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The Link Up: Mallory’s Pool-Ready Summer Sandals, Jess’s Butter-Soft Bike Shorts, and The Best Bra Bundle On The Web

Hi all and happy JUNE! Now that Memorial Day weekend has come and gone, we’re calling it summer over here and boy are we ready for a bag of cherries and some pool action. As things are heating up, so is our lil link up so we won’t waste another second. Let’s dig right in:

From Emily: Last week at our epic garage sale weekend where we live, the kids brought around their piggy banks and made very questionable purchases (charlie bought a weird wallet with studs all over it and Birdie a glass golf trophy – both for $1). But meanwhile, we found an old card game of ‘would you rather’ that Brian bought for a buck and we’ve played it every meal since. It’s all fun/weird stuff so the kids LOVE it and we normally make one of our kids in charge of the question so like if the options are “drink a milkshake out of dog saliva” then you can ask them questions like “can i put chocolate chips in it, etc” and it gives them this sense of authority being able to say yes or no to our requests. It was SO FUN. I’m sure it will get old (and you can TOTALLY write it yourself just on paper) but if you are in need of some fun dinner conversation with younger kids, we are having a blast with this game.

This week’s home tour is one you can actually STAY IN brought to you by Remodelista. It’s the Highlander Mountain House in North Carolina. The vibe is NC meets English Countryside and is packed with some amazing House of Hackney textiles and William Morris wallpapers that we just cannot get enough of. We’re using one of these photos for inspo in an exciting announcement post coming up tomorrow, so stay tuned!

From Mallory: I’m currently on the market for a pool/beach/lake flip flop for the summer because I am personally getting tired of my $3 target flip flops that are now on the verge of breaking at any moment. I had this conversation with a friend earlier this week: are there no cute (but still waterproof/durable ish) flip flops that exist??? Like what is the shoe that I love to wear but don’t care if it gets soaking wet??? Let me share with you my findings: 1. People will not shut up about how comfortable and durable these slides are but do they check off the cute category??? I mean, they’re technically trendy but my big size 9 foot is probably not looking the cutest with this giant thing on. But also did I just buy them in yellow?? Absolutely 2. I also bought these Havianas to bring to the lake with me last weekend because they’re super classic and I love the rose gold color but all in all it’s still a rubbery flip flop (which I AGREE is kinda just what you need sometimes and I know I’ll get a lot of use out of them) BUT are they the perfect cute pool shoe??? Here’s the last option that’s more ‘fashionable’ 3. J. Crew is giving me some good pool vibes with these cute tortoise shell flip flips and also these cushy strap sandals but Madewell might be my favorite with these boardwalk sandals (that are $39 instead of $59 right now btw). Anyway, those are all the shoes I bought/am looking to buy but I’d personally love to know what kind of shoe is best. Does anyone have a one-size-fits-all-summer-occasions solution?? I’d love to know in the comments PLEASE AND THANK YOU.

From Jess: I’ve you been wanting to dapple into bike shorts like me, I found SUCH a good pair (per Ryann and Mal telling us the Abercrombie & Fitch is actually cool again). These puppies are soft like butter, not at all see-through, and not crazy expensive. Highly highly recommend!

Also From Jess: My cousin and I watched Bo Burnham’s new Netflix special, Inside, and we were kinda blown away. We were very unsure of it for the first 20 mins but then were completely taken in. If you don’t know, Bo made this piece during quarantine, filmed it all in one room, and did literally everything himself. I think that it’s impossible not to connect with him due to the vulnerability in how he was processing the total emotional and mental madness of quarantine. We were all him at some point if not in lockstep. This special funny, sad, visceral, and just a freaking trip. As one headline stated, “‘Bo Burnham: Inside’ is a brilliant, upsetting portrait of everyone'”. I know that may not sound like the “post-vax life” we wanna be living but I promise you will be moved.

From Ryann: A recently told a friend “if you don’t start watching @megsstalter’s videos I don’t know if we can be friends anymore” because that is how passionate I am about her and her comedy. She is the funniest woman alive, I love her videos so much (this and this make me laugh out loud every time) AND now she is on the new HBO show called Hacks. Have you guys seen it??? I am not only obsessed with her character but the show itself is so so good. It is definitely the best show on tv right now IMHO and Meg Stalter is an absolute treasure.

From Albie:  In the past, I’ve always just bought a bra, see if it worked, and if it worked, I’d buy it in a bunch of colors till my next bra overhaul. This time I decided to haul four diff brands & one of the four that I’ve been loving this past week is Harper Wilde. I invested in their essentials bundle, with four bras, so that alone, let me test a bunch of bras at once

From Caitlin: I flew out to the east coast last week to spend the holiday with my childhood best friend (hooray!) but forgot to pack PJs (oh no!). I ended up running to H&M to grab some sweats and HOLY MOLY, I stumbled upon the best tank top of all time!!! I have never been super self-conscious about my arms but I have been pretty conscious of my like, armpit boobs (or at least that’s what I call them, please let me know if there’s a real name) and I was SHOCKED to find that this style cut in perfectly and hid my aforementioned armpit boobs so I didn’t have to do a whole “you need to get over yourself” self-love talk in the mirror. In any case, this tank is $7.99 and makes me feel like a DIME and the cut is actually just REALLY GOOD so if you’ve ever seen these and been like “oh no, I don’t think that style of top could work for me,” GIVE IT A WHIRL, BABY!!

Also From Caitlin: I know we’ve been talking a lot about our ~ bodies ~ here on the blog for a while (…see above, too, I guess) but OH MY GOSH PLEASE READ BODY TALK. I am obsessed with Katie Sturino, the founder of Megababe and maker of my all-time favorite underwear reviews (the team will confirm that I talk about her at least once a day, if not more) and this is truly just essential reading for anyone who is kinda fed up with feeling a little weird in their own skin. You can support a local bookstore by grabbing it here buuuuuut it’s also a little cheaper on a certain major retailer’s website so make your choice and READ IT. A BILLION STARS FROM ME!!!

That’s all for this week! Thanks for tuning in and we’ll see you tomorrow 🙂

Opening Image Credit: Design by Jason Reeves of Highlander Mountain House | Photography by Maggie Braucher| via Remodelista

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Heather Caouette
7 days ago

The Birkenstock Madrid EVA slides are my go to Summer beach sandal. They are SO comfortable and pretty cheap.

7 days ago

Came here just to mention the Birkenstock EVA sandals. I have the gizeh ones, and they are awesome.

6 days ago

Agree! The Birkenstock Arizona EVA slides have been my go to since I got them last summer – so comfortable (with good arch support, but way softer than standard Birkenstocks) waterproof, indestructible, cute colors (mine are olive green), and very reasonably priced (I got mine for $40). My cousin’s gf had those yellow slides at the lake last weekend and I tried them on – they’re squishy, but I still prefer my Birks both for comfort and looks.

6 days ago

Yup, these are THE ones.

6 days ago

Agree – birks Eva for the win!

6 days ago

+1 from me on the birk evas, I wore them through both pregnancies and also in the hospital during birth. I prefer them over the leather birks. They do tend to stretch out a little so I buy a size 37 even though I’m usually a 38

6 days ago
Reply to  Jasmine

I find Target’s Neida EVA Two Band Slide Sandal to be more comfortable, but similar in looks to the Birks. They sell out really quickly every year. I look for them every February to stock up.

5 days ago

Also here to shout out the waterproof Gizeh ^ so comfortable- so light to pack- and indestructible.

3 days ago

Came here to say how much I stan the Birkenstock waterproof ones. They’re gold. So comfy, so cute, completely indestructible. LOVE THEMMMMMM. I will never wear flip flops again in my life.

7 days ago

Crocs Athens flip flop – maybe not cute enough? But SUPER comfortable and last forever

Annie K.
6 days ago
Reply to  maria

I’m a crocs as my summer sandals lady for sure! These ones are walkable and comfortable and light and actually get lots of compliments

7 days ago

Rothy’s make flip flops now. Totally waterproof.

7 days ago

The slides from Freedom Moses come in SO many colors and are totally waterproof (very similar look to the Birkenstock Eva but more of a close/slim fit). I wear my leopard print ones out and about all the time as like, normal “fashion” shoes, but also don’t worry about taking them on the boat/to the pool/beach etc. Have had them for a couple summers now and they haven’t shown any signs of wear.

Louise P-G
6 days ago
Reply to  Del

Came here to recommend these too. I wear them for everything – beach, walking dog, drinks with friends. They have so many cute patterns.

Rachel C
7 days ago

Yes to Bo’s new netflix special! I’ve been thinking about it all week. His observations about the internet are so spot on.

7 days ago

I love that you mentioned Highlander Mountain House. I’ve been following them for a while and holy cow does it look beautiful there.

@Caitlin The name “armpit boobs” is hilarious, so you should probably continue to use that expression, but I always heard it called “bra bulge”. But obvs, you do you.

7 days ago

I just got these for summer waterproof sandals and I love them! Found them through Young House Love.

6 days ago

I am loving Hacks too! It’s so good.

6 days ago

Charlotte Stone has lots of good sandal options, but I like the Dolly for everyday and can be dressier too…..

6 days ago

Mallory – check out Freedom Moses for waterproof, cute pool/beach sandals.

6 days ago

DAWGS Z sandals are awesome – they are comfortable and supportive for my flat feet. I love that the soles have tiny little bumps on them. Available on their website and a certain big online retailer. I own solid color ones and lots of the patterned ones. (I wear a 9 shoe, but usually an 8 in these.)

6 days ago

Mallory, I just bought the Reef cushion spring blooms in Natural for a trip to Charleston. Comfortable from the get-go, Vegan leather, and arch support.

6 days ago

My summer shoes are NOT cute… I think it’s a sign that I’ve finally acknowledged that at 35 I’d rather have a happy back than cute shoes. But I love them! Xero brand Z-Trail EV: they are “barefoot style” so you might have to get used to them, but they are so comfortable for walking.

I also got a pair of Sorel roaming sandals for when I need to look more pulled together.

6 days ago

Chacos Chillos slides are super comfortable- I wear them all summer and also just around the house all year. Chacos is also launching a summer tour next weekend in Portland! Check out the Fit for Adventure tour on the Chacos website or IG. You can make an appointment to have your Chacos repaired on-site. Very cool, very sustainable.

6 days ago

Caitlin, I have a real-talk body question! While the H&M tank is sold out, I’m curious — how do you wear a bra with that style? I 100% can’t go braless and strapless smushes my boobs down. Do you just let your straps show with that type of tank? Halp!

5 days ago
Reply to  Marian

Situations like that I get a really cute bralette (I’m a 34E if that helps) and just let the straps show!

5 days ago
Reply to  Marian

You can sew snaps into your bras and tanks if you want, it’s not hard. You can also take the clothes and supplies to a seamstress who does small repairs and have them do it (may want to mark up where you want the snaps put on if you aren’t comfortable staying for the fitting, and specify that you want the studded half put on the bra straps so you don’t ever get poked). Try getting a bra that has an adjustable hook and loop built into the straps – turn the bra into a racerback and see if the straps are now in the right place under the tank straps. Some sports bras are designed with their straps in the same configuration as the tank top above, you may find one that lays right in line with the shirt. Get a cute bralette like Daria says, the straps can sometimes look like another tank layered underneath (and the 90s are back, according to my teen daughter). Even if they don’t, it tends to look intentional and not like an accident everyone will be mentioning to you. Wear your regular bra and not care. I put this one last bc… Read more »

6 days ago

Mallory-I love these Reef slides. The description doesn’t specifically say they are waterproof but they are rubber and vegan leather. I wear mine to the beach/pool and got them soaking all last summer. They are comfy, too! Ps I don’t know how to make cute/compact links, sorry!

5 days ago
Reply to  K

You can try going to first, paste the URL into the “Shorten” field that is below the attempt to get you to pay for something they also do for free. Then copy the shorter URL they provide.

Amanda Fowler
6 days ago

Hey Mallory! I absolutely love my Chaco’s- they’re about the only shoe I wear all summer, and as much as I can the rest of the year (March-November in the Midwest =). I wear them hiking, kayaking, walks, dates, errands, church, wore them everywhere at school, and wore them to my wedding because I got stressed out and they are THAT comfortable. They are an investment, but I wear them ALL the time and have for the last six years, and you can send them back to the company sent they’ll restrap them for you for way less money, so you get a brand new shoe. They wash really well (can throw them in the dishwasher or clothes washer or wash by hand). Super cute and incredibly practical! You can not tighten the strap to slip in and out of them more easily, and they won’t fall off. So many good things to say about these!!!

6 days ago
Reply to  Amanda Fowler

Yeah, Chaco’s are the ones. I have the single-color kind.
Hacks is sooooo funny

6 days ago

This year I also got sick of the $3 flip flop and on a whim picked up some okabashi sandals from target! I like them…they definitely look more sporty but they’re supportive and more substantial. They have a one year guarantee and are an eco friendly brand.

6 days ago

The Reef Sandy flip-flop is the shoe I’ve been wearing since high school (~20 years) and there is no greater pool shoe. It is a flip-flop, indubitably, but I have walked miles (even done little baby hikes) in them and they are *perfectly* comfortable right out of the box. (I have also worn them to court. In my defense, it was August and I was eight months pregnant and we weren’t going to trial.) Anything Reef marked “cushion” is going to be close, but nothing is as soft and as water-friendly and as completely not going to give you blisters as the Sandy.

After my first baby, my mom and MIL were standing around, looking at my shoes, and they both just shook their heads: “She’s got so many beautiful pairs of shoes, but—“ “—all she wears are those black flip-flops.”

Damn skippy, moms.

6 days ago

Tevas. Just get some Tevas. They make durable flip flops too. Great for camping, showers, hikes, lake visits.

5 days ago

I JUST bought and quickly returned those madewell boardwalk sandals – they are SO uncomfortable and the fit is horrible. Just FYI!
Agree with the other comments about birkenstock EVA slides. I have 2 pairs and they are THE BEST!

Lynn W
5 days ago

Mallory, please try Olukai 🌺. You will love the sandals and then venture on to try their slip on tennis shoes!
The BEST and they will take you from pool/beach and on to the rest of your day!

5 days ago

Mallory, you should take your summer fashion to the next level with some Vera Bradley Crocs. I have a pair and they are comfortable, extremely functional, and quite the conversation starter!

5 days ago

Mallory: I love Havianas as much as the next girl, but that rose gold ain’t “cute” even though it is a very nice color. What you want something like Havianas’ St. Tropez patterned thong flip flops. That’s cute!

5 days ago

I just bought a pair of Alvies which are just regular degular shmegular tan flip flops but they are waterproof!! And from a Texas small biz.

Susie Q.
4 days ago

“I’ve you been wanting to dapple into bike shorts like me…”
What?? Who’s editing this blog? Apparently no one.

4 days ago
Reply to  Susie Q.

You got that right. The typos are astonishing.

2 days ago

I found the Dolce Vita flip flops at Nordstrom a few years ago and buy a new pair every other year. They look nice and have a rubber sole for walking around the pool. Their website has these cute sandals too: I’ve tried the Birks because they look so cute on some people, but not on me.

2 days ago

Hi EHD girls! Not sure how many people know about this, and I figured you’d be a great platform to talk about it (because I frankly want to scream it out to everyone I know) but when shopping Amazon, if you type in you can choose a charity of your choice and a portion of your shopping cart total will be donated to your charity. Its the best of a bad situation bc I know we all feel guilty shopping from the “certain major retailer” 🙂

10 hours ago

Fabulous information.

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