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Chris Cooks

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Thank goodness there are great substitutions these days for dairy products. What used to be just milk alternatives has expanded into really delicious vegan cheese, yogurt and more. But with all of the options on the shelves these days, you may be wondering, “Which one should I choose for cereal? What about desserts?” I get […]

The Best Dairy-Free Alternatives and How to Use Them


I’m so excited to see the overwhelming response to our HouseWarming collection with Lightwell! This scent is everything I want in a candle, and it’s truly humbling to know you’ll be enjoying it in your homes. CLJ x Lightwell HouseWarming Candle | Brass Candle Pedestal | Brass Match Holder | Coffee Table Books | Handled […]


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I love candles. It’s not a secret. I love to round up my favorites seasonally, and the cat’s out of the bag about my candle credenza. Lighting a candle just makes everything feel more… homey. I’ve found that they’re a great way to romanticize my rituals — especially in the evenings when I’m going to […]

product lines

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Our outdoor living spaces are an extension of our home, in many ways. They’re where we host guests in warmer months, chill out with family, or grab a quiet moment away from the busyness of everyday life. In Idaho, we had a solid 3 months of outdoor living time before it got too cold, but […]

Cleaning & Organization

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Cucumber Honey "Nojito" (Virgin Mojito)

The warmth of the sun is calling me outside more and more these days, and I love it. Soon enough, though, it will be summer, and we’ll be sweating profusely, looking for relief. And when I need some refreshment, few drinks hit the spot for me like a “Nojito.” This is a non-alcoholic take on the […]

Chris Cooks

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As soon as warmer weather hits, I’m ready to shed layers! Purge in every way. I want to put some of the heavier house things away and lighten up the house. Sure, packing up your sweaters for storage is a great way to refresh your closet (scroll to the end for my opinion on that!) […]

Cleaning & Organization

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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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A reader recently asked me if I’m starting to fully embrace traditional style and whether we still consider our house to be a “modern Colonial” and why. It was a really great question and so timely — I had really just been thinking about my approach to this home and how my style has changed […]

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