13 Things To Add to Your Outdoor Space this Summer


Since we’re focusing on our outdoors a lot this summer–the deck is wrapping up!–I’ve been doing a lot of hunting around for furnishings. We have most of our bigger items picked out, but accessories can add so much personality to a space. Or, they can update a tired patio on a smaller budget. Here are a few things I have my eye on (all under $100!): 1. Concrete Fluted Planter–Pottery Barn $99 2. Lawn Bowling Game–William Sonoma $55 3. Natural Outdoor Pouf–Target $49 4. Green Alonso Geo Outdoor Lumbar Pillow–World Market $18 5. Copper Beverage Tub–Wayfair $54 6. Pendleton Plaid Lambswool Throw–Backcountry $65 7. Ceramic Planter with Leather Strap–World Market $34 8. Synthetic Jute Trimmed Outdoor Pillow–Pottery Barn $39 9. Wall Planters–Crate & Barrel $5 10. Wood Slat Chaise–World Market $95 11. Striped Napkins and Buffalo Check Napkins–William Sonoma $24 (set of 4) 12. Globe String Lights–Crate & Barrel $39 13. Brass Swivel…

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Little Workhorses Around our Home


Over the past couple months, as the larger areas of our home have finally taken shape and we really start using them as we have only dreamed of in the years since moving in, I have been especially mindful of the tiny little workhorses that help each room function, or have made our lives easier, or maybe just do their job so well while looking very good–that’s all we want, right? Here are several of our favorite small task masters around our home. Chris’s Spice Drawer is not seen very much except by him, but man it makes him happy and it just works so well. He has tried a lot of different spice jars before landing on these 3oz Aluminum tin ones. Chris really prefers a screw-on lid for spices (so there’s no popping off the lid and there goes all the spices inside, too!) and the window on top works for this…

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Finding Your Home Style


How would you describe your home style? What about your personal style? Are the two related? The fourth episode of The Chris Loves Julia Podcast is live (links for listening at the end of the post!) and we tackle this question we get all the time in a way that only three best friends (when two of them are guys) could. To help, we called one of the most stylish people I know, both in dress and home, Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess! There isn’t a more adorable, humble, talented, ambitious, inspirational girl out there (unless you look to her sister Emma) and I loved all of her down-to-earth advice and stories. We have a blast in this episode (read: I laugh the entire time) and we hope you have as much fun listening to it. We’d love to know what you thought of the episode and/or what your home style…

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Casual Friday 007

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We had the Pittsburgh kitchen’s reno timeline shrink a little bit. Originally we thought we’d have 9 days to execute the renovation, but that actually included 2 travel days. So that’s really only 7 days. But then, there will be 2 days of styling, shooting and filming commercials of the final space. So then it was 5 days. But one of those days will be shopping for supplies and installing appliances….did you hear that massive gulp?! We’re sweating a little tiny bit, but we’re also very good under pressure. It’s going to be a wild ride! We finalized the cabinet color, we’re going with Semi-Handmade’s Gray Shaker cabinet with white “marble” floors. This week, I found this 12″x24″, really amazing Luxury Vinyl Tile (pictured above) that looks just like marble, that we’ll be using for the floor. We might keep it as is, or cut it into thinner vertical strips and lay…

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Deck on Deck!

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Our yard is probably the most intimidating/embarrassing thing about our whole house, but after years of planning, it’s finally time to do something about it. It’s divided into, what I can only describe as, three triangles. When we were putting in our fence a couple years ago, we drew up this quick mockup of the property. We have large side yards and a pretty small back yard. Here’s a photo of the back “triangle” I snapped a couple months ago. We envision the right side yard being a play set for the girls and the left side yard being a garden and this backyard an extension of our indoors–perfect for entertaining/dining/lounging. We decided to turn the whole thing into a deck. Which, although it’s small for a yard, it’s turning out to be quite a massive deck, but we’re excited to have different zones.  Here’s a drawing of just the backyard: Some…

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Five Great Smoothie Recipes!

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Chris makes our whole family smoothies almost every single morning for years and years! By now, he has them down and I thought it would be fun to share a few of our go-to recipes he has come up with. We used to go through blenders every couple months and finally invested in a Blendtec in 2012 and it has been a work horse, showing no signs of wear even after 4 years. We highly recommend it. You’ll also see the same smoothie cup in all of these pictures. Chris takes his with him on the way to work, so we got these disposable cups and these wider straws that are perfect for smoothies.  Here are our five favorites!: Blueberry & Yogurt Smoothie (This one is so smooth and alkaline! When I was pregnant with Faye, it really helped ease my heartburn.) 3 cups frozen blueberries 2 cups frozen strawberries 1 cup plain,…

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DIY Pom Pom Curtains


A few weeks ago, in this Casual Friday post, I mentioned I was on the hunt for some curtains for the playroom. I narrowed it down to two; these more masculine/sophisticated/slightly 90s in a good way (I think) plaid drapes or these simple and whimsical pom-pom trim curtains. I actually think both could have worked, but I had some plain white Ikea RITVA curtains so I thought I’d start there. Once I hung them, I got a little worried because although I do love a tone on tone look (white walls + white curtains doesn’t scare me) this was falling flat. I picked up some large black pom pom trim from the craft store for $2.99 a yard (similar, for cheaper, here) and invited my friend Ellen, owner of this cute Etsy shop, over to help me sew it on. Once upon a time, in our last home, I added smaller, yellow pom-pom trim to…

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