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Chris Cooks

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Leg of lamb is such a dramatic dish. And if you’re going to cook one, slow-roasted on a rotisserie in a smoke-filled grill chamber is about as good as it gets. There’s just something about the way the smoke of a grill coaxes out so much flavor from lamb…it’s incredible. I wanted to create a […]

Rotisserie-Smoked Leg of Lamb


This post is not sponsored in any way. We paid full price and sought out all of these trips. All opinions and experiences are my own. I don’t usually do travel posts because I’m such a homebody, but every now and then, we have an occasion worth celebrating that calls for a big trip. Most […]


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This post is sponsored by Lowe’s Home Improvement You know those projects that sort of linger in the background until someone is coming over? Like for instance, we knew we were going to eventually clean our outdoor patio furniture and prep the backyard for pool season. But it wasn’t until we had a date on the […]

Cleaning & Organization

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Cooking has always been one of my favorite things to do for my family. And what makes cooking even more fun? When you’re cooking outside. That’s why when we designed our outdoor kitchen, I wanted it to be a place where I could create the most tasty meals using all of my favorite tools and […]


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It’s hard to believe we’re three years into designing our moody modern traditional home. Sometimes people will ask me, “What are you gonna do when you’re done?” I can’t think about that yet — I’m not even close! While I feel great about so many rooms in the house, some are still on the “to […]


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This is a great mash-up of two of my favorite things: burgers and tacos. It’s also one of my favorite ways to serve burgers in my house, since Jules has food restrictions, and I’m just not a fan of gluten-free buns (convince me otherwise!). So that’s why if I’m serving burgers to my family, this […]

Chris Cooks

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What We're                     Right Now

What We're                 Right Now

Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop. 



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Looking for posts about a particular space in our home or inspo for one of the rooms in yours? Here's a handy index for your browsing convenience.


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It’s been over a year since we started designing our bathroom. We were working with Unique Kitchens and Baths for the cabinetry, and they came up with two different layouts. We selected one, tweaked it a bit and chose a lot of the finishes…annnnnd honestly we could never quite give the final “go ahead.” This […]

We’re Chris & Julia.

Thanks for following along as we uncover our home’s potential through quick DIYs, major renovations, splurge-and-save design, and our day-to-day family living. We hope you feel welcome and find inspiration to help you also love where you live

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Welcome to our online community where we've posted home, DIY, style, renovations, and family since '09. Renovating our #cljmoderncottage in Idaho and headed for new adventures in Raleigh, NC. #cljfam #cljtransformations