Hi guys…Happy Monday! Just some brief thoughts today — lots going on over here but I wanted to pop in with these words that are currently inspiring me. As I mentioned on Friday, changes to the site are coming (very!) soon and I’m working with Meli to wrap things up. In the meantime, you can shop one of my favorite sales of the year — the Lilly Pulitzer semi-annual sale (known this year as the After Party Sale.) It starts at 8 a.m. today. This is by far the best time of the year to buy Lilly — all kind of products + styles are deeply discounted and shipping is still free. Make sure you complete your purchase as soon as you add something to your cart — just because it’s in your cart doesn’t mean it’s on hold. Since shipping is free, Lilly encourages you to make multiple purchases if necessary. The signature stores often partake in the sale as well, so it’s worth stopping by if there’s one nearby. Things notoriously go fast, so get shoppin’!
— 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.
— 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…–
— 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 —
— Sunday night Chinese food…including General Tso’s and crab rangoons, of course —
Photos by Monica Dutia + friends
I’m funny when it comes to documentaries… I generally love them, but they’re not what I gravitate towards when trying to decide what movie to watch. That’s something I’m really trying to change because I’ve generally loved all of the ones I’ve seen… especially Somm. The boyfriend and I watched it on Saturday night (with wine + cheese, obviously), and trust me when I say it’s amazing. If you like wine or drink it at all, you need to watch this!
The movie follows six guys who are in the process of studying to become Master Sommeliers. In order to earn this prestigious title, they’re required to pass a notoriously difficult — nearly impossible — exam that only a couple hundred sommeliers in the world have ever passed. In addition to successfully completing a tasting, where they must identify characteristics including the region, year, name, et al. of the wine, they also sit for an extremely comprehensive written test that covers literally everything there is to know about the industry and its relevant geography. This made my Geography major (and college career) look like the ABCs. Within minutes of starting the film, you’re completely invested in each guy’s future and whether or not they’ll successfully pass the test. It’s crazy to think that there are only a handful of Master Sommeliers in the world despite the fact that there are so many practicing sommeliers. What’s even more impressive is realizing that this title isn’t really something you can really train for for your entire life, for obvious reasons. The movie highlights persistence, focus, drive, and just overall mental strength, not to mention makes you want to try and learn more about wine. I certainly don’t know much at all, and I’m definitely motivated now!
So buy some wine, check it out, and let me know what you think! Have any of you seen it? Or got any other good documentary recs? I think this one is up next for me!
Image via Somm Documentary Facebook page
When you’re younger, there are activities that you really, really dislike. One of those things for me — and for many of you, I’m guessing — was decor and furniture shopping (unless it was for my own room, that was a different story). I had no explanation for my distaste and my parents swore I’d grow out of it and wind up enjoying interior design-related shopping when I was “older.” Of course I didn’t believe them, but as is the case with many things your parents tell you, they were right. I mean, decor is a significant portion of this blog, so I have to admit that I love it…
Of course, part of decorating includes coffee table books and decorative accents. My parent’s house has large amounts of both of these…the bookshelves are piled high. If you asked me five years ago, I never would have expected to be excited about collecting coffee table books for my own space. These five are on my radar right now… they would expand my current collection, which contains an assortment including 5: Where Will You Be Five Years from Today?, Kate Spade’s Things We Love and Domino: The Book of Decorating. I also can’t get enough of little knick knacks (another post for another day) and have amassed quite the collection growing up, so it’s the best feeling when you discover that all these books + trinkets actually help shape the tone and style of your living space.
Do you have any coffee table/accent books that you love? I’m always looking for more recommendations, and word of mouth is huge in helping narrow down the search. Hoping for something beach-related in the near future, too!
IN THIS POST:
The Big Book of the Hamptons / The French Dog / New York Jackie: Adventures from Her Life in the City / The Dogs of Central Park / Oxford Atlas of the World
On Saturday, I hosted a Spark Party over a light brunch at my apartment. Spark Parties are a recent thing launched by Jillian of Sweet & Spark, and the event was the perfect way to share my love for the brand with some good friends. My roomie and I saw this as our first proper hosting opportunity in the new apartment and while things felt a bit rushed preparation wise (don’t they always?), it was really nice to get some practice cooking, cleaning, and organizing our little space in a way that makes it welcoming to more than a couple of guests.
The menu included quiche, deviled eggs (why are these just a party food!? I could eat them every day), hummus and a small cheese plate, these muffins, blueberry lemon bars, chocolate covered pretzels, and sparkling wine + strawberries. The highlight was of course the jewelry, which comes from Sweet & Spark, a collection of vintage jewelry that’s perfectly curated by Jillian and her dad, who travel the country in search of unique and timeless pieces. What I love, in addition to their adorable story, is that they really know what they’re doing in terms of finding the best pieces and ensuring their quality. You may be getting something from the 60s, but you know it will be polished and cleaned up before its yours. A lot of people are sketched out by previously worn earrings in particular, so it’s comforting to know that your pair will thoroughly inspected and cleaned up before making it onto your ears.
I’m such a fan of the brand and hope that you’ll check out the site yourself, too. New items are added constantly and there is usually just one of each piece (because, vintage), so it’s best to act quickly if you see something you love. I love my dainty new bracelet and can’t wait to wear my seashell earrings, which will be the perfect summer staple!
Photos by Monica Dutia for Cake & Lilies