Friday Things

Girls Weekend

Happy Labor Day Weekend from Bean Town! Keeping it short and sweet today–enjoy the long weekend and the fact that fall is actually right around the corner (we can say that now!), and remember: white jeans ARE. OKAY. after Labor Day. Stay tuned for a Labor Day sale roundup, coming your way this weekend!

Thumbs up: Boston trip! And the fact that I have Monday off :)

Thumbs down: Flying with U.S. Airways/American is never an ideal experience. I’ll date myself here and ask, “why isn’t flying the way it used to be?”

Of note…

Julia and her husband share what they’ve learned in three years of marriage–a great read whether you’re single, in a relationship, or married!

– Major trip envy: Krista in San Francisco and Supal in Paris.

– Who else likes baking with zucchini? It makes me feel like I’m consuming something a little healthy (just go with it…)–bookmarking this zucchini cardamom bundt cake with lemon glaze.

– The Lilly planners for 2016 are here! They released the 17-month versions (which started last month) and just introduced two styles of the 12-month, which start in January. This one’s my fav!

– ICYMI: A great recipe for BBQs + potlucks, transitional items for men (finally a post for the guys!), and the dress I’m going to be sad to put away till next spring.

Image via with text added by Monica Dutia for Cake & Lilies

The Best Kind of Weekend

Cheers

One of the best kinds of weekends? A girls weekend with some of your college besties! Reunions of any kind can be hard to swing when you don’t all live in the same place and pretty much none of you own cars, but luckily many of my closest friends are concentrated in the midwest and on the east coast. A few of us decided to get together over this long weekend and after weighing our options (which included Baltimore–so easy to get to/cheap flights–Philly, and NYC), we decided on…Boston! We lucked out because one of our friends lives in the city and the another is from the cutest town right outside. I’m trying to pack light since we’ll be moving around a couple of times…here’s what’s on the list:

1. Sandals: I’m taking these and these. Jacks are great and go with everything but aren’t the most practical when you have to walk long distances!

2. Dress: This Persifor dress is machine washable, takes up very little space, and can be dressed up and down. Basically, the ideal travel dress! TBD on if it wrinkles…

3. Shorts + Jeans: A denim pair (similar to these) and a white pair, plus my go-to jeans (way less high-waisted in real life) and this great budget white pair.

4. Tops: A striped open-back sweater (no longer for sale, unfortunately…it was from Banana earlier this summer), a fun printed top, and a couple of basic tees.

5. Running stuff: Wish.me.luck.

Shop it all below :)

I’ll be back with a normal Friday links post tomorrow, but you can follow my travels on Instagram! In the meantime, any “can’t miss” restaurants things to do in Boston? I’ve only been a couple of times so highlights like the place(s) with the best lobster rolls in the city would be greatly appreciated!

Image via

Seven Layer Bars

Seven Layer Bars

You know those recipes that tend to be a hit but are annoying to make because of the random ingredients they require? One of those is the seven layer bar. SO good, but the amount of things you need specifically for it can add up. I realized I had coconut flakes and chopped pecans from making German chocolate cake frosting a couple of weeks ago and could improvise with some misc. ingredients from my pantry. The only things I needed to purchase were graham crackers and condensed milk, the latter of which was a major inconvenience; Trader Joe’s only carries it seasonally, and it was $3.99 for a can at Whole Foods. They don’t call it “whole paycheck” for no reason…#annoying.

Anyway, while the “classic” seven layer bar recipes contain coconut flakes, chocolate and butterscotch chips, graham crackers, walnuts, and condensed milk, I swapped out peanut butter, pecans, and almonds for the walnuts and butterscotch chips. The result was an yummy gooey concoction that I took to a potluck with coworkers. It was easy and delicious.

Also, I’m kind of tempted to put jam in them next time. Appetizing or weird?

Seven Layer Bars

Ingredients

– 2 tablespoons butter
– 2 cups crushed graham crackers
– 4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
– 1 cup shredded coconut, sweetened
– 1 cup chocolate chips (ideally semisweet)
– 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
– 1/3 cup chopped pecans
– 1/2 cup thinly sliced almonds (they sell these at Trader Joe’s)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spoon butter in a 13×9 pan and stick pan in the oven while it’s preheating. Line bottom of pan with crushed graham crackers and mix in peanut butter.*

Sprinkle chocolate chips, pecans, and almonds over graham cracker/peanut butter base. Evenly pour condensed milk over toppings and top with coconut flakes, spreading evenly.

Bake for 20-25 minutes; coconut flakes should be slightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into square. I like microwaving each slice for ~10 seconds before eating :)

*Next time, I want to try spreading peanut butter on one side of graham crackers and laying them evenly on the bottom of the pan. More time consuming, but way easier than having to mix peanut butter into the crushed graham crackers! Note that this may not make the same kind of “crust” as a buttery crumb mixture would, but I’m willing to try it. Let me know if you do!

Photos by Monica Dutia for Cake & Lilies