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The Link Up: Em’s New Favorite “Everyday Dress”, A Caitlin-Approved Back Stretcher/Massager, And The First Item On Our Halloween Decor List

Happy Sunday, everybody. It feels really good to be back. There’s so much we have planned and are excited about as fall comes barreling towards us. At least us Californians are ready for it to because that heatwave was extremely ummm, extreme. A cool breeze may make us shed a big happy tear. But today is also a significant one. One that may never feel normal but that’s probably not a bad thing. There are likely very few readers who don’t have a visceral memory of September 11th. However, caring for those we know and those we don’t is one of the best ways to continue to honor the memory of the people we lost. So with that, let us shift to a pretty heartwarming story…

design by nate berkus and jeremiah brent | styled by dorcia kelley | photo by kelly marshall | via architectural digest

This week’s home tour is none other than the old/new 5th Avenue townhouse of Nate and Jeremiah. I know we are a little late to the drooling party but we were OOO! It’s not our fault! This is one of the sweetest home-buying stories we’ve heard in a minute. You definitely need to head over to AD to read the article and watch the video but a wonderful story very short, Nate and Jeremiah lived in this townhouse from 2013-2016, before they were married, before they had kids, right at the beginning of their lives together. If you haven’t read it or have stared at all of the photos now is the time!

the dress

From Emily: This is new(ish) dress I wear ALL of the time. It’s definitely a splurge but the quality, cut, and comfort are all just so good. I throw it on to go to the grocery store, to pick up the kids, to go out to dinner – it’s great for so many things and makes me still feel put together with low effort. These are the kind of pieces I can keep for years and years. So if you have the budget, I can’t recommend it enough. Here are two budget-friendly options that have a similar vibe – this one and this one.

From Jess: If you need a new podcast and haven’t listened to Celebrity Book Club with Chelsea Devantez I highly recommend it! Each week she and a guest reads and analyzes a different female celebrity memoir. It’s fun, interesting, sometimes sad, but overall a great listen. SO happy to have a new fun show to binge!

Also From Jess: I know this is kinda specific but I have a wood stain color recommendation. I FINALLY finished (with a couple more tweaks needed) my media cabinet bench (sorry, no sneak peeks yet:))! Picking the stain color was a huge feat. I bought six colors to try. I’m a bit annoyed with myself about the excess and I want to figure out where to donate them to. Any ideas? Anyway if you are looking for a beautiful warm deep brown (mid-century modern vibes) check out this one from Home Depot. If you are a first time staining don’t be like me, watch this video FIRST.

From Mallory: I thrifted some super cute yellow pinstripe fabric napkins that look just like this and I am SO inspired to have an “end of summer” dinner party…imagine these with a clam pasta and some white wine!! I love the idea so much & have never thrown a super fancy dinner party…what else would you guys pair them with???

We got the sweetest email from a reader and had to share! It’s these kinds of emails that make our absolute days. All we ever want is to inspire people. From Linnea: “My husband and I inherited a small wooden chest that held CDs from my parents. It had intricate black iron pulls that weren’t really our style, but when I saw your organic brutalism post, I was inspired by the Lulu and Georgia dresser and decided to attempt my own DIY! I bought 12 4×4 wooden circles from Joann for $.99 each and some wood stain (and used a coupon of course!) for a grand total of $30. I stained the circles, removed the old knobs from the chest, and used some woodworking tape to put the new circles on and we now have a budget organic brutalism piece in our living room!” Doesn’t it look awesome!? Linnea, thank you so much for sending these photos to us<3

From Caitlin: OH MY GOSH. I am SO EXCITED because I’m coming in hot with a GLOWING review of something that I really think could help my fellow back pain sufferers!!! (Or, like, anyone who wants to stretch out their back – but truly, this is game-changing if you struggle with chronic pain.) I’ve been getting targeted ads for the Chirp Wheel for years, but could never justify the splurge as I already had a full suite of foam/body rolling products (you can kinda see some of them on the bottom right!). I WAS SO FOOLISH, GUYS. I spent five minutes on the 12″ wheel and the relief was IMMEDIATE – my upper spine was popping like Rice Krispies (AMAZING) and once I was satisfied and feeling a little looser, I spent some time really focusing on my lumbar spine with the smaller and more targeted wheels. There’s a channel/groove in each wheel for your spine and so I feel like I’m really targeting all the tension on both sides of my bones – it’s AWESOME. Sometimes I can feel my back tightening up when I spend too long sitting at my computer or when I’m waking up in the morning – a few minutes on the wheels makes SUCH a quick difference for me (and it feels so good that I want to do it, too). It’s kinda like a Swedish massage – there’s some pressure and tension that you need to breathe into and tolerate, but you can really feel your muscles stretching. I know how frustrating it can be to be so hyperaware of your back pain and to feel like it’s going to be locked up and tight forever, so this has been such a pleasant surprise!!! I highly recommend the four pack that I got, but I find myself turning to the 10″ and 12″ wheels most frequently. (If you also grab 4, here’s the rack!) I hope this helps – fingers crossed it can make a difference for you, too:)

From Ryann: I have been seeing this candle, or a version of the candle, all over TikTok for the past 2 weeks. I have never seriously decorated my home for Halloween but my moody living room could easily be transformed into a witchy dark academia Halloween vibe which sounds very fun. So yes, this cute candle definitely piqued my interest but now the question is do I go all out and fully decorate? I definitely would want to make it feel elevated and cool if that’s at all possible?? I’m thinking grown-up Harry Potter meets Dead Poets Society. Thoughts?? (I am clearly using you all to tell me yes so I have an excuse)

If anyone else is ready to start planning for Halloween decor check out these posts:
The 4 Budget (HIGH IMPACT) Halloween Decorations I’ve Used For The Past 4 Years (+ 6 Extra I Love)
The Only Outdoor Halloween Entertaining Idea Post You May Ever Need: Emily “BOOswer” Does It Again
How To Basically Decorate ONCE For Fall, Halloween, And Thanksgiving
Sara’s Haunted (But Happy) Halloween House with Affordable New and Vintage Finds

That’s it from us today. Have a good rest of your Sunday and see y’all tomorrow. xx

Opening Image Credits: Design by Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent | Styled by Dorcia Kelley | Photo by Kelly Marshall | via Architectural Digest

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18 days ago

YES RYANN!!! I absolutely want to see your living room decorated, so if you wanna PLEASE DO IT!! I am so excited for all the fall content right now, not in California but I too am definitely looking forward to some cooler (and spookier) autumn weather!

18 days ago

OMG I just love that updated wooden chest! Well done, Linnea!!

18 days ago

For more caftans and other fun, colorful dresses and other clothing, I recommend Lesley Evers, who designs and has all her products made in Oakland, California. She and other employees and customers model everything and the prices are reasonable, with a colorful, funky California vibe. I don’t work for the company but have become a real fan!

17 days ago
Reply to  Colleen

Love Lesley Evers her dresses are so pretty and easy and fun to wear

18 days ago

Ryann, YESSSS!!!! Go for it.

18 days ago

You could try the Buy Nothing group on Facebook to give away the stains you don’t need.

18 days ago
Reply to  AzureSongLA

Yes, I have also donated paint to the local high school drama department or donated it to the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore (you can schedule a pick up online although I usually just drop it off when I am near one of their stores).

18 days ago
Reply to  AzureSongLA

I have used Freecycle.

18 days ago

Jess- Is there a Habitat for Humanity or Restore in CA? Here in Idaho, they take building supplies including opened/usable paint or stain and resell it, with proceeds used to improve homes within the community. The one close to me also takes/sells furniture, decor, lighting, wood, flooring, tile, doors. Hmm, wonder what they’ll have today?!
Ryaan, YES! A skull under a cloche or candy eyeballs in test tubes worked into the bookshelves add some spooky fun without screaming orange pumpkin halloween. Hope you go for it.
Caitlin, glad you get some relief!
Linnea- strong work!

18 days ago
Reply to  Jen

Omg candy eyeballs in test tubes!!!! Love it!

18 days ago
Reply to  Kj

Just what I was coming here looking for! Thank you!
That was a GREAT house tour.

18 days ago

I would be grateful if anyone could spare a few minutes to watch a “techno” song/video recently created by my son as he is checking his “views” on the hour:

🥰 Rusty
18 days ago
Reply to  Kj

Done! 👍

18 days ago
Reply to  Kj

Done! 🙂

17 days ago
Reply to  Kj

This was amazing! 👏👏

18 days ago

Mallory, add a spinach salad and some crusty Italian bread to your menu, and you’re good to go!

18 days ago

I don’t have the budget but nonetheless LOVE that perfect dress! You wear it well. Thank you for not shying away from upscale pieces. It’s in my clothing to sew file as an inspirational piece.

18 days ago

Caitlin- You are SOOOO right! The chirp wheels are amazing (and I am a certified fitness pro and have tried “everything” .) They are worth the investment- I mean, its your back! Didn’t know about the rack- but going to get it. Thanks!

18 days ago

If you’d have an appointment with a Feldenkrais practitioner, you’d actually have lasting relief and wouldn’t have to buy those gadgets that only have a temporary effect. The reason you are uncomfortable and have chronic back discomfort is bc of the way you move. Feldenkrais works with the brain to change the habits that cause the discomfort/pain. – Lots of practitioners in your area

The Kitten Abides
18 days ago

I had been really coveting that fun and funky red dress since I saw it in the original post a few days back . . . color me a bit crushed to see how much it costs though. As someone on a limited income, that’s just not possible – until I win the lottery. 😉

The others are okay, but they ain’t quite as awesome as the O.G. . . . but often thrift stores are our friends (even if not for something quite as excellent as that red one. Damn.)

🥰 Rusty
17 days ago


17 days ago

Ok, I have been having pretty severe back pain for (years?) now and nothing really helps… foam rollers are the closest thing, but they only do an ok job. I ORDERED THESE SO FAST. Thank you thank you thank you for the rec!

17 days ago

I’ve done this back exercise video for years, it’s the only thing I’ve found that helps. I have to do it regularly though. It’s free. And if you look at alot of their other stuff, it really is how we move. They have a new video out, but this one works better for me.

17 days ago

Wait, I’ve been on the fence about those Chirp wheels….so cool that they actually work! Reading through the reviews on Amazon, it also sounds like they are FSA/HSA eligible! Which is a game changer!! Gonna need to order ASAP…

17 days ago

Chirp Wheel is fine but imho Melt Method is the way to go. Melt Method uses a firm, rubbery, foam roller. If that is too strenuous if you are injured/recovering you can use the hand and foot kit while sitting that uses rubber balls and only takes a few minutes with noticeable improvements pretty immediately. I was in car accident with long term pain and movement issues. Tried everything for years and nothing worked as well or as long term as Melt Method. After the woman who created it got publicity and wrote a best selling book on it my classes filled up with body work practitioners, dancers and athletes for a reason. Classes should be easy to follow from the website too. It is life changing.
By the way, those napkins aren’t really pinstripe but seersucker. I love seersucker. The ultimate summer fabric. From wiki “Seersucker or railroad stripe is a thin, puckered, usually cotton fabric, commonly but not necessarily striped or chequered, used to make clothing for hot weather.”

17 days ago

For real….a $575 dollar dress on the Link Up, which is supposed to be accessible to many. I mean come on.

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