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The Link Up: Jess’s $10 Entryway Hack, The Beanie Emily’s Wearing All Winter And Our New Favorite Wallpaper Design


If you’re reading this that means it’s Sunday and it’s time for another rendition of the link up. This week we’ve got all sorts of goodies coming your way, and boy are we excited about them… we’ll we’re not here to waste your time so let’s get right into the meat of it.

From Emily: When I was shopping for holiday decor, I came across this sweater at Target and let me just say it’s SO good. Also, it’s very affordable which is always a plus. I’m very into how it looks with my new favorite beanie too.

Today’s house tour is the epitome of “unexpected rustic neutral minimalism” (ha, there’s probably a better more concise name for it). It’s what your eyes need this Sunday. Also, make sure to check out the cafe curtains. They are so pretty.

From Jess: As I’ve been packing up my life to move into my new apartment, I think the best and most affordable thing I did was buy these peg racks and spray paint them black for my entry. They are so pretty and EXTREMELY functional. They are perfect for hanging hats, coats, purses, and of course, masks. A serious 10/10.

From Ryann: I am involved in a deep love affair with plain white tees. I have one for every day of the week and I am VERY particular about what constitutes a good t-shirt in my eyes. Folks, I am so thrilled to let you know that this shirt from Target is a WINNER. It is the softest shirt I have ever put on my body (no, really), it’s the perfect sleeve length and torso length, and it is only $8!!! It runs a bit large so size down for sure (I am usually a Medium and I wear a small).

From Caitlin: I just want to give a shoutout to my all-time favorite travel backpack. I bought it in 2018 before I embarked on a quarter-life crisis backpacking/hitchhiking trip – I couldn’t afford a plane ticket home for the holidays but I somehow could afford to fly to Europe using only points, so I obviously did that instead – and I was able to trek through a couple of countries DURING WINTER with this as my only suitcase! I just flew home to quarantine for a couple weeks so I can spend the holidays this year with my mom (hooray!) and as always, this basically fit everything I needed to bring. I just did the math and it’s been my carry-on on nearly 100 flights (!!!) since, and it truly still looks brand new. If you’re also a light traveler who dreams of one day being able to fly somewhere again in a post-pandemic world, this would be a great addition to your holiday wishlist!!!

Also From Caitlin: Maybe it’s just because I have LITERALLY NO PLANS as I sit in my childhood home and wait to be done with quarantine – my mom is enjoying a nice time down at the beach with her dog #blessed – but I am obsessed with filling the time by scrolling through website’s gift sections! ANYWAY, this week’s standout goes to Urban Outfitters and to two favorites in particular: this acrylic chess set (it’s like Queen’s Gambit meets Jonathan Adler…I’m into it) and this Dunder Mifflin Book and Mug Set, which seems like an easy slam dunk gift for anyone who likes The Office (so basically…all my friends!). What other sites have super fun gift sections right now??? I’M SO ALONE AND I HAVE ONE MORE WEEK TO SIT HERE, PLEASE ADVISE.

From Mallory: HALP. I have a random design question. Have you guys ever DIY’ed a custom cushion? I’m wondering if it’s worth the $$$ to have some professionally made or I can make it look equally as good if I do it myself. Thoughts? Please help me.

Also from Mallory: We posted Carmeon’s kitchen reveal 2-ish weeks ago on our IG grid and EVERYONE wanted to know about the “wallpaper” in her dining area. Well, the sad news was that ya couldn’t buy that wallpaper because it was actually hand-painted by Carmeon herself…but WAIT… she finally turned it into a wallpaper in collaboration with City and State. Oh, and did I mention it comes in peel and stick?? After my long peel and stick wallpaper roundup you guys should know how much I love it. I cannot get over how good this is though. Seriously check it out.

Opening Image Credit: Design By Lisa Przystup, Photography by Christian Harder, via Rip & Tan

Fin Mark


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I want to say thank you for demonstrating awareness and caution with the pandemic. Caitlin, being quarantined for two weeks to see family is no easy task and in a time when pandemic fatigue has set in, I really appreciate seeing care taken! Keep up the good work!!!


Is it just me… or does the last chunk of the post appear to be missing???


We never got a proper goodbye! 🤭

Heather Amsden

Mallory, get the cushion made by a professional. I DIY everything. I buy my curtains at Home Goods, I mix and match sheets (and created a cover for my daughters boxspring from an old mattress cover and vintage sheet), I often sew my own throw pillows and change out the fabric on chairs with ‘pop out’ cushions (LOVE my staple gun). However, if you are talking about a cushion for a bench or something like that, I am telling you, it’s worth the splurge to have a professional upholsterer take care of it. Shop for discounted/discontinued fabric and save money there but professionally made cushions are the best. You pay for the foam/contents and the finishing and it will make you happy every time you look at it. 🙂

Jeffrey C

What Heather said … particularly if you are going to do any part of it tufted.


I was also going to chime in on the cushion making and it depending on the complexity. I sew a ton. I’ve had cushions for benches professionally made, because of foam and wrapping and particular seams and size. I’ve made smaller, thinner cushions for a rocking chair, but the design was much simpler. Actually, while I have the skill, aside from cutting foam, which I’d always outsource, I generally ask myself if I’d rather save money or time. If it’s a 1-2 hour job like a pillow, then I do it, but custom cushions take more time and precision.


Caitlin – I’ve been loving Made Trade for everything! Gifts, home, clothing. They feature sustainable and ethical brands and so many unique items.

Hanna M

Just an FYI, H&M home has similar peg hangers made of acacia wood and they are gorgeous if you want an affordable option that doesn’t need any finish.


Caitlin – love the backpack! I traveled through Europe one January for a month with only a backpack as well, and my parents were really confused about how I could have enough stuff for an entire month. Love traveling light! Plus, if it’s really cold (like Europe in January) then you can just wear ALL of your clothes while being forced out of your hostel for the day to walk around Paris to keep warm. 😉
Can’t wait until it’s safe to travel again.


Mallory, I am not a sewer at all, but I managed a simple bench cushion — with piping, even! — on my own without much difficulty. If you need a zipper or any fancy details, a pro might be a better plan, but a simple design is really do-able!


Ok, Caitlin — You have told us about the backpack, but now it is time (and you HAVE the time) to do a post (or a series of posts) on where you have traveled. But more importantly, how about a post where you educate us about how to pack light in that awesome travel backpack, what and how many to bring, all the details!!


Yes, please! My husband and I are dreaming about taking the summer off and traveling with our two kids for a couple months. This will be a few years away. Plenty of time to daydream and plan! I would love your advice on packing light, washing clothes while traveling, and any other tips! Thank you!

We are big fans of traveling Europe in the winter (and with just a backpack)! Far less tourists/lines, walking 15 miles in 50 degrees is much better than 90, it’s cheaper, most European food is very hearty which is just what you want in the winter months, capturing snowfall against ancient buildings makes for incredible photos, you have to pack less because every photo will just be you in a coat anyway – ha! It’s the best. We would be in Spain right now if it weren’t for the stupid pandemic.


@Mallory – if you’re trying to DIY something fairly square with good upholstery fabric (especially with a forgiving pattern) and a staple gun, you can do almost anything. Tufted is a lot harder, but if you’re going for something fairly basic, then I believe in you!


I’ve made nearly every cushion I have (and I have a bunch). If you want fancy piping, get it done. If you want basic pillow form or boxed corners and have simple sewing skills, DIY it.

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