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The Link Up: Emily’s New Personalized Necklace, Veronica’s Trick To Staying Organized, & A 5 Ingredient Recipe Cookbook

design by reath design | photo by laure joliet | via architectural digest

Happy Sunday folks. We are officially more than halfway through the longest month ever, the Monday of months if you will, and man does it feel good. This is about the time everyone is starting to feel anxious about their resolutions and maybe even a little discouraged. If this is how you are feeling we are here to say you are doing GREAT and also, it is okay to let go of resolutions that don’t suit you. As Kris Jenner would say, “you are doing amazing sweetie”. Now, let’s get to those EHD recommendations:

From Emily: “Brian saw my gift guide and bought me a customizable necklace that says ‘Bird and Bear’ on it (for Birdie and Charlie Bear) and it’s just so sweet and dainty and special to me. I think we all know this, that personalized gifts are kinda the best, so thank you Brian (speaking of, Sara made me two framed pottery pieces that I will shoot and show you but her weekend hobby is really turning out to be a talent (and benefit to me) – follow her Instagram account to see what she’s cooking up in the ceramics kitchen).”

Sara’s current favorite cookbook is 5 Ingredients: Quick And Easy Food. It is only filled with recipes that consist of 5 ingredients each. From Sara: “While we’ve been super busy finishing some house renovations this has been the only book I have out, and it’s just SO ACCESSIBLE.”

HOUSE TOUR: Reath Design is quickly becoming our new favorite firm because the way they mix color, pattern, and shape makes our hearts skip multiple beats. So when Architectural Digest debuted their newest project this past week we were kind of excited (and by “kind of” we really mean “EXTREMELY”). Here’s to more homes packed with all of the colors!

From Veronica: “If you’re looking for an affordable wall calendar to keep you organized, look no further because I found the perfect one!”

Jess is a gal that loves shoes and these puppies she got for Christmas are her current crowned jewel. The shape is super flattering and the wood sole is so beautiful.

Caitlin was really excited about our recent partnership with Food52 and DOUBLY EXCITED when she found out one of her friends had bought the essential cookware set. She got to try it out over the weekend and y’all, the nonstick skillet and the measurements in the stockpot are both UNREAL. 10/10, highly recommended!!! (it’s also on sale right now!)

Ryann’s favorite jeans as of late are these in washed black. They are SO comfortable but hold their shape really well even if you wear them multiple days in a row (which Ryann unabashedly does).

From Mallory: “Skin routines are utterly confusing to me, which is why I don’t have one. I have no idea where to start, so I’ve been asking everyone I know and I thought, hey, you guys probably know. If you have any product recommendations or simple, approachable skincare routine outlines PLEASE HELP ME.”

And if you haven’t already accidentally binge watched Cheer like Julie has then get to it. This docuseries on Netflix follows along the Texas cheer team of Navarro Community College. If you still have the mindset that cheerleaders are not athletes, think again. Also, Monica Aldama, come be our life coach.

This is where we leave you, but not for long. See you tomorrow. xx


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44 thoughts on “The Link Up: Emily’s New Personalized Necklace, Veronica’s Trick To Staying Organized, & A 5 Ingredient Recipe Cookbook

  1. To Mallory: I have spent the last year figuring out my skin (and I have a degree in toxicology, so I figure I had a head start). This takes time. I started with a few things from affordable brands like the ordinary and then started slowing mixing in 1 thing at a time, like retinol. I go to somewhere like Space NK and ask for samples so I can ensure I don’t have a reaction. For me the Holy Grail is drunk elephant retinol.

    1. Wow a toxicology degree that’s awesome!! Thanks for sharing your insight – it’s so smart to sample things first and I’ve heard drunk elephant is AMAZING. I’ll definitely check it out. Appreciate the advice 🙂

  2. Thanks for all the recommendations! And for Mallory, start simple: cleansing and moisturizing are the most important steps, and if you have a specific concern (acne, first wrinkles, etc) just add a serum in between. Find a friend with great skin and ask her what brand she uses!

    1. Ah yes! This is VERY approachable which is exactly what I need. Thanks for the help!

    2. I love the link-up!! Thanks everyone! 🙂

      For Mallory I have been loving BeautyCounter. They rigorously screen ingredients for safety, their female CEO Gregg Renfrew just made Instyle’s list of 50 badass women who are changing the world, returns are free within 60 days, they are a Certified B Corp, there are multiple skin care lines to choose from. I am on the minimalist side and keep things pretty simple. I personally love their Countermatch daily moisture lotion as my go to face moisturizer. It’s balanced and has a great light scent. They have many different products based on your skin type and needs. Happy to chat more or they have a skin care quiz. I love love their products! I am chasing a toddler around constantly and don’t spend a ton of time on a perfect routine….I either use their cleansing balm to wash my face or the nourishing cleanser in the shower. I have night cream but am honestly terrible about using it and usually wear nothing at night. For makeup I use Dew Skin which is light and has SPF 20, also a best seller and award winner. They have a ton of options, I love so many of their products – skin, make up and baby. Best of luck to you in your quest!!

  3. Hey Mallory – Since there is sooooo much advice to women about their skin out there, it feels like maybe you just want to know what is right for you. If you don’t have skin problems, then my advice is don’t do too much. In fact, if you are fine doing what you are doing then I would just think about your day and evening routines. Day: Wear sunscreen. I wear EltaMD because it doesn’t make me breakout and the texture is perfect, but there are plenty of options. Night: is key because when you are sleeping your skin does a lot of repair and sloughing. So clean off the day, even if you don’t wear makeup. Cetaphil or CereVe from the drugstore are widely renowned affordable face cleansers. Over cleaning can cause issues so always start gentle and escalate one product at a time only when and if you need it. After cleansing, a moisturizer is nice, but if you are young, live in a great climate and don’t have peeling or ashy skin, then skip it. OK, I am sure lots of people would say this is too minimal and you can find LOTS of product recommendations. I, in fact, have to do a LOT more because I have thin skin, that is prone to congestion (white and blackheads) and peeling if I over do and I live in a harsh climate (MN). Its been a 30+ years journey to find what clears my skin without creating a new, worse problem. Dermatologists often emphasize expensive treatments and almost everyone else just wants to sell you product, so its really every woman’s journey. Good luck.

      1. nothing special for blackheads, although this is where a gentle extraction process is effective (although ewww). the goal is to prevent them with gentle exfoliation. Over cleansing just creates more sebum, so its finding the balance for you.

  4. Mallory- I fell down the cruelty-free skincare rabbit hole about 6 months ago, and it has completely transformed my skin. Like most people, I start with a cleanser followed by a toner (Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner — love!), but the next step is what has made all the difference. I spray a hydrating mist and then use The Ordinary’s hyaluronic acid all over my face. My skin texture and “springiness” has improved incredibly from this product. And at age 55, I’ll take it! My last step is an eye cream and serum (I use Biossance phyto-retinol serum and their marine algae eye cream). My advice: start slowly, and try one thing at a time. But I highly recommend the hydrating mist and hyaluronic acid. It is a game changer!

  5. To Mallory re: skincare: I agree with the other posters about keeping it simple with a gentle cleanser that removes dirt and makeup, a moisturizer depending on your needs, and a sunscreen you will wear daily! Serums et al can be added in one by one as you discover your needs. (I love everything I’ve tried from Target’s Versed line.) Two further pieces of advice. 1. Purchase from stores you can return to. Target has a great policy, as does Sephora. You’ll be more likely to experiment if you don’t have a bathroom full of products you used once and hated. 2. courtesy of Eva Chen- buy skincare you can afford to use plentifully. Most people use too little product to be effective, and everything you put on your face should go down to your nipple line. Products have a shelf life, so splurging on La Mer and using a tiny dab isn’t going to yield results and it may go bad before you ever use it up. Enjoy the process!

    1. Haha, I love the “down to the nipple line” advice. I used to just put products on my face and noticed that my neck and chest were aging a lot faster since I wasn’t putting anything on them. Good point!!

  6. Mallory— It’s a blog written by this one guy, entirely dedicated to educating the world on basic skincare. It’s straightforward, honest, no BS. Knowledge is power. Truly it changed my life.

  7. I love the house tour this week! I think I probably love it every week. It just confirms that design done well can make you drawn to styles you wouldn’t normally choose. I’m a big fan of color, but I tend to resist pattern, particular bold ones, and I generally have a tighter color palette. So seeing this amazing home with so much color and pattern and being wowed reminds me of the importance of good design. Thank you for sharing ideas that push us outside the expected.

  8. MALLORY:: Before you do anything, read the book, “Beyond Soap” by Canadian dermatologist (a REAL doctor), Sandy Skotnicki. She also has a podcast. It is an excellent resource on skin care and will help you find products that are good for YOUR skin. Reasonably priced stuff too.

  9. Mallory, I would love to suggest to you that you try Maskcara MILK skincare. EASY and IT WORKS. I read about it and liked what I read, so had to try it and my skin saw results soooooo fast. I believe the moisturizer is the power horse, and I never used to use one, but this is a miracle in a jar.

    1. I really need a good moisturizer and this sounds great! Thanks SO much for the suggestion

  10. Skincare is as individual as our DNA. Mallory, I suggest to look at the products of “The Ordinary” and see what’s appealing to your skin tone and sensitivity level. There are 2 things that sold me on the Ordinary – they’re really really good and they’re really really cheap. I started out with 1 product as I couldn’t believe that something THAT cheap can be good, but they proved me wrong and I am hooked on their products.

  11. Mallory— try out some free samples at Sephora or at a great facial place like Kate Somerville ( expensive, but worth it). The serums and creams from Dr. Nassif are amazing. You don’t need to slather them on because they are very concentrated. He’s a plastic surgeon— the one who does the show “Botched” on E. I know people who weren’t so botched who went to him and tried the product and they shared… now I use them too. You can get them online and they have lots of sales. They smell like ginger and really work well. My 2cents. Have fun.

  12. Hi, Mallory.
    I love Lisa Eldridge’s website and You Tube channel. She’s been a force as a makeup artist, and is a great source for skincare regimes. She has lots of videos with her famous clients, as they add what regimes they’ve developed for themselves! It’s lovely. Check it out!
    Also, Dr. Mona Vand always brings to light what best products she loves, and gives info on clean brands. Enjoy discovering how to take care of your skin!

  13. To Mallory – I went to a dermatologist as a teen (I’m now 35), and was recommended Purpose (liquid) soap from the drugstore for my very very very light and sensitive skin. Cheap and easy on the skin. Love it, every other soap that I’ve tried breaks me out. From there, I use a makeup with 55spf in it to avoid using another product (IT cosmetics). That’s it!

    When I have dry skin, I use Pond’s moisturizer (cheap and really great for sensitive skin, I’ve tried all and not that much different to me – they even have like $2 trial/travel sizes at Target I think) or No. 7 moisturizer, and for an oomph use No 7 hydraluminous water concentrate just before a moisturizer if I have dry skin. Again, I only use the moisturizers as needed. I’ve tried really expensive moisturizers and didn’t really see that much of a difference for me.

    Good luck! Making an appointment with a good dermatologist that is recommended by those you know or who has good reviews may be helpful just to get you started. They had very good insight for me, and recommended easy to obtain products.

  14. Hi Emily and team, this AD image is making me ask: how about a blog post on ceilings? It seems that more often than not, ceilings are just white, or discreet (sometimes rightly so), but last on the budget (or design) priority list. Still… I’d love to see in one place ideas and insights on how this surface can be inspiring, give warmth, depth or an edge to a room. What d’ya all think? Thanks and I appreciate your work and posts very much, the effort and care put into every aspect of the copy/photos, how you engage with your audience, the transparency and how real it all is!

  15. Mallory, check out Primally Pure ( Their product line is pretty simple and all natural. Their website provides lots of really transparent and helpful information. Their customer service is exceptional. I’ve been using their natural deodorant, oil cleanser and beauty cream for a few years and can’t imagine bothering with anything else on the market! I also love their complexion mists and Everything Spray. They’ve recently added some serums and masks. I tried the serum for several months and went back to my original (and less expensive) routine using just the beauty cream.

  16. I can’t be the only one who thinks that the house in that AD article is completely heinous, can I? Usually when I look at designed spaces, I think to myself – “If I were to re-design this space, what would I change?” In this case it’s more like, “what would I KEEP?” The answer to that question is, “probably nothing.”

    Also, I look forward to a day when we can stop assigning gender to colors and shapes and emotions. “Masculine” and “feminine” need to be black-listed from design descriptions.

    On a more positive note, I’m drooling over the stock pot and sauce pans in that Food52 collection. The pour spouts on the side are genius!

  17. SKINCARE – check out “Best skin of your life” – amazing book on how to approach skincare and what the most essential parts. Also, youtube. I changed my skincare regime right before Christmas and my skin has changed SO MUCH that coworkers have mentioned it to me.
    Key changes:
    – oil cleanse to get makeup off
    – water cleanse to remove the remaining gunk
    – chemical exfoliant (DO NOT use a scrub. stay away)
    – serums for specific concerns (i use a vitamin C and a retinol from The Ordinary)
    – daily moisturizer (Ceravee has one with nyacinimide that is amazing and affordable)

  18. For Mallory- Such a great question. I feel like all of us have been waiting for someone to ask lol!

    I’d echo some of the advice already given – start by just washing your face and moisturizing it after and see how that goes.

    As far as brands, I don’t find The Ordinary very intuitive, because you kind of have to know what you’re looking for before you get there and they’re a pain to use. Do you want rose hip oil? Vitamin C? Retinol? If you know, then you can get a reasonably priced bottle. But even if you do know what you want (despite their products being named primarily based on ingredients (like rose hip oil), not properties (like moisturizer)), if you have more than one concern you’re pretty much putting another product on for each concern. So for example, instead of having one product that both fights acne and is moisturizing, you’d end up putting on one product for acne and one product for moisture. For people starting out (or who don’t want to spend a lot of time each day on skincare like me), you don’t want to have to put a separate product on for each concern. Additionally, some products shouldn’t really be combined, which is another thing that makes The Ordinary’s al la carte ingredients offering more confusing. Finally, putting on lots of products makes some less effective – if you’ve already coated your skin in two products, that third one isn’t going to sink in as much and be as effective. But what if you need three things and don’t want to coat your face with three different, increasingly less effective products?

    I like Sunday Riley, Biossance, Origins, the Versed line at Target, etc. where they have mixed multiple ingredients together for you already, in a way that maximizes their effectiveness! I’d recommend Versed at Target as a starting point instead of The Ordinary. The Ordinary is a great brand, but I don’t think their affordability makes them a good starting choice when there are brands like Versed that are equally as effective and affordable, without the need to apply and store so many products. Good luck!

    Also- would love your tips on not being stressed out, because if you aren’t doing skincare as a coping mechanism, you must be doing something else that is working! 🙂

    1. I recommended Versed above too for the same reason! I’m really savvy when it comes to skincare, and if I find The Ordinary to be confusing, then I can’t imagine a novice would be able to make heads or tails of it!

  19. I’m 40. I only use products without toxins because i have an autoimmune disorder and am estrogen heavy. No endocrine disruptors in my skin care, pls! To me, it is so important not to put stuff like that on my skin, and I will pay more to have something that doesn’t hurt me. I try to keep things super simple since I am not into piling things on.

    To that end, I think Drunk Elephant is so great. I have the C Firma and the Framboos. In the morning, I squirt the C on the back of my hand and mix with a bit of the clear gel moisturizer from Trader Joe’s and rub on my face. Using the TJ’s moisturizer means my skin stays moisturized but not oily looking. At night I squirt the Framboos on the back of my hand and add a squirt of the Acure Marula oil (the DE marula oil is so expensive), mix together and pat on my face. Sometimes at night I add another thicker moisturizer on top, like Weleda Iris Night Moisturizer or my new fave (not cheap but cheaper than DE moisturizers) Primera Alpine Berry Cream, which is light, fluffy and delicious feeling. I put moisturizer on my neck every day, whether the TJ’s or the Weleda/something heavy. I see people over 50 out in the world and am reminded constantly that the neck is so important. Now am considering starting on the backs of my hands too as I have noticed sun damage cropping up. For the record, all the DE moisturizers are fantastic, I only avoid because $$$ but I bought a small trial series a while back and loved every single thing.

    I’ve bought stuff from the Ordinary and find the same issues some other posters have had, which is it’s too many individual products and navigating what you want/adding so many steps to your routine has been daunting for me. They sit in my cabinet.

    I use Acure Brightening Cleansing Gel in the shower but I am not wedded to it. It doesn’t make my skin dry, which I like and does the job just fine.

    People constantly think I’m 27, not kidding. I have had problems at work throughout my 30s into now with people underpaying/underestimating me because I look so much younger than my age. So even though sometimes it works against me, now I am trying to hold onto that youthful look as I realize over 40, all bets are off.

    I have gotten way more into skincare in the last 5 yrs and feel I have discovered the holy grail for my combo skin. I used to poo poo the beauty industry in general but figuring this all out has been more interesting and useful than I imagined. Hope you have fun figuring out what’s best for you, too!

  20. Dear Mallory,
    ZO (Obagi’s new skin care line) is amazing. I’m a physician and got it from a plastic surgeon. Totally affordable. They have salicylic acid wipes if you are still prone to acne and amazing toner wipes. Hi tip: I cut them in half and one jar of them lasts me two months. Rarely even need to use face cream anymore, and I live in Wisconsin girl. Also religiously use red flower organically face oil every morning and night. Good cleanser and sunscreen every day. Every. Day.

  21. Mallory,

    Finding the best skincare routine is such an individual process that comes with a lot of trial and error. You just need to pay attention and see how your skin responds. Gentle cleansing, sufficient moisturizer and diligent sunscreen are a must. And never ever use a physical scrub (chemical exfoliates only).
    The two things that have helped me the most are the Beautypedia site (I never buy anything without researching it here) and the Beautiful with Brains blog. Both sites are science based and cut through all the fluff of marketing. Good luck!

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