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The Link Up: Em’s New Romance Novel She LOVED, Mallory’s Affordable Evening Wear Line Rec, And The Primer-Highlighter That’s ACTUALLY Worth The Internet Hype

Hi everyone and welcome to this week’s link up!! The EHD team was insanely lucky this past week and got to go on a three day team retreat up in Northern California (Grass Valley and Nevada City to be exact). You may have caught it on Em’s stories. We are going to do a whole post about it but we want to say a HUGE thank you to Holbrooke Hotel and The National Exchange Hotel for making our trip unforgettable. If you are in need of a special getaway these are two incredible options. Now, let’s jump on into the link up!

This week’s home tour is a STUNNING property in upstate New York designed by the extremely talented (and owner of lifestyle concept store Sincerely, Tommy) Kai Avent-deLeon.

Some News! Our EHD Mentee, Key’s show “Rental Redo” has been picked up for a full season! And even better news – they’re casting!! If you’re a renter interested in getting a home upgrade, apply here!

From Emily: We went on a team retreat last week and I was so excited to pull out 2 new fashion pieces I had been excited to wear (and they’re great for going back to the office). First, this work jacket/shirt from Alex Mill could not be cuter & I love that the pockets are big enough for a phone. Next up this boxy button-down from Everlane has my ideal silhouette & I love how comfy it is.

Also From Emily: A super sweet rom-com book that helped me manage my travel anxiety this week (that I read over my 3-day work retreat). The Soulmate Equation (here to order from an independent bookstore and here for your Kindle) is the perfect travel read – light, easy, sweet, hard to put down clever, and comforting.

Also Also From Emily: After I was done with that book I dug into this month’s Atlantic Magazine (Huge fan over here, HUGE) and read this article about how social media has really made us all dumber (not to mention threatened democracy, quelled healthy dissent out of fear, and making us all have anxiety!). There is a lot of new data and even some solutions. It’s a long, but a good read (that can also be listened to).

From Mallory: I went to a fancy event recently and needed another fancy dress but didn’t want to spend a ton of cheddar. I found a Nordstrom gift card I had from Christmas and went a browsing. I was so stoked to come across this beauty – it looks so pretty in person and I felt like the sparkly life of the party! This brand Nightway has a ton of really pretty dresses (and for $100 price range). I was super impressed with them! If you’re going to a wedding or formal event soon, check them or Lulus out for affordable (but still decent quality) dresses!

From Caitlin: IT’S (ALMOST) SHORTS SEASON, which means it’s time for my annual celebration of Madewell’s pull-on shorts. Arlyn introduced these to me when I first started at EHD back in 2019 and I have never looked back!!! They’re under $40 (though you can often snag them for 20% off during sales – I think there should be one this weekend, too), they don’t ride up, and they’re just SO freakin’ comfortable without looking sloppy. I have black and olive, but I am loving the two other colors they rolled out this year!! (And if you REALLY have shorts on the brain, UO is offering 25% off all their shorts this weekend – lots of really great wide-leg options, like these.)

Also From Caitlin: May be a little late on this one, but I’m OBSESSED with this long read about a former US intelligence officer who pulled off the biggest heist of classified intel in American history, made plans to sell the aforementioned documents to other countries for 13 million bucks, and whose entire plot was undone by a TYPO. Make sure to set aside some googling time afterward because you will ABSOLUTELY wanna dig up what happened next!!!

From Ryann: Guys, I bought a real bra for the first time in like 5 years. I’ve been wearing bralettes for so long but lately, I’ve wanted a little extra support as gravity keeps working its magic on my ladies if ya know what I mean. I went to Target with very low expectations, found this one, didn’t even try it on in-store, said what the hell, and bought it. I was SHOCKED how well it fits and how comfortable it is. It’s not a push-up and it’s wire-free but still gives me the lift I needed. Oh, and it’s $15 DOLLARS! I have it in black but have ordered it in tan so I can wear it with white tees. 10/10 folks!!!

From Jess: This is one of my current favorite albums, Drama by Rodrigo Amarante. Songs switch between English and Spanish and it’s just beautiful and soothing. I got to see him in concert and it was incredible. HIGHLY RECOMMEND if he’s performing in your area.

Also From Jess: A few weeks ago I said that I had purchased the Ilia The Necessary Eyeshadow Palette to continue my neverending commitment to “my glow”. Let me just tell you this is my most favorite palette EVER. The colors are so pretty, giving you a natural look with a hint of drama. I also bought the travel size of the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Primer & Highlighter and I really love it. I kept hearing about it and figured the travel size was a safe way to try it. The coverage is light but still evens out my skin tone in the nicest way. If you are curious like I was, I am here to say give it a go! I think it’s worth the hype.

Opening Image Credits: Design by Kai Avent-deLeon | Photo by Chris Mottalini | via Clever

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9 months ago

Can you larger busted EHD crew members recommend a supportive strapless bra that doesn’t slip down?! I’m in a wedding soon and need to wear a strapless bra for the first item in years. I have a small rib cage and big (aging 😬) boobs and need something that won’t give me a uniboob or be uncomfortable. Help!

9 months ago
Reply to  Meredith

I feel you! Strapless bras with big boobs are hard… I can’t make a direct reccommendation since I personally don’t wear them for that reason, buuuut my favourite bra brand of all time for my big boobs is elomi (thei sashi bra, is the coolest AND most comfortable bra I own and I have it in several colours – big LOVE!) and they do offer a strapless bra – again I have never worn this personally, but can definitely rec the brand, so it might be worth a try?

9 months ago
Reply to  Meredith

Check out Caralyn Mirand’s blog/insta. She’s got tons of good bra tips!

9 months ago
Reply to  Angela

Wow, I admire this blog, the bros after your advice looks admirable. I too run my blog for a female target audience and sometimes I call them to improve my knowledge of what exactly they are interested in they say there is a lack of different fashion tips, so I would be happy to share these tips with them to improve interaction. 

9 months ago

We need the link for Caitlin’s Madewell shorts!
Great link up as always, thank you ladies 😊

9 months ago
Reply to  Vera

i fixed it!!! thanks for the heads up 🙂

9 months ago

I love Christina Lauren’s books! Glad to see a shout out for them here.

The Kitten Abides
9 months ago

As a Nevada City EHD fan, I’m so glad you enjoyed a nice week up here (chilly and rainy though it was) . . . next time y’all are heading this way and would like some local tips/insider info – let me know and I’d be happy to recommend some things that may not already be on your radar!


9 months ago

Emily, if you are interested in an even deeper dive after the Atlantic piece, check out Johann Hari’s new book Stolen Focus. It is perspective shifting and fill of great ideas on what we can do to reverse the tide. Really recommend it (or his podcast episode on Ezra Klein Show if you want the high level version).

Lauren H
9 months ago

So excited for Key’s show getting picked up!! I do live in the Philadelphia (South Jersey) suburbs but I own and also don’t have any spaces that need to be redone. I’m looking forward to seeing some local homes featured on her show though. Loved the pilot!

9 months ago

Hi Emily,
In regard to the Atlantic article I think we need to be very careful in promoting the narrative that “both sides” are bad and share the blame. One side is hurting feelings by showing that bigotry will no longer be tolerated while the other is using their legislative power to pass laws controlling and outlawing marginalized communities. Not all speech deserves a platform and one cannot compromise when it comes to the rights of others.

9 months ago

Wonderful reading ! Thanks.

9 months ago

The Atlantic article was such a good read (I read this a while back) and reminded me of The Social Dilemma documentary on Netflix.

9 months ago

Concerning the Atlantic article, if social media companies were either platforms or publishers and not BOTH, that would go a long way in solving the problem. If they’re going to control the spread of information with algorithms by promoting certain news stories and suppressing others, they need to lose their protections from Congress and be held liable for spreading false information when found guilty. That would clean it up real quick and restore trust. The Russia hoax vs. Hunter Biden’s laptop is a good example! One was false and promoted by social media, the other was true and suppressed by social media….the list goes on.

9 months ago
Reply to  Mack

So true!

🥰 Rusty
9 months ago

Thanks Emily, the post-Babel article got my grey matter working!
Verrrry interesting.

9 months ago

Did you know you can switch the handles on some appliances? DH swapped the “before/bar (top)” handle on our trash compactor for the “after/Viking (bottom)” handle on our trash compactor and now it matches the appliance it is next to. Terrible before/after pic at different angles, but you get the general idea. Lots of double/triple measuring before drilling (because the appliance handles didn’t mount the same way/use the same holes) but overall it wasn’t too hard…says the person who didn’t do the work :).

9 months ago

Emily – Thanks for the book recommendation. I started reading the book yesterday and can’t put it down. Besides being a fun story, it takes place in San Diego. Jess lives in my old neighborhood of University Heights. Twiggs is a real coffee shop, so are the restaurants named so far. And the park. Fun to read about all the familiar places we used to walk by daily before moving back to Massachusetts.

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