Friday, May 30, 2008

sex & the city: a review

kendra and i decided that we wanted to see the new sex and the city movie at midnight last night...the earliest possible showing! we've had a less than exhilarating week at work so we made a night of it. first up was mexican at chapala...we shared so we could get candy at the movie! we usually go to sweet factory but decided bulk candy from winco - ghetto, but cheap, used to work there... lots of stories... i should share...

after our candy run we watched a few episodes to get us all geared up and headed to the theater which was a mad house! so weird... all the people there were all dressed up like they were going out on the town in the city...kendra kept saying "what do they think sarah jessica is going to be here?" haha... it was annoying but amusing.

anyway... to the movie... so good! you must see it! i'm very impressed with how well they did at keeping it like the show and not making things too unrealistic for the characters. it has inspired me to start from the beginning of the show and watch all the episodes again. i feel like they haven't made good tv shows like this in a long time... other than brothers and sisters, which i ADORE!

Happy Birthday Blog!

today is the 1 year blogiversary of Our Little Life. first of all - i can't believe its been a year! i remember starting this blog and racking my brain to figure out what to write. now i am a blog whore (sorry i know that is a vulgar word...but it really describes it!)...all i want to do is read and write blogs. when i tell people this that aren't into blogging they don't get it. do you find that? its a little (well actually big) secret society that you can only understand if you are truly immersed. signs that you are truly immersed in blog culture...

1. you have so many blogs bookmarked you have no choice but to use google reader
2. you get a little sad when you check your aforementioned reader and there isn't a little bold number indicating there are new posts to check
3. you feel like you know people you've never met and you heart them (its called a blog crush...its ok...everyone has them)
4. you blog stalk people (this is also perfectly acceptable) - once you feel comfortable you will leave a comment
5. you find so many amazing ideas that you like you have to seek out a special organizing scheme (when you stumble upon google notebook you feel like life is complete)
6. you walk through life wondering - 'should i/can i blog about this?' 'should i take a picture?' (so i can blog about this)

that is all i can think of for now. other than the blog whore i've become since last may many other things have happened. probably the biggest life decisions (1. get married 2. move across the world) we have ever made were made. i hit my lowest low and thanks to my support system (too many to link to!) and wellbutrin i am still here to blog =).

i'm sure there were other things, but now i'm ready to move on to a list of my favorite blogs (that aren't our friends & family)... hope you enjoy!

angry chicken
posey gets cozy
one more moore
homemade by jill
my happy little life

p.s. i missed my 100th post... apparently it occurred sometime in April... happy 100+ posts too!

p.p.s. grant is now a contributor to this blog so look forward to posts straight from him!

Thursday, May 29, 2008


1. isn't this funny, but not really so funny? this picture TOTALLY captures how i feel every time i drive by a gas station. i had a minor freak-out yesterday when i pulled into one that listed regular for $4.15 a gallon! WHAT??? we are trying not to spend money from our checking account so that it will balance and we can be sure we have what we think we have (i know i'm long winded...its just how i am!).......... SO i was avoiding going to costco to get gas (they only take debit)...i promptly turned my car around...waited in 15 minutes of traffic to get into the costco parking lot and another 10 in line but i got gas for $3.67 a gallon. Such a steal, right? is our country going to be able to handle this? i am nervous...i think i need to start taking the bus...

2. grant is in indianapolis for the national ACSM conference...i'm VERY jealous that he is there and i am here. he gets to see all our friends! i'm happy for him though...he got to go on the department's dime because he got the ACSM Foundation Grant! i'm so very proud of him (he got two other awards too...the little stud!)

Monday, May 26, 2008

good weekend

we had plans to go to washougal to camp this weekend, but as the weekend neared the weather made us decide to stay home. this was a novel idea... the two of us have not had a weekend alone together since at least march. this was SO needed. i love grant so much and although day to day life together is great i really cherish the times when we sit on the couch and watch a movie with wine and a fire or sleep in and cuddle till we want to get up, instead of when the alarm goes off. the only time i enjoy cooking is when we can take our time and prepare a meal together. it was a very good weekend indeed!

-made this together and paired it with ciabatta bread - YUMM
-watched this movie with a few glasses of wine

-spent the morning at saturday market and bought fresh strawberries, amazing olive oil, and fresh flowers
-spent the day apart (g-bball n-crafting)
-went to the vintage for dinner (fondu = yumm) and had a night in of homemade guac, salsa, chips, coronas & our favorite card game (i won! - never happens)

-watched this HILARIOUS skit on SNL - funnier after you see the actual commercial!

-slept in & made breakfast
-day at home (n-crafting g-data)
-mom & tim came down we had dinner at BJs with joel as our server (i heart pizzookies)
-saw indiana jones (it was ok)
-watched the great debaters (it was awesome!)

-grant is making someone very cold in the environmental chamber - 3 hours at 40 degrees fahrenheit in only shorts and t-shirt...BRR! you couldn't make me do that for any amount of money
-i have been on the couch for 4 hours online the whole time...i really do have a problem. i'm getting up now though...really! i am!

sure you wanted to know all the details, right? but this is like a journal for us i want to remember this weekend in detail! have a great week!

i HEART embroidery!!!!! (i REALLY heart it!)

i've been inspired by people (like her) who embroider for a while now so this weekend i decided to give it a try.

i used this book (i also heart the library) to get some pointers and went to it. it was surprisingly easy and now everything i look at i think about what i can stitch on it! i really want to get to a point where i can draw my own designs, but for now i'm using graphite paper to transfer designs to fabric and then stitch over it. BEST craft ever! love them! don't you wonder what this 'mr & mrs' embroidery will turn out to be?? are a few new sites i'm excited about: robot jumping rope & top secret recipes oh...and i love ALL of the links from this post (my morning has been spent devouring them all...)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

such a good night

this was my thursday night...organizing embroidery thread by color, AMAZING dark chocolate, wine, & to top it off I got to watch Grey's at its actual time for the first time all season AND it was the season finale - 2 hours! (i usually miss it due to The Office and have to later watch it online...i'm usually very far behind) it was SUCH a good night...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

france calendar has been created!

ok so i finally created that calendar i told you about (i'm not linking to where i told you cuz i can't remember) but is at the bottom of the page because it wouldn't fit anywhere else (but here it is too...

since we don't know anything about when we can/will vacation while we are there or exactly when we will arrive it is blank, but hopefully it will fill up as we get closer and after we arrive. you can see how an event will work by looking at Jan 3, 2009. I added the fact that i think we may fly in that day (or the 5th??)

Au revoir! (for a second i almost made the calendar in french...but that would be too difficult i think....)

you have to try it...

picnik... seriously i HEART it (just like everything else i tell you about right?? - but this one i REALLY REALLY REALLY heart!

this (i am learning) is so true...

Being happy doesn't mean every thing is perfect; it just means you've decided to see beyond the imperfections.

found on this blog...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

can't get enough... (part 2)

of this baby either! (part 1)

jess is right...i can't get enough of sydney swayne either!

just look at her... i heart her crazy hair!!!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

another one..

i'm learning more... there are shapes and text with 100s upon 100s to choose from!!! this is using the '60's effect' LOVE IT!

blogs have done it again!

i HEART blogs and the amazing things I learn about from them....its a big world out there and I could never find all of the great things that I learn about on my own. For example today I read a wedding blog i subscribe to, that linked to another blog, that linked to wedding pictures, that had a comment about picnik...

what is that, you ask??? well it is only the coolest, most amazing, FREE photo editing software on the web!!!! if you have photoshop and know how to use it (jenni...) then its probably not that cool, but for me it is perfect, especially because my other favorite photo editing software picasa (another winner from google!), doesn't work on macs (which, by the way, is something else i truly heart...i will have to blog about that later...)

here is an example of how great picnik is... (this isn't perfect, but i did it in 5 minutes or less)

straight out of the camera (SOOC if you read pioneer woman)...

after a few alterations on picnik....

four months/123 did that happen???

we are officially only 4 months away from the wedding. it seems like we just got engaged and soon we will be mr & mrs simmons - weird! it really hit me last week - i sort of had a mini freakout, but i think i've gotten it under control. all of the major stuff is done, but there are about 3 billion *not exaggerating* things left to do. not to mention that in the middle of all this G is finishing his dissertation and we are trying to move across the world AND figure out where we will come back to after france. whew!

here are a few wedding updates:

1. Sarah did a practice hair/makeup trial this weekend. it turned out great! i'm very excited to have someone i'm comfortable with doing this for me! Thanks Sarah!

2. My mom and stepdad are awesome and in light of my aforementioned mini freakout decided that making 30+ tablecloths wasn't a good idea - we put the order for all our rental orders in on sunday (i threw up in my mouth a little when i heard that linens will cost nearly $500 (this was the $5 cheaper per tablecloth than most estimates- and we have to give them back! i am trying to repeat...its better than making them...its better than making them...)

3. we are still working on the wedding craftiness i mentioned a few weeks ago and that project is almost complete - only a 'few' more to go

4. i went to a few seamstresses this weekend and found someone i'm confident in to alter my dress. it is VERY complicated and my weight loss hasn't helped the issue. being on top of the thing and getting your dress a year before your wedding doesn't always pay off i guess.... i scheduled my first fitting though... that is exciting! i can't wait for it to fit me cuz it is a tent right now.

5. the above picture is for our thank you cards...i'm so proud of them - i love printable transfer paper... i used to use it when i was OBSESSED with NSYNC in high school (and if i'm totally honest - the first few years of college) to make full on outfits for janelle and I to wear to their concerts.... but that is another story for another day!

Monday, May 19, 2008

birthday bunco - second annual!

saturday was Lindsey & Leslie's birthday bunco party. if you haven't played bunco... you SHOULD its sooo fun and a great way to have a party if you have lots of different friends coming - you mingle but never have lots of awkward time because you are always rolling. It is a very loud and competitive game - at least the way we play it! We had a $5 buy in so there were two $60 prizes at the end!!

I didn't take many pictures (except this amazing view of mt hood - did y'all know it was in the 90s in oregon this weird!)...but see here and here for some good ones! Happy Birthday girls! It may have been our last birthday least for awhile. Sad!

**update** instead of making the rest of the mini cupcake bites i made the more simple and not as pretty (but just as delicious) cake bites and brought them to the party... AMAZING! they were a hit... you should all make them!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

i think i have a problem...

i made more cupcake related things... i don't know where this little obsession came from. i guess i just can't get over how CUTE everything cupcake is.

these (bakerella again...) looked incredibly easy and straightforward so i decided to give them a try... they were kind of easy, but maybe not as much as i would have hoped... especially cuz i tried to do the chocolate dipping at 6am before work...

grant insisted that if i posted this picture i would caption it "slapping balls together"...i know i shouldn't laugh but seriously...its kind of funny, right??

it seemed like there was endless cake batter... so i multitasked...HI JANELLE

ok...this is where 6am came in...waiting for the chocolate to harden and not fall asleep...

ready to take a dip...

the first finished one... the tupperware kind of shows how small they are... about the size of a truffle.

they look cuter all clustered together...

although they didn't turn out quite as cute as i'd hoped, apparently they tasted good... this email entitled "holy frickin' mackeral" from steph says it all...

"So, I just had this AMAZING chocolate treat with blue frosting…and I wish I had like 20 more!!!! Nicole, you are missing your calling. You have to own your own business and spread this incredible talent of yours.

....discussion of other things....

"Did I mention how amazing those chocolate treats were? I’ll write all the testimonials when you launch the business. You are truly amazing (stealing a line from your husband to be). "

i made about 20 of these mini cupcake treats, but i think i will use the other 40 cake balls to make these cuz they look much easier and more forgiving of mistakes...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Burton has an MBA!!!

Sunday we made the trek to Salem to see Grant's brother, Burton see the pay off for his hard work the past two years. He graduated from Willamette University's MBA program with honors!

We had a great day and are very proud of him! Plus I got to make those cupcakes and they were a major hit (except the frosting turned everyone's mouth pink for several hours...)

i love this picture... except that it is a little too light... i haven't edited it yet...

burton with is girlfriend, Kristin - she is great and they are great together... (as you can see...)

and of course us...

1. isn't my hair ridiculously long? at least for me? i can't stand it... i want to CHOP it off, but i'm trying to hold out till Sept 21st ( i refuse to wait 1 day longer than i have to so i plan on cutting it before we leave for mexico) ... not sure if i will be able to hold out though...this weekend (90s in OREGON in may???) will be a good test to see if it will last the summer.....

2. i wore my wedding shoes this day to break them in. i was sad that they were worn on the bottom, but i'm SO glad i tried them out for a whole day because I had HUGE blisters on my heels since they were slightly too big (but not big enough to get a smaller size) - i bought little gel pad things for them and now they fit better and are padded!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

can't get enough...

of this baby!!!

(jana... i stole your picture from facebook...don't sue me!)

this is arie... she is my cousin Jana's (that's her too) 5 month old. have you ever seen a cuter kid??

... i LOVE her and want to meet her!

more cupcakes and a tea

i continue to slack in posting... its just been rough. i think it will just be this way from here until we move so i guess i'll get used to it?

since this weekend is about to start i thought i'd post my pictures from last weekend...

as i mentioned we had a big week last week so I made more cupcakes, these ones for burton's graduation (and i made extra toppings for the birthday extravaganza coming up this weekend!)

could these be ANY cuter?? remember... when you want to make a cute and DELICIOUS dessert visit bakerella

school colors...maroon and gold (the maroon didn't turn out perfect, but its the thought right?)

get excited!!....

I got a cupcake carrier!! It was up there with the slanket in terms of its necessity! I LOVE it my cupcakes made it all the way to portland in PERFECT condition. Now grant won't have to drive me to work when i make cupcakes...

OH... so the tea part of the title. while i worked on these cupcakes Kendra and I were in the middle of a tea party! We had been in discussions about having one for several weeks and we finally made it happen.

Kendra is amazing and much more worldly than me so she shows me SO many things that I end up loving. Among these is Jane Austen movies. We've gotten together three or four times to watch different versions of her stories and I just LOVE them! The best ones are from PBS...they have even made some new versions this year! If you like a good love story, period pieces, and/or happy endings...these are for you! I HEART THEM.

This weekend we watched this version of Pride and Predjudice (be is 6 hours long) and this version of favorite that we've watched is either this Sense and Sensibility OR this Mansfield park. (PS... a facebook quiz told me I'm most like Fanny Price...makes me so happy cuz I LOVE HER!)

Anyway... that is the update for now. If you need more fabulous PBS stuff to watch... try this, or any of these, or this. =)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

ready for change

Thursday afternoon we found out that Barack Obama was coming back to the university. When he was here a few months ago we couldn't go to the rally because we already had plans (plus it was held in Mac Court and I don't do well in confined places with too many people...too stressful)

Anyway... we decided that although we had tons to do we should go to the rally on Friday because if he is going to be the democratic candidate and possibly our next president it would be good to hear him speak in person. Plus it was a beautiful night and held in my favorite part of campus - the memorial quad (you know... by knight library and the art museum? its so beautiful)

Apparently people were waiting in line all day so we weren't sure how it would be, but we headed to campus a half hour before the rally started and easily got through security. We were aways back but we could see the stage and we were at the back of our section - the closest baracade was way behind us so we had lots of space. It was a beautiful night.

From the beginning I have been inspired by Obama - I just like the excitement and feeling I get when he speaks and how he seems to have caused a new excitement and freshness to the elections. That being said I was still a little on the fence, but this night confirmed any of my doubts - it was amazing. He makes me feel like everything is going to be ok if we work for change and what we want. So inspiring - there were definitely tears at points - i think just because there is so much going on in our country that i find deathly frightening and hopeless... so many things that make me worry about raising a family in this country, so many things that make me feel like i will never want to come back from europe - but he makes me feel like that can change and that it WILL. was cool... i'm glad i stopped stressing about stuff to do and spent some time with my boy at an event that was so unique. here is a little video (it turned out better than any of our photos of him - he was backlit and we were too far away for a flash and i wasn't still enough for no flash...)

martha's yarn cards...

have i shared how much i LOVE getting martha's craft of the day emails? (almost) every time i immediately open google notebook (i'm telling you... this is EXACTLY why its soo handy) and clip the idea for later.

these yard cards have been something i've wanted to do and this week proved to be just the week to do it... we have 3 birthdays, 1 graduation, and mother's day! they are so easy and WAY too cute, don't ya think? i was lazy and didn't go to the store to get a fine tipped bottle of craft glue and used my old trusty rubber cement and it worked fine, but next time I think i'll get the small tipped bottle of glue... the cake card was hard without it!

i love them all, but these two were my favorites...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

reverand miller???

since we got engaged grant and i had conversations about who we would have marry us. i was pretty adamant that it be a person who knew us both well and that we admired and respected.

it took us several months but finally we had the best idea...dr. almost seemed too perfect! he is someone we both love, has a great sense of humor, but knows when to be serious too. we tried not to get our hopes up because we know september is usually a time when he is on vacation AND he is retiring this year.

oh... i guess i should tell you how we know dr. klug (for our 2 blog readers who don't already know)... he is the current department head of our favorite little (but dramatically growing) human physiology department at UO. he is someone we've looked up to for the past several years personally and professionally. (plus he was the nail in the coffin on the decision to go to france...thankyouverymuch) friend and bridesmaid patty has been doing some research on the logistics of getting married for me lately. one of the things i asked her to do was help me figure out how to get dr. klug ordained and recognized by the state of oregon. she sent me to this site. she said it was incredibly easy, but i decided if we were going to send dr. klug there i should see just how easy it was (and it was free). anyway... i typed in my name and email address and i am now reverand nicole miller... pretty funny huh?? i'm really happy it is this easy though!!

Kendra's Birthday = Cinco De Mayo

monday kendra turned 24... we had lots of fun...

we decorated our office, sang happy birthday and had cupcakes at work...

went to el torito for margarita's... (kendra had 5 in about an hour...I SO wish i could post this amazingly hilarious video of her and a party blower....sooo funny... she would kill me though... lets just say she is from the south and her accent comes out when she has a few in her and the blower was a little 'limp'... oh the joke possibilities...)

grant was amazing and picked us up after three hours of drinking (did i mention we started at 4pm?)...

he brought us to our favorite mexican resaurant... chapala... (we bought kendra another drink...)

a mariachi band came and sang her happy birthday and left a delicious little fried treat... she enjoyed it...

this is how she felt after 6ish margaritas, chips, a taco, and dessert...