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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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