Weekend Recap

Summer Nights

– A fun night on the porch with beer, wine, and friends –

This weekend was both fun and tiring but I’m so glad I sucked it up and packed in lots of activities. There was brunch (twice!), pool time, downtime with some OITNB, outdoor happy hour + dinner, a friend’s housewarming, takeout, impromptu cake, and some much needed catching up with friends. In general, it was the perfect summer weekend (the weather even cooperated!) and I’m starting the week motivated and content.

Here are some random iPhone shots of the weekend that in my mind epitomize summer days + quality time with friends.

Homemade Brunch

– Simple, healthy and delicious brunch hosted by a sweet friend. Scrambled eggs with mushrooms, peppers, cheese, and onions + blueberry muffins + strawberries and apples + English muffins + turkey bacon –


– The dreamiest backyard with lots of space, complete with cornhole, fairy lights, and a good-sized table…–

Homemade Pop Tart, Ted's Bulletin

– Heavenly homemade pop tarts at Ted’s Bulletin – the perfect first course to greasy and delicious breakfast sandwich. I’ve mentioned the pop tarts at Ted’s before, but I’m happy to say that we actually had breakfast this time around. A 30 minute morning walk and arriving at 9:45 was worth it– we barely had a 15 minute wait! Personal favs: the hash browns and the pop tarts –

Chinese Food

– Sunday night Chinese food…including General Tso’s and crab rangoons, of course –

Photos by Monica Dutia + friends

Friday Things


 This week felt particularly draining, but I’m excited to muster up some energy because two of my closest friends are coming into town back to back this weekend into early next week. There are lots of fun plans and I’m excited to be productive today and start the weekend off right. Keeping links short + sweet today (literally – check out the last one!) Whatever your plans may be, I hope you have a great one!

Of note…

- I’ve been really into embroidered tops lately and mighttt need to make this one mine (thanks for always having a sale, LOFT!)

- It was Baby George’s first birthday this week and Vogue has the best recap of the little guy’s fashion endeavors/the hypothetical thoughts that may be going through his head. It’s pretty adorable on all accounts!

- For all you avid coffee drinkers, it’s interesting to see how caffeine levels vary between popular chains. There’s apparently significantly more caffeine in Starbucks brew than Dunkin Donuts, which was a complete surprise to me. Who knew there was so much variance… may explain why each has its own cult following!

- This is a super old (like 2004 old) recipe that happened to pop up on the sidebar of an NYT article I was reading, but it looks delicious so I had to share. Chocolate Lime Pie that’s really easy to make. I just wish I’d seen this sooner!


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Photo (it’s in Georgetown!)+ modifications by Monica Dutia for Cake & Lilies

Things I Love Thursday


Neutral with pops of color is the theme this time around… it’s only going to be a matter of time before my picks start leaning towards fall-friendly colors. I’ll do my best to resist for a few more weeks, but consider yourselves warned!

ONE// Loren Hope Zoe Studs: Bows earrings can be tricky, but Loren Hope does them right (are you surprised, though?). I like the gold + classic take versus the kind of plastic-looking, painted ones that seem to be everywhere.
TWO// C. Wonder Tropical Fruit Stirrers: Cute stirrers are always something I want to have on hand for gatherings but I always get overambitious and want to make them myself, until I realize that there’s no Michaels/large craft store within metro proximity of my apartment. I’d gladly take these for a tropical soiree or not!
THREE// H&M Wooden Salad Servers: I’m admittedly not a big H&M shopper, but their home section has me thinking twice. I saw it in store a few months ago and was kind of impressed then, but their online selection has me wanting a handful of things to my apartment — like these wooden salad servers.
FOUR// BaubleBar Braided Collar Necklace: White + gold already makes this a winner but I like that the rope is beaded… it’s proof that it’s all in the details. The turquoise color is pretty, too!
FIVE// Ben’s Garden Personalized Coasters (via Nordstrom): I’m OBSESSED with these initial coasters! Each letter had a unique color combination and thanks to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, the price is right to pick one up for a friend (and/or yourself, because they’re that good).
SIX// Kenzie Pillow Sham (via Nordstrom): I’m a sucker for throw pillows, particularly simple ones. This one fits the bill and would look great on a bed, couch, or desk chair… neutrals for the win, again!
SEVEN// Capwell + Co Ring: Continuing my recent obsession with interest in cocktail rings, here’s another one I can really get behind.
EIGHT// MATINE Tilly Mini Pouch: I discovered MATINE a few weeks ago and can’t get enough of the beautifully made leather goods. My favorites in Carolyn Misterek’s collection include scallops and tassels, but all of the pieces are divine. It’s impossible to pick favorites, but how good is this scalloped mini pouch? It would make the perfect pouch for a large bag or be a great clutch on its own. It comes in black, too!

Quick + Easy Healthy Foods


It’s really fitting that I’m writing this post right now, because it’s currently post-barre class and I’m actually going the relatively nutritious route by eating a banana and rice cake (with Nutella, but rice cake, so all is forgiven). If you’re anything like me in that you actually like healthy, nutritious food but generally crave unhealthy, sugary, junky stuff, you may be able to use this little snack list that I put together. As we talked about awhile back, I’ve gotten a bit more mature with my eating habits over time but still give myself a huge pat on the back when I do something like I did a few minutes ago: pick the rice cake + banana over the Cinnabon Toaster Strudel in my freezer (have you ever had them?! No judgement unless you have and still think they’re gross!). These snacks are easy enough to have on hand for times when you’re in the mood to be healthy, for post-workout sustenance, and to get you through the afternoon slump. They’re not backed by any doctor/I don’t know the nutritious details behind all of them, but I do know that they’re better than the cookies or Toaster Strudel that I’d normally reach for — and they taste great!

Any other fav snacks you love that should have made this list? I’m really partial to smoothies but wanted to go the more basic route this time… I’d love to hear your go-tos!

Graphic by Monica Dutia for Cake & Lilies

Outfit: All Black

All Black

All Black


All Black

All Black

You may have seen this J.Crew fluted skirt just about everywhere by now, but I’m a huge fan and feel the need to share my two cents about it here. Long story short, I’ve been eying this skirt since it came out and waited for it to go on sale while trying to decide between navy and black. Patience paid off, because I got it for $30 a few weeks ago and chose black because I liked the idea of wearing it as either a black skirt or dress with a tank. Lucky for you, it’s now down to $20…. sizes are selling out fast, though! Unlike some other J.Crew skirts I’ve purchased (which I’ve had to size down in since a 2 fits like a 4, 4 like a 6, etc.), this one ran true to size. It sits a bit high on the waist and is a great work + casual skirt. I went with my favorite Zara basic tank and created a monochromatic look/dress-like effect for my birthday dinner on Friday night. It felt dressy, but not overly so!

About these wedges…I know we’re deep into summer, but if you’re like me and procrastinated finding the perfect wedges for way too long, you might want to try these out — or, just get them anyway because they’ll be a great addition to your closet. Because I have pretty knobby ankles, a lot of wedges have left awkward gaps between my foot and the ankle strap…it’s hard to explain, but it’s been a problem and the strap sticks out weirdly. I also like that there are multiple straps covering the top of the foot, so the ankle strap isn’t responsible for holding your foot in place but is rather more for show. Only small complain is that you’d need to wear them multiple times to soften the leather and avoid blisters entirely, but I have pretty sensitive feet (weird?) and can still wear these for an entire night. They’re simple enough to go with everything — especially white jeans — are comfortable, and are really high quality – as expected from Brooks Brothers. A win-win-win!

Zara Top (old, but available in the Basics section in store) // J.Crew Skirt (now only $20) // Brooks Brothers Wedges (on sale!) // Kate Spade Earrings (old, but love these) // Loren Hope Cuff // Vintage Watch