Monday, June 30, 2008

YAYAYAYAY!!


i am SO freaking proud of myself. i entered a contest on one of my favorite wedding blogs - style me pretty and am a finalist! the contest was to create a color board inspired by a specific picture. Mine is inspired by the tree picture in the upper left (which I LOVE).

Apparently there were hundreds of entries and only several were selected to be voted on AND one was mine! Here is what she said about the contest...

"Today is day one of our color palette contest! We had a HUGE response to this...literally hundreds of entries. Although I so wish that I could post each and every one, I have chosen to feature those that I felt would "show" the best on the blog. We are going to be posting a stream of palettes all day, every day for the entire week. Because Friday is a holiday, we are going to extend the contest into the beginning of next week, with voting on Tuesday. In the meantime, am sure that the designers would love to hear your feedback!"

I will remind you all to vote on Tuesday! So remember to check here so I can win $250 gift certificate to the store of my choice!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

baked ziti

i know its all about recipes this week...not much else exciting going on! this is another fabulous recipe. i've been hitting the jackpot lately with recipes we will definitely make over and over again.

by the way. the blog i got this from is BY far one of the best blogs i read. dont know why i just love her. ESPECIALLY her kids names. Henry is her son (which is my ALL time favorite boy name so DONT steal it!) and her new baby is Margot. Could those be any cuter?? i love them.

anyway. this is good. go make it. i made two at once froze one and put one in the fridge for a few days before we baked it last night. yumm. p.s. i dont know if any of you use canned spaghetti sauce, but we do and i've never found a kind i really like UNTIL NOW... newmans own...all flavors we have tried are amazing. plus it is a really good company (as far as big ones go) so its good to support them.

don't be sad, but i dont know if i'll blog anymore til this weekend. going to p-town for work.

on a side note - its sunny here...FINALLY!

thats all folks!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Cut Dog and the club

Eric Snyder recently posted about seeing a POS (piece of sh#t) car with The Club protecting it.  After marveling that people still use The Club, he noted the poor quality of the vehicle that so badly need protection against theft.




These pictures of our cutlass offer further evidence that only the nicest cars on the road (yes, the Cut Dog still runs) need The Club to deter thieves.

By the way, my name is Grant.  I am marrying Nicole, and this is my first blog post.  Nice to meet you.

Another good one



we (by that i mean Grant) made these amazing lettuce wraps Sunday night. we've tried other 'asian inspired' dishes and they turn out ok, but this was awesome. we were trying to describe it to each other and came up with 'its just so flavorful' (i know we are good, huh?) there is so much going on you can't get enough. i do recommend not shopping at winco for the lettuce - we could only get iceburg and that left something to be desired, especially when said fiance forgets to wash it. ha!

anyway. this is another DROP EVERYTHING AND MAKE IT dish. i am very pleased that so many (read: three) made the pasta from last week! i know its not my recipe, but i like it when we all share good stuff! oh how happy blogging makes me!

Monday, June 23, 2008

our weekend in photos

chick flicks with kendra (and bulk candy from winco)

wedding invitations - involving several trips to kinkos and a very cranky bride to be (thankfully they agreed to redo EVERYTHING for free)


shows to keep me entertained while crafting. I love HBO shows & BBC miniseries, but i wish carrie would stop cheating on aidan!

fresh oregano - in our new favorite water 'glasses'

cooking dinners for this week - will let you know if they turn out


movie night in with our new favorite show brought to us by netflix and brett- we can't get enough

it was lazy, good, slow...

plate cake!

had to laugh and immediately inform you of this (because you are dying to know, right?)...

while browsing one of my wedding blogs i saw this cake...

and the reason i had to laugh is because it is a wedding cake inspired by the plates we registered for (also in the above picture):

funny, huh?? by the way... i love this lady's cakes!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

needle roll

i've been looking for a solution for how to store my needles. i have lots of different kinds and they are all stuck in various pieces of paper all over the place. when i saw this i REALLY wanted to make one. only 1 problem - no felt and no moolah to buy felt.

SO i got to thinking and rummaging around in the craft closet and found some washcloths i bought for a project that didn't go as well as i would have liked. I came up with this little 'needle roll'.

I started by doing a quick backstitch to separate my regular needles from my tapestry needles (read: dull).
Then I stitched a ribbon on the end...


I rolled it up and now all my needles are in one place! its not as cute as the little felt ones, but it cost nada and it does the job.

Friday, June 20, 2008

GET EXCITED!

you know i'm excited because i hate caps and i titled in ALL caps! katie (you should click cuz her babe is adorable!) posted about this on her blog, but i have to share with all of you (my 5 readers)!!!

SCRAPBLOG...amazing! only looked around for a few minutes, but you better believe i will be on there as much as possible as soon as i get some time (i.e. at work j/k)

i can't find anything about it that requires payment...why is everything on the internet so cool and FREE?? i heart being online!

3 months!

{collage of wedding prep so far}

today marks the three month countdown to the wedding. in some ways i am in complete awe that it is already this close and in other ways i am astounded that there is still that much time left. we are totally ready for it to be here. so excited to have most everyone we love there and to be married. sometimes i think it gets forgotten that a marriage is at the end of all this! i also forget that cabo comes after all this... september PLEASE get here soon!

now if we could only figure out what our next move after that will be!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Parties!!

i LOVE getting mail and today was awesome because I got my second of two invites to parties for me AND our first wedding gift came. we are so spoiled!


lindsey! you've really outdone yourself this time!

these are the invites she made for my bridal shower and bachlorette party! i love them both. But the stitched one holds a special place since I just made my first stitched cards last weekend. i love that the rings are white gold! too cute!

the bridal shower instructs guests to bring their favorite recipe to share with me! yay! those of you out there who can't make my shower can send me your favorite recipes too *wink*wink* i'm so suzy homemaker-esque these days...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Maggie & Jeremy

these are some of my favorite pictures with them over the years. i couldn't pick a few so this is what you get!

I have had this stuff in my 'to blog' folder forever. I'm not sure why I haven't taken the time to write about these guys - I guess because they are so special to me I don't really know how to describe it. I will start from the beginning.

On my 16th birthday I answered an ad that was posted in my high school's career center seeking a part time nanny for 10 month old twins. I met the mom (Ally) and the kids (Maggie & Jeremy) and immediately felt at home. She hired me that day. Looking back I wonder how on earth I was so lucky to meet this family.

For the next two years I worked part time during the school year and full time in the summer. I played with, bathed, diapered, and fed these little munchkins and had SO much fun doing it. Ally trusted me so much. She would let me take them where ever I wanted - I took the double stroller to the mall, zoo, children's museum, downtown. She even trusted me to babysit them for whole weekends at a time. Sometimes I would stay with them at her house, other times I'd take them to my mom's. I'd always get those sympathetic teenage mother looks when I was out with them. It was funny and didn't change the fact that I loved *almost* every minute of being with them!

Everyone used to joke that I was bound to have twins since I had so much experience. I remember the juggling act. Keep one in the 'cage' (aka playpen) and take the other to feed/diaper/bathe.

After 2 years I moved away to college and missed all three of them sorely. Ally was a huge support during that first tumultuous year of college. My freshman summer I babysat Maggie and Jeremy often and enjoyed the time with them immensely.

My sophomore year I was uber lucky. Ally grew up in Eugene and decided to move back to have more support from her family. Since they've moved back we don't see one another as much as we'd like, but definitely more than we would if we lived two hours apart.

Now they are 8 years old and in 2nd grade! I can hardly believe it! Over the years Ally has become a close friend and confidant. We try to meet often for coffee on campus. I can't get over how blessed I was to stumble into this amazing family. Grant has since been included - the kids can't get enough of him.

Maggie and Jeremy were the natural choice for flower girl and ring bearer in the wedding. Shortly after we were engaged, Grant and I went over to their house for dinner. Ally, Maggie, and I were in the kitchen and Ally was describing to Maggie that Grant and I had decided to get married. The first thing out of Maggie's 7 year old mouth was "Who will be your flower girl?"

Ally and I immediately burst into laughter and ran into the living room to tell Grant what happened - which of course upset Maggie. We explained to her that it was so funny because I was about to ask her if that was something she would want to do. She just answered the question before it had been asked!

We then asked Jeremy if he would be in the wedding - his response was "Do I have to dress up?" LOL they are too much. I am so excited for them to be in our wedding!

here are a few current photos of us and them playing...



Drop everything and make this NOW!

We made this pasta Saturday night and it was amazing! I got it from this blog...her picture is WAY better than mine...in my defense she has a better camera and probably better natural light! Since I saw it on Pozy I have been meaning to make it. I can't believe I put it off, because it was so easy and amazingly delicious. Between the heavy cream and 1.5 cups cheese I'm not sure it is the healthiest thing, but its worth the fat and calories, TRUST ME! Making things like this might make me like cooking more...


Here is the Recipe...

Penne Rigate with Spinach and Garlic Cream Sauce
from the Oregonian, several years ago

2 T unsalted butter
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
14 oz trimmed (stems removed) fresh spinach OR 1 lb frozen spinach
1¼ c heavy cream
Large pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 t lemon juice
1 lb penne rigate pasta
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 to 1½ c grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter over medium heat in large saucepan; add garlic and, stirring frequently, cook until very soft and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add spinach to pan, sprinkle with ½ t salt, cover, and increase heat to high. Cook, stirring once or twice, until spinach is fully wilted, 3 to 5 minutes.

Using tongs, firmly squeeze spinach to remove as much liquid as possible and transfer to a bowl. Pour out exuded liquid (but not any bits of garlic) and return spinach to saucepan. Return pan to burner, add cream, and reduce heat to medium-high. Simmer until cream is reduced by half, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer spinach mixture to food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, nutmeg and lemon juice to taste.

Meanwhile cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, return pasta to pot, and toss with sauce, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. Adjust seasoning and serve immediately.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Graduation



Graduation was this weekend. Friday we went to the HPHY graduation. This year it was held in my absolute favorite place on campus and the weather was perfect (although the pollen counts were ridiculous so i was miserable...). As a side note...i really don't think there is a more beautiful college campus...seriously! I will sorely miss being able to walk on campus after we leave eugene.

The graduation was as fun and personal as it usually is. We had the pleasure of having another close friend speak. Tom (not surprisingly) did an amazing job. I strongly suggest you listen to it if you have any ties to our humble little department, and especially if you are an alum of the EEP labs. (excuse my shaky arms and the poor quality)



It was bittersweet to have Tom and Brenna graduate. It means we really are the last ones here. We miss everyone soo much! There will definitely be waterworks when Tom and Donna drive off. The good thing is that we are racking up friends all over the country!


I can't resist posting a picture of the Swaynes...are they not the cutest? Oh man and they left us too!! Get us out of here!



Happy Father's Day


We have three dads between the two of us...I made these cards to tell them how important they are to us. I used a technique Jenni posted about a while ago (can't find the actual post) and got the tie pattern from here. I also used a book binding technique discussed here to make little coupon books (i got the templates from martha here), which is kind of juvenile, but i thought they were too cute!

the candle card was for my mom's birthday.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

wedding crazed weekend

its crunch time for this whole wedding thing so we spent this past weekend driving all over the state of oregon.

saturday - g, my mom, and i drove to bend to meet with florist, baker, and caterer. we also visited all three houses our families are renting,

the park we reserved for the rehearsal (yes there was a wedding being held there),


and the hall just one more time. Also a wedding held there and oh man i try not to judge, but you should have seen this girl's hair... side pony on top of her head with the hair braided! YUCK. As i was taking this picture about 300 ants were crawling up my pant legs... they were all over all three of us... needless to say we felt itchy all day.


this is just a little reminder of why everyone wants to live in bend - can you blame them???

sunday - we got up early and drove to portland - were were in clackamas by 9:30a. we spent an hour or so registering at target. of course we chose the target that had a broken registry so we had to write everything down and i went online and did it all yesterday. next we spent about 4 hours at mens warehouse.

this nice man - brian (g and i think its weird that an older man would be named brian...anyone else?) and several others helped us pick out a very nice michael kors suit (on sale) for G. He looks great and we are both so excited to be done endlessly looking at suits we hate!


at this point we were exhausted, but pushed through...ate lunch and then went to the HUGE REI at clackamas town center to register there. it was SO fun to pick out all the camping/backpacking stuff we could have. if gas weren't so f-ing expensive we'd actually be able to camp this summer =(

we like sleeping bags...


tonight we are going to macy's to finish registering there and then we can check that off the list! such a weird concept to ask for people to buy you things, but either way its so fun to think of what we could have!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

mosaic of answers!


I saw this on another blog i read and thought it looked fun. You answer the following questions and then do a search in flickr - pick one photo on the first page of search results to represent your answer. Then use this to make a mosaic!

The Questions:
I've filled in my answers after each question.

1.
What is your first name? Nicole - anyone else think its weird that only skanky girls show up when i search with my name? this was as tasteful as it got...

2.
What is your favorite food? pizza - so good! we went to mezza luna this weekend and it was awesome as usual!

3.
What high school did you go to? Milwaukie High School. this is a picture of the current dance team during a parade - lol i have worn those costumes too many times! how long do they keep those things around? they weren't even remotely new when i wore them!

4.
What is your favorite color? brown.

5.
Who is your celebrity crush? this was hard - grant said it was rob lowe. i thought maybe jake gyllenhall?

6.
Favorite drink? iced nonfat vanilla latte. can you believe when i typed that in a picture of ductch brothers came up?? it was fate

7.
Dream vacation? thailand (there are SO many)

8.
Favorite dessert? pizookie...have you had these? they are sold here. make them at home... half baked cookie with ice cream. sounds simple but i just had a homemade one for the 5th + night in a row...so amazing...

9.
What you want to be when you grow up? mama. (when i asked grant this and he said happy...thought that was a smart answer - i want to be that too.)

10. What do you love most in life? bubba (grant) love the picture of the benches...reminds me of old couples cozying up in a park.

11.
One Word to describe you. assertive. definitely depends on the situation, but there are too many examples of me being assertive to deny that it is deep in me.

12.
Your flickr name. don't have one so i searched for my last name - miller. this tree came up - kind of like a family tree?

that was fun...you should do it now!

happy birthday mama!

{photo from bakerella}

just wanted to take a minute and say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my mom. thank you for everything! i love you!

Monday, June 9, 2008

the McCords were here!


the mccords are on a two week west coast visit and were able to stop in Eugene for a night last week! we had the halliwill's and pellinger's over to visit and just had a good time visiting and catching up. we were so sad to see them go! hopefully someday we'll live closer again!

here is a little video of lilly...i know its not amazingly interesting, but isn't she TOO cute??



video

miss you guys!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

this is why i am marrying him...

posted on his nightstand so he remembers what to do before bed...he likes to have coffee, do a french lesson, and ponder the world in the morning

i found this idea on martha.com. We tried it out to see if we should use it for the wedding. i don't think we will, but it will be great for parties! i know our nicknames are weird...its just how it is though...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

How the Heck???

For one thing... how the heck did I miss Jenni tagging me?? I looked back and sure enough she did and i LOVE being tagged so I don't know what the heck happened... google reader... please don't make me doubt you now.

Since Jess actually saw her tag and responded by tagging me here i go...


4 things i was doing 10 years ago: (had to ask G how old i am now to figure this out... we had to calculate based on the year i was born...hmmm....)

1. Ruling the school as a frosh at Milwaukie High School (actually probably my best year of high school...)
2. Getting hired for my first job as a front desk worker at the North Clackamas Acquatic Park...Gregg?? Patty?? You know how cool that place is right?? Everyone and their mom from MHS worked there
3. Running track (i tried a little of everything that year... 800m, 4x400m, 300m hurdles...)after finishing a season of dance team
4. I have the worst memory... i know i hung out as a part of the fabulous four (me, patty, katie, jill) ...we were friends since grade school/middle school and have since drifted, but all of my best memories from my school days include those girls...

4 things i was doing 5 years ago:

1. Finishing my first year at UO...such a hard year in SO many ways.
2. About to start a job as a checker at WinCo in Tualatin that later transferred to the MUCH less affluent area of Springfield...still need to share stories from this place!
3. Getting over my first serious boyfriend
4.
moving out of bean (thank God!) - fun fact: grant, I, my bro, and his bro all lived there our first years at the university

4 things i did yesterday:

1. Ran for the first time in 6+ months... felt good, but I'm pretty sore!
2. Realized I bought the wrong fusible interfacing for some of my embroidery...very annoying!
3. Fretted over what color kitchenaide mixer to register for so they match the plates we registered for and our future imaginary kitchen (i emailed my bridesmaids for help...weird?)
4. Bought this for my mom for her birthday (mom if you are reading... don't click) - i heart etsy!

4 shows i like to watch:

1. Brothers & Sisters... you people are missing out... go get the first season on dvd...NOW!
2. The Office
3. Six Feet Under (love it, but have to take breaks sometimes...too sad...)
4. Oldies but SUCH goodies... Sex & the City, Friends

...whew... lots of links! i tag Patty, Lindsey AND Sarah, Alisha

i know you are all busy ladies so don't respond if you don't wanna!

Monday, June 2, 2008

time magazine


our lab's research was featured in time magazine here (i organized the press release... huge headache!)

***sorry the link wasn't working...think i've fixed it!