Casual Friday

March 30, 2018  —  Written by Julia 

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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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.

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Last week, we were in Austin at a conference and I missed Casual Friday. Like, truly missed it. But, at the same time, we learned so much at our conference that was put on by our ad network. It was our first time attending a blog conference (which shocked everyone!) and the blogging world is vast and so smart. There are so many people in our network doing incredible things and I tried to soak up every ounce of their knowledge. We got to learn from major players in our field, like Randi Zuckerberg, or Sarah Carpenter from Google or Enid Hwang of Pinterest (their 4th ever employee that’s still with the company and a complete delight). As home bloggers, we were definitely the minority, both in attendees and in traffic. Ha! The amount of traffic food bloggers get is mind-blowing. And while a lot of their practices are vastly different than ours (ie. our site would never work in the magazine format, as it’s more story/timeline-based), I learned that just because we’ve been doing the same thing for 9 years, somewhat successfully, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for improvement. We’ve never paid attention to SEO, or sent out a newsletter or improved past posts. We picked up a lot of pointers and shared a bit of the tips we picked up along the way, too. But more than anything, we came home reignited to work hard and put out our best content for you and continue to build this community that’s been around this corner of the internet for nine years and counting.

Other fun things this week!

• Our bathroom renovation starts on Monday! Eeeeeee! But also, eeeek. I’m so excited but also nervous. Will it all go as planned? What is the thing that’s going to go wrong. We’ll definitely update you in real time here, but it’s not going to be our fastest project. We’re projecting it taking one month and we’ll be demoing our closet at the same time. Which means–we have to move all of our clothes and bathroom stuff of our room this weekend, and design a closet asap. Chaos and clutter generally stresses me out faster than anything else, so I’m trying to think of the best system to implement for our clothes in the meantime. The excited part comes from when I look at our plans and when packages start arriving and when about 25 of you send me this photo. Can’t wait for our own deep green tile!

• We ordered a new outdoor rug for our deck this week! I made a Pinterest board of all my favorites right now (check it out here!) and decided to go with this blue one. The forecast is looking good for us to set up our deck soon, too!

• @sararosedesign’s black version of the built-ins we have in our basement are making me want to paint ours. SO GOOD!!!

• Did you catch the CLJ Q&A this week on Instagram? We are answering your questions every Wednesday evening in Stories. I added it to my Instagram Highlights if you missed it (I’ll swap out the new one every week.) This week we chatted about kitchen cabinet colors, painting tile, Chris’s Smile Direct, My favorite scents, Our financial situation and even had a good laugh over wedding pictures and more! We love chatting with you all!

• I’m on the hunt for a more fitted black moto leather jacket. Spring is trying to show up around here, but it gets chilly at night in our desert climate for months more and all I have is a light black trench–which goes with a lot, but not everything. My friend has this Michael Kors one that is stunning! but my heart basically stopped beating when I saw the price. Is it worth it? Here are four more budget-friendly ones I’m looking at:

I’m leaning toward this one, from Express, (that’s on super sale!) but would love to hear your favorite or if you own another one that you love!

• Hope you have a Happy Easter! We’re hosting, so I’ll definitely be doing napkin bunnies again! And if you missed it, check out Chris’s easy overnight ham recipe here.


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What do you think?

  1. Breanna says:

    I bought a moto jacket from express a oue of years back and I loved loved loved the fit and style but I was disappointed when the “leather” started peeling wayyy sooner than I thought it would. If it’s going to be a staple I would suggest looking elsewhere. To wear just every once in a while it would probably be perfect! The longevity was my only complaint about that jacket and I loved it so much I was sad to see it go!

  2. Joellyn says:

    You’ve probably already made your decision since I’m late reading this post, but I’ll add this anyway. I love the style of the Express jacket. I have a similar jacket and almost can’t bear to wear it because it squeaks! Especially when I wear it in my car against the leather seats. Not all fakes are created equal but sometimes real is worth every penny!

  3. Tara says:

    Love the folded bunny napkin. How do you do that fold?

    Happy Easter

  4. Stephanie Reiner says:

    Get a clothes rack. We’ve done 3 renovations and the only way I stay sane is if I hang my few favorite pieces and pack everything else away. You get to try that minimal closet thing plus when it’s done it’s like getting a whole new wardrobe when you unpack into your brand new closet (and you’ll most likely purge those pieces you didn’t love).

  5. Heather says:

    That’s a gorgeous bathroom! I’ve had my eye on a Madewell moto jacket forever and finally scored one on eBay for half the price.

  6. Sherry says:

    I bought a Michael Kors deep brown leather jacket six years ago. I still wear it regularly, and it still looks great. I don’t know that I’ve ever worn it in public without someone coming to compliment me on it.

  7. kathyg says:

    Update on Willow?

    • Julia says:

      She is FINALLY doing so much better. Yesterday she went outside on her own for the first time. She has more energy and seems to be back to herself. We’re so grateful.

  8. Kimberly says:

    I don’t do well with clutter either. Especially during my (still not finished) kitchen remodel, when I was pregnant and nesting, our entire (smaller) house became a clutter factory with our bedroom being the worst. I seriously just had to mentally check out and a lot of things sat on the back burner so I could avoid a panic attack if I tried to get a task done. It’ll have be worth it in the end (for both of us!), I just know it.

    • Julia says:

      I know. I hope I don’t sound ungrateful either. Clutter creates a big mental block for me that usually keeps me up at night so I’m just bracing myself

  9. Kristi says:

    I love the ASOS jacket personally. I purchased a faux leather moto jacket a couple years back and I have gotten so many compliments on it. Buttery soft, looks and feels like real leather, way less expensive.

  10. smith says:

    Would you consider doing a post about how you winterize your deck area? I think I read something about you covering your outdoor fireplace? How? With what material? Why?

  11. Andi says:

    I can’t wait to see the bathroom progress! Out of curiosity, how are your eyes doing??

    Also, I got my leather jacket from Italy. Super pricey, but it will (should) last a lifetime :) I think if you decide to go with real leather, then you have good reason to splurge. Faux leather, not so much. Good luck with the shopping!

  12. Mariana says:

    I’ve had this jacket for about a year and have loved it. It looks better in person, (isn’t as shiny) and is a good leather dupe.

  13. L. says:

    I would get the real leather moto jacket. It’s on sale and it will hold up better over time than the cheaper ones. I spent on one from Banana Republic 3 years ago and I wear it probably 3x a week – it looks as good or better now than it did when I got it!

  14. I’ve have a moto jacket from The Limited for a long time (like 5 years!?!). It is the perfect fit and shape and still looks as good as the day I bought it. Since they’re a sister company of Express, I would trust that one!

  15. CCK says:

    Shouldn’t sararosedeigns have tagged you in that photo? I mean give credit where credit is due right?

    • Julia says:

      Oh no! Not at all. We got our inspiration from Studio McGee, which we tagged when we first started the project but would never imagine tagging them every time.

  16. Kate says:

    I have this one ( and it’s worth every penny of the Nordstrom Rack price! Buttery soft leather, ages well, looks amazing with everything. I’ve had it for 3+ years and it’s still in ideal condition. I went through this debate too though because $200 is a lot for a jacket!

  17. Donna says:

    I completely get the search. I looked for a moto jacket for a year before finding one I love at Zara. It was last year, but this one is almost identical.
    Mine is heavy and great quality and the sleeves were long enough! I love this one too.
    Out of your picks, I’d go with the Express one too. Happy shopping!

  18. Cara says:

    May I ask why you’re replacing your outdoor rug? Did the other one wear out? Curious because I recall it being on the more expensive side and would love an honest review of the wear and tear of the products you buy or are gifted, especially rugs.
    Looking forward to watching the master bath/closet project unfold. We’re planning ours this year and I’m excited and nervous at the same time. How will I ever survive without my own bathroom during construction!!!!????!!!! :)

    • Julia says:

      It’s really beautiful and thick and luxe and sometimes held onto moisture a little too long. But also, our audience really loves us to use things they are able to purchase, too and it is harder and harder to find.

  19. Patricia says:

    Napkin bunnies? Is the how-to in one of your past posts? Big Easter brunch here and would love to try this … I found a cute black wool motorcycle jacket years ago at the Nordstrom sale and still love it. Happy hunting.

  20. Ellie says:

    I can’t wait till you guys finally show Chris’ new outdoor grilling area! I’ve been waiting since last fall!! *insert crying face*

  21. Erin says:

    the express jacket is spot on! i have mine, not that exact one, but I LOVE it! it’s comfortable, not stiff, and the price was jut right!

  22. Sarah says:

    I think it’s SO hard to find the perfect moto jacket at the right price. I finally found my dream one at Nordstrom Rack ($50!!), and I know they have lots of Michael Kors… maybe try there?!

  23. Based on what you learned at the conference, what’s the benefit to improving past posts?

    Also, glad you’re doing weekly IG story questions. So fun!

    • Julia says:

      We’ve never paid much attention to SEO, so improving past posts for keyword searches means more people can find us in Google. Of course that’s only one example, but the hope is to make our content more readable and relevant to readers.

  24. Lissy says:

    I don’t own it…but I think this one is cute and I want to get it. It isn’t black though…it’s dark blue.—a-new-day–153–navy-s/-/A-52925524

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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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