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Christmas Vacation!


I hope all of you are having a delightful holiday season! I tell you, it has been a total and complete *whirlwind* around our little shoebox the last week. I still ended up catching that cold, despite pumping my body full of every cold remedy imaginable. 2 different kinds of Zicam, Mucinex, Airborne, vitamins, NyQuil at night! I felt like a walking pharmacy, but still didn't do much good.

I feel very thankful that I spent the previous few days picking up the house before the cold came down...Turns out, I misunderstood when my parents were coming into town- until my mom called Saturday morning to tell me they were just getting on the plane. Great! Nothing wakes you up out of a NyQuil coma like realizing you have 24 less hours than expected to prep for week-long house guests. I don't think I've ever jumped out of bed so quickly in my life!

Luckily, all was settled by the time they got in. Cold or no cold, we had one of the most fun weekends I can remember! The weather was quite wonderful, we ate more food than I could have possibly imagined, and saw some amazing sights. We heard the St. Thomas' Boys Choir on Christmas Eve, saw Clay Aiken prancing around in tights at Spamalot, toured the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier museum for Papa Martini's birthday, ate coal-fired pizza in Little Italy, and took the parents to an authentic Peking dinner in Chinatown. There was also a Mad Men marathon to introduce my parents to the show, and plenty of cheerful holiday cocktails consumed. Mama Martini even made her traditional Thanksgiving dinner spread on Christmas Day, complete with turkey *and* Tofurkey, to complete the week. Pure bliss.

My parents left this morning, and we've been recovering all day on the couch. Our roommate Ben has friends in from Japan for New Years Eve, and my Maid of Honor and her fiance comes into town to stay with us tomorrow. That will make it a total of 7 people sharing a tiny little 2 bedroom apartment, and only one bathroom! 'Tis the Season, right?!? I can't wait to recap how the second part of our marathon holiday season goes...

Happy almost New Year!

xoxo,
Lulu
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Minor Freakout...


You know how sometimes a cold can just seem to hit you out of the blue? I've been merrily rocking out to the Classical Holiday Songs channel on those nifty cable TV music channels, humming Deck The Halls loudly (and quite poorly, mind you, as poor Lulu is tone deaf) as I clean our room and do some last-minute filing.

*BAM*

Headachy, watery eyed, sore-throated misery has just hit me like a ton of bricks. I know this feeling ALL too well, as it's what came upon me the night before our house guest arrived for Thanksgiving (and subsequently kept me bedridden for 8 days.)

Am now downing mass quantities of Airborne, and scouring the house for some kind of Zicam product. Am seriously contemplating the creation of an Airborne-tini (alcohol kills the germs, right?) but have to babysit this evening. Am thinking it would be poor form to show up inebriated to mind an 18 month old for the evening. But maybe that's just me.

Do any of you have remedies you rely on to kick a cold as it's coming on?

xoxo,
Lulu
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Let It Snow!


Happy Friday! I can't tell you how excited I am that it's the weekend (despite basically every day being a weekend day for me now...), maybe I just love having Mr. Wonderful home for 2 solid days to entertain me. Unemployment can be lonely, you know?! haha

As I type, it is SNOWING like crazy here in Manhattan. I love it!!! It's coming down in soft, fluffy flakes, and almost looks like powdered sugar being sprinkled from the sky... All this powdered sugar talk is making me want to go out and buy cupcake baking supplies.

(I'm going to go on a little rant now to get some things off my chest, apologies in advance. I promise I'll have more fun posts today since this snow has me feeling quite festive)

I had a not-so-productive meeting this morning at the Department of Labor; it was so bizarre to sit in a room full of people that are all going through the same situation I am right now. I kept wondering what they used to do for work, and if their job search was any more productive than mine is currently. We had a ton of forms to fill out, stating previous work experience, desired salary, etc. I may or may not have peeked around me to see what other people's answers were to the questions...The girl sitting next to me was my age, and had a desired *minimum* salary of $120,000. The gal across from me wrote her minimum as $150,000(also my age). I about had to pick my jaw off the floor. Only in Manhattan.

After we went through their little info session, I was one of the randomly selected people who had to meet with a "career counselor" to discuss my resume, etc. Productive, right? Ummm.... notsomuch. The lady spent the entire hour raving about how politicians are so corrupt, how she hates how everything is outsourced overseas because she can't understand the call center employees... I don't think I've ever been witness to a more politically incorrect and inappropriate conversation! I felt like a deer in headlights; all I could do was just stare at her and not when she asked me questions (which she didn't really even do). I'm not much of a letter writer, but I'm thinking her supervisor needs to be informed (not like the supervisor's not already, as the crazy lady mentioned to me that someone complained about her to her super earlier that very day.) I just prayed for an end to the madness, and was finally dismissed. Sweet relief.

Okay, rant over. I just needed to get that off my chest.

On a brighter note, Mama and Papa Martini will be in town in just 4 days! I haven't seen them since August, so I'm more than excited for the 23rd to get here. We don't have many big plans, aside from watching movies and cooking yummy food. Our big highlight of the week (besides Christmas!) will be going to an evening showing of Spamalot. My family and I are big Monty Python fans, so it should be a real hoot.

The rest of this weekend will be spent babysitting (tonight), and then lots of cleaning and preparing for our guests to arrive. I'll also be making a big pot of chili to have ready for them, so will finally get that recipe out to you ladies today! Hooray for winter comfort food!

I hope you're having a warm and wonderful Friday afternoon!
xoxo,
Lulu
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Confession Time...


I'm surprisingly embarrassed to admit this one, but here goes...

I am an eBay virgin.

There. I said it.

I have neither bought nor sold anything on eBay, and will admit that I'm a bit nervous to do so. I haven't the slightest idea WHY I've felt this way, but for some reason the eBay machine has just intimidated me.

No longer, ladies, no longer. I've decided to jump in with both feet, and am going to start selling things on eBay this weekend. Well, make that I'm going to go through all the sappy little tutorials on HOW to sell things on eBay this weekend. And take copious notes, hoping I'll learn it all the first time around and can therefore make the big bucks.

I'm calling out an SOS to all you savvy eBay mavens- any tips for the eBay novice? I'll be starting out slow, mostly clothing from my closet, etc. (There will be J. Crew in the mix, just an FYI!) Other than that, I'm wondering if you have any tried-and-true sales tips? Any and all eBay advice is welcome, as I'm starting with little knowledge on how to post items for sale.

Happy almost Friday, my lovelies!

xoxo,
Lulu
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Obsession Du Jour


I have fallen deeply in love... with a commercial. Not just any commercial, mind you, but the new Miss Dior Cherie commercial directed by Sophia Coppola. It's so bright, cheery, and tres Parisian... And I am now OBSESSED with the song "Moi, je Joue" by Brigitte Bardot.

I can't help but do a little happy dance every time I play this video... Enjoy!




xoxo,
Lulu
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Weekend Holiday Tag!


I was tagged by Mrs. Jetplane for a Candy Cane tag, so fun! The instructions are to Copy, Paste, Answer, Add a Question, Tag the 3 bloggers with the most recent updates on your blog feed/roll, let them know they've been tagged in a comment, and learn about your fellow bloggers.

So...here are the questions and my answers:

1. What is your favorite Christmas Movie? National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. I even have the Cousin Eddie down pat:

2. Favorite Christmas Song? I'd have to say it's an old, obscure country Christmas song called "Colorado Christmas" by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. The chorus says "the closest thing to heaven on this planet anywhere in a quiet Christmas morning in the Colorado snow". Whenever I think of childhood Christmas memories, singing that song with my parents is the first thing I think of.

3. Favorite Holiday Memory? The first "family" Christmas I spent with my parents and Mr. Wonderful (and the first time he met my father, yikes! haha). He was living in the Middle East at the time, but flew halfway across the world to spend Christmas with us. We picked him up at the Denver airport, and then drove to the mountains to spend a snowy Christmas at my family ski cabin. The entire weekend was a cherished memory, but what sticks out most is hitting the ski lodge I practically grew up in, and introducing him to the bartender that's been a staple there my entire life. He decided some new family schenanigans bonding was in order, and this was the result:


(That would be a parabolic ski, retrofitted with 4 shotglass holders. You say trouble, I say teamwork.)


4. What is your favorite cookie/treat to make? I don't have much of a sweet tooth, nor do I have any baking skills, so I'll just say whatever Mama Martini makes for us.

5. Have you ever made an igloo? We tried many times as kids, but never got it right.

6. Do you love Starbucks? Sorry I certainly do! We used to make daily holiday runs to the 'bucks during winter break in high school, and consumed far too many Caramel Apple Ciders for our own good.

7. What makes the perfect Snowman? I agree with Mrs. Jetplane, creative accessories are a must! And, in the event you don't have any accessories, a little ingenuity goes a loooong way.


(Frosty the Microbrew Snowman)

I don't know where 8 went? It doesn't seem to be on anyone else's Candy Cane Tag! haha

9. Best gift you have ever received? I was fortunate enough to receive the ultimate little girl Christmas present when I was around 8 - my very own horse. His name was Grits, and he was beautiful. He was also very mean, and liked everybody else but me to ride him.

10. What is the snowman's name on Rudolph? No clue? Sad, I'm failing Christmas trivia!

11.Silver or Gold? Silver

12. What is your favorite Christmas decoration? A set of 3 Christmas tree decorations I purchased at Costco. They're about 2 feet tall, and are wild, bright, abstract pieces. They look very Cat In The Hat.

13. What's your Christmas decorating style? Since we don't have any room to store Christmas decorations in this apartment, we don't do ANY Christmas decorating... *tear*... I look forward to having our own house one day, so we can go crazy with the decor.

14. Do you hang stockings? We do, but they're at my parents' house. Mama Martini brings them every year for us, and then takes them back when she leaves (again, no storage room). I've had the same stocking since birth, it has this crazy pastel unicorn on it (!?!) but I love it.

15. How many days do you celebrate Christmas? From the day after Thanksgiving! We leave our tree up until the day after Epiphany, January 7th.

16. What was your favorite ornament on the tree as a child? I remember a little wooden toy soldier-type thing, that did jumping jack moves when you pulled his string.

17. Where will you be spending this Christmas? My parents and their little dog Lulah will be staying with us here in NYC. I cannot tell you how excited I am!!


(Lulah, caught rummaging through the presents last Christmas)


18. When you do open presents? We used to open presents from relatives on Christmas Eve, and then all our presents for each other on Christmas.

I'm passing this on to the 3 in my Reader with the latest additions...
1. Sweet Bea Blogs
2. Nina Knows Best (I know she was tagged with me, but I haven't seen the post yet! *Nudge*
3. Misadventures of a Newlywed
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I'm A Bad Girlfriend...


This morning, still in a half-coma under the covers and listening to the background sounds of Mr. Wonderful getting ready for work, I suddenly had a revelation. One that popped my eyes wide open in shock, remeniscent of the moment the mom in Home Alone realizes they've left Kevin at home.

We'd both forgotten our anniversary.

The 3 year milestone of the start to our relationship had come and gone without so much as the bat of an eyelash.

In the grand scheme of things, forgetting an anniversary isn't on par with say, leaving your 8 year old to fend for himself for an entire week while you're stuck in Paris. And I am aware of the fact that we successfully celebrated many of our other pseudo-anniversaries this year- the surprise dinner at The Central Park Boathouse on our 'negative 1 anniversary' (aka the 1 year mark before our wedding day). There were also the surprise Crumbs cupcakes Mr. W came home with, in honor of the date we first officially met each other:


We also have our one year 'engage-aversary' coming up on New Years Eve (aren't you loving all my anniversary titles?), which we plan on celebrating with a nice dinner out on the town.

As you can see, there has been no lack of celebration this year between the Mr. and I. But, to be perfectly honest, I was looking forward to paying special attention to our official 3 year anniversary. You see, Dear Reader, while celebrating my birthday this year, my sweet, proper, chic grandmother said something that really struck me - "You had better savor this birthday, young lady! It's the last year you'll ever celebrate your birthday as an (insert maiden name here)!" Of course, this was right before I opened her sweet, proper, chic birthday card and found a check that I was directed to use for 'buying yourself some nice lingerie'... I digress.

My last birthday as a (insert maiden name here)?!? EVER?!? Commence waterworks.

It finally hit me that I would be getting MARRIED soon. While many things would clearly be no different after the wedding then they were before - I know my gal pals would still call me the same nickname, even though it's a derivative of the last name I no would no longer have - symbolically, life would be a lot different.

I know that as soon as we get married, all of those other symbolic anniversaries will probably be swept under the rug, or just acknowledged with something very small - "Look Lulu, I cleaned the toilet for you today so you didn't have to, since it's officially 6 years after we met for the first time in that class!" - I kind of feel like this was the last time we could officially celebrate our 'dating' anniversary, and I blew it.

Le sigh...

xoxo,
Blair
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Wedding Wednesday!


We can check off another LARGE milestone on this week's wedding Wednesday - the invitations!

A few weeks back, I sat back with a calculator and asked this wedding to show me the money. Well, ladies? It couldn't. Why, you ask? Because it had all been spent! GASP! How was it possible that we had already allocated all of our budget, and weren't even CLOSE to finished yet?! No big deal, only a few minor details left to cover... like the invitations, ALL reception decorations, a DJ, tuxes... OUT OF CONTROL.

Needless to say, I had more than a minor freak out over the situation. Add in the fact that I have no additional income to contribute (every cent I receive from unemployment goes to fixed expenses like rent and utilities), and actually had to take ALL the money I'd saved up for the honeymoon and make it my safety net in the event unemployment wouldn't cover the basic necessities needed to get by. Obvi a pretty grim situation to face 5 months before the wedding.

I feel SO blessed and fortunate to say that my parents decided to help me out with the cost of invitations. We weighed many options, but in the end decided to outsource the invitations in exchange for deciding to do ALL the reception decor, favors, and potentially all flowers ourselves. Fair enough, I thought, as I certainly have additional time in my schedule to research and pull off the ultimate DIY reception.

There was one person I knew I could trust to pull off the perfect wedding suite for us. Our goddess of all things paper, Laura Hooper, gladly took on the job of designing a unique and personal wedding invitation that would still fit into our ever-shrinking wedding budget. We couldn't have been more pleased with our Save The Dates, so we had every confidence that the invitations would turn out fantastically.

And boy, ladies, did they ever.

We didn't have an extremely specific idea of what we wanted, other than the ultimate desire of fitting letterpress somewhere into the overall suite. I am absolutely, positively addicted to the art of letterpress. We decided to go very minimalist, starting with just the script choice we both loved, one of Laura's styles called Rosen. Mr. Wonderful commented that it looked kind of like script from the U.S. Constitution, which was a VERY high complement from my old-fashioned man. The other requests we asked for were some kind of flourish to jazz it up, and the incorporation of a symbol that has serious meaning in our household - the fleur-de-lis.

As a die-hard, gung-ho Kappa Kappa Gamma, the fleur-de-lis holds a very special place in my heart. I think that my Kappa sisters will especially appreciate the addition of the fleur-de-lis, as there are many inside jokes that have bound us over that particular symbol. Our house is covered with tasteful fleur-de-lis, from bookends to drinking glasses, so Mr. W is a big fan as well.

I've decided to resist ALL temptation right now, and will not be showing you a picture of the invitation in this particular post. But- I have good reason for it, I promise! Laura was so pleased with the final design she pulled together, that she'll now be offering our invitation suite as part of her permanent design collection! Is that not *beyond* exciting!?! And, to top it off, she's calling it the "Blair"! An entire suite of wedding stationery, named after me. I can't even begin to tell you how flattered and excited I am! Total dream come true for this paper addict. Mr. W loved the idea as well, and has now been calling me "The Blair" for the past week in honor of Laura's announcement. "How's The Blair today? Did The Blair have a good afternoon?" ha.

I'll reveal the final design as soon as Laura adds it to her website, both to give proper credit where credit is due, and to keep the wedding guests who read this blog (hi, ladies!) in a bit of suspense. No point in revealing ALL the goodies before the event has even taken place!

xoxo,
Lulu
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When It Rains...


Rainy day here in the NYC, girlies... Rain is honestly my favorite kind of weather. However, you know how sometimes you just have "one of those days" when it's gloomy outside? And especially one of those days where, as perfectly pulled together as you may be in normal life, you're suddenly the most unprepared person in the entire world? Yah, that was my morning this morning.

Tough time getting out of bed to get ready for an 11am meeting on the other side of town, all I wanted to do was catch up on your blogs! I finally started to leave at the last possible minute, and then realized while packing my bag that I didn't have a current resume with me. The smallest detail, having my most recent work timeline changed from " 6/08 - Present" to "6/08 - 11/08" is apparently a big deal in resume world. I RAN back to the room, restarted the slowest computer on earth (aka my laptop) and tried to print the revised copies.

I was out of black ink.

Naturally, we didn't have any replacement cartridges. And of course, I had no time to run 20 blocks to the closest Kinkos to print out new copies. So, I decided to just do my best and try to print with the darkest non-black ink I could think of. Result? A professionally formatted resume printed in olive green. Bleh.

Ugly, unprofessional green resume in hand, I took the stairs to the lobby 2 by 2 to catch the train on time. Oh! Looky there! It's all of a sudden pouring outside! Did I bring the umbrella? Of course not. Back up 3 flights of stairs, grab the umbrella, and back outside. I'd clearly passed the window where I could take the 2 subway trains needed, and still have a buffer in case the trains were delayed. Time to begrudgingly hail a cab, as I don't have any room in the monthly budget for such a "luxury".

It took me more than 5 minutes to find an available cab, which wasn't a big surprise considering the way things had already started to go. Once in the cab, I think the driver took me for a tourist and decided to take a little detour around the city. Note to all you girls visiting NYC anytime soon- I've found that a fair amount of cab drivers will work you for an extra bit of fare by taking you through slow, busy, traffic (ie Times Square during rush hour). I was so busy catching up on e-mail that I forgot to explicitly tell the driver which route I wanted to take- and suddenly found myself close to Times Square in morning rush hour. After telling him that I needed to be on the other side of the island VERY quickly, he detoured... To the far left side of Manhattan. And I needed to be all the way across town in about 10 minutes. STRESS!

I made it to my appointment with 10 minutes to spare, which was 5 minutes later that I'd like to have been. (A little Lulu 101 - I'm at least 15 minutes early to ANY place I need to be, always. I'm terrified of ever being late to an appointment).

Happily, the rest of my day has turned out a bit better. They're currently filming the TV pilot "Cupid" the next block over from me, and I can see the film crew hard at work from my window. Maybe they'll see me hard at work on the laptop, and want to hire me as part of the film crew? Ha.

I have some VERY exciting Wedding Wednesday news for you, more to come soon!

xoxo,
Lulu
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Oh NO You Didn't...


I'd like to take a blogging opportunity this morning to do some serious tattling. On Mr. Wonderful. You gals have become a serious bargaining chip in the household of the Wonderful-to-be's... Admittedly, the phrase "I'm telling my blogger girls on you!" may or may not come out of my mouth on a semi-regular basis. I don't usually go through with it, as the thought of Mr. W calling me a 'dobber' all day (the Aussie word for 'tattletale') isn't very appealing. But we had a serious case of insert-foot-in-mouth last night, ladies, which I'd like to call to your attention:

Scene: Last night on the Wonderful's couch, after a late dinner in front of the television.

Mr. Wonderful: "I need to start eating better. All I ever eat is junk."


Lulu: "I beg your pardon?"

Mr. W: "I said all I ever eat is junk, unhealthy food. I need to start eating healthier."


Insert the sound of Mr. W's foot landing swiftly in his mouth.

Lulu: "Ahem... I cook every meal we eat in this house. And every meal comes from Cooking Light or Vegetarian Times, and is made with healthy ingredients and love. Are you trying to tell me that my food is junk?"

Now there are many things I can take with a grain of salt, but comments about my cooking? No siree. Needless to say, I'm getting a little bloggy vengeance on Mr. W. Thank you for letting me tattle to you girls ;)

xoxo,

Lulu

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Yay for Yellow!


Happy Friday, ladies! Thank you all so very much for the good luck wishes on this morning's interview... I just don't know what I'd do without you lovely girls in my life! I never quite know how those things go until I receive the ultimate feedback, but I'm staying very optimistic. It's really the opportunity of a lifetime- I just hope that it's my time to receive such an opportunity! I'll keep you posted.

On to the yellow!!! As you now know, we've decided to go with citrus-themed colors for our outdoor garden wedding. The girls in my bridal party really are a huge ray of sunshine in my life, so it's very fitting that they'll be in shades of yellow and marigold. Lo and behold, while winding down the evening last night, I came across this article- it made my night!

Yellow: 2009's Bright Spot

Talk about a jackpot! It turns out that yellow is predicted to be THE color for 2009! The folks at Pantone are predicting that yellow will be hot, hot, hot this upcoming spring. I would have loved our wedding colors anyway, but I must say I'm digging them that much more now that I know we'll be in fashion! What a fun way to start the weekend...

xoxo,
Lulu
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Nighty Night!


BlackBerry post time again, curled uo under our *brand new* bedding, which came today! It's uber cute, tres Restoration Hardware but without the price tag. Fitting transition from our mismatched sheets to when we actually have a real newlywed bedroom, in a real newlywed lovenest (hold your breath on that one...). I'm going to refrain from sending photos until I finish the bed up, have a few more tricks up my sleeve first.

Pretty please say a little prayer for me tonight! I have a big interview tomorrow, here's to hoping it goes well. I must say, I've had a swell day with you ladies, and look forward to a blog-filled day tomorrow, big things going on (interview recap! My first internet nod as a member of the press! Chili recipes! And more!).

I'll leave you with this little nightcap- I was walking through the drool-worthy shoes I posted about earlier with Mr. W tonight, and pointed to the blue Loubis. "See that red shoe sole honey? What does that mean?" I asked. "Louuuuboutins" he begrudgingly said (with a smile). Good man.

Happy almost weekend!
Xoxo,
Lulu
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Google Analytics, Solved!


Thanks to my darling Mojito Maven for giving me a polite smack on the forehead and bringing me back to blogging earth. Goodness knows our dear Google apps set (gmail, blogger, analytics) would never make anything difficult for us! I learned that I did it the correct way (thanks, MM!) but that you need to wait at least 24 hours for Google Analytics to collect all your data, etc.

I highly recommend you blogging ladies all download it! It looks like it's it's brimming with cool data to be collected and served up on a free platter for you. Maybe it's just the data geek in me, but wouldn't you want to know how many visitors pop by your little blog haven and why? I think so.

xoxo,
Lulu
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Google Analytics, Anyone?


Lulu here, having some serious technical difficulties on the Google Analytics front. I've decided to jump on the bandwagon and see what all the fuss is about (particularly to figure out all the weird search terms that lead people to this little neck of the woods!), but am not sure I'm understanding the right way to go about things.

Did you gals copy and paste the code provided into the Blog Post body part of the layout? Or somewhere else? Please don't tell me I have to add it into the html of every blog post?! Egads.

Any help on getting the big GA up and running would be greatly appreciated!

xoxo,
Lulu
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Update from LuluLand...


I've had a very productive week thus far, meeting with various headhunters and prepping for a big interview tomorrow morning (fingers crossed!) I must say, for being unemployed, I've had a very productive 2 months! I don't watch midday TV, I don't sleep in (too) late, and I try to stay in a perpetual state of job application/wedding planning motion.

But today? Just. Not. Feeling. It. The 3-part master list that has been ruling my life for the last month - Wedding/Job Search/Mr. Wonderful's Grad School Apps- is tucked in my bag, and I'm lounged on the couch. In my pjs. At noon. I feel guilty, ladies... I really do. But I just can't get my little backside off of the couch (aside from refilling my coffee, that is). I really just feel like catching up on the blog, and polishing off my Google Reader queue (730 unread posts yesterday, kids! Why do we do this to ourselves!?) Much like my dear friend Nina's What's In My Inbox Tuesdays, I guess today will be What's In My Head Thursdays. Que the Update from LuluLand.

***********
I'm watching a makeover show on HGTV right now, and they were pulling off a really amazing bathroom reno... Until they put in a combination toilet paper/iPod station. It's like an iHome with a TP roll attachment. Really? I mean come on. Really.

***********

Since we decided to do do pink shoes for the bridesmaids, I've been on the hunt. My original inspiration was this cover of Brides Magazine, which I'm sure many of you are familiar and equally obsessed with:


I mean come ON. Total, unequivocal hotness. Though I'm slowly teaching Mr. W the virtues of all things Louboutin, the probability I'll be rocking those lovelies on my wedding day is obvi slim-to-none. I'm currently scouting acceptable replacements (kate spade has a cute pair I've been eyeing this morning), but nothing has made my heart go pitter-pat quite the way those Loubis did.

***********

Speaking of Loubi, are these not the perfect "something blue"? If these came in shades of pink, I think I'd consider selling a kidney on the black market in order to bankroll them.


************

Oooh! I almost forgot to tell you- do you remember that bedding I blogged about after Halloween here? Mama Martini decided to buy it for us as an early Christmas gift. Hooray! It was a whopping $90, including shipping, so she doesn't feel so guilty about breaking our No Christmas Present rule this year. I will be more than happy to retire Mr. W's bachelor bedding, and give our room a more pulled-together look.

Well lovelies, I think it's about time for me to get off my behind and get moving on my day. I'm plotting to make a MAJOR batch of chili tonight, so I need to get out my little granny grocery cart and wheel over to the store. I'll post the recipe soon- it's vegetarian, SUPER easy, and very WW friendly. Mr Wonderful thinks it's one of the best chilis he's had as well, so it's still man friendly minus the meat.

Hope you have a happy Thursday!

xoxo,

Lulu

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I Die...


When I first moved to NYC, Mr. Wonderful surprised me with some *b-e-a-utiful* stationery from Dabney Lee Stationers, a delightful little company run by the wife of Mr. W's then-boss. I cannot EVEN tell you how much I still fawn over my little pink and green lovelies. I almost have a difficult time writing on them and sending them away, because I savor them so much!

Well, well, well, let me let you ladies in on a little secret that's being blown wide open today. Dabney is starting a home brand! And this isn't just any home brand, girls... It's something that will make your pretty little jaws drop wide open with excitement, I'd be willing to venture.

The New York Times Home section is profiling some of Dabney's wares as the 'It' buy for hard-to-shop holiday cases. How exciting is that!?

I'd like to officially introduce you to Dabney Lee at Home... Commence swooning.

What is your favorite piece of the collection???

xoxo,
Lulu
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Wedding Wednesday!


The bridesmaids dresses have been CHOSEN! And ordered! And boy, oh boy, did my 'maids get a smokin' deal! Don't you just love J. Crew?!? Thanks to the mouth-watering sales J. Crew has been offering over the last few weeks, some of them got their bridesmaids dresses for as little as $60 before shipping! Considering the original dress I had my eye on for them was $275, I'm sure happy that it took me so long to make a final decision on the dresses!
I'd like to introduce you to the bridal party's wedding wardrobe (minus my dress, of course, as I know Mr. Wonderful creeps by here from time to time)... As an overarching theme, we've decided to go with citrus colors for our event, since it'll be an afternoon garden reception. Mouth-watering shades of yellows, oranges, greens... Very fun and vibrant, just how I like it!


Without further ado...

My Maid of Honor, Roey, will stand out slightly from the rest of the girls in her Claudia dress in sour lemon:




My other bridesmaids- Lonnie (who reads my blog frequently, hi Lon!), Willy, Sister Wonderful, Megs, and my god sister Rach will each choose one of the following styles in marigold:




Lonnie received a dress today, and by her description I think the color most closely resembles the first of the 3 dresses? It was la bit nerve wracking to pick a color without actually seeing it, but I think that we've done well overall! The 'maids seem to be happy, and you really can't beat that price!

Lonnie and I are having a serious strategy session about accessories via BlackBerry Messenger (do you not LOVE that program!? Hello, free text messaging!), and are now plotting and scheming about shoe options. I'm going to have every gal pick her own pair of shoes, in order to make sure it's something she likes and will definitely wear again. We've decided against gold shoes, and I don't think everyone would like my suggestion to Lonnie of platform lucite heels a la Shauna Sand (or The Empress of Lucite, as she's known on D-Listed). Can't you just see these lovlies clickity-clacking down the aisle of my church?

I kid. We did, however come up with a pretty brilliant idea - pink shoes. I know you all are well aware of Mr. Wonderful's No Pink policy when it comes to the wedding colors, but Lonnie and I summarily decided that bridesmaid shoes don't count. I decided to rock some seriously pink stilettos under my wedding gown long ago, so I think that all of us having fun pink shoes would be a great little girlie thing! It's my "something pink", if you will! Please let me know if you see any cute pink shoes out there, we're totally open for cute suggestions!

xoxo,

Lulu



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Playing Catch Up!


I'm sincerely embarrassed to admit that I have more than a few tags and awards I haven't acknowledged yet... So sorry ladies! I'm sincerely appreciative and honored that you have send fun things my way! Today will be a blog catch-up day, so be prepared for some fun randomness from the life of Lulu!

First up, I've been tagged by Holly over at In My Over Active Head to share 6 random things about myself. Here are the rules and my entries!

Rules:


1. Link to the person that tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
6. Let your tagger know when your entry is UP

Six Random Things About Lulu:

1. I am a *serious* coffee drinker. I drink at least one 10-cup pot a day, every day. No joke.

2. I'm a "strategic eater"- I plan out how I'm going to eat each meal so that the last bite I have before I'm stuffed is the food I like most on the plate. I seriously thought everyone did this, until I had a convo about it with Mr. W and he told me I was officially certifiable.

3. I used to win photography contests in high school, specifically black and white compositions. Some of my photos were hung in the big public library downtown.

4. As I mentioned before, I absolutely abhore doing the dishes. To remedy this issue, I buy expensive almond-scented organic dish soap (my FAVORITE smell on earth)... I know that I have to do the dishes in order to smell the yummy almond scent, so that's enough to get me scrubbin'. Most days.

5. I am distantly related to Martina McBride, and was fortunate enough to meet her when I was younger.

6. I make Excel spreadsheets for fun (nerd alert), and use them literally every day. My most important is my monthly budget spreadsheet, which I tweak daily. It's become a total lifeline for me now that I'm trying to pull my weight entirely on unemployment. NO easy feat in this city, let me tell you!

I've tagged the following people:
Kate from elefantitas alegres
Amy from Chapters
Lauren from Adventures of a Southern Newlywed
Seaside Prep
Mrs. Stilettos from Newlywed Stilettos
Milltini from Milltini Straight Up, With a Twist

Hope you are all having a productive Wednesday!

xoxo,
Lulu
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Psssssst... Remember Me?


I hope you ladies had a *wonderful* Thanksgiving, jam-packed with food, family, and fun. I'm looking very forward to snuggling up on the couch with a warm cup of peppermint tea and reading through your holiday escapades on Google Reader.

I wish I could say I had a mind-blowing Thanksgiving, but that would be a huge lie. I spent Monday through Wednesday scrubbing our little shoebox apartment from top to bottom (don't EVEN get me started on how icky that was)... only to wake up Wednesday morning with a huge cold. Ladies, I kid you not- this little Lulu was out of commission! I was probably the most terrible hostess one could imagine-I was in bed almost the whole time! Tragic.

Luckily, our company was completely understanding, and basically forced me to stay in bed all day long, in true father-figure fashion. I'm so thankful that Mr. Wonderful had Thursday through today off to pull all the weight around the house, and show our guest such a wonderful time.

Barring the illness issue, Thanksgiving was quiet and stress-free. We had reservations for Thanksgiving Dinner out at the historic Algonquin Hotel. We were seated at the most delightful little table in the back of the dining room. I *swear* people kept looking back at us and wondering if we were someone "of note", as we had such a fabulous table during such a busy and important meal. Definitely made up for feeling under the weather. It was nice to spend quality time with Fr. D, since he's such a big part of Mr. W's life and will be the one to marry us both. We spent a good deal of time talking about the wedding ceremony, which was such fun.

I must say, maybe the most amazing part about having our first Thanksgiving dinner out? NO DISHES! Not a single dirty dish to clean. I cannot even begin to tell you how much your dear Lulu abhors doing dishes, so this was like an early Christmas and birthday present all in one.

We spent the rest of the afternoon strolling along the holiday windows on Fifth Avenue (swoon), before retiring for the evening due to my health. Our house guest, Fr. D., promptly banished me to our room to go to bed for the evening. At 7 pm. On Thanksgiving. Goodness knows I didn't want to go to bed at 7 pm, but how on earth do you argue with a priest?! Off to my room I went... until he went to bed. And then I may or may not have snuck into the kitchen for a bottle of wine and potato chips and stayed up until 2 am watching movies with Mr. W under the covers.

We did also manage a relatively short trip to Ellis Island, which was just fascinating! We definitely plan on going back there when the weather warms up a bit more (the ferry ride out to the island was FRIGID!), 2 hours still wasn't enough to cover all there was to see.

We also had a fantastic dinner at The Park, which is my new *favorite* spot in Manhattan. Check out how cool the inside garden is! It's completely covered in glass during the winter, a full tree-lined garden indoors?!? Seriously. So cool. We'll be back again for the food, and to check it on the weekend as it turns into a club! So chic.

Time for me to kick back with my nightly shot of NyQuil (when will this sickness END!?), have a good evening chickies!

xoxo,
Lulu
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Monday, Monday...


Happy Turkey Week, my little chickadees... or Not-Turkey Week to Mojito Maven, who is allergic to poultry, or Tofurkey Week as my friends say to me, since I'm a veggie. I hope you all had a restful weekend, and are ready for the great cook-a-thon to begin!

We're staying in NYC this year for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, as we'll be having visitors for each holiday. We have Fr. D coming to stay with us, who is our priest from Phoenix/the man who will be marrying us/Mr. Wonderful's surrogate father figure. He's an ornery little man in his 70's, and we can't wait for him to come! We're actually doing something I've never done for Thanksgiving this year... Eating dinner out. ON Thanksgiving. Have any of you ever done this before? I think Mr. W has selected a great choice for our big family meal out, I'll let you know as soon as it's been solidified.

My big agenda for the week, will be cleaning, grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, and cleaning. Sadly, our little shoebox is NOT in house guest-worthy shape at the moment... I'm still feeling seriously under the weather, so I'm having a VERY difficult time peeling myself out of bed to get movin'. I mean, doing dishes when you're perfectly healthy is miserable... But when you have a serious head cold? Forget it. Not to mention the mopping, laundry, cleaning the bathroom.... I just goes on and on! I feel thankful that I have an, um, 'open' schedule right now to get it all taken care of before Wednesday.

On to more fun things! What is your favorite Thanksgiving side dish recipe?? We will be making some meals at home to save money during Fr. D's visit, and figure I could still serve Thanksgiving-themed dishes without having to go through the whole turkey/tofurkey cooking bonanza. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! I'm going to try to peel myself out of the house to do our grocery shopping for the week this afternoon (the fact that it's 48 degrees outside would normally be a deterrent, but I just remembered that they're filming an episode of Law and Order SVU at the end of my street this afternoon. A Benson/Stabler sighting would seriously cheer up this sick little kitten!) I'd love to hear your suggestions!

Happy Monday to all!
xoxo,
Lulu
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Do You Have A J. Crew Factory Store Nearby?


Mama Martini sent me this little gem yesterday, though I don't have a J. Crew Factory store extremely nearby (nor, for that matter, a job with which to pay for the purchases! ha)


Here is the fine print, as well:

*Valid only Friday, 11/28 from 12am-10am. Clearance discount will be taken off lowest ticketed price at the register.

**Prices as marked. This is not a coupon. Sale is valid through 12/2 while supplies last.

Happy hunting, ladies!

Xoxo,

Lulu

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Update from LuluLand!


Lulu here, sitting on a cozy couch and watching Grey's reruns (ie babysitting). ;ust wanted to give you a update on the latest and greatest. This will be one of those short and sweet updates, I'll follow up tomorrow when I'm feeling better.

-I woke up this morning with the beginnings of what seems to be a wicked head cold, complete with foggy head, achy body, and general overall yuckiness. Bad way to start the weekend.

-I did something today that made my ENTIRE week, maybe even entire month? I had the honor of a coffee date with Hopsy from Monograms and Manicures! Again, will delve into further detail tomorrow, but I can just say that she is maybe one of the most lovely people I have *ever* met.

-We've officially choesn our bridesmaids dresses! One step closer to wedding completion (and 5 months left to go!)

-Pretty sure my Maid of Honor and her fiance will be coming to visit for New Years Eve. If I didn't feel so under the weather, I'd do a little excited dance here in my seat just thinking about it.

-Mr. W's White House visit was a smashing success! Blog-approved details on their way.

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

Xoxo,
Lulu
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Oooh! I Totally Forgot...


There is one small detail that has been eclipsed by 'the hair incident' on this blog. One minor one.

Mr. Wonderful is going to the White House this week. Twice.

Minor detail, right? (!!!)

Can I EVEN tell you how excited I am for him?! He'll hopefully be touring the West Wing tomorrow afternoon/evening, and then has breakfast with a colleague Thursday morning. In the White House Mess Hall. Can you EVEN imagine eating breakfast at the White House!? Even if it is just in the Mess Hall, I mean come on. It's the White House!

I can't really get into much more of what he's doing there, because a) anything having to do with non-election information is an 'offline' topic in this house (his words, but I agree), b) I can say that Mr. W works in Political Risk Consulting, that's about as far as I'm willing to get into the topic for privacy's' sake. However, I can say that he will be there, and that's so super exciting!

Please keep your fingers crossed that his meetings are productive ones!

I'll have a blog-approved update for you as soon as I get any information! In the meantime, I'll be here- figuring out how to pack 2 days' worth of clothes into his computer bag, since I'm pretty sure it's not appropriate to roll up to the security gates of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with a rolling suitcase. You know, National Security and all.

xoxo,
Lulu
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A Day In The Life Of... Scene 2


Last night, continued...

(one hour and one giggle-infested blogging session after 'the hair incident', a photo op strategy was initiated)

Lulu, stifling the giggles: "Hey honey, come here, can I... um... Can we take a picture of your hair?"

Mr. Wonderful abruptly stops walking towards Lulu and stares at her. Just stares.

Lulu: "What? I just want to take a picture of you, because you're so cute and handso..."

Mr. W: "WAAAAIIIIIIT a minute... I know what you're trying to do here... You- YOU'RE BLOGGING ABOUT MY HAIR AREN'T YOU!?"

Sorry ladies. Busted. BIG time.
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A Day In The Life Of...


Scene: Monday night, Lulu is watching reruns of Real Housewives of Atlanta for the upteenth time, catching up on blogs and trying to get Nene's rendition of "Don't Be Tardy For The Party" out of her head.

Lulu thinks she hears a noise, turns down the volume, and stops typing.

*SNIP*....*SNIP*....*SNIP*

Lulu gets up from the couch, turns the corner, and stops.

Mr. Wonderful is standing at the bathroom counter with a pair of neon green-handled kitchen shears in is hand, with a look on his face like he's a little boy who just got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

Lulu: "Honey... What- um, what are you doing?"

Mr. W: "I... Uh, well I'm giving myself a haircut."

Lulu: "A... a what?"

Mr. W: "I needed a haircut... And, well, I don't want to spend the money, so I'm just trimming it up around my face a little bit, that's all..."

Lulu: "So you're cutting your own hair right now? Let me see this just a second..."

Lulu walks towards the bathroom, and then stops. And starts giggling. Profusely.

Let's just say that Mr. Wonderful has clearly given himself a haircut. Clearly.
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Insomnia, Much?


It's 12:34 am here (EST), and I'm out in the living room (writing via Blackberry once again). I tried to go to sleep when Mr. W did (you know, pretend I have a normal schedule like the productive members of society do), but don't feel the least bit tired. You know how sometimes, when you have a lot running through your mind, it helps to make a list and get it all out of your head? Well I did. And the list is 2 and a half pages long. College-ruled. For tomorrow only. Am seriously wishing for a glass of cab at the moment, but all booze within this apartment was consumed during a late-night movie and TV fest with Mr. Wonderful. Nachos for dinner? Check. Run Fat Boy Run and Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day on On_Demand? Totally recommend. Justin Timberlake in a leotard and heels on SNL, after consuming 2 bottles of vino with my man? Priceless.

On the plus side, I did manage to post *two* times today, which I consider to be a major accomplishment. AND, part of this To Do List from You-Know-Where is chockablock full of newly-minted wedding details that I'm just dying to show you girls.

Should run now, as I've just come up with 7 more things to add to the list in the time it took me to write this post. Bleh.

Nighty night!

Xoxo,
Lulu
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Google Reader-a-Thon


Hi chickadees! Thanks so much for all your kind words, I cannot tell you how much they are appreciated. I'm so thankful to have such a wonderful group of girls, who kept me in the wedding loop all night last night. My gal pals sent plenty of picture messages at Lo's wedding and reception last night, which I may have to share soon. I was able to see all the milestones, including the "I Do", the First Dance (Al Green's 'Lets Stay Together'), and the cutting of the (cup)cake. It looked like a lovely event, and even had an 80's band to round the evening out! So fun. I definitely felt like I was there in spirit. To send them some extra love, I sent one of my girlfriends a picture text of me holding up a "Congrats, Mr. and Mrs. Couple!" sign, which she showed to the newlyweds at the reception. Special thanks to my girls for keeping me so involved, and congrats again to Lo and E!

Man oh man, is today is a chilly, blustery day outside! Mr. Wonderful is camped out in our bedroom, taking yet another practice GMAT exam. What that means for me is trying to stay out of his hair for 4.5 hours, so he can have a nice, quiet environment in which to practice. I'm currently cozied up on the couch, typing away while I watch Fareed Zakaria GPS (nerd alert- we here in the shoebox are big fans of Mr. Zakaria, and never miss an opportunity to hear his views on Foreign Policy).

I've decided that today's the day I finally pay some much-needed attention to you ladies, and run through my unread Google Reader posts. All 330 (!!!) of them. Fair warning that you may have a barrage of comments coming your way. I'm so sorry I haven't been a loyal reader/commenter/blog friend as of late, but hope to get back into the swing of things very, very soon.

Hope you all are having a very wonderful weekend!

xoxo,
Lulu
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Pity, Party of 1?


Today is my first official day of unemployment. This whole thing has been a difficult adjustment, as you all may know, but I'm trying to stay chin up about the whole thing. Today, however, is what I imagine will be the toughest part of this experience when I look back on this period of my life.

Today, one of my best friends is getting married, and I'm not there. One of my nearest and dearest sorority sisters, Lo, is seconds away from walking down the aisle and marrying the love of her life at an intimate vineyard wedding in Napa. I feel so blessed and thankful that I was able to head to Arizona for Lo's weekend bachelorette extravaganza a few weeks back... Since I found out I was being let go from my job the day I returned from Lo's big weekend, the first thing I had to do was cancel our travel plans from NYC to Napa for her big day.



Lulu and Lo in Scottsdale

I don't think there are words to describe how I feel about the situation, but I think 'absolutely devastated' is the best approximation. My friends have been kind enough to send photos from their cell phone the entire weekend, from silly shots at the champagne welcome reception last night, to a STUNNING pic of Lo getting ready for the big event today (in bathrobe and veil, toasting with champagne, TOO cute!). *Huge* thanks to Lonnie, Willy, Keylay, and Sam for being so kind and keeping me involved in the big weekend, despite my being on the other end of the country.

Lo and her new husband E will be hosting the most chic reception tonight, and then head to Africa for a 2 week honeymoon adventure. So reflective of how fun and adventurous a couple they are, on top of their unbelievable generosity (in lieu of gifts, they'll be taking boxes of school supplies over to Africa on behalf of their reception guests!)

Here's to the new Mr. and Mrs. W!!! I'm so happy that you found your Happily Ever After, and can't wait to see what the future holds for the 2 of you. All my love!

xoxo,
Lulu

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Playing Dress Up!


First of all, can I just say how DARLING Taylor Swift is? I'm taking a much-needed daytime TV break (I do NOT watch daytime TV, but this was a special occasion) to watch her CD release party on Ellen, and think she is just cute as a button. If I could pick anyone on earth I'd like to look like, I think she would be it! She is just precious.




Anywhoo, just thought I'd share my big plans for the afternoon- playing dress up! I'm going to try on all my big-kid clothes (aka my work wardrobe) this afternoon, in search of the perfect interview outfit. Do I have an interview to wear it to yet? Negative. But, I figure I'd bring some positive energy (you know, thought forms matter and all that, tres 'The Secret') into this chilly little room (note to Landlord- Really? You're not going to run the hot water through the radiators of the building at ALL today, even if it's like 5 degrees in my room and I'm wearing 2 layers of sweat pants? Really?)

For a little Tuesday afternoon closet inspiration, I'd like to take you through the tour of the "girlie" books I've amassed in my little pink 'n' green corner of the room. Lulu here is currently in pursuit of the perfect "capsule wardrobe"- a collection if items that a) can mix and match artfully together b)make me deleriously happy and c)don't take up too much real estate in the ol' closet, for Mr. Wonderful's sake. Think the capsule wardrobe as the ultimate fashion weapon for feeling both stylish, (moderately) practical, and eliminating the whole "I have nothing to wear!!!!" emergency we ALL go through time and time again. These are books I refer to again and again for closet ideas and inspiration, in the hopes of creating a truly masterful wardrobe.

First on deck:




What Would Jackie Do? I know most of you probably have this on your bookshelf already... It's a great read to bring yourself into the correct mindset- that of a true lady.

Next up:



Nothing To Wear? This book takes you through the ruthless exercise of identifying your "true" style, helping you go through the dreaded closet inventory (Does it fit? Is it fabulous? etc.) in order to edit down pieces you currently own. Cannot underscore how much of a must-read this baby is for whipping your closet into shape, and then focusing your shopping efforts as you move forward. Think of this as the battle plan for conquering your closet, if you will.

The principles of NTW? go hand-in-hand with the next book... They have many overlapping themes, but I highly recommend owning both. Introducing...


Tim Gunn's Guide to Quality, Taste, and Style. We all love the TG, this much is obvi. Guru Gunn takes you through a painful closet inventory as well... However, I think his recommendations on items every girl should own should be written into the Women's Code of Closets (if such a thing existed). I love how he uses catchy phrases such as "soul-stirring", and combines his trademark snark to realm of a woman's wardrobe. Let's just say his candid talk on the subject of ditching clothes, particularly the ones that may not fit you anymore was a bit of an eye-opener for me... (I think you ALL know what I'm talking about, ladies.. Those Sevens from senior year of college that you only fit into because your entire diet consisted of jugs of iced vanilla coffee during your cram weeks before graduation? Oh, wait... was that just me? Hmm.) No matter- this book should be on every well-dressed bookshelf, in my humble opinion.


Effortless Style is a sassier version of TG's beloved book, but I think it deserves credit on its own. I especially love her tips on travel wardrobe. There are some things that are a little out of my realm here, but overall it's a great read and something I refer to often.

I'm sure you'll all agree that the kate spade trilogy- Occasions, Style, and Manners - should own permanent real estate on your bookshelf, no questions asked. Style is a fantastic reference to basic pieces, as well as the art of color combinations. I don't know how else to describe it aside from truly inspirational (drool-worthy also comes to mind, but the 'i' word just sounds classier.)
My final installment for today is A Guide To Elegance. This book was originally written in 1964, but I believe SO much of it transcends era and can be used today. It's the ultimate guide to the proper ladylike ensemble. If you're not into the traditional rules of dress ('alligator should only be worn with a casual ensemble'... ha!) it's at least a very fun read to take you back to the Art of Dressing in the Mad Men era... my favorite!

I hope you've enjoyed the tour through some of Lulu's Personal Library. I ask you, dear readers, what amazing books are currently missing from my shelf? Tell my your favorites!



xoxo,



Lulu






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First Blog from the Blackberry...


Ahoy ladies... No, I am not out of town on some exciting adventure... I am sitting on my couch. 20 feet from my room and laptop. I have had one of the nastiest days on record today, and am consoling myself with a fine glass of Smoking Loon (the liquor store was out of my favorite Coppola, which was the icing on the cake to my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day)... Just wanted to test out the Blackberry blogging capability before Mr. Wonderful gets home and I feed him a dinner gone terribly wrong... I'll update soon with the weekend wedding update. In the meantime- would you please comment with something *wonderful* that happened to you this weekend or today? Big or small, I'd very much like to hear it to cheer myself up. Thanks!
Xoxo,
Lulu
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"I clap my hands every morning and say, '*This* is gonna be a great day!'"


Ohhhh, Jerry Maguire... How I adore thee.

Today's going to be a big day, Dear Reader. Today I shall pull myself up by those proverbial Burberry bootstraps, and get back into the game. The wedding game.

I've spent exactly 2 weeks on the job hunt now (more on that later), and have all but neglected the planning of our wedding. No more, my friends, no more. Today, our little shoebox will be Wedding Command Central. I will e-mail, call, build inspiration boards, write funny quips about my girlfriends for our wedding website... Basically, I'm going to show this wedding who's boss.

The first step on the agenda (after I run to the store for more coffee) is to finally pull all my wedding papers in order, and update my master budget spreadsheet. You heard me right gals, I need this wedding to Show. Me. The. Monaaaaaaaay!


Liene from Blue Orchid Designs has a poll on her website here to see how the state of the economy has affected your grand wedding plans (if at all). won't you stop by for a quick vote? I'm sure she'd appreciate it.

Needless to say, being sans employment has definitely made us think about this wedding in a different light. The money I saved up for the honeymoon? Now a cost of living cushion in case the job search takes a few months. We may change up our bar strategy at the reception (something to the effect of signature cocktails plus beer and wine up until lunch is finished, THEN open bar for the remainder of the day?) I mean, I know a scotch on the rocks IS tempting compliment to your 2pm lunch salad and all, but maybe you could just wait until the dancing begins?

(These are my uncles, at the last family wedding. Proof that a) people do drink scotch on the rocks at an afternoon wedding, and that b)I'm thankful for blog anonymity, so they'll never see that I made this baby public)


We've also decided to cut down on he guest list, which is an exercise I am NOT looking forward to. I guess that I should be relieved that I have STILL yet to send out those *gorgeous* Save The Dates (so sorry, Laura Hooper!)... We're in Save The Date stall mode because we put our wedding website URL on the back of the Save the Dates... And I have still yet to fill out the website! Sheesh.

Have any of you brides-to-be had to make changes to your event, due to the change in the economy?

For a little accountability, I'm going to post today's wedding to-do list:

1) Coffee (utmost importance)


2) Budget spreadsheet update


3)Finish the wedding website


4)Finish choosing the invitations (oooh, I haven't shared that with y'all, another exciting post!)


5)Organize and send the lovely Liene all my inspiration photos


6)Figure out bridesmaids dresses once and for all (with HUGE help from Miss Nina at Nina Knows Best)


7)Phone stalk the DJ company that took 2 weeks to call me back, followed up with a "we'll e-mail you pricing info now!" and then I never heard from them again. Hmmmm...


That's about all I can muster for one day, I think... Wish me luck!


xoxo,


Lulu

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Election Party - Solved!


As always, the lovely Nina from Nina Knows Best came out swinging with a response to my cry for Election Night party help...

You NEED to read her top-notch ideas on the ultimate Election Party here!

Thanks again Nina, you're my go-to guru for all things fabulous!

xoxo,

Lulu
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Impromptu Election Party - Ideas Needed!


Mr. Wonderful is currently working away in Philly right now, manning the phones and hitting the pavement for the campaign. He should arrive back from his big "final push" trip sometime Tuesday evening, just in time to hunker down for a long night in front of the TV.

I was thinking of preparing a nice little Election Day meal for his return home, but wanted to open up the floor to you for creative ideas. Are any of you having an election party this year? What will you be serving? What would you serve? All suggestions welcome!

xoxo,
Lulu
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Lipstick. Mavrick. Lipstick.


Hope y'all had a wonderful Halloween! Here's what I was up to yesterday evening...

Ladies, I'd like to introduce you to Gov. Lulu Palin:



Fun, right!? I think this was one of the favorite Halloween costumes I've pulled off thus far. I received a lot of compliments, and overheard more than a few "She really looks like Sarah Palin!" comments. Sadly, this is the ONLY photo I have of the costume from the entire night. For some reason, I feel strange asking random people to take pictures of me... Since Mr. W was in Philly, I was without my trusty cameraman, and thus no more Palin pics to be found.

This was a photo I took with one of my old coworkers, K, but I cropped her out since I'm not sure if she'd want to be on the blog or not...? She had a great Cleopatra costume, with a wig, headband, the whole 9 yards. K threw a Halloween party in her fab new apartment, which I totally drooled over. From her bedroom window alone, you can see both the Empire State AND Chrystler Buildings at once! Breathtaking. I should have taken a picture. She also has the most amazing bedspread, very Resto Hardware:




The photo does it NO justice either, it looks 5 times nicer in person than it does in the photo. Can I just tell you that it is from Linens 'n' Things, of all places!? It's one of their Bed-In-A-Bag sets, and comes with EVERYTHING shown. Pillows, comforter, the whole 9 yards. For under $100! I died of amazement. You can find it here (before they go out of business).

So before the party, I spent the entire afternoon causing some serious hair havoc. I attempted to get the signature Palin 'do about 4 times, but to no avail. Hairspray, teasing, volumizing mousse... I think my hiar hates me by now. I just couldn't seem to tease my hair correctly for pouf in the right places, and looked more like a bad version of Amy Winehouse than our dear SP.

Suddenly, as I was untangling a rubberband from the birdsnest on my head for the 5th time, I had a beehive revelation... Socks. Yes, you read that correctly. Socks. I remember reading somewhere that in the '40s and '50s, women would use these things called hair rats (such an unfortunate name!) to give their hair extra volume (bigger buns, victory rolls, etc.). The original rats were made of real hair, saved up from your hairbrush (G-A-G!). Women also used balled up nylon stockings to do the trick (much less gag-worthy), so I figured I'd give that route a try.

I decided to stuff a few of Mr. W's (clean!) dress socks into another sock, and attempt to use that as the volume base for my Palin bouffant. Ladies, it worked like a dream! I didn't have to worry about my teased hair shifting or flattening out, because the whole base of the hairstyle was just socks. I simply smoothed the hair over the sock, and voila. Insta-Palin. Shame that you can't actually see the "Palin Pouf" in the photo, but it looked pretty great. Just between you and me, Dear Reader, I loved the look of the "Palin Pouf" so much that it may be revisited (socks and all!) again soon... ;)

K's party was a real hit. Great cocktails, yummy appetizers, and even a rockin' Halloween mixed CD. It was neat to finally meet K's sisters and friends, and see a little bit more of where she came from. Another one of my fave old coworkers, L, was there as well, totally rocking a Ghotsbusters outfit. Pure awesomeness. I think my favorite costume of the night was a girl that came in sporting a pink tee shirt, pink shorts from American Apparel, pink cowboy boots, and a lower-case i on the front of her shirt - she was Pink Eye! Pure genius.

After a few hours at K's apartment, we decided to rally the troops and hit the town. The streets of Manhattan were total chaos, people in costumes everywhere! It was really fun. We hit a few different bars, but there just seemed to be something lacking in the scene (think we were all tired by this point in the night). I decided to break from the group and head home around 1:30am... BAD IDEA. Girls, it was absolutely impossible to get home last night! All the subway trains weren't working at the stops I tried to get on at, and FORGET about getting a cab in the city on a night like this. I ended up walking (in 4" knee-high Burberry boots, mind you) for over 2 hours!



See that little red line towards the bottom of the map? That is how far I walked over the course of the evening, first bar-hopping and then frantically trying to get home. I walked. And walked. And walked. I'm pretty sure I logged multiple miles last night. And didn't even make it home until around 3:30 or 4 this morning. If I hadn't stopped to be comforted by a falafel pita around 2:30 or so, I think my soul would have been officially crushed. 2 hours, upteen blocks, 2 trains, and a taxi ride later, I was finally safe and sound in my bed. Traumatized, but safe and sound :)

All in all, I'm really happy that I went out... This was the first time I've hit the town since I lost my job, so it was great to get out of the house and be with some girls I absolutely adore. I think last night was enough to last me for a few months to come, that's for sure ;)

Hope you all had as memorable a Halloween as I did (with a lot less foot pain!)



xoxo,

Lulu

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The Jig Is Up!


Ladies, the super-secret identities of Mr. Wonderful and I have officially been compromised...

I'm *super* excited to say that I've been profiled as the Reader of the Week on the Blue Orchid Designs blog! Mr. Wonderful and I have hired the lovely and talented Liene, founder of Blue Orchid Designs, to be our Wedding Superwoman and Day Of Coordinator. Liene has been the "boots on the ground" for me in Phoenix, helping me to select vendors, come up with design ideas, and just all-around ease the process of planning our event from far, far away.

I finally had the privilege of meeting with her when I was in Phoenix recently, and *absolutely adore* the gal! She's sweet, kind, uber creative, and most of all SO calming- for the first time in the whole wedding process, she made me feel like I actually *could* get everything done, and make it a smashing success. She also came out of left field with some SERIOUSLY amazing ideas, which I'll profile in the coming weeks for you ;)

You can read our little expose, as well as see the Wonderful-to-be's for the first time, here!

Also, I'm sure y'all might now be asking where the name Lulu comes from...? The answer is that Mr. Wonderful calls me Lulu, so there you have it!
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Change Of Plans...


...Well, Mr. W missed the last bus of the night to Philly. Looks like we'll need you to postpone that little travle prayer until tomorrow morning... 7:30 am to be exact (eek!)

On the plus side, this is the text I received from him after confirming that he was, indeed, headed home for the night:

"martinis?"

Does this man know the key to my heart or what? :)

xoxo,
Lulu
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Updates from Lulu Land...


Hi there girlies! Sorry I've been so silent as of late, I've been working full-throttle on the job search here in the Big Apple. T-minus 15 days until I'm no longer with salary (*sob*), am trying to replace the paychecks as soon as possible. Not the easiest for a finance major in the big city, as I'm about bazillionth in line on the job application list. It's a rough and tumble job market out there, I tell ya what! Sadly, some of my colleagues at the previous Corporate America job I had have fallen to the same fate... Time to pull ourselves up by our Burberry bootstraps and get to job huntin'! ;)




I wanted to thank you all SOOO very much for your kind words and inspiration over the past week. I love reading all your advice, and whether or not you know it, *each and every* word makes me feel much better about the predicament I'm currently in. Love my girlies out in Bloggerland!


The fabulous Nina from Nina Knows Best (LOVE the new blog name, girl!) sent me the sweetest cheer-you-up gift I could have ever hoped for... A new stationery template! Not only that, but she created the file with my married monogram (in pink and green, no less). I've never actually seen my married monogram before, it made me so excited I became a little teary! haha I was going to purchase a template from Nina right before I lost my job, but just didn't feel right splurging on something fun like that for myself when I knew I now needed to save for other things... Like rent and groceries! Thank you, thank you, thank you Nina, for your kindness and generosity. I'll post the file for you as soon as I can figure out how to... (hint to Nina- I need more blogger help!)


I finally have some wonderful wedding updates for you! As you might remember, part of my trip out to Phoenix the week before last was to cram some well-overdue wedding meetings into the mix. I'm happy to report that we're full-steam ahead on (well, most? ha) of the milestones. As a new girlfriend told me recently, "don't you dare put too much stock into those pre-determined checklists in the magazines... I freaked out 3 months before because I wasn't getting 3 mircoderm treatments a week in preparation like suggested, until my fiance kindly reminded me that I received that many, my skin would probably fall off." HA! We're just under 6 months left now, so the buzzwords of the week around here are RELAX and FOCUS.


I feel like I *can* get this darn wedding planned in the time I have left, AND find myself gainful employment at the same time. The save the dates may not have gone out exactly at the 6 month mark (well, they STILL haven't gone out yet but that's another story... haha), the DJ may not be booked, but I have a *wonderful* bridal party, a breathtaking dress, and couldn't be happier with our reception venue. Go optimism right now! haha


On another note, let's get out a little travel prayer for Mr. Wonderful tonight- he's headed off to Philly to work the last leg of the campaign, the "final push" as it's called around here. Also, I voted for the *first* time last night, woohoo!!! I was actually quite nervous, and checked my paper ballot about 10 times to make sure I did everything correctly. And yes, I am old enough to have voted in the past 2 elections, thankyouverymuch... As my bridesmaid and close sorority sister Lonnie so kindly pointed out to me "You voted for the first time in 2008? I am the most unpolitical person I know and I have voted in the past 2 elections!" Thanks, Lon... ;) It's never too late to become politically aware, right?


Tomorrow's the day I officially bombard every headhunter contact I have with my resume and cover letter, so fingers crossed that I obtain a few leads out of that! Also, I'll be allowing myself some time to catch up on my Google Reader, so you may have a comment or 10 coming your way! ;)

xoxo,

Lulu

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Drumroll Please...


Announcing the winners of The Dirty Martini Diaries 2008 Craft Idea Swap...



A Housewife's Journey To Forever


*AND*


A Belle and her Beau



!!!



Congratulations, ladies! Please e-mail me your contact information to dirtymartinidiaries (at)gmail (dot) com to claim your $50 gift certificates to Michael's!



Can't wait to see what wonderful holiday craftiness you have in store for the prize. :)

xoxo,
Lulu
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I'm Alive...


Hi lovely girls! I cannot tell you how much I've missed you, nor how hard it's been to keep my lips buttoned on this blog. I hope you can forgive my absence? Perhaps knowing that I'll be announcing the giveaway winner later on today will help you to forgive? :)

I'd like to thank you SO very much for all your kind comments, e-mails, and general well wishes during this time. I'm sure you're all slightly puzzled about my cryptic post and relative silence during this time, so it's time to spill the beans.

I came back from my fab-U-lous girls weekend in Arizona to find that I no longer had a job. :( The state of economy has taken an toll on many industries thus far, and my industry (interior design) has been no exception. I completely understand why my boss had to let me go, and wish my old firm nothing but the best. I have absolutely no ill feelings over the situation, except for the fact that I'll miss them (and my amaaaaazing job) so very much!

I'm usually an open book, and had no qualms about letting you know the news. However, there was one very important reason I needed to keep quiet about this on the blog- Mama Martini was out of town all week on her fabulous annual Girls Weekend, having a grand time with her nearest and dearest girlfriends. I didn't want to break the news to her over the phone, and ruin her vacation, so I kept hush hush while she was away. She's an avid reader of the blog as well, and I figured there couldn't be a worse way to hear of her daughter losing her job than by reading it online! The horror, could you imagine!? I hope you can understand.

This new turn of events does put me in a bit of a predicament at the moment... I'm now soon to be an unemployed Finance major (like everyone else looking for jobs here in NYC), with a wedding to finish planning (and funding) in 5 months. I'm trying to be very chin up about the whole situation, as negativity never did anyone a bit of good (and because frowns can cause serious wrinkles, boo!). Mr. Wonderful has bent over backwards this past week to keep me fed, morally supported, and in good spirits while we try to ride out the storm.

I'll be back to posting full-time now, as I'm bursting with updates for you: the wedding, my trip, projects at home, and now the big job search.

Talk soon!

xoxo,
Lulu
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Sliiiiight Change Of Plans...


Boy oh boy, did I miss you ladies! I sure have some catching up to do on my Google Reader, that's for sure!

I wanted to let you know that I'm going to have to slightly postpone my giveaway anouncement. I have Michael's certificates in hand (hooray!) but some things have come up in the personal life that are out of my control. I'll tell you exactly what happened as soon as I can, but suffice to say I think you'll forgive me for my slight delay.

I'll be working on choosing the giveaway winner tomorrow, so please bear with me and stay tuned!

xoxo,
Lulu
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One Of My Fave Preppy Finds...


(FYI, this is a scheduled post, as I'm currently on the plane to Phoenix for Lo's big bachelorette weekend. Hurray!)

I know I posted previously about how Mr. Wonderful is politely, yet adamantly, anti-pink. What I failed to mention is that little Lulu here has reserved one small section of our room as her "Girlie Shrine", a concept Mr. W seems to find pretty endearing. The shrine is comprised of about 6 elfa shelves mounted above our desk (a white L-shaped Pottery Barn Bedford that I am in L-O-V-E with) Pottery Barn , that span from about 1 foot above our desk up to the crown moulding.

The shrine holds everything I hold near and dear to my preppy little feminine heart: silver framed sorority photos, a bright pink leather jewelry box, my *mandatory* preppy girlie reads (something I'll post about soon, as I'm always looking to expand the collection!), and the like. The pièce de résistance of the whole area, something that makes my little heart flutter each time I look in that general direction, would be my storage boxes.

You hear my right girls- storage boxes make my little heart go pitter patter. I'd like to share with you the boxes that fill my little preppy heart with joy, because I see that supplies are dwindling and I want *you*, Dear Reader, to be as happily organized as I am! I gladly introduce you to the See Jane Work Basics collection over at my favorite preppy office store See Jane Work.

I hunted high and low for the pink and green SJW Basics boxes, and remember it being quite an ordeal. I just noticed that there are a few magazine files left in pink and green (the colors that seemed to sell out endlessly), and they are on sale! You can find the link here.

I'll post some photos of my Girlie Shrine soon, so you can see my little corner of happiness. Do any of you have a space in your house that makes your heart pitter pat every time you see it?

xoxo,
Lulu
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Calling All Crafty Girls! Craft Idea Swap 2008 & Giveaway!


Happy Thursday, ladies! I'm less than 24 hours away from relaxing on a jet plane as I head to the sunny skies of Arizona. It dawned on me last night that I have a free afternoon to do something I haven't done in over a year. Run errands.

Now I know you must be thinking "what on earth do you mean you haven't run errands in over a year!? You've got to be kidding.", and to that point I agree. *However*, city errands and suburban errands are of a completely different nature, I think. I can tell you with full honesty that I absolutely miss running errands in the suburbs, for 3 very specific reasons...

1) Target
2) Michael's
3) Supermarkets

Ladies, I have been living without the items listed above for over a year, and it is KILLING me. I can't tell you how much I miss wandering the aisles of Target, or going grocery shopping and being able to pick up every item I need from one store. Right now, an official "get everything on the shopping list"grocery shopping excursion (the kind of trip that would take you about an hour, start to finish, at the supermarket) takes me to 5 different stores. Five.

The one location I think I'm most excited to run to this weekend would by Michael's. I can absolutely say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and OH! how fond I am of Michael's right now.

This is where I'm making a call to all you crafty readers out there- I need you to help me make a shopping list! I'm overwhelmed by all the amazing Fall and Holiday craft projects you have up your sleeves, and can't keep track of it all! I'm officially challenging all of you to post your favorite craft ideas. They could be anything! Paper ideas, small gifts for friends, decorations... I'd love to see each and every one. I'm going to make a master craft list so I have something to shop off of during The Great Michael's Stock Up 2008 ;)

To sweeten the deal (and to extract every creative idea I possibly can out of your head), I'll be hosting my first giveaway! I'll be drawing two winners from our pool of entries and will be giving each a *$50 gift card to Michael's*! I'm dead serious about seeing your crafty side (and borrowing some of your amazing ideas), so I'm putting my money where my mouth is.

Here's how entries for the giveaway will work (let's see how creative we can get with this):

-Existing Followers of the blog will each receive 5 entries (I have you all noted, ladies, thanks for following!)
-New Followers of the blog will each receive 3 entries
-Your comment on this post (please include your amazing craft idea!) will receive 1 entry
-AND-
If you actually go out of your way to create a dedicated Idea Swap 2008 post on your own blog, featuring a crafty idea others can see (we visual learners LOVE that kind of thing! haha), you'll receive 5 additional entry points! The idea here is to get everybody's creative juices flowing, so please let us know in your comment on here that you have a crafty post for us to see- I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Since I'll be out of town (checking in when time permits, and sneaking some of your ideas into my Michael's shopping cart) until Tuesday evening, I'm going to close the window for entries at 8:00pm EST on Tuesday, October 21st (which gives me great reading fodder for the taxi home from the airport). This will give you time to pull out all the stops, and showcase your crafty expertise. I'll be announcing the winner Wednesday evening, after I've had the opportunity to tally all the entries and have Mr. Wonderful pull the 2 names out of a hat.

Good luck, Dear Blogger Friends, and happy crafting!

xoxo,
Lulu
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