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The Link Up: Em’s Great Housewarming Gift Idea, Mal’s Trick For Instant Silky Hair, And A Chance To Hang With Emily In Person

Happy Sunday everyone! This was a pretty exciting week on the design front because Emily and the Portland team shot all of the river house empties (photos before any furniture or styling decor). Oh, and did you see the library design pivot and Em’s pretty hilarious reel? Basically things are really cooking and we couldn’t be more excited. Ok, links!

This week’s house tour is brought to us by the brilliant minds of Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent, two designers that are incapable of not designing a stunning and soulful home. They even dabbled into a couple of trends but made them look completely timeless. Hello, blue room! Please go check out the full article here or get a little snapshot on Instagram.

From Emily: I just received my copy of For The Love Of Renovating and I can’t believe how informative it is. Barry and Jordan clearly put as much helpful information in here as possible from their years of experience, and it’s truly a wealth of insider tips. If you are renovating (or know someone who is) I personally think that buying both The New Design Rules and For The Love Of Renovating will help you IMMENSELY (of course, I’m biased, but I really think it’s true). Their book is also a fantastic housewarming gift for anyone that is about to embark on a fixer. It can be so daunting, intimidating, and frustrating so a book like this can really be a tool from beginning to end. Great job, guys!!!!

Also From Emily: Wanna hang out in person? Wednesday, June 19th I’ll be co-hosting Barry and Jordan’s book signing at Rejuvenation in Portland and I’m BEGGING all my Portland friends/readers/followers to come!!! It will be a casual Q and A, with food and drinks and these two guys are SO CHARMING. To be honest, I rarely do things like this (because I, like most people, don’t love being on a stage in front of so many people) but these two guys are so wonderful and work so hard that I wanted to support them any way I can and I’m genuinely excited to hang out with them again. Please come hang out with us! Here’s all the info:

Date: June 19th
Time: 6pm
Location: Rejuvenation Portland
RSVP link: HERE

From Mallory: Jess’s hair journey plus my constant hair bleaching inspired me to start taking better care of the hairs on my head. Enter: Amika’s hair mask!! I started using this bad boy once a week and every time I rinse it out my hair feels like butter. I’ve slept in the hair mask before and it’s great to do for 4 hours or more, but I’ve also done it for an hour or less and it has made such a difference for my hair. If you’re also on a hair journey try this guy out!!

From Gretchen: The majority of clothes I own are… just okay. You can find me in a t-shirt, old jeans, and beat-up Birkenstocks on any given day. But lately, I’ve been trying to up my fashion game (a bit, let’s not get crazy now) and our recent trip to Mexico gave me a good reason to add a few new “fancy” staples into the mix. On night one of our trip, I paired this fun & funky black and white patterned maxi skirt from Target with this super flattering puff sleeve top (I love a poofy shoulder) from Abercrombie. I received a handful of compliments from the EHD team while sporting this, and I have to agree with them, I looked damn cute! Dressy enough to wear on a date night, but could easily pair each piece with something more casual–the skirt with a graphic tee or maybe the top with some high-waisted jeans? Now all I need are some new shoes! And a purse. Maybe some better jeans? We’re working on it!

In case you missed it, Jess’ dad, Les, made his annual heartwarming and extremely helpful Father’s Day gift guide. If you take one look at the reviews you’ll know the impact he has had:) One week left!

From Arlyn: Raise your hand if you feel like you could hang your head in shame at how many paper towels you run through on a daily basis. And look, I know they sell reusable paper towels on a roll and all of that, or I could use kitchen towels (which I do…all the time) but any household with kids is a messy household and you’re constantly wiping up SOMETHING. We’ve been using Papaya reusable paper towels recently and we LOVE THEM. They each come with a hook so it can hang to dry to prevent bacteria. You just wet, wipe, rinse, squeeze, and hang and each has lasted us at least two weeks. You can throw them in the washing machine and even the dishwasher, though they recommend you air dry them. It’s hard to imagine going back!

From Caitlin: Asking the audience: are Branch’s ergonomic office chairs worth the price for someone with serious back issues? (Like, “getting quarterly outpatient surgery treatment” serious – I’m not messing around here!) They’re obviously far more affordable than something from Herman Miller, and the aesthetics are leaps and bounds above the sea of black mesh that I’ve been sifting through, but is it too good to be true? Does it hold up over time? Will sitting in this chair reduce the amount of money I pay to my orthopedist every month? (He’s a miracle worker, though – worth every penny.) Please advise!!! I’d love to buy the pretty chair, but I am scared of it not living up to expectations. (Alternatively, if anyone has a favorite refurbished office chair site, I’d love to take a look!)

From Jess: Well, I caved. I bought a Stanely cup and I have to say that I love it. As someone who could easily go days without drinking water, I’m really trying to change that. And for whatever reason, this vessel has immensely helped me achieve that. If you already have a similar type of water jug then ignore this, but I didn’t have one so I got the 30oz size because my friend who has the 40oz says it doesn’t fit into her car cup holder (WHAT?!) and I really love having a handle. The drinking experience is pretty great which I know sounds silly but does make a difference to me. So if you’ve also been contemplating getting a Stanley and maybe are a little embarrassed about how trendy they are (that was me!), forget all that and just do it if you want to. I’ve been averaging 90oz a day! Who am is this hydrated lady!?

Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow! xx

Opening Image Credits: Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: All the What’s, Why’s & How Much’s of the Portland Kitchen (+ Big Reveal)

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Karen
4 days ago

Once again a leading article that cannot be read unless you subscribe. Why? My peeps?

Kat Selah
3 days ago
Reply to  Karen

A gentle correction – it’s not “can’t be read.” It’s “I choose not to read it because I prefer to only consume free content and not pay people for their writing.” That’s genuinely not a judgement, it’s your prerogative how you choose to spend your money, and there are plenty of things I don’t choose to pay for, including many articles and publications – but writers deserve to be paid for their work and skill, just as all people with all careers do.

Indy
4 days ago

Darn, another house tour link that is behind a paywall. Here’s a few “free” pics about: https://www.jeremiahbrent.com/projects/montecito/

Grace
4 days ago

Caitlin – you may end up needing to invest in something from Steelcase or Humanscale (in a fun color) but given the Verve’s reviews and Branch’s return policy, it’s probably worth a try. You’ll be out $35 if it doesn’t work for you after 30 days. It’s hard to know what works with something like this without trying it!
https://www.branchfurniture.ca/pages/returns

Char
3 days ago

Love all your links and the fact I can link to them now without losing your original content. You all make my Sundays even better!

Nic
3 days ago

Caitlin! I’ve been waiting for someone to ask about Branch so I can give a GLOWING review. I’ve had back issues since I was a preteen (thanks competitive gymnastics!), to the point that I was in the ER last winter for the pain, I haven’t been able to walk my dog for a year and a half, I see a PT bi-weekly and I had surgery last year (partially back related, partially not, but it helped my back pain). The Branch chairs are LEGIT – I have the Daily Chair and it’s been amazing for the last two years (https://www.branchfurniture.com/collections/office-chairs/products/daily-chair). For context, I have the Cushion Lab seat cushions that I take EVERYwhere, and my old desk chair needed the Cushion Lab seat cushion layered on it for me to be able to sit even for 10 minutes. With the Branch, I can sit 4-5 hours without pain (obvs with getting up regularly to fill my water bottle or go to the bathroom, etc.). I did a BUNCH of research before I bought it, because I have so many back issues, and was really hesitant to *not* get something from Herman Miller or Steelcase, but also I just cannot spend… Read more »

Jjpp
3 days ago
Reply to  Nic

Thanks for this! I also have had back issues (herniated disc from sitting in a crappy ikea desk chair actually), and I got a Haworth Fern chair that I love. My desk is in the living room so I wanted to get something comfortable but attractive, and the Fern has lots of custom colors options that are really nice. (And it’s very comfortable and supportive. But my husband still has the same ol’ ikea chair that killed my back, and he isn’t inclined to drop $1000 on a Fern for himself … I’m going to get him one of these Branch chairs as a surprise! Hopefully I can pry the ikea chair out from under him haha

Jjpp
3 days ago
Reply to  Nic

Ps – looks like they’re sold at container store, and they have savings on office items now, making the daily chair $186.

Zoe
3 days ago

Caitlin, troll Craigslist for a Herman Miller chair! So many people bought a work from home set up they don’t need anymore – I was able to get my partner a Herman Miller for $150 in like new condition after just a week or two of looking.

Emily
3 days ago

Another option for chairs – reach out to your local Herman Miller dealers and ask if/when they hike their warehouse sales. My local HM dealer (SW Missouri) keeps a showroom of various pieces and once a year holds a warehouse for extras, repaired returns, trade-ins, and floor models. It’s not uncommon to find refurnished Arron chairs for $200-300.

Elysha
3 days ago

Jess, I also caved and bought a Stanley and love it. I sort of hate drinking water but get so dehydrated. This school year, my goal has been to drink more and I found Water Drops and have been popping one into my Stanley when I fill it up and the flavors really get me to drink more. Thought you might want to check them out! (PS: I am an elementary school teacher and not affiliated with those water drops at all!! Just passing on something that’s helped me drink more!)

Samantha
3 days ago
Reply to  Elysha

Ohh I love water drops. I drink one every morning sitting at my desk. I feel instantly better. Not sure if it’s a placebo effect but at least I’m drinking water

Mary
3 days ago

Caitlin, I’m not a doctor but I have had chronic back pain for nearly ten years. I’ve tried every office chair on the market, and all I can say is DO NOT BUY THE BRANCH. I spent so much money trying to avoid going the Herman Miller route because they’re hideous, but the truth is you need every component of a chair to be adjustable to fit YOUR body and the Branch just isn’t customizable enough. The armrests can’t be moved forward or backward, which is nuts ergonomically speaking. All bodies are different and if you can’t adjust each component of the chair then you could be spending hours with your shoulders hunched too close to your ears, or too far away, your elbows too flared out, etc etc. From what I understand, properly set-up armrests reduce muscle load and pressure on the spine. I know HM chairs are ugly and expensive but ultimately I decided that not being in excruciating pain every day is worth one unsightly thing in my home. Plus, cost-wise, I bought mine used on Craigslist for $250.

Julie
3 days ago
Reply to  Mary

Hi—I think you may have the wrong branch chair? They have adjustable ones and I adjust my arms with it just fine?

I have a lot of back pain and I echo some of the above, try Branch. But I’d also add the cushion lab cushions too!

Mary
3 days ago
Reply to  Julie

Yes, the armrests can lift up and down, but they can’t be moved forward or backward, which means if the default position is too far back for your body, you’ll naturally lean forward to reach your computer/keyboard, which kind of defeats the purpose of a fancy office chair. That said, this could be mitigated with an adjustable keyboard, which has honestly been an equal lifesaver for my back!

Karyn Meadows
3 days ago

Really so so disappointed to find a house tour behind another paywall. WHHHYYYEEEE???

Kat Selah
3 days ago
Reply to  Karyn Meadows

I commented on this above, but it really baffles me that people complain about people wanting to be paid for their work, or other’s promoting others work that one has to pay for. I’ve never heard a single complaint on this website (which I read daily) about a product that costs anywhere from a few dollars to a few thousand dollars being promoted and linked, but the moment they link any writing that would involve investment from a reader, everyone balks. I hate to tell you, but the words your reading on this blog are from writers. Writers who work very hard to give you content every day, and get paid via ads and promotions so you don’t have to pay them directly. Other writers choose to just charge for their work, especially longstanding publications (which are dying due to lack of subscriptions). Being “so disappointed” that others charge for their writing is bewildering – It’s just saying, “I deserve to have someone just give me their work for free.” If you don’t want to pay for it, don’t buy it and don’t read it! But you could also pay the .50 cents a week (I know they charge annually,… Read more »

Dana Leigh Lyons
3 days ago
Reply to  Kat Selah

Thank you for saying this, Kat. Agreed.

Mary
3 days ago
Reply to  Kat Selah

Yes yes yes! Thank you Kat! From a writer who gets paid by these very publications, thank you!!

Maggie
3 days ago

I have a branch chair and love it! I recently started a new job in which the office underwent a recent renovation! The new spaces are decked out in the Knoll (division of HM) task chair.) After sitting on that chair it really blew my mind….. like it’s just insanely comfortable—there are QT colors but the price is —woof—expensive. Good luck on the search and as a fellow back pain sufferer I hope you find what works for you!

Allie
3 days ago

Similar vibes to the maxi skirt is the Zig Zag print from Nooworks — and it comes in a ton of different styles. I have the big pocket dress and style it with a knotted t-shirt, it’s one of my absolute favorite outfits.

https://nooworks.com/collections/zig-zag

Heather
3 days ago

Jess, I too avoided the Stanley cup for a long time and finally got one when I noticed them on sale while in a sporting goods store. I used mine for over a year and definitely drank more water, but the leaking DROVE ME CRAZY. I’m clumsy and need something spill proof. I tried the little straw topper but wasn’t a fan. I just ordered a Hydrojug and will report back. It has a handle and a straw as well. Why is drinking water so much better with a straw, and it has to be ice cold!

Reanna
3 days ago

Love my Branch chair – only regret is that the version I got doesn’t have a headrest. At least once a month I think about the fact that I don’t have back pain any longer. I recommend it to anyone who asks.

Cici Haus
2 days ago

On the paper towel front, we’ve pretty much eliminated them (even with a toddler!) for a couple years now because of this one simple hack: I keep a cheap ikea plastic trash can under the sink and put the dirty ones in there. We have a lot of towels (maybe 20?) and none are precious so I don’t care if it gets stained. We use them for everything except hardcore cleanup (i.e. my elderly dog’s potty mistakes) or something I know will definitely stain (beets, marinara) and use a sponge first for particularly greasey or grimey messes. We also cloth diaper so we throw the dirty towels in with the cloth diapers usually but we’ve had no issue washing them with regular laundry which is what we did before we had a kiddo. Seriously the bin for them was life changing!

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