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The Link Up: Emily’s Family Movie Rec, Jess’s Easy Wrapping Paper Storage Hack, and The Best Dinner Recipe One Of Us Has Ever Made

Hi everyone and welcome to this week’s link up! How was everyone’s week? Snowy? Sunny? Rainy? All of the above? Enough about the weather small talk, we’ve got a wonderful show for you today, so it’s time to press play on these binge-worthy links. *INSERT TITLE SEQUENCE*

Starting off with this week’s home tour as per usual. This week we’re taking you to an insanely beautiful home brought to us by none other than The Design Files. It’s the home of two artists who view their home as a creative experiment, or in their words “a warped maximalist colour feast; monster-bird dinner party; new gothic masquerade; baking disaster; totemic gunk pile; and cluster-bomb development laboratory!” If that explanation didn’t make you click, nothing will.

From Emily: Need a weekend family movie? I’VE GOT YOU. Lin Manuel Miranda is a true gift to the world (and our family). Encanto (in addition to Moana, In the Heights, and Hamilton) has once again blown us away with its incredible music and positive messaging (not to mention visuals). I have a theory that Moana didn’t win for best animated film because of its font (lost to Secret Lives of Pets – which was cute, fine, but NOTHING like Moana). This one HAS TO WIN. Our whole family (including Brian) LOVED IT, we now listen to the soundtrack all day every day and yes, I cry. I even started sprinting to “Surface Pressure“, not to mention “We don’t Talk about Bruno” – the music is INCREDIBLE. THANK YOU LIN, for giving your talents out in such a positive way that the whole family can enjoy.

From Ryann: Allow me to introduce you to the soup recipe that Rocky declared is the best thing I’ve ever made. It’s this Creamy White Chicken Chili by Half Baked Harvest but the consistency is more like a soup in my opinion (but you could definitely add more beans and less broth for a chili consistency). Anyway, it is so delicious and was so simple to make. I topped it off with avocado and tortilla strips and like I said Rocky loved it. He’s usually the cook in this house so it was great to finally bring something to the table (literally).

From Jess: Our EHD Budget Closet Org Challenge (that I technically forced onto the team…) has put me into turbo closet organizing mode. As I mentioned in the post, I actually have three closets in my apartment so there is not a single reason that I can’t be organized. I’m the only person that lives here! My most recent purchase was this hanging wrapping paper organizer. I am so on board/agree with Emily’s wrapping paper issues but the truth is I still have some materials and I was sick of trying to get to them, schmushed in the corner of my closet, sticking out of a backpack. So getting this well-reviewed $28 organizer has made me feel embarrassingly good. If you also have a relatively modest wrapping paper/ribbon/reusable bag collection and need an easy system like I did, I highly recommend this.

Also From Jess: If y’all are into it I’m thinking of starting a series on the linkup called DadTok where I link up the very “Dad Joke” TikToks Les Bunge sends me. Please enjoy this week’s offering.

From Mallory: Tired of misplacing things? Me too. I bought the 4 pack of tile trackers (they’re on a massive sale right now $40 for 4 – originally $70!) to put on our wallets & keys just in case we lose them or they get stolen or something. Now me and Chase will never have to wonder where our stuff is again (CRYING HAPPY TEARS).

From Caitlin: This week I was BLOWN AWAY by the story of the Villa Aurora in Rome. It has everything: a Texas-born woman who became an Italian princess! An inheritance battle! A nearly 500-year-old estate! A failed $534 million dollar auction attempt! The only ceiling fresco ever painted by Caravaggio! Ruins from Caesar’s villa where he courted Cleopatra! Letters discovered from Marie Antoinette, Louis XVI, and a bunch of popes! Statues on-site by Michelangelo! The NPR story is a great jumping-off point, but be sure to click around and read all the other linked pieces – it’s SO COOL.

Also from Caitlin: Significantly less cool, but just wanted to call out two things that have helped me manage my severe back pain: this acupressure mat, which I’ve used for over a year, and this knee pillow for side sleepers, which was a Christmas gift. I re-herniated a disc last month and have been in a ton of pain, but both of these things have been actual lifesavers (in addition to, you know, actual medication). If you also struggle with back pain of any kind, I can’t recommend either of these highly enough. Hope this helps someone out

Opening Image Credits: Design by Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski | Photo by Eve Wilson | Styled by Annie Portelli| via The Design Files

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3 months ago

Omg Encanto had taken over our home. “Surface Pressure” is easily the best song of the year. I think the lyrics speak to every woman on the planet right now.

Yesterday though I caught my 4-year-old daughter singing it in front of her mirror while holding her arms up and flexing her biceps. I’m so grateful to this new breed of Disney movie giving such strong role models to our girls (my childhood hero was the little mermaid, a character who literally gave up her voice for a man 😆 — gimme Louisa any day!!)

Erin
3 months ago
Reply to  Marian

Encanto’s music is the best! I think the only thing I love more than the music is the incredible messages we can learn so much from: The intense pressures and expectations we put on ourselves and others; that the idea of perfection can be immensely limiting for personal growth and creativity; we can sometimes incorrectly judge people or things we don’t understand and if you cut off communication with someone you disagree with you may miss a chance to learn WHY; the notion that everything has to be sunny and happy all the time always, dance in the rain!; the reality of violence that has taken place in Columbia and throughout the world causing families, communities and entire cultures of peoples to leave their home to find safety and a new start (if they are able to escape) and the huge losses they often endure; marry the one you love because it’s right for YOU; the crazy notion that we should know our life purpose from early on; be forgiving toward yourself and the ones you love; and that we are stronger when we work together. I think this movie also did so much to recover the impression my young… Read more »

Erin
3 months ago
Reply to  Erin

Oh ALSO! Love your home and it will love you back 😉

Carrie
3 months ago

Please Google “Tile privacy” if you care about the privacy of your data at all.

mzwong
3 months ago
Reply to  Carrie

care to elaborate? i googled it and see that they don’t sell your info.

Maureen Hamburger
3 months ago

Always love the movie recommendations. It is hard finding family films to watch with adult children in their 20’s. We have a tradition at Christmas that includes a movie. I have picked some doozies so now I do my homework and pre-view the film. Keep the movie recommendations coming. Especially ones that a family with 20 something’s can watch together. Hard to keep them engaged and not embarrassed.

Eden Weber
3 months ago

Is there a way to recommend things that aren’t on Amazon. Or link to other sources. Thanks.

andrea
3 months ago

If you’d have some Feldenkrais sessions your back would be happier. Gentle, effective, amazing!! Read about it! Find a practitioner: Feldenkrais.com

Melissa Aydelott
3 months ago

Yes, please to the DadTok jokes!!

Kathryn
3 months ago

I had to buy one of those acupressure mats! I’ve been dealing with a pulled muscle in my back for over a month!

Karine
3 months ago

Half Baked Harvest recipes are great. Tiegen is awesome.

🥰 Rusty
3 months ago

That house tour is really interesting when you zoom in on the details. Possibly a bit art-school-studenty for me to live with though.

I. Cannot. Amazon. 💥
Convenience is not worth the harm to its employees nor our planet.
Alternative purveyors would be greatly appreciated.

Oooh, that movie! Such great role models for kids, well, all of us really!

Erin
3 months ago
Reply to  🥰 Rusty

Yup, if it isn’t done at the expense of an Amazon employee it is done at the expense of the small business owner whether they sell on Amazon or not. I love your recs but would prefer to shop elsewhere.

MKP
3 months ago

I just watched Lin Manuel Miranda’s “Tick Tick Boom” yesterday, and I loved it so much I am about to watch it again. It was directed and produced by Miranda and is about the life of the creator of “Rent”, Jonathon Larson. Andrew Garfield is a huge talent and I loved everything about it. There was one sex scene that I wish wasn’t in there so my theatre loving tween could watch it, but even that was pretty mild so I may let her and just skip that one part. So good. If you loved Rent, I highly recommend it.

Amanda
3 months ago

Also obsessed with  Villa Aurora in Rome – and that house tour was so inspiring to me!!! THERE ARE NO RULES!

DeniseGK
3 months ago

Every white chili I’ve had or seen has been thin like a soup. I’ve decided that’s just how they are, but I do get why some people complain they “aren’t chili”.

We had a lady at church who entered hers in the Halloween chili cook off every year and never won. She could never understand why, since it did taste good and people would compliment her on the flavor. But no one thought it was chili because it was so thin. The first year, before we all knew whose it was, there were little clumps of people whispering about if something went wrong when they dropped off their crock pot earlier in the day. We were all very concerned that they were being judged on something that wasn’t their fault, but turned out that’s how she always makes it.

3 months ago
Reply to  DeniseGK

nice interior

Emily
3 months ago

Caitlin, so sorry to hear about your back pain! I am fortunate to live in a town with an amazing chiropractor who has really turned things around for me with some stretching and exercise recommendations. (I’m doing some of the stretches while catching up on your weekly recommendations, ha.) He also points out the movements that should be avoided with a disc injury. Luckily, he has a YouTube channel, so you could gain some of this life changing knowledge, if you’re interested. It’s here: https://m.youtube.com/c/HeyDrRob/featured

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