This is a great color to add to your fall wardrobe this season. You can add just a splash of the color or dive right in and go head to toe. There are many options of how to wear this deep hue such as mixing it with leopard and even with the leather trend happening this season.

1. Parker Faux Leather Pants $198, cusp.com
2. Chunky Ribbed Knit Sweater $22.80, Forever 21
3. Studded Loafer $26.80, Forever 21
4. Folded Snood $20, TopShop
5. Pointed Hem Moto Jacket $32.90, Forever 21
6. Patent Leather Mary Jane's $22.80, Forever 21
7. Envelope Clutch $19.99, Target
8. Staring at Stars Embroidered Neck Dress $49, Urban Outfitters
9. Faux Leather Mini Skirt $14.90, Windsor
10. Polka Dot Tie Collar Top $17.80,  Forever 21
How to wear, outfit ideas!

Are you guys loving this color as much as I am?! Let me know how you plan on incorporating it into your fall wardrobe.
Happy Fall Shopping!


Trend Alert: Oxblood Nails

Hot new color for fall? Oxblood! I tried this new nail color trend for the fall season and LOVED it. This color has the perfect blend of sexy and classic.

 I've posted before about Sally Hansen Insta-Dry nail polish but I wanted to share another fall trend color, 340 Cinna-Snap  ($5.79). It is a beautifully deep, rich color.

Try it out and see if this hot color is right for you this fall!


Laguna Culinary Arts Cooking Class

Monday, October 22, 2012

Over the past 3 Saturdays, my step-dad and I attended The Gourmet Series: Basic Cooking Skills class offered at Laguna Culinary Arts. It was so much fun and I really learned so much! Before the class,  I was a bit intimidated to get into the kitchen and start really cooking some amazing foods. I would try smaller, easier recipes but they were nothing fancy by any means. After finishing the series, I felt so much more confidant and comfortable in the kitchen and was ready to start exploring some more complex recipes. I'm still learning, but I now have the basic skills, such as how to hold a knife properly, that will help me tremendously in my future of cooking.
Here is a brief description of the series:

Class 1 – Introduction to the Kitchen
Basic knife skills, kitchen safety, culinary terms, identification of produce, and an introduction to kitchen tools and cookware. Students will learn cooking skills related to preparation of vegetables: blanching, steaming, sautéing and grilling.

Class 2 – Mastering the Stovetop
Identification, selection, trimming, and portioning of meat, fish and poultry, and the creation of quick and easy sauces. Students will learn cooking skills related to the basics of pan-sautéing each item, including the creation of a quick complementary sauce to accompany each item.

Class 3 – Into the Oven

Basic techniques of roasting – focusing on meat, fish and poultry again, but this time using the whole cut. Students will learn the “dry heat” method of cooking, and will work with different temperatures and times to achieve different results.

The instructors were amazing and so helpful, answering any questions you might have. Each class ran about 3 hours long and ended with sitting down to eat the delicious food we made.
I would highly suggest this series to anyone who wants to get that extra confidence in the kitchen. It really will change the way you and your family eats.

From top: Pork Rib Roast with Pear-Thyme Sauce, Grapefruit Fennel and Avocado Salad, Smoked Salmon Filet, Pork Roast, and Roasted Chicken, Me with my finished Grapefruit salad, Chicken with Lemon-Caper Sauce, French Vinaigrette salad, Beef Filets with Red Wine Pepper Sauce, and Grilled Halibut on top of a fresh Tomato-Herb Salsa

Hope this inspires you to try something new!

Lifestyle: PhotoBooth Fun

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tonight, my fiancé and I got to mess around and do a little photo booth photo shoot! The photos will be used on some marketing material for Evan's (my fiancé) company, The Wonderland Group. Here is a sneak peak at the photos.

How do you like the props!? 
Evan hand made them earlier today. We also used an antique frame that we bought for the photo wall we are planning to make for our wedding.

Say Cheese!!!


Lifestyle: Halloween Costumes

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

It's that time of year again.... Time to start thinking about Halloween Costumes!
 As you'll get to know (if you don't already), my Fiance and I LOVE to dress up for any holiday or party we can! Here is a glimpse at some our past costumes.

From top left:
80' Prom, Baywatch Lifeguards (Pam Anderson and David Hasselhoff), 70's Disco, Katy Perry and Russell Brand, 80's Aerobics, Oktoberfest, Madonna (Like a Virgin), and our little Laila Pumpkin.

What are you all thinking of being for Halloween this year??


Wedding Flowers

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

While planning my wedding, I'm having to start thinking about flowers. There are SOOO many beautiful options to choose from! As I've been looking all over Pinterest and flipping through bridal mags, I've fallen in love with a particular flower, the Peony. It is a beautiful, full, sweet looking flower that has several amazing color variations. So I looked  into more info on this gorgeous bloom that I've fallen in total love with. I found out that the season for Peonies is late spring, early summer (which actually works with my wedding being late spring). They can, however, be on the pricier side.

Pink Peony Bouquet

Because I was a little bit concerned that the Peony might be too expensive, I kept looking around for another option. That's when I found Cabbage Roses! They look almost identical to Peonies, are available pretty much year round, and are much less costly. AMAZING!

Cabbage Roses

Now I have an idea of what style I want and it's time to set up meetings with florists in the area.
So much to cover but I'm loving every minute of it and having a blast!



Trend Alert: Yellow Nails for Fall

I've been seeing a lot of yellow nails for fall in the magazines recently so I decided to try it out. It's a great way to give those gloomy fall days a punch of color!

I went to CVS first to check out their selection. There were several different brand and shade options for yellow. I decided to go with Sally Hansen Insta-Dry in 250 LIGHTENING  ($5.79). It is a great "taxicab" yellow color.

Try it out and see how you like this fun fall trend! 


What's For Dinner: Red Wine Pot Roast

Monday, October 8, 2012

Since the weather is getting cooler and it's starting to feel a bit more like fall (finally!), I decided to make a yummy slow cooker Pot Roast for dinner. This is great for a busy day cause you can prep the veggies the night before and then just throw everything in the slow cooker in the morning, let it cook all day and POOF!, it's ready to eat. Plus it made the whole house smell delicious!

1. Celery
2. Carrots
3. 2-2 1/2 lbs Beef Round Eye Round Roast
4. Slow Cooker "Savory Pot Roast" Seasoning packet
5. Baby Red Potatoes
6. Red wine (can use water in place of wine), 1 Cup

Step 1
Chop celery, carrots and potatoes. Measure out about 5 cups worth.

Step 2
Place roast into slow cooker. Add the 5 cups chopped veggies.

Step 3
There are a few options for this step. The seasoning packet calls for 1 cup water, but I went with twist and added 1 cup red wine in place of the water. Both options are delicious!. I found that the red wine just gave it some extra flavor, but it's up to which way you want to make it!
Add contents of seasoning packet to red wine and mix well.
Pour seasoning and wine mixture over meat and veggies in slow cooker.
Cover slow cooker.
Cook for 8 hours on low OR 4 hours on high (I cooked mine for 8 hrs on low)

Finished Plate!
Bake some biscuits for an extra yummy addition.

I think my fiance enjoyed his dinner! :)


DIY Save the Dates

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My fiance and I are currently planning our wedding for this coming spring. It came time to send out our save the dates and I came up with this fantastic DIY project. First, my incredibly talented Fiance designed a custom magnet to send out as the actual save the date. We had them printed at Magnet Street and they were delivered to our house in about 7-10 days after approving a digital proof. We were super excited and extremely pleased with how they turned out!

Then we needed to figure out how we wanted to package and mail them since they were an awkward size and didn't fit normally in a regular envelope. So we decided to make a trip to Michaels and see what we could find. Here is a step by step of how we made our Save the Dates.

1. Pack of 25 Cards and Envelopes $4.99/pack   2. Photo Corners Stickers (we used gold) $3.99/pack 
3.Stamps, Heart $3.99, Words $9.99, Bride and Groom $4.99   4. Our custom magnet from Magnet Street
5. Stamp ink pads, Pink $4.99, Black $2.99, Gold $8.99

Step 1
For the first step, you will need to put the photo corner stickers on 2 opposite corners (Ex. Top left corner and bottom right corner  or vice-versa). I found these little stickers to be a bit tricky since our magnet was much thicker that a regular photo so I left the stickers on the sheet as I placed the corner of the magnet in place. Then, once the corner is on there, peel the sticker off the sheet. Repeat on other corner.

Step 2
Now, once you have placed the photo corner stickers on both (or all if you want) corners of the magnet or photo, you are ready to place it in the card.

Step 3
Next, it's time to customize to front of the card with the stamps you picked out. We chose to go with 3 different stamps- A heart, a bride and groom, and one with words saying "Seemed like a good idea at the time". Decide where you want to place each stamp (it can be the same formula on each one or they can all be different, your choice!). Then stamp away! 
Finished Product!!
Ta-Da!! Now you have your finished save the date that has your own personal touches!
Let the stamps dry and you're ready to start putting them in envelopes.
Time to get to addressing your beautiful creation and mail them out!




My name is Kara (Tharaldson) Burgher. I'm a new wife and fashion enthusiast from Orange County, CA. I am having the time of my life being married to my best friend and partner in crime, Evan Burgher.

I love creating fun and exciting DIY projects for decorating our home or throwing parties. I have a serious passion for decorating, fashion, and styling. I am also getting into cooking, which I'm having so much fun with!

I have the greatest family in the world including my new in-laws! I also have the cutest, sweetest dog, Laila. I love life, spending quality time with my awesome friends and family, and a good glass of wine! I enjoy traveling and experiencing new, exciting things.

So, why "Freebird"? I got the name from my love of Lynyrd Skynyrd and what the word means to me. To me, it is a reminder to always be true to yourself and never let anyone keep you down or clip your wings. Be free to be yourself and fly!

Thanks for visiting my page and please feel free to contact me with any comments or suggestions!