Cooking for Family and Friends + Anolon Vesta Braiser Giveaway

August 18, 2016

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. 




We're Chris + Julia

read more

What we're                   right now


browse the 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.

browse all

browse all

browse all




Popular Posts




Top Categories

Food is a central part of every culture, and I think that is because of the impact a meal can have on our relationships. Historically speaking, dinner time has been crucial to the formation of strong families, and I think it’s all about nourishment.

Thoughts on Cooking for Family & Friends

We all need each other to be happy. We are social creatures and that’s just the way it is. It makes me sad when people try to make themselves an island, or they close themselves off out of fear or anger. No matter how tough someone tries to be, our emotions are a big part of who we are and nourishing that is just as important as the food we eat that keeps us alive.

Thoughts on Cooking for Family & Friends

September 25th is National Cooking Day. I’ve partnered with to create a simple recipe, meant to feed a family or group of friends, and encourage people to sit down to dinner, in their homes, with loved ones on that day.

Thoughts on Cooking for Family & Friends

When they asked me to be part of it, I was really excited because this is something that is very dear to me. I didn’t grow up in a rich family, but the greatest privilege I had, and probably the biggest reason for who I am today, is that my parents gathered me and all 7 of my siblings (I am the youngest of 8 kids) at the dinner table every night and showed us they loved us. They talked with us, laughed with us, fed us, and celebrated with us. They gave us the confidence we needed to know we could go and do whatever we wanted to do.

Thoughts on Cooking for Family & Friends

I’m not naive. I know that not everyone has the same childhood I had. Not everyone has parents like mine, who were examples of love and stability. And not everyone grows up feeling safe, valued, and important. But what if, for an hour or two, you could make someone else feel safe? What if you could make someone else feel valued? What if you could make someone else feel important?

Thoughts on Cooking for Family & Friends

September 25th is National Cooking Day. But you don’t have to wait until then. Cook for your family, and sit down to dinner with them. If that’s not where you’re at in life, cook for friends, and sit down to dinner with them. It doesn’t have to be fancy to make them feel important. You simply have to make it with them in mind, and they’ll get that. They’ll know it, and they’ll feel loved and love you for it. Cheers, to all our Internet friends, and I hope you know how much I would love to cook a meal for each one of you.

The recipe pictured is Chicken Thighs Braised with Cabbage, Herbs, & Sun-dried Tomatoes. You can find the recipe on, as well as the Anolon Vesta Cast-Iron Braiser used to cook it. BUT! is letting me give one of those away to one of our readers, so take a moment to enter below and be sure to check out the rest of what has available.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

What do you think?

  1. Alison G says:

    A sponsored post very well done Chris. I have missed your recipe posts.

  2. nate says:

    love food..and design.. came across your blog on instagram…. very much like a lot of your stuff.. thanks for sharing..

  3. Jen W. says:

    I would LOVE to win this pot! I don’t have anything like it, and it sounds like a great item to have in the kitchen for making easy family meals. Thanks!

  4. Libby says:

    Early this summer, some friends and I decided to start getting together and having a big meal around one table every other Sunday. We invite anyone to join. Literally, anyone can come. Everyone is accepted at the table. Since we started, we’re averaging around 30-40 people in attendance!
    There is nothing like gathering as a community to nourish one another.

    Also, this looks delicious.

  5. Samantha says:

    That’s where the best stories are told with our family, around the dinner table at night, no tv, no social-media just good old fashioned “how was your day”. The chicken and cabbage looks delish!

  6. Veronica says:

    Love this post! My husband had a similar experience (six kids around the table every night) and we are now doing this with our kids. So important!

  7. Holly says:

    Oh Yum! Mr. B loves chicken thighs, cabbage and sun dried tomatoes! This is a perfect treat for him and a new recipe to get me away from the same-old, same-old. Thank you for this and all your posts! Love the love!

  8. Patricia says:

    I live alone now but I still set a place and enjoy soft music and whatever I fix to eat. Always on a well appointed table or the peninsula. I can look out as I eat and look at the lake. Even it I spring for a drive thru salad, when I get home it is served the same way. I too grew up around the evening dinner table and the food was always blessed first. All was Good back in the day!! Still is and I am Grateful for Memories!!! Thank you for reminding me!!

  9. Ellyn says:

    Dinner was always a family affair in my house growing up as well. But that is all I ever knew. I thought all families gathered together for dinner, eating, laughing, talking about their day. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that in many households that wasn’t the norm. I valued that together time so much, which I also didn’t realize until I was older. So it just made sense for me to do the same with my husband and kids. I hope that my boys look back later and see what a precious thing family dinners are.

  10. Haley says:

    I was spoiled in many ways as a child, still am really, but one of the most stand out ways was dinner. My mom can cook anything and has lived around the world so we were blessed with Japanese one night and German the next. Even smorgasbord felt special.

all the latest

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. 

HI! We're Chris + Julia

read more

Load More

Reader Faves

SHop all

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. 


looking for inspiration? 

Here’s the crazy thing about me and inspiration: If you were to go into my bathroom inspiration board on Pinterest, there are bathrooms for sure, but there are also kitchens, there are closets, there are mudrooms, and there are hallways of houses! I’m not looking to copy and paste an inspirational image. I’m taking notes […]

Can We Send You Our Love Letter?

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!

Follow Along on Instagram

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