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Happy Birthday, Papa!


Here's hoping the original man in my life, my awesome rock star dad Papa Martini, has the most wonderful, fun-filled, enjoyable birthday yet! No words could possibly express how much I love and appreciate you, so I'll just do it with pictures!

Our rehersal dinner

Wedding Day

And doing what he does best (besides being the best dad I ever could have hoped for)- playing rock and roll!


Stepping in with the live band to serenade my BFF/MOH with the Rolling Stones at her wedding reception. Quite possibly one of my favorite photos ever.

I love you, Papa!

xoxo,

Bear
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Let It Snow...


We finally have our first snow in New York City! I was getting a little worried... It had already snowed in Dallas... and even in Phoenix! We'd yet to have a solid "stick" on the ground here in the Big Apple. Lucky for us, the wait is over! This is what our terrace looks like this afternoon at around 2:


And this is what it looks like right now:


Wonderful, no?! The snow has been coming down gently, yet constantly, all evening. We've had a long day of package shipping (the holiday frenzy in a Manhattan post office? Everything you think it would be, and so much more), grocery shopping, first fire in the fireplace stoking, lasagna baking, chocolate-covered pretzel making, and the pièce de résistance- a web call-in to my closest friends' annual Holiday party in Scottsdale. Though my husband and I showed up in PJs, and I was donning my favorite $10 trapper hat from the corner street vendor, the magic of Skype helped us to enjoy a small piece of the party I wish I was able to attend most. Though I "see" my gal pals each day on Twitter, and read their blogs here and here each day, I'm so thankful to see their gorgeous, smiling faces in real time! Thanks to my lovely bridesmaid Jess for letting us crash her fab party!

The Mr. and I are now settling in for a warm night of red wine and Netflix On Demand in front of the fireplace. Sometimes life can be tough in this city, and sometimes the stress can be very tough to handle. But you know what? It's nights like this that make me appreciate the magic of New York City. We may not have a lot, but what we have is Oh. So. Good.


Happy Holidays!


xoxo,


Lulu

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"This Is My Grown-Up Christmas List"


I must admit- I've been rocking the Sounds of the Seasons TV music channel since November 2nd, in anticipation of the holiday season. The time period between Thanksgiving and New Years Day flew by *far* too quickly for me last year (despite being unemployed, and thus having no rush-rush, adult-type work to do), so I made an executive decision to stretch out the merriment as long as humanly possible this year. One downside to this? I've already found my way through the Sounds of the Seasons channel, start to finish, numerous times. Including the song "This Is My Grown-Up Christmas List", which is NOT in my Holiday Song Top 10 (or even top 50), and yet is the one that gets stuck in my head most often. Bah, humbug.

However- at least I can turn lemons into lemonade and use it as an apt post title, no?

You see, I'm getting a sneaking suspicion that my husband Santa Claus is having a hard time figuring out what to get me for our First Married Christmas. Without further ado, Santa- here's what Lulu wants for Christmas:

For those of you who don't know, the only iPod I own comes in the form of my broken iPhone. That means that the one time I worked out in the last 6 months every time I go running, I have to do it sans music. Or I have to take The Mr.'s iPod, which only has techno songs/ songs without words, because "the words are distracting" (?!?). And I'm not allowed to download Lady Gaga onto it, so really-where's the fun there?



I'm partial to the pink, the blue, and especially the orange, which reminds me of my wedding bouquet:


(Please forgive the highly unflattering "ZOMG I'm Maaaaariedddddddd!" face in the photo. I clearly don't wear 'Just Married' excitement well.)


Also- did you know that iPods can be personalized? I just found out about this recently courtesy of Slynnro. The iPod website says you still have until 12/19 to order with engraving and still make the holiday deadline- fancy that! You can even get 1% cash back if you order through your Ebates* account, such a score!


An Armband for said iPod Nano


This Incase Model seems to get particularly good reviews for the price. Another bonus would be a pair of earphones with the curly, over-your-ear piece that holds them in place? Goodness knows those fancy earbuds of Apple's are about as uncomfortable as it gets. (Or is it just me that thinks that?)



Kerastase Lait Nutri-Sculpt


I rediscovered an almost-empty bottle of this miracle product this weekend while cleaning the bathroom. I put a dime-sized amount on my damp hair before blowdrying, and it makes a MIRACULOUS difference in the shine and feel of my hair. I kid you not, the only difference in my morning routine has been this, but it has multiplied the sweet "you look hot!" comments from my husband 10 fold.


Gift Certificate to the Heather Bailey Store

Heather Bailey's Online Store is the one website guaranteed to make my heart go *pitter pat* each and every time I visit. The colors and patterns just speak to my soul! Her site is so full of creativity. I'm dying to make the Henrietta pin cushion pattern, and also dying to purchase an ungodly amount of Heather's fabrics to sew from my new book One-Yard Wonders.

(how precious is this Eloise turtle kit from Heather Bailey?!)

Gift Certificate to Michael's

Finally, what budding craft obsession would be incomplete without a gift certificate to Michael's? They just opened a huge location on the Upper West Side, and I have already spent *hours* wandering the aisles. The first post-Christmas project I'd like to tackle is a scrapbook of all things wedding related- bachelorette parties, rehersal dinners, the wedding, and the honeymoon. I have Ziploc bags full of momentos shoved into every corner or my desk... I'd love to actually house them in a decent, viewable location!

Well, well, well... I think that about does it! I can't wait to see what Santa comes up with for me!

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

xoxo,

Lulu



*Just so it's all out there on the table- if you use that Ebates link to sign up, you and I both get $5 Ebates cash back, if qualified.

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Christmas Has Come Early!


I was just informed by The Mr. that our early Christmas present laptops have just been delivered to his office!

Squee!

HOORAY for being {thisclose} to having a computer again!

My head is swimming with the thought if setting up a brand new little Dell tonight... A little *pink* Dell, to boot!

Stay tuned for official recaps of... well... basically everything that has happened in the last 8 months!

xoxo,
Lulu
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God Bless Texas


Mama and Papa Martini are in Mexico this week for the Thanksgiving holiday (rough life, no?), and sent me this e-mail while they were waiting for their flight:

"Soldiers come in every morning from Afganistan.
Everyone was up and applauding.
Brought a tear to the eye"

The airport waitress my mom spoke to said that a fresh set of troops comes home from the war every morning, and leaves airport customs at 8:00 am. She also said that each time they appear, the whole airport breaks into thundering applause. Apparently it was so moving, that even my dad became a little misty-eyed at the whole event.


I may only be a pseudo-Texan, and on a technicality at that (my parents have lived there for about 8 years, I never have), but I'll tell you what - there is really nothing like the pride Texans have for their country. God bless 'em.

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All I Want for Christmas...


If you follow me on Twitter, you may have picked up on the fact that we've had some serious technical difficulties around our house the past few months. My husband's laptop died a painful death a few months back, but he's lucky enough to have a corporate laptop to bring home at night (a corporate laptop that ALSO crashed last week, losing all the personal data he was supposed to have on said deceased personal laptop-turned-bedroom-doorstop, but that's another story...)

I've been fighting an uphill battle with my own laptop, but have overwhelmingly tried to give it the benefit of the doubt. Oh, your battery is no longer capible of holding a charge? No problem, I'll just keep you plugged in on a 20 ft. extension cord, carrying you throughout the house on a perilously unstable teather. (Seriously, if I had a dollar for every time the power cord was accidentally unplugged from the laptop, wiping away the 50 simultaneous Internet Explorer tabs I had opened, I could probably buy myself a new Speedy 35).

Or, Dear Laptop, how about how you drop my wireless signal every 10 minutes, despite the fact that our router is seriously 8 feet away from you? If you think that *all* the work the Mr. and I put in to thinking of a super-awesome wireless signal name (also known as The Toughest Household Decision We've Ever Had To Make Thus Far As A Married Couple) just for you to laugh in its face and drop-kick it 6 times an hour, you have another thing coming. But I caressed you, I coddled you, I compensated for your wireless connection issues until my fingers almost bled from Right-click ->Repair -> Refresh.

Then, and early Christmas miracle arrived- Mr. and Mrs. Claus (aka Mama and Papa Martini) broke the news yesterday afternoon that we'd be getting new laptops for Christmas.


*NEW LAPTOPS*!


I was so excited, my head almost exploded into little pieces of candy and confetti. For serious.

High off the prospect of new technology, I turned on the Laptop of Doom last night to write the "I'm Back!" blog post, and then to begin researching a replacement for my technological nemesis.
And this is what I was greeted with:



Well played, Laptop. Well played.

xoxo,

Lulu

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She's Back! Back in a New York Groove!


I've got a new life, a new look, and whole boatload of fun stories to catch you up on!

I cannot wait to finally get back in the blogging saddle, and share with you a little piece of what's been going on in LuluLand.

I'd like to give special thanks to Ashly at Blogheads by Ash, the lovely and talented designer of my new blog heading. It was high time that The Dirty Martini Diaries received a proper facelift, and I could not have chosen a better person to personify All Things Lulu in one sweet little header. Ash is a mindreader when it comes to design, so if you're looking for a fresh new look, go her way! You'll find her lovely button on the right-hand side of my blog.

I'm going to leave you with a little bit of pump-you-up music, Lulu and the Mr. style. This little ditty is a house favorite- look past the creepster '70s KISS video, if you will, and soak in a great song that totally mirrors how psyched I am to be back in Blogland!



xoxo,
Lulu
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{psssssst....}



Hi.

Remember me?

Again?

I promise that I'm coming back.

Soon.

Very soon.

I miss you all very much.

I hope you know that.

Thank you for being patient with me.

In the meantime, here's a little taste of what happened 6 months ago, this very day:


(Photo courtesy of the insanely, rediculously, trumendously talented Hollye Schumacher)

Time flies, right?

Looking forward to catching up on life soon, Dear Reader.

Very soon.

xoxo,
Lulu
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Going To Miss You, Little Buddy...


It's a sad day in LuluLand, my friends...I've never really mentioned this on the blog before, but the Mr. and I are the proud parents of 3 little furbabies. Sadly, my little ones are illegal in the state of New York, so I avoided their mention in this blog as I was technically breaking the law by having them (oooh, Lulu is such a troublemaker!). My little balls of furry love were actually 3 aging ferrets that I've raised since infancy. I know that a ferret isn't the most traditional choice for a pet, but they are seriously some of the best pets you could ever have.

When the Mr. and I moved to our newlywed love nest post-nuptials, we had one strong stipulation - NO pets allowed. My parents VERY kindly came to NYC, picked up my "kids", and took them back to Dallas with them so they could enjoy their golden years in a big, sprawling, sunny home.

One of my critters, Whitey, came to me 5 years ago or so, malnourished and abused. I had the choice of either taking him into my home (which at the time already had 4 other animals), or sending him to a kill shelter in Phoenix. It was a tough choice to increase my brood to a whopping 5, but an even tougher choice to know I would send him on to his eventual death. He was odd-looking- albino white fur and strange orange eyes- a face only a mother could love. Love him I did, and nursed him back to health and a long, happy life.

Sadly, my little babe passed away in his sleep yesterday afternoon.

Rest in peace, buddy...




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Hi, I'm Lulu- Have We Met?


Can I even begin to tell you all how much I have missed you, Dear Readers!?!

For the last 5 weeks, I've barely been surviving the heady combination of a GIANT work project, a slow-as-molasses apartment move, and *no* home Internet access for the last 5 weeks (I can't even steal free wireless from any of the neighbors- GAH!). If it weren't for Twitter access on my Blackberry, I would have literally gone insane.

I just wanted to bootleg my work Internet access for 30 seconds to sneak a quick hello to you all, and let you know that the cable man is coming to our new apartment on Saturday. I won't be the slightest bit surprised if I jump into his arms and start crying when he arrives- I am THAT excited to see him and to be reconnected to blog society again.

I promise that sticking out my absence just a few days longer will be worth the wait, *so* much has happened to catch you up on! Stay tuned for wedding recaps, honeymoon pictures, and a whole slew of other juicy nuggets from the Land of Lu!

xoxo,
Lulu
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The Big Leagues


I have an exciting announcement for you, Dear Reader~

I'm now a guest blogger for Elizabeth Anne Designs Living!

I am beyond shocked and honored to join the EADL team, as some of my *favorite* writers in Blogland now contribute to the site as well. Stop early and often to hear the latest from Mojito Maven, Erin, Liene, and many many more! (You can find my weekly posts here, too, if you're so inclined! ha) ETA: Kate has officially joined the team as well! It just keeps getting better!

In honor of this special blogging occasion, my amazing/talented/quite possibly coolest person on the face of the earth wedding photog Hollye Schumacher sent me one of our wedding photos early to use as my avitar:



(Lulu, The Mr. (sort of), and you have some seriously delicious dirty martinis)

This is the first glimpse of our wedding photos, fitting that it would be with dirty martini in hand! I cannot wait to see what else Hollye has in store... Thanks, again, Hollye!

Special thanks to my blogland friends for getting me involved with the project, and to sweet Ami at EAD for letting me be a part of such a great site!
xoxo,
Lulu
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Coming Soon To A Theater Near You...


*Our wedding film!*
That's right ladies, our wedding video trailer is officially up for preview!

From the moment the Mr. and I knew we were having the wedding in Phoenix, I became fixated with the idea of having the multi-talented team at My Wedding Film do the videography for our big day. I became familiar with My Wedding Film after I discovered that they provided the videography for a few of my Kappa sorority sisters, and fell *madly* in love with their work.

Then- I lost my job, and had no hope of being able to fit such a spectacular vendor into my budget.

A month before the wedding (when I was finally employed again), a true wedding planning miracle came true - Mary of My Wedding Film let me know that they were still available to shoot our big day. I thought my head would explode into little bits of confetti when I signed their contract, as I knew that they would produce something magical for us.

And boy, ladies, did they ever!

Without further ado, the preview of our big day:



Big thanks to My Wedding Film and Liene of The Smart Planner for making this happen!
Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!
xoxo,
Lulu
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The Post Where I Throw Out Terribly Obvious Hints


Dear Mr. Wonderful,

As you know, I'm going to be home late in order to attend that little "How To Make Money on eBay" class I mentioned earlier today. (Make money, money! Make money, money, monaaaay!)

Just in case you were wondering, we have all the ingredients for those Rachel Ray Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna Roll Ups with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce we both love so much... minus the 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1 cup veggie stock.

Just in case you were wondering.

:)

Love,

Your Wife
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Just A Friendly Little Reminder


Dear Manhattan weather,

I'm dropping you a gentle reminder that it is, in fact, Spring now. I know time has been flying quickly this year, so I can relate to you being just a tad bit behind on the seasonal weather change thing. I mean, I'm a little behind on the To Do list thing myself, you know? Perhaps you were just being accommodating, since you know that I haven't done the whole Winter/Summer wardrobe switch out and all? I sincerely appreciate the gesture, but frankly am just not kosher with the fact that I wore both a cashmere sweater AND a tweed blazer to work yesterday without the slightest hint of overheating. Also, it's more than just a little disappointing to read the Facebook status of my Phoenix friends- they're basing by the pool all day while I'm in wellies and a pullover. Hmpf.

Let's make a pact, eh? I put away the cashmere blends, you bring on the Central Park-worthy sunshine.

Thanks,

Lulu
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Spotted - RHNY Bethenny!


I've been stuck in a big work conference all week, which means I neither have time to 1) blog, 2) do laundry, nor 3) buy groceries. My waistline is rapidly increasing due to the consumption of copious amounts of "conference food" (you all know what I'm talking about - bagels, cookies, and vast amounts of diet soda), I'm sporting my last pair of clean unmentionables, and I'm nearly bursting at the seams with all the wedding recaps I'd like to get out to you.

I've dubbed this weekend Blogapaloosa in my little shoebox of an apartment, and will be pulling together some fun coverage of the wedding. In the meantime, I have a *great* little teaser for you! Last night I passed up a free corporate dinner (read: all the food and vino you can consume) at one of my FAVE reataurants in the city, just for you Dear Reader! And you thought I didn't love you... I popped on over to the Columbus circle Borders store and attended RHNY Bethenny's book signing appearance!

I have gossip! I have photos! I even took a bunch of video clips, so you gals could see just how hilarious she is in real life. I may or may not even have a little giveaway item for you tucked in my LV Speedy. *wink wink*

Keep your eyes peeled for the next post, as it'll be packed full of the goods!

xoxo,
Lulu
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A Married Woman!!!!!!


We did it! I'm now officially a married woman, lovelies! The wedding passed all my wildest expectations, and was far and above the best day of my life!!! I have never felt anything more overwhelming than standing on that altar and pledging my love and fidelity to Mr. Wonderful. The weather was perfect, our vendors were *amazing*, and we enjoyed every minute of it. Mr. Wonderful's mother was even discharged from the hospital in time to attend both the rehearsal dinner and the ceremony! Big praise. The day was a little bittersweet, however, as my grandmother was hospitalized after the rehearsal dinner and missed the wedding. I wish more than anything that she and her husband had been able to attend, but I feel so blessed to have spent quality time with her at the rehearsal dinner.

As you can imagine, I have a TON of recapping to do regarding the past few weeks! In the meantime, I'll leave you with a few photos stolen from my friends off of Facebook (thanks, guys! haha) Without further ado- the marriage of Lulu and Mr. Wonderful!


My funny "trying not to cry" face

Mr. and Mrs!



First dance



MUCH, much more to come!
xoxo,
Lulu

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The Night Before The Night Before


Hi lovelies! I have a big prayer request, and need your help. Mr. Wonderful's mother was hospitalized last night with a terrible case of pneumonia and dehydration. Lucky for us, she is getting wonderful treatment. Also, Mr. W's amazing sister is an ER nurse, and has been able to supervise her treatment. We're hopeful that she'll be discharged Friday afternoon, or Friday evening at the latest. Please pray that she'll make a speedy recovery, and will be able to attend her only son's wedding. Mr. Wonderful's father passed away when he was in middle school, so not having either parent there to witness our union would be totally heartbreaking.

I guess no mater how much you plot and plan for your big day, there are truly some things that you cannot control. I'm also having an internal battle with something I never thought I'd worry about with a spring wedding in Arizona- the weather. I was born and raised in Colorado, and still have many close friends and family that call the Rocky Mountains home. There is a radical snow storm expected to come in tonight, and at last update there are flights being cancelled left and right. Worst-case scenario, I'll be missing a bridesmaid, a reader/favorite uncle, ring bearer, and a ton of amazing family friends. Please keep your fingers crossed that all comes out alright!

I hope to catch up more tomorrow! Need to tuck out now to finalize our DJ song list, corral information for a wedding party timeline, and finish the glass of hot champagne I'm drinking to de-stress from all the chaos.

Big kisses from Wedding Central!

xoxo,
Lulu
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5 Days!


Lulu here! I'm currently cozied up under the covers, snug as a bug in this divine resort bed. I'm wary from a long day and a shot of NyQuil, but decided that it's more important to capture these last few pre-marital days on the blog than to fall asleep watching reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond! I'm sure my future children will get a kick to read this many years from now and see just what I was feeling the week I got married.

I had a stress-free Saturday morning packing for the trip (and I *never* have a stress-free packing experience) and tidying the house for my 2 week departure. My flight from New York to Phoenix was truly entertaining. I spent much of the time talking about marriage with the 60 something year old man next to me, who was 27 hours deep into a flight from Pakistan to Phoenix to await the arrival of his grandchild. I also taught him how to use his personal airline TV set, which was quite a kick. The adorable attendants from JetBlue also comped my entire beverage bill! I never realized the effect the phrase "I'm getting married this week!" had on people. Thank you, lovely Jetblue ladies!

My parents and their little yorkie Talulah picked me up from the airport, and ushered me back to the resort to begin one of the best weeks of my life. The hotel catering manager Lindsay hooked me up with the greatest room, I feel like a queen to be posted up here all week! I walked into my awesome new digs to find the piece de resistance- my wedding dress hanging on the closet door, fluffed out in all its glory. It's so surreal to have it right here- makes me realize that I'm actually getting married in that dress. THIS WEEK!

Thank you for all your prayers and well wishes about my health! I'm still battling a bit of a cold. It's lightened up quite a lot, but I still have a pretty hoarse voice and need NyQuil each night to prevent coughing fits. I had to miss Easter mass, which was a bit of a bummer, but have been getting lots of well-needed R & R in preparation for the big day. We've also checked some big to do's off the list. I had my hair trial this morning (loved it!), picked up our wedding rings from the jeweler, and met with Liene, who is the ultimate wedding logistics guru. I can honestly say that I am still stress-free about the whole event, especially after the productive chat my mother and I had with Liene. I don't know how to ever thank you enough, Liene!!!!!!!

Tomorrow brings a meeting with the florist, more quality time with the parents, and hopefully a much-needed pedicure! I'm also full of excitement to see Mr. Wonderful, who arrives late tomorrow evening.

We've had wonderful weather and smooth sailing so far, cannot wait to see what the next few days bring!

I'm missing you all, and can't wait to catch up more soon!

xoxo,
Lulu
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Single Digits!


Ladies, the wedding countdown has officially hit single digits.

SING-LE DIG-ITS!

I'm in total awe.

I leave Saturday morning to head off to the glorious Arizona weather, not a moment too soon. (It snowed here yesterday for a little bit ladies... SNOW in the middle of April!?!?! Come on.) I'm actually even able to check the weather on my wedding day now, since we're within range of a 10-day forecast! We're looking at mostly sunny, 89 degrees and 0% chance of precipitation. Since we're having an outdoor garden reception, that's just what I like to hear!

I'd realyl appreciated of you could send up a little prayer for my health this morning- I am battling a serious head and chest cold right now. The thought of me sniffling and coughing on the alter gives me serious heebie jeebies... Please pray I get over this cold in time for my big day!

I can't wait to get settled in Phoenix for the week, so I can fill you in on the latest!

xoxo,
Lulu
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Wedding SOS - Help Needed!


Ladies, it's time to put on your fabulous little thinking caps. I need some serious help in LuluLand. The 2-part SOS is as follows:

1.) I'm going to admit that I still haven't purchased Mr. Wonderful's wedding gift... I have NO FREAKING IDEA what to get the man!!!!!! What did you married girls buy your husbands? What do you creative gift givers think would be the perfect groom gift?

2.) Conversely, I have no idea what to politely hint for as *my* fantabulous wedding gift! What do you ladies think would be a dream come true wedding present to get from your groom? (And let's be semi-realistic here, don't think I'm going to walk outside to see a Jag with a big, red bow on the lawn... haha!) What did you newlyweds receive as a precious wedding gift from your grooms?

*Pretty please* help a girl out! I'm completely clueless on both fronts!

xoxo,
Lulu
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T-Minus 12 Days and Counting...


Happy Monday, little chickadees!!! We had quite the week last week in our little soon-to-be newlywed abode! I had my official orientation tour (which consisted, in part, of running into and saying hello to Christiane Amanpour, como se dice 'awesome!' en espanol!?), had my last official weekend in NYC as a (insert maiden name here), and said out loud to the Mr. about a million times - "Do you realize we're getting married in 2 weeks!?!" This time is FLYING by, and I feel like I'm just holding on for the ride!

We've had a couple of mini-scares- one involving the groomsmen's ties- big thank you Kate, from elefantitas elegres, for introducing us to the awesomeness that is The Tie Bar.- while packing them for the trip to Phoenix for the wedding, I counted them and realized that Mr. Wonderful hadn't purchased enough of them. We rush ordered the final tie, crisis averted... Until I had a sinking suspicion that I should also double-check the groomsmen and ushers' morning suit orders with Men's Warehouse.

Turns out, one of our groomsmen had yet to show up for his measurements, and the deadline was a scant 3 hours away. No fault of his own, really- he's been on active duty in Iraq for over a year, and had just recently returned to the states. Luckily, Mr. W got in touch with him and had him phone in his measurements to be processed for the wedding. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a major internal freak out over the idea of being one morning suit short for the big day, but I'd like to think I handled it with style and grace (and a bit of vodka).

With 12 days left until the wedding, we have a score of Lulu - 2, major disasters - 0!

I also wanted to send some serious thank you love over to Mojito Maven- My darling MM and Mr. Mojito sent us the most *perfect* wedding present - a fabulous mojito kit! I about died when I opened it, it's the most creative gift! Big thank you hugs and kisses to you, MM... Can't wait for you and the Mr. to make it out to NYC for mojitos!

This weekend was a whirlwind- I had to wash all of my honeymoon clothes (big post about that coming up soon!), and try to get all other "weekend" things out of the way, as I leave for Phoenix on Saturday morning. I plan on having my honeymoon suitcase packed in its entirety no later than Wednesday of this week, so I won't have to stress. (Packing always sends me into a mini-meltdown, just trying to prevent a total pre-wedding freak out.)

While I was going through all of my honeymoon clothes, I realized that I had totally forgotten to get one of the key pieces to my honeymoon theme (you read that right- my honeymoon wardrobe has a theme and I *love* it!). I've been dying to get a classic L.L. Bean boat tote in navy, with my new monogram on the side. I ordered one for rush delivery, and am praying it makes it to NYC before I leave!
The Mr. and I took advantage of my new work-related 15% off discount at J. Crew by buying him a brand new honeymoon wardrobe. Thank goodness for my new discount, because this man did some serious damage! I swear, we're going to look like a J. Crew catalog on our honeymoon. No complaints here, though!

I also treated myself to a long-desired present - the Clarisonic Skincare Brush!



Photo courtesy of Sephora


I've decided to start buying myself one fun treat each paycheck, and this seemed like a fitting pre-wedding splurge! I'll let you all know how the results turn out.

I also received a little splurge from Mr. Wonderful after his shopping spree - he took me to Williams-Sonoma for a little treat! I have been completely obsessed with the pink and green kitchen towels and dishcloths for as long as I can remember... The Mr. bought me a set of each in the pattern below!


Having something like this almost makes me want to do the dishes! (Almost.)

I hope you all had a happy and eventful weekend!

Happy Monday!

xoxo,

Lulu

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Serious Food Crush


Sneaking another secret post over lunch... Aren't you loving how I live on the edge right now?
Wanted to let you in on the biggest craze in our household right now... Behold, Mr. Wonderful and I's latest food crush:

Birds Eye Steamfresh Vegetables



Seriously, ladies? *Miracle* product over here. You literally just grab a bag out of the freezer, toss it in the microwave (no venting needed), and cook the sucker for about 5 minutes. That. Is. ALL! Perfectly steamed veggies for the laziest of cooks- no chopping, no mess, nada. It's obvi a bit more pricey than just buying the veggies and steaming them yourself, but find it WELL worth the extra coin (which I am still watching like a hawk, despite being employed again).

I'm munching on a bag of broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower right now to accompany my Weight Watchers Smart Ones (Lasagna Florentine, if you're curious). Consuming the entire bag is a scant 1.5 points! There is more food in my cubicle than I could possibly consume right now, which never seems to happen when I'm watching my point intake.

These little frozen pouches are miracle workers at home too, since they're a painless way to get in your veg at dinnertime. The Mr. and I have gone through 1-2 bags a day since we discovered them, and feel SO much better knowing that we're getting in a good daily dose of veggies now.


You should pick up a bag and let me know what you think!

Happy munching, girls!

xoxo,

Lulu


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Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!


I'm getting married this month.


THIS. MONTH.


!!!!!!!!!!!


I'm coming to you live from the cubicle that I should *NOT* be blogging in, but I cannot help it. I feel like a little addict, sneaking in a quick post while nobody is looking. Shhh!


I can't tell you how much I MISS BLOGGING right now! There is so much going on in my life now that I want to share with you ladies, but I can't seem to find the time to get it out there.


The biggest is obvi the wedding, which is in a whopping 17 days. Almost all of the details have been solidified (yay!), but there is still one big, gaping hole that needs to be filled.


Mr. Wonderful and I are having 2 priests at our wedding- the "main" officiant that will be marrying us (the Mr's surrogate father), and the former priest from the Mr's prep school will be assisting. Our second priest will be giving the sermon, and has asked us to "write a paragraph about why you love each other" so that he may echo our sentiments to one another during his homily.
Um....... Let me get this straight- the reasons why I love the Mr., in 1 paragraph, and completed in 2 days? Commence small wedding freak out----NOW. One of the secret reasons I loved the idea of a traditional Episcopal wedding ceremony was the fact that I didn't have to write my own vows. The thought of having to sum up all my feelings of love and devotion in one short excerpt scares the *living daylights* out of me... I thought I had dodged a bullet on that front by going the traditional route? Ummm, notsomuch.
I have precisely 2 days pour my heart out into 1 paragraph, and send it along to be parceled out into a speech for all to hear. I can literally feel my blood pressue rising as I type this.
I need a drink.
xoxo,
Lulu





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Engagement Photos!


Our engagement photos are here!!! We had our photos done by the lovely Janine from Saving Grace Photography a few weekends back. I was first introduced to Janine through my previous boss and his wife, who hired her to do maternity and newborn sessions when they had their baby daughter. I was so blown away with her work that I contacted her to see if she was open to doing an engagement session with us... Luckily, she said yes!!!

We had a blast with her, wandering around the Financial District and the South Street Seaport on a sunny Saturday morning. We ended up at Trinity Church, one of our favorite Episcopal cathedrals in the city. It was the perfect way to end our session, since our faith is such a unifying bond between the two of us.

Without further ado, here is a little teaser of our session:

You can find the more of our photos on Janine's blog here! I cannot wait to see the rest of the photos when they are ready, and share them with you!

Happy Friday, lovelies!

xoxo,
Lulu









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Everything's Coming Up Roses!


Happy Monday, lovelies! I hope you've been having a great and productive start to Spring. Can you believe it- Mr. Wonderful and I are getting married in less than a month! Thanks to an amazing fiance, a supportive bridal party, a creative parents, and the world's most organized and calming planner, I can honestly say that I am feeling NO stress about this wedding! Sure, I may not have solidified a hairdresser or started the seating arrangements yet (which I'm sure may bring out a minor bridal freak out), but still! I'm just so thankful to be *having* a wedding, to the man of my dreams no less, that even if the sky opens up and pours on my garden reception I'll be the happiest girl on earth.

I have to say, I can't remember a time where I have been more busy and have had more amazing things come my way. Believe me, it has been a welcome change to the tumultuous 5 months I've just been through. I couldn't feel more blessed and appreciative of everything going on in my life! Just warning you now- if you're not in the mood for some serious cheerfulness, I say star this post in Google Reader and come back to it at another time. The stars have aligned and God has been GOOD to us, so I couldn't have anything negative to say if you paid me!

Here's a little recap of what I've been up to over the past 2 weeks:

My bachelorette party? A complete dream come true! I spent 5 full days in Scottsdale, Arizona, working on wedding plans and spending time with some of my nearest and dearest girlfriends. We relaxed, we ate great food, and spent some serious quality time together. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect way to ring in my final days before becoming a Mrs. I'm planning a big recap post soon, as soon as I can wrangle the pictures from my girls (start sending them, ladies!)


I switched gears on Tuesday, travelling from Phoenix to my company's Headquarters in Atlanta for my first business trip. I spent the remainder of the week practically living in the office- attending meetings and getting to know our business counterparts. Even after all the meetings, acronym translations, and database briefings, I still don't think I could love this new job more if I tried. Great business trip.

I was able to catch an early flight home on Friday, which gave me a nice jump start to the weekend. At this point, I had been away from home for *8 days*! Needless to say, I was ready to see Mr. Wonderful. He took me to a local Mexican food restaurant his coworker recommended. Who were we seated next to? None other than Cameron Mathison from All My Children and his family. Too fun.

We capped off the weekend by discovering our new favorite weekend to do-
mixing brunch with real estate hunting! We spent our days trolling the Craigslist no-fee rental listings on my Blackberry while sipping mimosas at some of the local sidewalk cafes. We alternated cocktails and open houses all day, it was the greatest! We met some great people, and saw some AMAZING apartments, including a garden apartment with a 450 square foot private back yard. In Manhattan. Could you *imagine*?!?! We're not looking to move until our lease is up this summer, but it was a great way to see our favorite neighborhood and catch up on life.

If you can even imagine, I have more fun things to share - Mr. Wonderful's big birthday, our engagement photos, and a *humongous* wedding recap... Stay tuned!
xoxo,

Lulu
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Busiest. Week. E-V-E-R!!!


Greetings from sunny Arizona! I'm currently snuggled up in my PJs, taking my first breather in a week! There is SOOOO much I want to catch you ladies up on, I don't know where to start! As you may remember, I had quite a laundry list of milestone events going on these past few days:

- First day at my new job
- Our engagement photo session in downtown NYC
- Going to see the taping of Saturday Night Life
- The big NYC blogger meet up at Lilly Pulitzer, courtesy of the lovely Hopsy
- Mr. Wonderful's birthday!!!!!
- My big bachelorette party weekend
And now, I can also add one more item to the list - my first business trip for the new job, which I am headed to directly after my bachelorette weekend! When all is said and done, I'll be out of town for more than a week straight, Good Gracious!

I'm going to try and do each of these events justice, so I'll start with this past Saturday's big events - our engagement shoot and our Saturday Night Live taping. SO MUCH FUN!! Also, please bear with the length of the recap below, I *promise* that it is worth your while!

Mr. Wonderful and I spent Saturday morning shooting our engagement session in a few of our favorite areas, the Financial District and the South Street Seaport. I haven't seen any of the proofs yet, but will share them with you once we get them!

I know you have all been dying to hear about the big SNL taping, so I'll try to share everything I remember. SNL has been one of my favorite shows since I was a kid... It will forever be in the top 3 best nights of my life (after getting engaged and getting married, of course!). We showed up at the Rockefeller Center to claim our tickets, and were ushered into a special line- the line for floor seats! There are only 38 seats on the studio floor, so we felt like the luckiest people in the world.


Once we were ushered into the studio, we stood in line for about 15 minutes (for those of you SNL fans, it was that notorious backstage hallway they film a lot of skits in). We had people like Andy Samburg and Bill Heder walking past us. Jason Sudeikis was wandering around in KU basketball shorts and a button-down flannel shirt. So funny!

They ushered us in a few minutes before taping, where we were entertained by the opening act- Jason Sudeikis doing a stand up routine, and then Kristen Wiig and Fred Armisen singing "One Way Or Another". Kristen is a great singer, and Fred actually played electric guitar! Then, the SNL announcer guy came out to talk to us and practice announcing the names- the guy was so old and adorable! He looked just like my grandpa, which was a real trip. I actually heard that he lives elsewhere, and that they fly him in every week for the evening just to announce! Sounds like a good gig to me!

The beginning of the show was a total whirlwind- we had cameras whizzing over our heads and RIGHT next to Mr. Wonderful, since he was on the aisle. We were seated in the back row, so we could see all the floor action on stage and behind us. I don't think I can even explain how exciting and amazing it was. Cast members were running back and forth right behind us, smiling and saying things like "What's up?!" to us as they ran by. You can tell they were having a great time.

I haven't seen the entire show from start to finish yet, but I know for a fact we were on TV! You can see us in this clip of Ray Lamontagne's first song- The Rock was practically sitting on Mr. Wonderful's shoulder when he introduced Ray! You can see us here! I'm sitting to the right of the blonde lady, and Mr. W is sitting behind the guy in the light blue shirt. How much fun is that!?!

NOW- I'm going to go into what was the BEST part of the entire night for me (and no, it wasn't Justin Timberlake, but bear with me). Right after The Rock introduced Ray (which was maybe the best live performance I've *ever* seen), I started to look around the studio to try and take it all in. I noticed that there were a bunch of people filing in from backstage to watch Ray perform... Suddenly, I glanced a familiar face. OK ladies, imagine this- looking behind you, and realizing that your *favorite actress in the ENTIRE world* is standing right behind you. Just picture it: for you it could be Angelina, Anniston... Whomever. For me, that actress happens to be Jennifer Westfeldt:


She's hands-down my favorite actress, and she was standing just steps away from me.

IT. GETS. BETTER.

My brain was trying to compute simultaneously hearing the coolest song ever, seeing some of my favorite SNL cast mates, AND my favorite actress all at the exact same time. Then, it occurred to me- Jennifer Westfeldt has a boyfriend. Who just happens to be VERY VERY VERY FAMOUS RIGHT NOW. I knew he had to be behind me as well, so I took another glance and saw this particular man standing next to her:



Um, HELLO!!!!

To be perfectly honest, to even Justin Timberlake's surprise appearance didn't even phase me when he came out (even the audience didn't know he was coming) - I was on such a sensory overload, that my brain just couldn't compute any more ridiculously awesome celebrity sightings. I did snap out of if for a half of a second to chuckle when Jessica Biel made eye contact and smiled at me as she was leaving the stage after the big "Goodbye, thanks for coming" end piece of the show, since she and I are from the same town and once upon a time she threatened to beat me up freshman year of high school... But that's a different story for a different day! (I know that she didn't actually recognize me in the audience, and was just being friendly to a 'random stranger', but she certainly picked an interesting target!)

My brain is seriously starting to hurt just thinking about all of this, since it was such a sensory overload!!! I'm going to sign off now to grab some food (I can see In N Out from my window! Grilled cheese sandwich from the Secret Menu, here I come!) and then need to catch some sleep (I'm running on nothing but 4 hours of sleep and a ton of Red Bull).

Sweet dreams ladies, can't wait to catch you up on more soon!

xoxo,
Lulu
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Watch Saturday Night Live Tonight


The Mr. and I are headed in a cab over to sit in the audience of tonight's SNL taping!!! Keep your eyes peeled- I'm in as green tweed blazer, and he's in a striped shirt and grey v-neck sweater... SOOOO excited! Full recap of tonight's taping and today's engagement pic photo shoot tomorrow!

Xoxo,
Lulu
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Last Day of Freedom!


Thank you SOOO much for all your organizational tips, ladies! I've been pouring over them all morning long. If you have any other tips on how you balance work/school/housework/meal planning- *anything* that helps you get through the week without tearing your hair out - please let me know here!

I've been trying to stay cool and collected, what with the excitement/nerves my first day at work tomorrow is bringing and all. However, I didn't realize until this morning that I leave for my bachelorette party a week from tomorrow!!! Holy major life milestone coming my way! The more I started thinking about my week, I realized that the following will ALL be going down in the next *7 days*:

- First day at my new job
- Our engagement photo session in downtown NYC
- Going to see the taping of Saturday Night Life (I'll let you know what I decide to wear so you can try and spot me! haha)
- The big NYC blogger meet up at Lilly Pulitzer, courtesy of the lovely Hopsy
- Mr. Wonderful's birthday!!!!!
- My big bachelorette party weekend

It BOGGLES my mind to see that so many huge events all happened to align themselves into one 7 day period. I can feel my blood pressure rise just by reading that list, and realizing how many outfits I need to pull together this next week! Ahhhh! Thank goodness for all of your helpful organization tips, I'm going to need ALL of them in the next 7 days!!!

I'm trying to spend my last 24 hours as a housewife in a calm, focused manner (or as calm as I possibly can be, considering the list above). I started off the day by beginning Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred DVD plan, in order to do a little stress busting. I'll let you know how the next 30 days goes! I'll also be finishing the laundry, tidying up our apartment, and cooking my favorite new crock pot recipe - Weight Watchers Zero Point Soup! (you should seriously check it out! I add extra red pepper flakes for a nice zing).

Fingers crossed that my first day goes well! I can't wait to see how it goes!

xoxo,
Lulu
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Countdown to Rejoining The Working World- Help Me Transition Back!


First of all, THANK YOU, Dear Readers, for your congratulatory words!!! Your kind thoughts and well wishes mean SO much to me. I'm so proud and thankful to have such kind-hearted blogger friends!!!

Needless to say, it has been quite a celebration in our household for the past few days... After landing on my flight back to NYC (more on the Dallas trip soon, it was *beyond* fun and eventful!!), I walked to baggage claim and was surprised by a familiar face- Mr. Wonderful had traveled all the way to the airport to surprise and congratulate me! He was standing at the baggage carousel, an ear-to-ear smile on his face and a bottle of Veuve in his hand. Beyond adorable. We headed home, and went out to a celebratory sushi dinner.

The next morning, I woke up to the smell of breakfast... Mr. W snuck out of the house while I was still asleep, and ran to the corner store for my favorite breakfast sandwich. He surprised me (again!) with breakfast and bellinis in bed. Ladies, I almost died *right there* and went straight to Heaven. I can't tell you how great this man is to me! We rounded out the celebration weekend by ordering the HBO channel for our apartment (SUCH an extravagance for us!), and catching up on one of our favorite shows- Big Love (HIGHLY recommend it!!!).

It dawned on me today, in the middle of room cleaning and laundry folding, that these were my last few days at home full-time! I'm both elated and nervous at the prospect of rejoining Corporate America. I've gotten into such a great routine over the last 5 months, I have an irrational fear that I'll never cook a decent meal or have the laundry done on time again! It feels like the first day of school, all over again!

Here's where you come in, Dear Reader! I would love for you all to share some of your favorite time-management skills!

What helps you manage your career/household /schoolwork/volunteer/church time? I'm talking cleaning schedules, meal planning, packing your lunch the night before work... ANY suggestions would be *greatly* appreciated! Nothing beats a case of the nerves like feeling 100% prepared beforehand... Please help me get there!

xoxo,
Lulu
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I GOT THE JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


After almost 5 months of unemployment, I'm proud to announce that I just accepted the opportunity of a lifetime!!!! I've been interviewing for this particular position since the first week of January, but didn't want to jinx it by blogging about the process. ***Edited to add: I can no longer go into any detail about my job, due to Corporate Policy. Let's just say that it is a REALLY great job, and that I'm REALLY REALLY happy. Hooray!

I can't even begin to tell you how blessed and relieved I feel to finally be employed again. When I lost my job, I felt like God came out of nowhere and put me through quite a trial- I had no idea how I was going to try to search for a job and plan a long-distance wedding, all while living on 30% of my previous income (in one of the most expensive cities in the world, no less)...

Now that I've finally seen the light at the end of the tunnel, I couldn't be happier to have gone through this trial. I will never again complain about how much I dislike my job or how boring I think it is, because I'll be forever grateful to HAVE a job affording me a steady income and health insurance. I've learned to never take for granted the daily extravagances I can now afford, like body lotion or cable TV.

I've really enjoyed having you on this uncertain path with me, Dear Reader... Let's raise a celebratory class of Veuve, and toast to the next leg of this amazing journey!

xoxo,

Lulu


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Answers, Get Your Answers Here


Blogging from my BlackBerry in bed at my parents' house in Dallas (aka the comfiest bed on the planet)... The battery is about to die, and I can't find my charger at the moment. (shocker)

Wanted to send out a friendly reminder that I'm having a question and answer session for my 100th post, if you're interested in learning a bit more about me! I'll be back soon to answer questions, as well as to cover in detail all the killer things I have planned while in the big D.

I hope you all are having a great week!

Xoxo,
Lulu
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Ninety-eight... Ninety-nine...


ONE HUNDRED!!!!!!!

I cannot believe that I'm writing my 1ooth post right now! It's pretty unbelievable to see how much life has changed since I started this blog five short months ago. It started out as a way for me to record all the fun career and life experiences I'd been going through here in New York City, as well as a way for me to share a piece of our "city life" for all our friends and family. I never thought that blogging would connect me with such a wonderful new group of friends!

I can't tell you how blessed I feel to have all of you in my life now. I've gone through some serious ups and downs in the past few months, and seriously do *not* know what I would have done without your support. I just don't know how I could possibly thank all of you readers, followers, and friends enough.

I wanted desperately to do a fun giveaway for my 100th post, but I just don't have the money right now to do so. As many of you know, I've been unemployed for almost the entire time I've been blogging (eww... that is painful to type!) I'm still heavy into the job hunt, and *hope* to have a positive update soon on that front. I'm hopeful that by the time 200 posts comes along, there will be a doubly big giveaway to make up for it! *wink*

In the meantime, I'm going to leave this post open for my first session of Q and A time. I may not be able to share any fun gifts with you (yet!), but I can share with you any answers to questions you may have. Ask away!

xoxo,
Lulu
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Love Day Recap- A Long Peak Into The Life of The Wonderful-To-Be's


My amazing Love Day 3-day weekend is officially coming to a close, so it's time to let you in on my unusual list posted earlier this week! I decided to start a tradition this year, where I'd treat Mr. Wonderful to a fun Valentine's Day Eve treat. I wanted to show my appreciation for his V-Day plotting and scheming, so I went out and purchased the ingredients for one of his favorite meals - caprese paninis with cured salami. I also wanted to buy him a gift, which is kind of hard to do when you don't have any income. I decided to get creative with the grocery budget to show my Cupid-worthy appreciation. (P.S. the meal gets EVEN better at the end of the post... Stick with us here, ladies...)


I wanted to start out by make Mr. W some sort of heart-shaped desert, so I figured that slice-and-bake sugar cookies would be a great start to the day, right? WRONG! The heart-shaped cookie cutter I found to do the job was three times the size of a regular slice-and-bake chunks... So smooshing three pieces together would make a good heart cookie, right? Well, once the cookies came out ROCK HARD AND THE SIZE OF MY HAND, I figured I wasn't cut out for this baking junk... Exhibit A:



Luckily, I plied Mr. W with enough Smoking Loon Cab that he didn't realized he probably chipped his tooth with my "baking" skills. He appreciated the effort, and I appreciated that I was somehow able to make only six cookies out of an entire loaf of slice-and-bake goodness.

As I can barely afford to purchase groceries on my lovely unemployment salary, my budget for Martha-worthy gift giving and wrapping is slim-to-none. I give you Exhibit B- Mr. Wonderful's Valentine presents... giftwrapped in tissue paper, duct tape, red Sharpie ink, and flyers from the local pharmacy (from V-Day weekend, so they have plenty o' pink-n-red in the color scheme):


From left to right: A can of Spotted Dick (so I have a wicked eye for funny grocery store presents and the humor of an 8 year old... sue me), Tabasco Chipotle seasoning (one of Mr. W's faves), Stonewall Kitchen's Roasted Garlic Onion Jam (probably the best thing to ever grace sourdough toast... trust me on this), and a close-up of the piece de resistance:


Reynolds 50 Count aluminum Foil Sheets, wrapped with a combo of pharmacy sales fliers and duct tape bows. Bizarre Valentine's present, you say? Well, my official gift was a year-long supply of Once A Month Cooking breakfast burritos for the hubby-to-be. My reasoning is that he always has junk for breakfast (or no breakfast at all) in his office, as our lifestyle doesn't really jive well with a hot morning meal on the run during his daily commute (I think subway riders are prone to face-punching anyone eating hot food breakfast food on the train). I wanted to find a way to provide him a fairly nutritious b-fast on the run, while still respecting the "please don't even THINK about getting me up before 8:00 each morning" pact we made when we moved in together. Frozen burritos you could nuke in the office seemed like a win-win for everyone involved. Score one for the Lulu.

MY first surprise of the morning consisted of a Valentine's Day card, which contained one of my FAVE things on this planet- a Cadbury chocolate bar. I don't have the slightest bit of a sweet tooth (which I think makes my mother question whether or not I was switched at birth), but ever since I lived in England I can't resist the temptation of that purple wrapper.

Mr. Wonderful has known about my Cadbury addiction since the first week we started "talking". I even have an ancient Cadbury bar in our freezer, which was a gift Mr. W gave me on our second date! I love that we've been together long enough to develop a few little traditions between the 2 of us.

The next treat Mr. W had in store for me was a reservation for a proper brunch out on the town. We haven't go out for a classic Manhattan brunch since I lost my job, so this was a very fun treat. We hopped in a cab, and were on our way!
We had brunch reservations at Rue 57, which I had never been to before. Mr. W had waxed poetic about their pommes frites on more than one occasion, so I was excited to give the place a try. The whole meal was *such* a dream! We were seated as soon as we arrived, in what I think was the best seat in the whole house. We spent the morning people watching and sipping mimosas in the cosiest little corner booth. The bernaise on the Benedict was the best I've ever tasted.... and those pommes frites the Mr. had mentioned? All I could say was "ohhhhmygorrrsh" over and over again (picture being said as politely as possible with a mouthful of pommes frites). They were even better than anything I'd had during my visits to Amsterdam (apologies to my little Dutch lovely, Saskia! haha). I can't wait to go back there!
After brunch, we strolled up to Central Park and wandered around for a bit to catch some air. We walked through the park and over to Columbus Circle to do a little window shopping. It was *so* tough to see all the gorgeous new Spring goodies at J. Crew and Williams-Sonoma! SO tempting!

The rest of the afternoon consisted of Blockbuster movies on the couch, glasses of vino, and leftover snacks from the night before. Total bliss. I had already had the perfect Valentine's Day thus far, and had completely forgotten about our surprise dinner plans! Mr. W told me to get ready, and then we hopped back in a cab to head to our mystery location.
We wandered around Times Square area for a few minutes, which completely threw me off. The next thing I knew, we were walking into what was basically an unmarked door next to a bodega. I couldn't believe what I saw!



We were eating at the Aspen Social Club! As a Colorado native, it was such a thoughtful touch! I loved the nouveau lodge feel to it, and the *massive* antler chandelier you can see in the photo above. The dirty martinis were impeccable... So much so that the only part of the lavish 4 course meal I can distinctly remember besides those martinis was their 4-cheese mac. I guess that's the sign of a great evening, right?
(Disclaimer: I also may or may not remember telling Mr. W that the guy sitting to the right of us looked like a vampire. And I may or may not remember Mr. W shooting a look that meant "That's nice, Lulu, because Mr. Vampire man just heard you say that." Let's just say that if that major social faux pas did occur, I would stand by my actions because nobody should go out in public wearing a shiny, billowy lame' shirt. Nobody.)
We rounded off the evening by heading over to Rockefeller Center, where the Mr. had plans for us to finally go ice skating. The combination of a 20 degree night, a 2 hour line, and my outfit of choice (below, from Target... Don't you love?!) just didn't scream "Let's go fall on our sweet little behinds for the next hour!". Such a sweet gesture from the Mr., which I called raincheck on.
The final portion to our Valentine's Weekend extravaganza was a lifelong dream of Mr. Wonderful's. A unique combination of two favorite foods- bacon... and chocolate. That's right, boys and girls. The Mr. and iI made the ultimate sweet-savory desert as the finale of his Valentine's Day present... Chocolate-covered bacon.



Apparently, everything that your bacon and chocolate-lover could ever hope for, and more. Try it.
xoxo,
Lulu
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Valentine's Day!


Girls, if only I could share with you the things we have planned for Valentine's Day this year... Alas, I have no idea!!! Mr. Wonderful has apparently taken the reigns, and has "something" planned for Love Day. I just have absolutely no clue as to what that would entail. I may or may not have a *super* cute red dress waiting in the closet, in the event we're hitting the town tomorrow... haha

I also have a few tricks up MY sleeve for this evening... Let's call it a Valentine's Day Eve celebration, to show my appreciation for such a great fiance. I won't divulge too much, since Friday afternoons are notoriously slow in Mr. W's office and I don't want to ruin the surprise by him reading this. I can, however, divulge a few of tonight's ingredients:

Chocolate
Bacon
Cheese
(henceforth known as "the foodie trifecta", in honor of Mojito Maven and Leagallyblondemel)
Duct Tape
Pharmacy Sales Flyers
Frosting
Vodka
(and please keep your mind out of the gutter... these will all be used in a rated G fashion, okay?)

Intrigued yet?

I also have a terrible catastrophe going on in my oven right now, which I *cannot* wait to show you pictures of. You know that classic question of "how could someone ever mess up slice and bake cookies?" Well, let's just say I know why Rachel Ray stays away from ALL baking at ALL costs.

Take care, lovely girls, and enjoy the long Valentine's Day weekend!

xoxo,
Lulu
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I'm Back!


I can't even begin to explain what an *amazing* trip we had back to Phoenix! We did our reception menu tasting (pretty speechless on that one), completed our pre-marital counseling sessions, selected our ceremony music, and even secured our marriage license! (That one especially blows my mind, as we could get married at ANY point right now if we wanted...what!?) No worries, we're saving that one for the big day 2ish months from now.

I'm really beginning to think I may just be able to make this whole "plan the entire wedding with 2 months to spare" thing!

We were also fortunate enough to spend some quality time with our friends, which we can't often do. I marveled all weekend at how blessed we are to have such fun, smart, talented, *amazing* people to call our friends! I never thought I could feel so content to be jammed in an overpacked brunch booth or a noisy dive bar. I must admit, it was *hard* to get on that plane and come back to NYC after such a delightful week!

I'm currently up to my eyeballs in all those great post-vacation chores- laundry, mail and e-mail catch up, budget re-balancing, and grocery planning (our fridge currently consists of condiments, 2 hard-boiled eggs, and some rotten celery. Nice.) I'm also going to research the Once A Month Cooking phenomenon (does this fascinate anyone else as much as it does me!?), since our house is devoid of all (edible) food. If I can find any recipes that don't include 2 bricks of Velveeta or 5 cans of Cream of Mushroom soup as main ingredients, I'll let you know what I uncover!

I'll recap in more detail when I have a minute to breathe... and when I can find my camera cord. Boo.

Hope you're having a great Wednesday!

xoxo,

Lulu

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Invitation Preview!


I'm still in a scramble to get everything done this morning (why has it taken me 3 hours to decide what to wear to church on Sunday!? bah), before I depart for the interview and then head off to Arizona. I didn't think I was going to be able to post anything else, but an e-mail in my inbox totally stopped me in my tracks...

Here's a little taste of our invitations... Get excited!


xoxo,

Lulu

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Lulu
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WOOHOO!


Sorry I'm a little MIA here ladies... Busy packing (a cold front is rolling into Phoenix tomorrow, which means no more packing woes, nice!), prepping for a secondary job interview (fingers crossed), and cleaning the house in anticipation of 4 days away. Oh, and trying to finalize the rest of the wedding, as my internal deadline is only 13 days away. Nice.

I'm up to my eyeballs in things I need to get done tonight, but just received the *coolest* news I've had in a long time...

Mr. Wonderful scored tickets for us to attend a taping of Saturday Night Live!!!

I'm a *huuuuge* SNL fan, always have been. The applications only happen during the month of August, and it's a total crap shoot as to whether or not you'll be selected. Mr. W and I stayed up WAY too late one evening the first week in August, and wrote a little limerick to convince the SNL gods of our worthiness. Six months later, we're in!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Can't wait to catch my breath and tell you all about our big trip!

xoxo,
Lulu
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Lulu
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Conundrum


What do you do when you've packed all your warm weather clothes in a giant suitcase and shipped them to storage here:

Because the only weather you'll see for the next 6 months looks like this:


But you conveniently forgot that you'll be headed out this Friday to spend 4 days here:


And the funds you have for last-minute, warm weather clothes shopping can most aptly be described as:



Bravo, Lulu. Bravo.

Anybody for skinny jeans, cashmere sweaters, and riding boots in 80 degree weather?

Anybody?

xoxo,
Lulu
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I Want Nothing More...


Than to just crawl inside my laptop and live inside Heather Bailey's online store.

That is all.

xoxo,
Lulu
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Super Sunday!


Coming to you live from a taxi cab on 96th and Madison... Mr. Wonderful and I are headed to a fellow ex-Arizonan's apartment for some serious football action. It's party time! I may be a fair-weather sports fan, but who can pass up the opportunity to root the home team to a victory like this?! We've got a case of Bud Lite and some fresh jalapeno poppers (God bless the people at Gristedes' deli counter for cooking so I didn't have to!), can't wait to meet up with NYC's Arizona contingent for some serious sports action.

I hope you are all having a great Super Bowl Sunday!!! GO CARDINALS!

Xoxo,
Lulu
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Tag Time!


It's another *super* exciting Saturday night here in LuluLand... babysitting. Feeling extra spoiled though, as the baby was once again in bed before I arrived, and the family has the most deliciously fragrant vase of lilac on the coffee table. Every time I inhale I just want to close my eyes, it smells like the most relaxing spa in here! If only their dog would stop snoring, I could get some serious R & R going on here!

I'm taking this nice, quiet alone time to catch up on Google Reader instead of being productive with the wedding plans. I see that I've been tagged by Mojito Maven at Make Mine A Mojito, so I officially have one more thing to keep my procrastination streak going!

Step 1: respond and rework—answer the questions on your own blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own invention, add one more question of your own.

Step 2: tag—eight other un-tagged people.

1. What were you doing​ and who were you with at 9:59 PM on Frida​y night​?​​​ Drinking a bottle of Smoking Loon on the couch, and probably watching something mindless on TV.

2. What is the last thing you read/are currently reading? I just started reading More than Enough: The Ten Keys to Changing Your Financial Destiny by Dave Ramsey, a Christmas gift from the future MIL.

3. Do you nap a lot? Oddly, I can only nap when I'm terribly hot. It's either when I've come down with some ridiculously knock-down, drag out cold and have a fever, or when I'm laying out in the sun all day on a lounge chair. Maybe I'm not really napping in either circumstance, but overheating and passing out? Hmmm...

4. Who was the last person you hugged? Mr. Wonderful, said goodbye to him before I headed out to babysit.

5. What is your current obsession/addiction? Ohhh, that's a toughie... Being unemployed has given me *plenty* of idle time to obsess over things. I'd say I'm obsessed with J. Crew right now, because I spend lots of idle time daydreaming about the perfect beach-worthy honeymoon wardrobe.

6. What was the last thing you said out loud? “Fer really though!?” Which in LuluSpeak roughly translates to "Are you serious?!". Said out loud (to myself, of course) in response to a text message I received.

7. What websites do you always visit when you go online? Google Reader, DListed.com, Facebook, Gmail, CNN.com

8. What was the last item you bought? A handheld one-hole punch, because the store didn't have any three-hole punches left.

9. What is your most challenging goal? To have the wedding planned in its entirety exactly 2 months prior to our wedding day. That gives me a total of 18 days left. Stop laughing.

10. If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished- anywhere in the world, where would it be? You and your tough questions... There are so many different places I'd love to be living right now! I'm going to go ahead and say here in NYC. It would be a lot more fun out here if I didn't have to pay my crazy rent!

11. Favorite Vacation spot? Right now, it'd probably be Mexico. Sun + sand + guacamole = Nirvana.

12. Say something to the person who tagged you: I booked my final dress fitting trip this afternoon... Do I hear a cocktail date!?

13. Name one thing you just can't resist no matter how bad it is for you: Shredded cheese. Can't keep the stuff in the house. I will wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it, and go eat it straight out of the bag. Shameful.

14. What is your favorite item of clothing? The winter white cape I got at the Burberry Outlet store in Dallas... It is sheer fabulousness. (and was SO inexpensive! God bless outlet malls.)
15. What would your American Gladiator name be and why? Mama. I'm going to go full disclosure here because I love you girls, and acknowledge my old alter ego. Let's just say that 'Mama' could be quite sassy after a few cocktails, and would definitely be able to hold her own against the toughest spandex-clad Gladiator.

16. Name one thing you can not live with out: Excluding the soon-to-be husband, I'm going to have to go with my BlackBerry. I was one of the many who never thought they'd get addicted... All lies.

17. Has a celebrity's haircut ever influenced you on your own hairstyle? Absolutely! I've had the Jennifer Aniston "Friends" shag, the Ashley Olsen "Nobody Should EVER Have Hair That Blonde" beach waves, and the Posh Spice bob, to name a few. I'm currently just channeling a look I like to call I Can't Afford A Haircut Chic.

18. If you could be any animal in the world, what would you be? A bird, for sure! How cool would it be to fly?!
I'm going to tag my eight newest followers…
xoxo,
Lulu
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