Thursday, July 31, 2008

Amish Country Bread...hmmm...

Ok so I've wanted to try this recipe since i found it here and jenni said it was easy here. Me and my funy self thought making bread without a kitchenaide mixer would be no just have to knead it, right? Ha! I was kneading my little heart out when my flexor muscles started to give out. Luckly G got home right about then and he kneaded for awhile. I didn't know when to stop. I let it rise. It rose. I punched it down and let it rise again - it kind of rose. I baked it and it only half baked. The top started to burn and the inside never really cooked all the way. Not sure exactly where it went wrong, but I think I'll postpone bread making until I have a mixer. My hands are still sore!

We picked it apart and ate the parts that weren't doughy and it was amazing! I hope someday to be so good and efficient at breadmaking that we won't have to buy it...I also really want to use this recipe to make my own conditioner. AND there are several from Angry Chicken about making deodorants and lip balm!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

what? another wedding weekend...

yup! And I suppose there will be precisely 7 more (the number of weekends left til the wedding)! My mom and Lindsey came down and we were so freakin' productive. I seriously felt like the wedding could have happened the next day and it would have all been okay. I SO want to share all our craftiness, but that will have to wait. For now I'll show you how our apartment is officially wedding central and all of the mason jars we cleaned, dried, and tied ribbons to.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Fabric Flowers Rock!

I am blogging out of order, but I'm very excited about these... (i'll share our weekend later)

I've been searching for a good way to make fabric flowers for the wedding. I couldn't afford all the corsages we needed so I thought this would be a cute way to make the corsage's for G's grandmothers. I seriously have about 15 ways to make fabric flowers in my 'wedding' google notebook, but I hadn't found one that was simple enough and cute enough to persuade me to try them. UNTIL I got the In Stitches sewing book by Amy Butler from the library. After I fell in love with just about every project in there I found the greatest way to make a flower from just a little fabric and minimal sewing.

Tonight I dove in and LOVE THEM!!! Here they are hot glued to a piece of ribbon... easiest, cutest corsages EVER! plus they don't get thrown away - I think that makes them good for the environment!

Friday, July 25, 2008


These are both awesome...

Grilled Tuscan Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon
courtesy of martha

Serves 4

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tablespoon dried rosemary

1/4 cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves

Salt and pepper

1 chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), cut into 8 or 10 serving pieces

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

  1. Heat grill to medium. In a small saucepan, bring 1/3 cup water and rosemary to a boil; remove from heat, cover, and let steep 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender. Add oil and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Puree until smooth; let cool.
  2. Combine chicken and rosemary oil in a shallow dish or resealable plastic bag, and turn to coat. Cover, and let marinate at least 15 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator, turning chicken occasionally.
  3. Remove chicken from marinade; place on grill. Discard marinade. Cook, basting frequently with lemon juice and turning as needed to prevent burning, until cooked throughout, 20 to 30 minutes.
***this is amazing - jenni - you would probably be fine to use it just on breasts - i know you aren't in to the with you these days. i skinned mine - grant likes the skin. took a picture of this, but pretty sure they would make it less than appetizing...but trust me - SO good and easy!***

No Bake Strawberry Cream Pie
courtesy of domino


2 lbs. fresh strawberries (about 4 pints), tops removed, plus 4 strawberries, reserved

1 ¼ cups whole milk

¾ cup sugar

5 tbsp. cornstarch

3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

2 ½ cups graham-cracker crumbs

10 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted1 cup heavy cream

1 tbsp. confectioners' sugar

Place 2 pounds strawberries in a blender and blend on high until pureed, about 10 seconds (do in two batches if necessary).

Combine milk, sugar and cornstarch in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, and whisk until dissolved.

Add the strawberry puree and lemon juice. Cook on high heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture is thick and bubbling (about 7 minutes); remove from heat.

Place graham-cracker crumbs in a 10" x 1 ½"-deep pie plate, drizzle with melted butter and mix until all the crumbs are moistened. With the back of a spoon, press evenly into the bottom and sides of the pie plate to form a crust.

Pour strawberry filling into crust and let cool completely (about 30 minutes). Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Just before serving, place heavy cream in a mixing bowl and, with an electric mixer, blend on high until stiff peaks form. Add confectioners' sugar and blend another 10 seconds.

Using a spatula, spread the whipped cream over the filling. Slice reserved strawberries, add to top and serve.

***i just realized i used nonfat milk - didnt even see the word 'whole' it worked out fabulously still, but this may have been why i ended up with WAY more filling than i think i was supposed to. i ended up with two pies. in other news we ate these so quickly we didnt even have time for me to take a picture - in fact they never even met the whipped cream - we just went for it with ice cream***

Thursday, July 24, 2008

1 year ago today

we were engaged. wow. time flies. that was a day of indescribable happiness. if you haven't been to the grand tetons you should go yesterday - they are that great. plus did you know grand tetons means big boobs in french? at least that is what we were told.. ha!

we want to go back. my plan is to spend an anniversary there someday.

happy engagment anniversary babe. we still aren't married?! only a few more months...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


i NEED this saying hung somewhere i will see it every day!

Monday, July 21, 2008

future baby's bib - i know im weird...

i found this bib on etsy today - i may have to get it just because it is made out of a variation of our wedding fabric and for some reason i just find that too funny.

wedding fabric

Sunday, July 20, 2008

2 months and we'll be hitched!

from last weekend's wedding prep...dress fitting, sign making, inventory everything, mock table settings, mock aisle settings, failed veil making, veil buying, cake topper buying...

Its officially REALLY close to the wedding. 8 weeks! All the big stuff feels like it is out of the way and now it is all the little details that are driving me crazy - logistical things like who will pack everything up at the end of the night and where will it be stored until we can deal with it??? arrggh! oh yea and we have to figure out the ceremony... that isn't a big deal or anything right?? we want it to be very 'us' but still kind of traditional...

what have been the best parts of weddings you guys have been to?? best part of a ceremony? details?reception? we'd LOVE to hear!if anyone has any ideas or has been to any weddings that were really personal send them our way!

I guess this means its also only 8 weeks til our honeymoon!!! Have I told you about this place?? its seriously amazing...EVERYTHING is check! drinks? check! tip? check! room service? check! dinner cruise? check! dance club with drinks? check! beach cabanas? check! swim up bar? check! WE.CAN.NOT.WAIT!!!! case anyone is interested...this also means only 4 more weeks of summer school for me. thank God!... we might have to get some immunizations before mexico because of this class... it will make you a germaphob!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

August Rush

a very good PG feel good movie! i LOVED IT!!! put it on your netflix queue NOW!

Friday, July 18, 2008

jon - what would we do without you???

now that the invites are out i want to unveil them on the blog.

i LOVE them. i hate kinkos and USPS but i LOVE LOVE LOVE them.

Jon designed them for us and did an amazing job - its just what we (i) wanted.


they read...

Together with their families Nicole Patrice Miller & Grant Hannigan Simmons invite you to share in a celebration of love, laughter, and friendship as they are joined in marriage.

Then there are instructions to RSVP online...i heart
and you must do it, even if i know you are/aren't coming, because i like to get the little email telling me someone RSVPed and leave a comment, k?

this is what they look like folded up...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

so fun!

remember these guys? well we had dinner with them last week. SO.MUCH.FUN!!! i can't choose just a few so here is the slideshow of our night. we played bocce ball, basketball, had amazing ceasar salad, and grilled nectarines!

oh and maggie tried her flowergirl dress on for us... too freakin' cute! she wore it all night.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


that is what grant called us before we left... he also suggested that this must be 'the night of long skirts'...ha!

kendra insisted we get dressed up and go out. i obliged her, albeit reluctantly, and we had lots of fun. we went to PF Changs (where else do you go in Eugene when you want to get dressed up?? not many options...) we felt a little on display, but we had so much fun. and one lady even came up to us to tell us how great we looked!

my drink was INCREDIBLY strong - if you want your money's worth get the Mai Tai... I was hammered.

this night made me realize how much i miss going out with girlfriends dressed up...i vow to do it more often!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

i heart the US postal service

...she said facetiously...

let me tell you a little story about our wedding invitations and the USPS. as you might have noticed the envelopes are square. i was about to put regular stamps on them and remembered that square envelopes require additional postage. i brought one of the invites with the 42 cent stamps i had to the post office and asked the lady how much more postage they required. 20 more cents. ok not a huge deal i will just exchange my 42 cent stamps for the 62 cent stamps (excited because i liked the image on these much better). nope. you can't exchange stamps...what?? why?? you just can't. ok what are my options for a second stamp... a clock or a butterfly...yuck. i reluctantly stuck 100 butterfly stamps on our invitations and sent them off.

the following day i mailed out a few more invites in the morning. that afternoon i came home to a key in our little mail box. this is very exciting! it means that there was a package that was too big and had to go in a larger mail box. open it up.. 100 invites! they need 17 more cents?? WHAT!?!?! apparently the woman at the post office was out of her mind! arrgggh! I took the envelopes to yet another post office to confirm for the last time. yes. need 17 more cents. ok. what are my options? a ram. sweet. lets just add those to the heart (barf) and butterfly (BARF!)...

so if you recieved a lovey dovey zoo-esque envelope we are very sorry!

oh but wait. there is more. remember those few envelopes i mailed out after the initial bunch and before i knew more postage was required? oh don't worry. those didn't need an additional ram stamp. those all arrived just fine.

what the f***???????

Friday, July 11, 2008

bridal jewelery sneak peak...

i was so intimidated to try and make my jewelery, but i tried and it was successful! yay! here is a little taste...gotta come to the wedding (or check here for pictures after!) to see the real thing!

Spot Shot

Brett reminded me that I should tell y'all about this stuff. Its freakin' amazing! I picked it up when we moved in to our apt because we had brand new cream carpet. I just grabbed it off the shelf at Dollar Tree cuz it was the only carpet cleaner and it was a DOLLAR of course!

I'm pretty sure it was about three days later we had a full glass of red wine spilled. We went for it with spot shot and it was instantly gone - no scrubbing, waiting, multiple attempts - just one shot and it was gone. Who knows what horrible chemicals are in it making it work, but whatever I want my deposit back!

We've since cleaned up grease, several more glasses of wine, bleach (yea i spilled a bottle of full concentration bleach on the carpet upstairs and it didnt do anything!)... its the should get it.

I can't find it at dollar tree so it may have graduated to costing more than $1.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

and they're off.

i sent 100 envelopes out today - guess that means this thing is really happening. wow.

9.20.08 - be there or be square!

wedding weekend number 837...

19 table runners in 1 day...WOW!

the following day was spent on various other wedding tasks, including but not limited to beginning the task of removing SKU stickers from 300 glass plates. Why do they put those on EVERYTHING???

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Pop-Up Pancakes

I have had this as a recipe idea for awhile. We finally made them this weekend. Don't they look amazing?? Unfortunately they were just ok. I'm not sure if I did everything right, but I also had never had german pancakes - which these are supposed to emulate - are they supposed to be like a doughy scrambled egg?

Grant liked them. I found them edible. They were filling. I might have to experiment. I just expected something so much lighter than what I got. Here is the recipe. Let me know if you try them!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Congratulating Dr. Pellinger!

Tom defended his dissertation today... did fabulous (not surprisingly) and we are so excited that the famed Pellingers get to move on from the oppression that accompanies earning a PhD. Tom will start as a prof at Fitchburg State College in the fall & Donna will continue to work in fund raising. We'll miss ya'll!

Let the voting begin!!!

Go vote for my color board at style me pretty!!!

Just go here and type VOTE in the comments section...

Here are is the full explanation for you slower folks!

Let the Voting Begin!

After five full days of gorgeous color palettes, it's time to start voting for our favorites. I know, this is going to be so hard as there were so many that jumped off the page, but...I know that we can do it! You will be voting on the following criteria:

1. How well does the board reflect the actual image that inspired it?
2. How cohesive is the palette in terms of color and style?
3. Are you instantly drawn to it?

Please only vote ONCE (it's so much easier for me to track if you only vote once), by simply writing the word "VOTE" in the comments section under the board that you like the best. All of the boards can be seen in the Contests section of our website. The winner will receive a $250 gift certificate to the online store of their choice!

Voting will end at midnight on Thursday, July 10th. I will announce the winner at the end of the day on Friday, the 11th. Good luck to everyone whose entries were featured!

PS - For those of you that sent me boards, I am going to hold on to them for our next contest! They were all great, really great and I can't wait to show them off!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Tortilla Tales

maybe I think he's funny because we are related, but I seriously find my brother one of the most hilarious people EVER. oh man... last week he had Lindsey and I in stitches! Just picture this... 1 gay waiter (he tried to tell them, but they never got it), 1 cook who likes to comment on "the hot tits at table four", and a frat boy waiter who likes to tap a little ass after a good tip. so freaking hilarious!

anyway, he is spending the summer in mexico for a medical internship and created a blog to keep everyone updated. he posted the first of many adventures today. so freaking funny. made my day - the laughter was endlessly needed!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

wanna sparkle??

i found some amazing jewelery cleaner recently! its called something new and i bought it because my engagement ring, the most expensive thing i have ever owned or been given, was all grimy and gross. it had lost its luster - had to perk it back up!

its soo much easier and less scary than leaving your ring (or other jewelery) with a mall jeweler to clean. PLUS it doesn't have any harsh chemicals! i love it - you should get it!

(p.s. that is what my ring will look like with the band!)

Friday, July 4, 2008

A lifesaver! and something funny...

I dont know about all of you, but we have a SERIOUS problem with smelly (more specifically: mildew) towels. It drives me INSANE! i can't handle getting all clean and then drying off to smell horrible. So I set out to figure out the best way to rid my towels without throwing them all out.I found a super cheap and easy method and so far it seems to have worked wonderfully!

The Savior : White Vinegar!

1. Start your washing machine to run with hot water. Add 1 - 2 cups white vinegar (no detergent or fabric softener yet). Run the washer.

2. Leave the towels in and wash the same towels just as you normally would with laundry soap and hot water. No fabric softener or anything else though.

3. Dry the load with high heat.

Works so well! I've been washing every single towel we own all day!

On a less exciting note - france is officially not going to happen. Many of you know this, but I figured I should just get it all out there in the open. We are bummed. totally bummed. (ewww... that saying always reminds me of this EVIL woman i used to work with) Hopefully we will get another chance to live abroad some day - maybe for a sabbatical?? In the mean time we need to figure what the hell we are going to do come January - so we've been researching schools i can go to and G can do his post doc at. He is interested in several people in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area of Texas so today we were looking around at nursing programs for me. I came across Texas Woman's University (ps wouldnt the proper way to name a university be woMEN's?? or is it just a university of 1 texas woMAN??)

anyway, they have one of the programs Im interested in so I was perusing the pre-reqs and came across this as a requirement:

Government (US & Texas)

What?? yes - to get into this school you have to take 6! credits in Texas government. I looked further to see if you could get in and then take it. Nope - gotta take it prior to admission to the nursing school. I know Texas is big and proud, but seriously am i going to need an education in Texas government to be a successful caregiver??

oh, and Happy Fourth of July!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Olympic Trials in Track Town USA

this little guy wanted to see all the action too!

entrance to the festival surrounding the track

grant is a pimp. (in track town USA)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

wedding mania!

lindsey came down this weekend and we were very productive with the wedding! we got all of the invites folded, enveloped, and labeled. and also made a very fun flower adorned wedding craft! can you believe it is 2.5 months away???

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

ptown with kendra and YUCK!

kendra and i spent the end of last week in portland for work. we ended up driving a ridiculous amount, but overall had lots of fun. we even had some down time we spent at Bridgeport Village and on 23rd (& Burnside).

our fabulous hat model!

we went out Friday night with some of my friends all the way back to elementary school! i had lots of fun, but we didn't end up getting as crazy as we wanted to!

on a completely unrelated note... look at this!

YUCK do you want to know what it is? a slightly freezer burned (i know, but we are poor, k?) piece of chicken that i was defrosting to make kabobs. do you see that thing in it? oh don't worry its just a SCREW!! What?? how the heck?? So gross! it was embedded in the chicken. maybe we really do need to stop buying meat at winco???? im gagging a little.

oh. also. if that wasnt' gross enough - i learned yesterday in my micro class that the FDA thinks its ok for there to be pus in the US milk supply. i seriously pucked in my mouth a little. so gross! i immediately bought growth hormone free milk because that tends to have less. organic is the best, but who can afford over $6 a gallon??