Do you ever think about what you really love to do? What you’re passionate about? I, myself, feel like I jump around a lot. I love designing rooms and watching that evolution take place. I love art–painting, looking at, being around and in an artistic environment. When I am deep into my fitness goals–there’s no where else I’d rather be than working out…clearly I am not “deep” into that just yet. Oy! But Chris, Chris has always remained constant–his passion lies with cooking and food. He loves to develop recipes and experiment with new ingredients and feed people. We have guests over for dinner multiple times a week because my man can’t stop cooking and he really does love making people feel welcome in our home. And he, of course, loves teaching others how to cook as well.
Awhile ago, at his marketing day job, they were having a meeting about “unique abilities” vs. “excellent abilities.” Essentially, unique abilities are the things you’re really great at and you have a passion for them. Excellent abilities are things you’re really great at, and may even be known for, but they just don’t drive you the same way. At the end of the day, Chris came home and told me how much that opened his eyes. That although he is good at his job, and actually enjoys it most of the time, he isn’t passionate about it. He’s passionate about food, food writing, and teaching others how to cook and not just follow a recipe. I actually remember when he was just about to graduate from college, we were laying in bed and he was applying for every food writer/food editor job he could find. He ended up taking a marketing job for a software company and filed his dream away. I’ve always admired that about him. I know there is a lot of clout for people that “follow their dreams” but I respect Chris so much for always making sure we were taken care of financially, first. Maybe he isn’t currently in his dream job that he is so passionate about, but he is working and providing for us and we’re so grateful for the opportunities that have come our way as a result.
But, (but!!!) after years of pushing his passion aside, only teased by the occasional food post on this blog, Chris has been working on several ebooks! We’re shooting to have the first three out in June! Each will be 60-80 pages of in-depth technique, tools, and Chris’s own recipes all written in his fun-to-read, anyone-can-cook voice. I’m so excited for him and for all of you to have them. He has been working endlessly on writing these after work and late into the night for months.
The layouts are all done and designed and all that’s left is the photography, which we’ll be doing over the next few weeks. We wanted the books to be very heavy on visuals, and for the pictures to be as good as the content. That means my beginner skills wouldn’t cut it. We decided to fly my incredibly talented sister who works as a photographer and creative director in Monterrey, Mexico, up to do all the photography.
You can check out some more of her work here! We’ll be shooting everything over a period of 2 and a half weeks and the styling props and servingware has been trickling in this week. Chris picked out every piece and has made his hands-on vision very clear. These are his babies and we can’t wait to share them all with you in just a couple months.
Until then, Chris has promised to step up the food posts here, as well, and we’ll be giving some sneak peeks as the release date for these books gets closer. You can check out all of his previous food posts here to, you know, whet your palate. What are you truly passionate about–are you pursuing it?
We designed the Charly line of sofas, chairs, and ottomans with perfect proportions for comfort — with wide arms, a loungey depth, and stylish and practical lumbar pillows. Available in 70 kid-friendly, pet-friendly fabrics, this line was created with families in mind.
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
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.
Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
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.
Over the weekend Brooke (our social media manager) and I went to the Parade of Homes in the Raleigh area and it was so fun to get a feel of how other people in our new area are living and living large! The purpose of the parade is so that home builders and designers can […]
Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!
Make yourself right at home