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The Link Up: Emily’s Favorite Christmas Gift, A Soup Hack Sara Can’t Wait to Try & A Thrilling Podcast Rec

photo by max burkhalter | design by zoë buckman | via Architectural Digest

Welcome to the first link up of 2020. Ahh, it feels good to back. We hope you are ready to jump right in because it’s has been far too long and we have a lot to say. Let’s get to it:

Today’s home tour (home of artist Zoë Buckman) is as creative as she is. It’s full of her deeply personal art (that is SO good) and the most beautiful textiles we have ever seen. Needless to say, we are smitten.

From Emily: “I held out on getting a kindle for the following reasons: 1. I didn’t want more tech in my life both for my mental sake and for the kids. I wanted them to see me read books. 2. I like books and the tactile nature, that whole “they just smell so good thing.” But, I couldn’t read after Brian went to bed because of the light. Besides, there are basically no book stores up in Lake Arrowhead. So, I got a paperwhite kindle for Christmas (not wanting to buy it myself in case I never use it) and I LOVE IT. I’ve flown through 2 books. One of the best parts that I didn’t predict is that people don’t know what I’m reading, so I can read any and all young adult or smutty thrillers without then needing to donate it after (which does feel wasteful). Once I explained to my kids, that I’m not on my phone this is just a book and showed them it, I think they get it. I still try to read magazines or the newspaper in front of them, but I think this is a paranoia that I need to get over – I just don’t want them to think that I value tech over engaging with them – they love playing near me while I read a book or magazine, but me scrolling on Instagram felt gross – you get it.”

Caitlin is not a skilled camper like some people in the office (*cough* JULIE *cough*) BUT she’s super into this new site, Parkseekers! It’s run by two parents (so lots of info if you’re trying to find something to enjoy with your kids!) and there’s an entire “outdoor newbies” section in case you’re more of an indoor cat and have no idea where to start.

From Sara: “It’s the middle of soup season, and I’ve been making a ton chicken soup. I’m super excited to try this method in order to avoid what Bon Appetit calls “The #1 Chicken Soup Mistake.”

Ryann recently read Normal People by Sally Rooney and could not get enough of it. It is easy to read, completely intoxicating, and she was so SAD when it was over.

Veronica has a new podcast rec! From Veronica: “My friend introduced me to The Cut on Tuesdays and this episode is the story of a girl who fell asleep in a Lyft and woke up the next morning with no memory of what happened, except seeing the suspicious route her driver took, and I was immediately both wary and interested in hearing more.

Jess has finally stopped bleaching her mustache because she was convinced by her cousin to try this electric face razor and now she can’t go back. Bye, bye bleach. PS it’s only $20. 

From Mallory: “For months Emily has been trying to convince all of us that snakeskin is a neutral, which I firmly disagreed with until I found these. They’re perfect for people like me that wear a lot of black and white since they don’t have that slightly green tint to them like most snakeskin boots.”

BONUS HOUSE TOUR: Julia Leach’s incredible LA apartment is a calm, maximalist’s dream. The whole office loves it and we are guessing you will too. Ps. How good are those candles??

We always have some lofty goals when the new year rolls around that typically fall to the wayside by the end of January. So to help keep them alive, Julie got this planner from Ink + Volt. From Julie, “The way it’s laid out is so manageable, you start off by listing out your goals for 2020 and what your theme will be which is great to do but sometimes unattainable. The actual part that I love is that it has you refocus each month by setting a ‘31-Day Challenge’ & weekly goals as well as listing something out to reflect on / celebrate. It reminds you to stay present in the moment and set goals that are achievable throughout the year.”

And before we go, a few ICYMI’s: 1. Our very own Julie’s Bedroom Makeover Takeover full of DIYs is live and we are all pretty obsessed with it. If you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favor and head over and revel in her genius. 2. If you can, please take a few moments to fill out our reader survey (we promise it’s quick). We GREATLY appreciate your input and would love to hear your thoughts on how we can better the blog and give you what you want in 2020.

Okay, that is all for now. See you here tomorrow for a very special 10-year blog anniversary post. xx

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3 years ago

It’s good to have you back

3 years ago
Reply to  Cher


patricia blaettler
3 years ago

Remember when your readers ganged up in strongly suggesting that you need a proof reader/copy editor? It’s for times like these, when a podcast makes one ‘weary’. I’m guessing ‘wary’ is what they were thinking.

3 years ago

I believe proofreader is one word.

3 years ago
Reply to  Nichole

1. Nichole, ha! That is my favorite response ever; BUT 2. Patricia, I feel you! I haven’t noticed copy-editing issues on this site, but those types of errors usually make me crazy; and 3. I was trying to break up with a boyfriend one time – he was older and kind of a jerk. I said I was weary about moving forward and he pointed out that I meant wary. I was 25, so stuck with him but, now, I wish I’d trusted my gut and been like: “welp, that’s all I need to know. Later!” (He broke up with me a month later. Natch.)

Nora B
3 years ago
Reply to  Samantha

Amen on the copy editor, PLEASE!! 2nd sentence of this post: “Ahhh, it feels good to back.” Back up? Back…..where? I love this blog and am a longtime reader, and these errors are happening more and more frequently. Heck, I would do the job for free!

3 years ago

Why would you need to donate books after reading them? If you’ve bought books with the intent of immediately getting rid of them, make use of the library! 🙂

3 years ago
Reply to  Grace

Seconding the library! Plus the LAPL also gives access to lots of other resources like museum passes!

3 years ago
Reply to  Grace

Totally! You can download library books on a Kindle too!

3 years ago

Re: kindle. I didn’t get one for the same reasons. I eventually got an iPad and use it mainly for magazines from the library (occasionally library books). But I also bought a book light so I could read books at night. It’s very cool no and rechargeable. Now everyone in my family has one.

3 years ago

This is a random request, but would you consider doing a roundup of stylish pet accessories? I’ve seen a couple items in home tours recently (a macrame hanging cat bed, a wall-mounted minimalistic scratching post) but didn’t see sources for those.

I’m on the verge of purchasing my first home (!!) which also means I’m going to be able to get a cat for the first time in my adult life (!!!) and I am so excited to both decorate my new place and spoil my new life companion.

3 years ago

Re: The kindle, Download a kids book and read it with them on the device. Also, download the kindle app for your phone, it with sync between your devices so you’ll always have the book with you!

3 years ago
Reply to  Jen

Yes! Was about to recommend the kindle app for phone for on-the-go convenience. Syncs both to keep your recent stopping point. Also, i’ve lately enjoyed having Alexa (Amazon echo) in my home and car read My kindle to me. Basically gives you a free audiobook version. ?

3 years ago
Reply to  Jen

Yes! Was about to recommend the kindle app for phone for on-the-go convenience. Syncs both to keep your recent stopping point. Also, i’ve lately enjoyed having Alexa (Amazon echo) in my home and car read kindle to me. Basically gives you a free audiobook version of whatever you’re reading (except doesnt work for samples). ? Also, love sending free samples from Amazon to my kindle. Helps me remember what I think I may like to read next. ⚠️ impossible to read it all. So much but so little time! ?

3 years ago

Spoiler alert…I would issue a trigger warning for that podcast episode of The Cut – it’s important to listen to but also devastating.

3 years ago

Easier chicken soup hack; buy or cut up a whole chicken and put the longer cooking parts in first. I tend to use Ina Garten’s cooked chicken technique with breasts and it’s fabulous.

Hilary T.
3 years ago

Emily, I totally get it!! Just recently, I was reminded that our children most often do what we do; they mirror our behaviors. Do I want my daughter to grow up, lean on furniture, while mindlessly scrolling through social media, comparing and wasting life’s precious time? No. The answer is a firm ‘no.’ Last week I picked up a book at the library, and it feels so so good to read in front of her with pride. And as a bonus, I feel better too. Social media is fun but in the smallest quantities! Take care!

3 years ago

LOVE all of this, but especially the Kindle Paperwhite. I’m a prolific reader so the combination of the device + the website (lists every kindle book in pre-determined categories for sale, daily) keeps me happy.

Bonus, the same device has created strong readers in my family. My kids (now aged 6 & 9) each earned a kindle by reading paper chapter books. They now each have a paperwhite and with Amazon FreeTime, have access to a huge amount of books. For families who aren’t particularly close / too busy for the library, it’s been an amazing resource for us. No apps or games, just books they can choose (and devour).

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