Casual Friday

Casual Friday | Dear Diary: 1 month in North Carolina

July 30, 2021

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




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We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

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This week marks 1 month in North Carolina so I thought I would share a journal-type post today sharing how I’m feeling.

I’m so happy we’re here and we were able to move into our house just over a week ago. I’m really starting to fall in love with the area and with the arrival of our team this week (including two of my sisters!), and my mom visiting–it has helped everything feel like home. Every time I go outside, I think — this feels so good.

I am usually still in sweaters or jackets for health reasons (a big reason we moved here), but I’m able to be outside so much more which has felt really energizing. Even the wind is warm. The rain is warm. I’ve been meeting with some amazing doctors and getting new care and new medications and without focusing too much on my health (I really prefer to keep it private right now), I have hope for our quality of life as a family in the future and that feels good.

This is not where I expected to be one month after living here. Both good and bad. On the good, in addition to everything above, my mom is already here visiting for 10 days. Like, pinch me! I wish we had all of our things here (more on the moving company drama at a later time)–we’ve had to rebuy mattresses and some things only parts are here. But I’m enjoying setting up our home with what we do have. I have even hung some things on the wall because that creative act of zhushing brings me so much joy and calm. Polly was so sad when she saw all of her things in her room set up how they were in Idaho because she thought she was getting a new room. I laughed and thought I felt so happy when I saw everything the same.

Sometimes I get these realizations when I’m cleaning up my house and unpacking like I’m going to host a game night and all my friends from Idaho are going to be coming over–but then remember that the people I’m imagining filling this home with aren’t coming over on Friday.

But! Our team is here. It feels so good that our team is here. The last few got here this week. Certain people are home and these people are definitely home. I’m sometimes afraid to say anything isn’t great and perfect and wonderful because when you make a really big change, that affects a lot of people’s life, you want it to feel perfect. But sometimes the right thing doesn’t feel good all the time.

I’m happy to be here and I’m sad to be here. I’m feeling better, but I’ve also had a flare up. The girls love swimming every day and catching fireflies, and sometimes they cry over zoom calls with friends they’re missing. It feels so good to be surrounded by some familiar things in our home, but I’m stressed about getting the rest of our things here. Eating out has been such a highlight with so many incredible healthy restaurants, but I miss a home cooked meal.

It can be both. It is both. But at the end of the day, I am so grateful we’re here in this beautiful home surrounded by so many new sights and sounds (frogs and locusts are my new lullaby). I’m grateful we have an opportunity to make this place our own and I can’t wait to take you along for the ride.

New house content starts next week!


Other fun things this week!

For our last week of CLJ Summer School, we are talking all about how to love your home by having someone over. I am a homebody by all means. I thrive off having friends and family over and entertaining. I don’t go all out on decorations or plan a fancy tablescape. For me, it’s small things like having my favorite scented candle going or one of Chris’s charcuterie boards on my favorite serve board.

I rounded up a few of my entertaining favorites for your next gathering!



1. Etched Vase $89 The most beautiful vase to fill with freshly cut stems from the yard.
2. Acacia Salad Servers $24 Making salad fancy.
3. Cotton Fringe Napkins $16 Love the black and white!
4. Wood Tondo Bowl $6 Tried and true. Use these for everything!
5. Acacia Wood Serve Board $30 Another favorite. Gimme all the charcuterie boards.
6. Dinner Plates (set of 8) $44 Our everyday favorites.
7. Tiered Stand $79 The black metal is a classic.
8. Brass Candlesticks $22 To make it feel special.
9. Wits & Wagers $18 Such a fun party game! We played this with over a dozen people on Friendsgiving and EVERYONE was so into it.
10. Cutting Board & Ceramic Bowl Set $15 The prettiest set up.
11. Handled Platter $35 We’ve had these for years! The perfect serve-ware dish.
12. Greenery & Cream Tablecloth $148 I want to be a tablecloth kind of person.
13. Round Wood Charcuterie Board $165 My go-to.
14. White Enamel Party Bucket $69 Cute way to keep drinks out and cold.
15. Acrylic Drink Dispenser with Wood Stand $79 Can’t forget the stand. Never have to hang it over the edge of the counter again.
16. Hey Robot $24 I have never laughed harder!!!


Weekend Sales


Amazon: Shop our Amazon Storefront here! (one of the best vintage dupes)

Anthropologie: 20% off select entertaining (cutest cooler tote I ever did see)

Everlane: Up to 60% off! (my favvv)

Nordstrom: Anniversary Sale (tried and true oversized crewneck. i have an xl)

One King’s Lane: Warehouse Sale (this & this)

The House of Noa: Summer Sale up to 40% select items plus code CHRISLOVESJULIA for 10% off on all items (love their standing mats)

West Elm: Extra 50% off select clearance with code EXTRA50 (these are so fun)

World Market: Save up to 40% on outdoor (loving this)






What do you think?

  1. Ashley says:

    We just moved across the country a couple of weeks ago for my boyfriend to start medical school later in life than is typical and it has been so comforting to read your posts and see both the good and the bad. It’s so true – the right thing doesn’t always feel good and it’s so hard! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  2. Ginger says:

    This post is so uplifting. Thank you! I get the feeling that SO MANY things are so hard right now. BUT…BUT you are choosing to show the good. And I love that.

  3. Nooe says:

    Please y’all stop moving here there’s way to me freaking people it’s making traffic atrocious and not fun to live in such a big city anymore! 😒

    • Dina says:

      Oh my word. That is called a “bubble thought”.

      Love this post, Julia! Living through a move/renovation combo as well and really connect with feeling every spectrum of emotion about it. You put it into words beautifully!

    • Katie says:

      Are you serious? This is not a constructive comment. Talk to local officials if you want to see traffic changes in your community.

  4. D Marie says:

    It can be both is powerful.

  5. Erin says:

    Love this post. Life is both! Life is grey area and nuance. And it’s beautiful all the same. We’ve moved cross country. It’s so special and a lot to grieve. Sending strength!

  6. Carolyn says:

    Change is great but hard. Hugs to all of you!

  7. Katherine says:

    Give us some suggestions for the restaurants you are trying! Always looking for new ones to check out!

  8. Robbin says:

    I love the look of those Mercer plates, but honestly the reviews make me hesitant to purchase. So many complaints about them being thin and chipping very easily. Can I ask how long you’ve had them and if you’ve had issues with them chipping?? Can’t WAIT to see more of your new home!!

    • We’ve had the Mercer plates & bowls for over 5 + years & never had to replace. We love them! P.S. C&J hope you feel more & more settled and get to feeling better!

  9. JulieW says:

    Please remember that every building in the south is air conditioned. It may be 100+ outside but will be 65 inside so always bring a sweater or jacket with you

  10. Jervae says:

    I understand all of what you are feeling! You are so blessed to be able to a place where you can have a healthier life! Also, I believe you are LDS as I am and that is such a blessing as well as you adjust to a new area! I am just certain you have best friends there, you just haven’t met them yet!😊❤️

  11. Erica says:

    Thank you so much for so clearly expressing the dichotomy of emotions that can come with change. I’m moving next week and it’s been pretty easy and hard, exciting and scary, all
    at the same time. I’m worried about so much, but also so happy the move is finally happening. Wishing you and your family all the best as you settle in.

  12. Hannah Gokie says:

    Everyone who’s moved can so relate, Julia — both good and bad! I hope you’re able to connect with some neighbors, I think that’s how I really started to feel settled in our new place when I was able to talk to them, remember their names, etc. :) People really do make you feel at home, even if they’re new people. :):)

  13. I feel this, too! My husband and I lived in Colorado for two years and just moved back to Texas last month into our first home. We’re ten minutes from my parents and this house is our *literal* dream home. I love it here. But sometimes I feel that sad pang of not being in Colorado! It can be both, and it is both just like you said.
    Can’t wait to see you and your family continue to settle in and thrive!

  14. Julie S says:

    I feel for you! I’ve made big cross country moves twice in my life and when you’ve bee planted somewhere a long time they ARE big. Praying for a lessening of the stress and a healthy working through the losses for you, as well as new friends to live life with.

  15. Sunny Jane says:

    I moved to Idaho from Alabama 15 years ago. I remember loving the locust sounds. Now I love the sound of my water hose sprinkler tsk tsk tsking as it whirls around.
    I deleted my Instagram account last week and have really missed the more personal side of stories from my fave accounts. So I really loved this post and getting some personal back story💛 Moving is hard and goodbyes are even harder than the move. What a wonderful thing to have so many loved ones make the move with you!

  16. Emily says:

    I so resonate with your feelings about moving! My family and I moved from Los Angeles (after living there for 10 years) to Boulder, CO 18 months ago. I still get so sad and even question if our life by the beach even happened—it’s weird. We moved to give our kiddos more access to nature, a slower paced life, and a house with yard. All of that was worth the move. You’re so right it can be wonderful AND heartbreaking, exciting AND overwhelming, happy AND sad. Life is full of dualities, and when you’re really feeling them it means you’re really living. ❤️

  17. Lindsey says:

    Julia I have only ever lived in the south and reading this post didn’t realize locusts aren’t everywhere. They definitely aren’t beautiful but the noise they make is soothing. Enjoy the warm weather in the south! And when you have a chance you should definitely head further south to explore.

    • GG says:

      Are we just talking about cicadas here?

      Julia, I hope Raleigh/Cary has welcomed you each evening with dazzling firefly (lightnin’ bug!) displays. They’ve been amazing this summer in Winston-Salem, and they always soothe me into a calmer mindset after a busy day. Best wishes.

  18. Bethany says:

    We have frogs and locusts in Florida, but while vacationing in the Georgia mountains one year they were SO LOUD. My mom referred to them as her “Hallelujah Chorus” and we went outside to listen every night. It’s so funny how different parts of the country have different sounds!

    • Sarah C. says:

      I think everyone here is talking about cicadas. “Locusts are a type of short-horned grasshopper and belong to the order Orthoptera along with all other grasshoppers and crickets, while cicadas are Hemipterans which are considered “true bugs” and include aphids and planthoppers.” (
      Cicadas are awesome and locusts are horrible. Let’s not saddle cicadas with that burden. :D I don’t think there are any locusts known to live in North America, currently.

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We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

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