My Must-Haves for Easing back into Traveling and Hosting!

May 19, 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. 




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

This post is sponsored by Walmart

In the last few months we have traveled back and forth to Raleigh four times and it felt so different after not traveling for a whole year! But also invigorating. Now that it’s safer to do so, travel and hosting are coming back! While your guest room might have functioned as an office last year, you might be ready to make some room for guests, too. (You might have seen in the video tour, there’s a little guest house on our new property and we are already looking forward to hosting future guests.)

Below we’ve rounded up two fun favorite categories to get you started easing back in. One for the happy host (including our fav air mattress and fun things we like to load up in a basket for guests!). And the other for the traveler–storage cubes (where I have been without these?!) and a few beautiful carry ons that I’ve been eyeing from Walmart!

Whether you’re planning a trip, or anticipating a guest, we don’t want to take another moment for granted so we’re upgrading our experiences a bit more and Walmart is the perfect way to do that without breaking the bank.

For the Traveler

1. Travel Hand Sanitizer $7 – I keep this in my purse at all times and every time I pull it out (frequently!) I get about 3 additional hands in my space silently requesting to share. And YES!! This one smells so gooooood. Like, at least a million times better than the straight alcohol sanitizer.

2. Beige Face Mask $13 – I LOVE these masks. They are REALLY breathable, have 3 layers, adjustable securing bands and just feel really secure with excellent quality. And I love the neutral color!

3. Carry-on Suitcase $45 – The prettiest carry-on I ever did see.

4. Weekender Bag $51 – Not going too far? This vegan leather weekender is perfect for an overnighter and so stylish.

5. Clear Toiletry Bags $13 This may be the most underrated travel tool of all time. I pack each one with my makeup, skincare and toiletries and I feel so organized on the go! It’s a must!

6. Checkered Shoulder Tote $46 – Walmart!! You have outdone yourself with this dupe! This one fits a smaller laptop and so much more. I really like to make my second bag double as my purse when I’m traveling and this one is such a great option.

7. Packing Cubes $15 – Do you use packing cubes? I recently started and I’m never going back. It’s a great way to pack and organize different categories (I love them for underwear, accessories, even dirty laundry!).

8. Leather Tote $24 – I have this tote and it’s so cute and functional. It even has a padded sleeve that fits my 15″ laptop. It’s small enough to carry as my purse and large enough to fit everything I need at an arm’s reach during a flight.

For the Host

1. Slippers $9 – Slippers feel like such a luxury when you’re not at home and somehow make you feel like you are! These are so so cute and a great price (I always size up to be safe for guests!)

2. 6-Piece Towel Set $27 – A stack of fresh towels to make any guest feel like they’re at a 5 star hotel.

3. Luggage Rack $98 – This is one of those things that you never really think about until you ARE a guest and trying to figure out the best place to put your suitcase. We have one of these and it’s so exciting when people get to use it!

4. Makeup Remover Towelettes $2 – These makeup remover wipes will put your guests at ease!! Don’t worry about the white towels and white pillow cases–I got you!

5. Lip Mask $3 – Traveling always makes my lips dry so I’m guessing I’m not the only one. This feels like a total spa-like splurge as a guest, but in reality it’s only $3!

6. Striped Sheet Set $24 – The cutest sheets to dress up any mattress (even if it’s filled with air).

7. Toasted Coconut Almonds $9 – If you haven’t tried these, run. Grab an extra can and stash it in your night stand too. I love providing a little personal snack for our guests in case they get hungry.

8. Air Mattress $78 – The truth is, you DON’T need an entire guest room or even a guest bed or a pull out couch. An air mattress is such a great investment! Buy the air mattress already and invite someone over!


Now I’m curious, do you like traveling or hosting better? (I actually prefer hosting!!)

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. FlipFall says:

    Fantastic ideas here! My favorite of your suggestions for hosting are the luggage rack and the makeup remover towelettes. Mostly, I like that your article helps make things sound manageable. I related to what you said “While your guest room might have functioned as an office last year, you might be ready to make some room for guests, too.” – for those exactly in this situation, this thought can seem like a big deal after a year of few to no guests, so your article is a sanity-saver.

    I also loved what the first commenter said about putting sample-sized items in a cute basket for guests.

  2. Rachel Curtis says:

    Yes to providing makeup wipes and SNACKS. Also, I love keeping all the samples I seem to collect from hotels/skincare orders or wherever, and putting it all in a cute basket for guests. Totally steps it up, totally edits my endless sample stash, totally fun and gets people excited, and totally FREE.

    Also dollar stores have candles and there’s nothing as cozy as your own tiny candle at a friend’s house. Yay guests!

  3. Julie says:

    I love all the Dupes!!! Louie Vuitton is SO EXPENSIVE!!! A cute travel dupe is fantastic!!!

  4. Sarah Reed says:

    WHen you were looking for your house in Noth Carolina how did you search for a guest house area? When I go on Zillow it doesn’t have the option for guest house, when looking for a home. We have been considering move to another area and would love to have a similar set up for guest in our future home. Thank you so much!

  5. Bethany says:

    An actual sentence I said to my husband last night as we packed to come home from vacation: “Packing cubes is the thing I’m most passionate about in life.” I’ve been using them for about 10 years and I refuse to travel without them!

    • Abby says:

      Me too. I got mine on Amazon years ago when I had kids and now I have five kids and they each have their own color of cubes so when we travel it’s organized bliss.

  6. Native Idaho says:

    Could you let us know on the blog when your garage sale will be?

  7. KP says:

    Wow I have no idea how Walmart gets away with blatantly ripping off the LV Speedy bag with that “checkered shoulder bag”. When you say “Walmart you have outdone yourself on this one” I think what you mean is LV outdid itself and Walmart is profiting by stealing its original design it has been making for almost 100 years.

    • Julia says:

      Well yes. It’s a dupe!

    • Jo says:

      Yeah, it sucks. Copyright laws for clothing, handbags, and shoe designs are notoriously flawed and easy to circumvent. Walmart did just that here. But truly, that’s a problem for Walmart and LV’s lawyers to work out, NOT chrislovesjulia. If you don’t want knock offs to exist, don’t buy them. Personally, I hate them too. LV will be just fine without selling Speedy bags to Walmart customers. That’s two totally different markets who will now get to enjoy the same bag style, at different quality and price points.

      • KP says:

        For sure! I don’t mean to suggest at all that CLJ should solve the problem. I do mean to suggest that CLJ should think about recommending products like this.

        My $0.02: I love a good dupe as much as the next person (and play the daily dupe, well, daily), but to me there’s a difference between a dupe (here’s a similar look at a different pricepoint!) and a knockoff (this is the *exact* same style down to the tiny details). I totally agree LV will be just fine without selling Speedy bags to Walmart customers. I would also suggest Walmart would be just fine without selling knockoff Speedy bags to its customers.

        I’m not a fan of either company, just a fan of intellectual property protections. If this was a small business and Walmart knocked off its bag design to sell to the masses, I doubt CLJ would promote it. Just food for thought here. Just because LV is huge and luxury doesn’t make this ok.

      • Julia says:

        All good things to think about!

      • Vera says:

        Julia you are so lovely and gracious! I was getting stressed reading this thread and then read your comment and realized “right, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing that people are presenting different perspectives.” ❤️

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? 

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 […]

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