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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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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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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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