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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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Hey, Dallas Area Blog Friends!



In celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano throws a yearly fashion show at Saks Fifth Avenue. This year, my darling mother (and breast cancer surviver, yay!) Mama Martini will be modeling in the show! The show is this Thursday (10/16) at the Willow Bend Saks.



The text basically says "You're invited to preview trends in fall fashion and learn about the latest breast cancer treatment options offered at Baylor Plano". There's a Physician's Panel from 4:30 - 5:30, a cake and punch reception from 5:30 - 6:30, and then the fashion show from 6:30 - 7:30 (all models are breast cancer survivors, so cool!)

It's RSVP only, so please e-mail me if you're interested in attending- I'll send you the contact information. It's a great event, and I'm so bummed I won't be able to attend. I'd love it if any of you could go support Mama Martini, and other breast cancer survivors. You'll also get to see some fab new fall clothes, AND meet the famous Texas Talulah, who will also be in the show:



Lulah, modeling a look from her Winter '07 collection

xoxo,

Lulu

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A Bachelorette Weekend in Phoenix


One of my dearest sorority sisters, Lo, is getting married mid-November in Napa. We're all congegrating back in Phoenix this weekend for her big bachelorette party extravaganza. I am SO excited to see all my girls again; I'm the only one no longer residing in either Arizona or California, so it's been way too long since I've had any serious girl time.
I'm also doubly excited, as I'll be flying in early and staying late in order to get some wedding plans taken care of! We're actually staying all weekend for the party at the resort Mr. Wonderful and I will have our reception at, so it'll be nice to have a few days to walk around (I've only visited once, for 1 short hour!) I honestly haven't even SEEN the garden we're having our reception in, believe it or not, since we changed our mind on the reception location after our short visit. Triple bonus- a couple is having a tented garden reception in the EXACT same place Mr. W and I will have ours, so I'll be able to see exactly what our reception will look like! Such luck.

I know I'll be daydreaming for the next 3 days about what our fabulous poolside weekend will look like, so I'm going to take you for a little mental vacation with me.
We'll be lounging by this gorgeous pool all day Saturday:

I've been eyeballing this little Norma Kamali number *all* month online, it's the perfect retro-chic pairing to the old Hollywood -feel of the pool cabanas. I just can't find a way to justify spending $350 for one small piece of Lycra. Isn't it mouthwatering, though???Packing has been quite a chore thus far, as I shipped all my warm weather clothing to Mama Martini last month in an effort to make more space for Mr. W and I. Didn't really think that one through.

Here is one more thing I wish I could throw in the carry-on...


A sleek pair of aviators


Would you ladies like to come with me on my virtual pre-vacation vacation? It'll be a sunny 80 degrees and fabulous. I need some packing inspiration-why don't you show me what you'd bring!

xoxo,

Lulu

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Spotted-


This poster, around the corner from my apartment this afternoon:


GG has officially invaded my territory, and will be filming in my neighborhood tomorrow. They'll be taking over the next block down, plus the park across the street from my apartment. I'll let you know if I see anything!

xoxo

Gossip Girl Lulu

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I've Died And Gone To Dirty Martini Heaven...


A few weeks back, I was contacted by a gentleman named Eric, President of American Mixers, Inc. Eric's e-mail said simply- "Came across your blog and feel it my duty to send you some free Dirty Sue - premium olive juice for dirty martinis". This can't be!? I thought. Eric volunteered to send me samples, which totally made my day. I looked into the product to see exactly what I was in for, and this is what I came across:



Dirty Sue

"Dirty Sue is twice-filtered olive juice brine made from premium olives and comes in an attractive bottle made to be stored alongside other bar staples such as Rose's Lime Juice, sweet & sour and grenadine. It allows bartenders to simply grab and pour, instead of the spooning, scooping and handling of that industrial size jar of olives that sits behind the bar."


How brilliant is that!?! It's also a much more hygienic option than your typical Dirty Martini, if you think about it, because it eliminates the need for a bartender to use the brine he fishes his little fingers around in to grab olives. It doesn't hurt that John Corbett (aka Aidan from Sex and The city) is their spokesperson.


I received the package this week, and was cautiously optimistic about trying the product. After 2 days' worth of 12 hour work days in which I was in office by 5:45 am, I thought that last night was JUST the night for a taste test. I opened the box, and found 2 adorable bottles of Dirty Sue.

I uncorked the bottle, and took a whiff... Sweet nectar of the gods. The smell was indescribable, and made my mouth water instantly. I tell you, I couldn't get that martini glass chilled fast enough! I pulled out the vodka (always standing at the ready in our freezer), and mixed my first Dirty Sue Dirty Martini.
Joy. Of. All. Joys.
Seriously, the best martini I've ever had. I was so enchanted with my Dirty Sue DM's that I may or may not have had 3 in a row last night (an evening meal that I refer to as the Betty Draper Special). I'm now a complete and total convert. So much so, in fact, that this stuff will have serious representation at our wedding bar in April. I'm also thinking that it would be the cutest present for an engagement party, along with a pair of great martini glasses!
I seriously recommend that any of you dirty martini lovers check it out, and add it to your classic bar staples. I'd recommend keeping your eye out on my blog as well, for there may be a martini-related giveaway in the future...? Just sayin'.
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Halloween Costume Preview...


Guess what outfit-completing accessory I found for $15 at the street fair in my neighborhood this past weekend?



As my sorority sisters and I used to say... "Get exciiiiited..."



xoxo,

Lulu

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Must... Resist... Temptation...


Guess what just popped into my inbox, fellow blogsters:

Courtesy of Crate & Barrel - click *here* to go to find the goodies.

I'm especially loving all the holiday decor they have on sale for rock-bottom prices. Please buy everything up and post your wares... I'd like to live vicariously though your adorably decorated abodes since Mr. W and I live in a shoebox (and not even a Louboutin shoebox, at that).

xoxo,
Lulu
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Wedding Wednesday


Our Save-The-Dates are officially done! I'd like to thank Ms. Laura Hooper at Laura Hooper Calligraphy for making me the happiest bride ever by creating this wonderful map. Laura has honestly been the best vendor I have ever worked with, and that is saying a lot because coordinating with vendors is my full-time job! It overflows with fun details (hint-there are even ferrets on there!) and lots of personal significance. It is the ideal representation of us, and we absolutely cannot wait to send them out.



Without further ado, I present the Wonderful-to-be's Save The Date:





You can see a full scale version here on Laura's blog A Lucky Orchid Wedding, jsut click the map to enlarge. Thanks again, Laura!

xoxo,

Lulu


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My Big Date - Recap!


Sidenote- I originally started this blog last night waiting for the debate to begin, and took a time out to watch... Fast-forward to 20 minutes later when I fell asleep on the couch and snoozed through the ENTIRE thing... Sadness. Guess that's what getting up at 4 am does to a gal... Anywhoo- without further ado, my big (belated) recap!

Since I'm waiting for my (other) main man JSM to take the stage right now, I figured I'd give you all a recap of my fabulous surprise date on Friday night. I met Mr. Wonderful in Times Square, as he said we'd be staying in Midtown for the entire evening. I have to admit, I was a little surprised at that point. You see, Times Square is really a fun sight to see... once or twice. I recommend that anyone visiting should spend time oogling all the lights, signs, crazy stores, etc. *However*, once you actually live in Manhattan, Times Square is probably one of the most nightmarish places you can possibly find on this island. It's arguably five times as crowded as any other area of the city, and the general chaos makes it really difficult to get where you're going if you need to pass through there. Mr. W and I avoid that area at all costs (he's really not a huge fan since he has to walk through there each day for his commute to work), so you can imagine how curious I was that we'd spend an entire Friday night down there. Voluntarily.

One thing Mr. W and I always joke about is the fact that there is a *huuuuge* Olive Garden right in the middle of Times Square. It has all these garish Vegas-style lights, and just sticks out like a sore thumb. I'm of the mindset that if you're actually traveling to New York City, one of the culinary epicenters of the entire world, that one should under NO circumstances be eating at a place like Olive Garden. Need somewhere to head on a Thursday night in your own city, when you don't feel like cooking? Fine. But seriously, there are plenty of amazing little hole-in-the-wall bistros and such that will cost you the same amount of money out here; NYC has far too many interesting food experiences to be had that don't include all-you-can-eat salad and breadsticks. Please don't get me wrong here and think me a total food snob, Dear Readers- my very favorite restaurant happens to be this guy right here:



That being said, guess where Mr. W and I both suggested - simultaneously - that we spend our precious date time dining? You guessed it...



(image courtesy of flickr)

I have to say that it was a great experience. Not for the food or the service, per se, but for the fun memory we made that night. I had a few glasses of their finest box wine house wine, and Mr. W knocked back a few frosty Coca-Colas (he had to study after the date was over). We were seated at a great table, which overlooked the Hersheys Store and Morgan Stanley (we tried our hardest to keep our eye off the electronic stock ticker that wraps Morgan, so we wouldn't end up losing our appetite). The only thing I ever eat at the OG is their mushroom ravioli (did I mention I'm a vegetarian?), and Mr. W rocked the Fettuccine Alfredo. Surprisingly delish.


After filling our bellies (and being treated like tourists by the waiter because, again, why would people who actually *live* in Manhattan be there on a Friday night?), we headed off to the "surprise". Mr. W led me by the hand to "go catch the train up to Columbus Circle for our date, and I happily wandered through the streets with him. Clever Mr. W knows that I always forget where the correct uptown local train station is located in that area... All of a sudden, I look up, and Mr. W has turned and gone inside a building. I'm totally confused. "This isn't Columbus Circle?" is all I'm thinking.

I'm pulled in, handed some paper, and ushered to my seat. What was in my hands, do you ask?



We were going to a Broadway play! Despite living in Manhattan for over a year, we'd never taken the time out to go see a show. It wasn't just any play either, but a play that hasn't even had Opening Night yet! It's currently in previews, which I thought was just so much fun. Imagine getting to see a big Hollywood film before it's been released in theatres yet? Pretty neat. Here's the synopsis of the plot, courtesy of the New York Times:

"This black comedy is set in 1939 Warsaw, as Joseph and Maria Tura are about to open yet another smash with their theatrical troupe. As the German invasion gets underway, the theatre is closed by the censors, forcing the troupe to face desperate times. But when a handsome young bomber pilot enlists their help to catch a spy, what is a group of actors to do?"

I know it sounds heavy, but it was really quite funny! It even had an actor I actually recognized in it, David Rasche. You may know him as Robert Gardener from All My Children, but I recognized him as "Mr. McNerney", Brittany Murphy's grouchy, pretentious father in the movie Just Married. Very fun.

(Courtesy IMDB)

I especially loved the ladies' hair, makeup, and wardrobe, which had a great retro feel. I'm such a sucker for all things retro, so it was a total dream to see their gorgeously set finger waves and ruby red lipstick! I also thought it fitting that the theater in which it played was originally called The Biltmore, which is the name of our reception venue. Talk about kismet!

We topped off the evening by sharing a bag of Garrett's popcorn on the train home,(the bag was a mix of caramel corn and cheddar, which actualyl tasted quite nice together!), and then off to bed for me and off to study for Mr. W. It was a sweet, thoughtful, magical evening with my best friend. Couldn't ask for more.


xoxo,

Lulu


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My First Awards!


I know I have a whole weekend, including my amazing surprise date(!), to catch you up on, but wanted to give proper posting... er... props to Daisy over at Dugout Daisy, who gave me not one, but *two* awards (and my first, to boot!). Daisy always sends me fun and thoughtful comments, and her enthusiasm for all things Dodgers and the Twilight series is infectious:





I feel doubly honored, as I received the award below from Daisy AND from Hopsy over at Monograms ans Manicures. Hopsy was one of the first blogs I followed religiously, so it's a real honor to be thought of. In my humble opinion, she is the epitome of a Classy Kappa, and I'm proud to call her a sister!




Characteristics for the Smile Award:


1. Must display a cheerful attitude. (I try to take after Mama Martini in that regard)
2. Must love one another. (Makes sense)
3. Must make mistakes. (Don't we all?)
4. Must learn from others. (Always)
5. Must be a positive contributor to blog world. (Working to get there someday...)
6. Must love life. (Hope you can sense this already?)
7. Must love kids. (Wouldn't babysit twice a week if I didn't!)

These are the rules for the Smile Award:
1. The recipient must link back the award's creator.
2. You must post these rules if you receive the award.
3. You must choose 5 people to receive the award after receiving it yourself.
4. You must fit the characteristics of the recipient of the award, as posted by Mere.
5. You must post the characteristics of a recipient.
6. You must create a post sharing your win with others.
7. You must thank your giver.

I'd like to give both of these awards to:


Miss Nina over at {Nina's Blog}! Nina, your comments always make me smile, and nobody can "holla at a playa" in pearls the way you can ;)

Naturally Caffeinated Family - I'm just getting to know her and her blog, but I really enjoy the way she writes! I'm looking forward to reading more soon.

Carrie over at Buzzings of a Queen Bee - I'm just bowled over by all her great home projects! I can totally appreciate her sense of style (and organization!)

Broke-Ass Bride - First off, her blog title always makes me laugh (I think all brides feel that way at some point!) . I'm looking forward to reading more about her creative wedding plans.

New Girl from New Girl On Post - I really enjoy reading about her adventures (and misadventures!) as a newlywed stationed on an Army base.




I apologize for not thanking you sooner, Daisy, but I'm still trying to find the balance between everything going on in my life (insert blog subtitle here) AND juggle blogging all in the same day. You daily posters are an inspiration for me! Hopefully I'll find the balancing act soon.


This little martini needs to hit the hay now, as part of the awesome job requires me to be in the office, ready to go, at 6 am at least once a week. Awesome Boss and I have to hit the road no later than then to head out to Greenwich, CT, where he’s designing a 24,000 square foot home (and no, the comma is not in the wrong place!) That translates to a 4am wake-up time for me, so I’d better wash the face, brush the teeth, and slip on my little sleeping eye mask. Mr. Wonderful is still studying at the desk, so I’m going to do my best impression of Miss Holly Golightly in order to get some rest.



Night, ladies!


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Date Night!


Guess who found out she has a surprise date night planned for her this evening...?!? Hooray!

I have NO idea what Mr. Wonderful has planned for me, but I'm floating through this day just thinking about it. There really is nothing better than a cute boy with a surprise up his sleeves, is there?
I'm especially excited for tonight, as date nights with Mr. W are a serious rarity right now. On a scale from 1 to 10, I'd say they're just a few notches lower than receiving an e-mail coupon for 50% off at Louis Vuitton. I kid.

But seriously gals, we really don't get to spend much time together these days, and for good reason. Mr. Wonderful is a rock star. Not a real rock star, like the get up on stage and perform to thousands of screaming fans kind (though I do have a girlfriend who IS married to a real life rock star, so I just that life vicariously through her)- Mr. Wonderful is a GMAT rock star.

One of the biggest things going on in our lives right now (except for the wedding, of course!) is that Mr. W is in the throes of applying to grad school. Mr. W is looking to go back to school in the fall of next year, in order to pursue his MBA *and* a Masters in Foreign Policy. I think that guy is just the cat's pajamas, and couldn't be more proud of him!

At this stage in the applications game, I'm a full-on GMAT widow. It's really not as awful as it sounds though, I promise. He studies each evening and full days each weekend, which gives me a ton of free time to babysit for extra cash and iron out the wedding details. What it does mean is that we currently don't get much 1-on-1 time. Free time with him means time that he's not studying, and it's in both of our best interests to see that he gets as strong a GMAT score as he possibly can. He takes his test on *October 25th*, so I've basically written off any free time with him until the test deadline is safely behind us.

I actually found out about our surprise date night by accident... I booked a last-minute babysitting gig for tonight with one of my 2 regular families, since I didn't already have plans. When I woke up Mr. Wonderful this morning, I casually mentioned the fact that he wouldn't be seeing me again until way later tonight, as I'd be heading straight to babysitting from work.

Girls, I have never seen that man wake up so quickly in my life. A look of terror washed over his face, and all he could muster out of his mouth was a quiet "Wait.... noooooo..." I was terrified for a second that I forgot someone's birthday dinner, or something of that sort, as Mr. W clearly already had a date with GMAT for the evening. He quickly stumbled through something to the effect of "but you can't have plans tonight because I made plans for us tonight because I planned something for you and it was a surprise and I don't know if I can reschedule because I don't even know when we're supposed to be there and do you think you could cancel because I know I'm supposed to be studying but I wanted to make special plans for us..."

My heart just about dropped right then and there. The love of my life had just planned a date night for us, even though it was supposed to be test study crunch time, and I had completely blown it. Devastated. There is a happy ending, as my babysitting family was TOTALLY cool with me cancelling (and happy that we had plans, since lately I spend more "date nights" with their 1 year old son than I do with my fiancé... lol). Crisis averted.


I'm looking forward to sharing my surprise with you soon!

xoxo
Lulu
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My Original Blog Crush


Happy Fall, ladies! The air has turned crisp here in Manhattan, and the leaves are slooowly starting to turn! In honor of Fall's official arrival, I'd like to let you in on one of my most decadent daily reads.

Girls, I’d like to introduce you to my original blog crush, the gal I hope to be like when I actually have a cosy domestic space of my own to call "home", Jaimee Rose of the Arizona Republic. Ms. Rose is a writer for my former hometown newspaper, and is a younger, chicer version of Miss Martha herself. I’ve spent many an hour reading Jaimee’s blog posts on
AzCentral.Com (click the link, and then scroll down to 'blogs' to find the latest post), wide-eyed with amazement and admiration. Jaimee is also a Fall-aholic and a complete addict of all things pumpkin, so the beginning of Fall always reminds me of her fun little posts. I've sampled a few of the posts I think you'd appreciate most below.


Last year's Glitter + Pumpkins = Joy has a KILLER Fall project I think we all need to copy, stat:



Also, to get you in the mood for the holiday season, I'd like to share with you some of her drool-worthy holiday projects:

Domestic Explosion - can you imagine doing this on a large scale, and giving away as holiday gifts? Mind-boggling...

I Am NOT Martha Stewart's Daughter - speechless.

And, if I *had* to pick a favorite (SO hard to do!), I'd like to highlight her talent with wrapping. Ladies, prepare yourselves... Fair warning- you may go into a paper-induced joy coma here. (and yes! she wrapped these all *herself*)

Obsessive-Compulsive Gift Wrap, Part 2

Unreal, right?! I thought you'd appreciate. Happy crafting, everyone!

xoxo,

Lulu

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A Day In The Life Of...


Enter Scene: Lulu, 15 minutes late for work, is frantically scurrying about the tiny ship galley of a kitchen while juggling a hot mug of coffee and throwing fistfuls of lettuce and sliced tomato into an oversized Tupperware container.

Mr. Wonderful: We're running late, honey. What are you doing?
Lulu: Go ahead and take the train without me, I need to pack a lunch today.
Mr. Wonderful: Ummm... Why? (appropriately questioned as Lulu has never taken the time to do so)
Lulu: Because I'm broke and I'm fat.

End Scene.
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Big Day Tomorrow!


I've got a big work event tomorrow night, and am looking *extremely* forward to it! As with the Domino magazine event a few weeks back, this event came to me rather unexpectedly; my stylish coworker C asked if I wouldn't mind attending an event with her and I wouldn't dare say no! We're heading to a cocktail reception for the debut of the new fabric line by Proenza Schouler, which has me giddy with excitement. I can only imagine what neat New York Girls About Town might be there, and can't wait to catch a glimpse of the PS brainchildren themselves, Hernandez and McCollough.

Again, I'm feeling a little stumped in the wardrobe department. I've settled on a black DVF wrap dress, as well as the new black Kate Spade heels and clutch I recently purchased. I'm going to throw caution to the wind and let my coworker C accessorize me from top to bottom; I've yet to meet a girl who knows how to work an accessory the way C can. Should be very fun to get a New York chic makeover for the big event!

Once again, spontaneous events like this are making me realize that I've been a bad little Boy Scout- the Scout motto "Be Prepared" is something I need to take a lot more seriously in this city full of unexpected surprises.

How do you ladies handle wardrobe issues for unexpected events? Do you run straight to the mall, or do you always have that certain "something special" hanging in your closet, just begging to be taken for a night on the town?
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Wedding Wednesday (and John McCain!)


Happy Wedding Wednesday, everyone! Thanks to Mojito Maven at Make Mine A Mojito for reminding me to post the latest wedding goodies. I'd like to try actually having Wedding Wednesdays ON a Wednesday, thankyouverymuch.

Today I'm going to backtrack a little bit to the first decision Mr. Wonderful and I made post-engagement: the ceremony location.

One of the topics that came up on the first date Mr. Wonderful and I had was the fact that he was in the process of going through Confirmation. Imagine my surprise and delight when he told me he was soon to be confirmed an Episcopalian... the same religion as me! The Episcopal Church is a fairly big, but not extremely common in the West like Catholicism or Mormonism, so it was a big shock to meet a fellow "soon-to-be" Episcopalian. Mr. W and I decided (over cocktails, haha) to go to church together that coming Sunday. I was never able to find an Episcopal church I particularly enjoyed attending in college, so I hadn't attended on a regular basis for the previous 4 years. You can imagine that it felt a little bit strange to be going to one on a second date.

I fell in love with the church instantly- it was traditional, had a wonderful choir, a great pastor, and just so happened to be located in my favorite neighborhood in all of Phoenix! I'd spent hours aimlessly driving through the area admiring houses, but somehow never saw the church there. I've daydreamed about living in that neighborhood more times than I can count, so having a church located there was just too good to be true.

Lastly, here's an interesing fact for you- Did you know that most of the weddings on TV and in Hollywood movies are based on the Episcopal marriage ceremony? Mr. W and I are all about the classic and traditional, so Hollywood, here we come!

Sidebar- This story has a little bit of political relevance (something you'll soon find to be a common thread in many of our wedding details)- John McCain and his family actually live just a few blocks north of the church, on the same street. That's right- The house Big Mac himself (or JSM as Mr. Wonderful refers to him) is currently selling, one of my favorite homes in the *entire* neighborhood, is just stroll away from the place I'll say "I Do!". Here's a video on CNN today about the compound, which the McCains have finally decided to sell. Tragedy! (CNN must have remembered it was Wedding Wednesdays over here at DMD and wanted to give me a relevant embed... haha):




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