Category Archives: About Me

My Bridal Beauty Routine

Casey-Solo

I don’t know who came up with this insane idea that a girl has to look “most beautiful” on her wedding day. But as a bride, I can tell you that the pressure is real…very very real. Perhaps it’s pressure I’m putting on myself, because not only will 200 pairs of eyeballs be directly on me on October 11th, but I’ll also have thousands of pictures documenting the way I look on that particular day. Just thinking about that makes me want to grab a pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream and curl up on the couch under a blanket. Yikes.imagesOkay, so maybe “most beautiful” is too much pressure. But I do want to FEEL good on the big day. Physically, mentally, emotionally…I want to be on my “A” game on all accounts. So today let’s chat about all of the things I’ve been up to over the last 9 months so I can look and feel my best on October 11th…Wide-Shot

 BODY:

I’m not a believer in “diets.” Instead, I’m in the camp where I would much rather workout, so I can eat and drink what I want.  I’ve always been fairly athletic, but with the wedding I knew I wanted to take things up a notch. For the past few months I’ve been doing a bridal boot camp 3 days a week. It’s pretty intense, and I’ve definitely noticed a difference in my arms and stomach. The number on the scale hasn’t really changed, but I feel much more toned. The boot camp is actually pretty awesome, because it’s full of other girls just like me. We love chatting about all things wedding (on water breaks of course!) and it’s been great to swap advice with other brides. I’ll probably continue with that even after the wedding, just because it’s a really great combo of cardio and strength. [Chicago ladies, this is the boot camp if you’re interested. Not sponsored, just really love it there!] I’ve also been walking to and from work just about everyday, which adds up to just less than 4 miles each day. To add a little intensity over these last couple weeks, I’ve also been doing Shred 415 classes. Whoa baby…now these are super intense. It’s four 15 minute intervals, with two on the treadmill and the other two with weights. I leave a sweaty, tired mess each time. All of these workout classes aren’t just helping me tone up, they’re also helping me escape from all of the chaos of these days right before the wedding. It’s nice to take an hour of “me time” and not think about table numbers, budgets, and wedding timelines.

AppleIn terms of food, I’ve just tried to cut out a lot of processed garbage. I eat fairly “clean”, but I’ve been known to have a bowl of cereal (or 3) at night and count that as a dinner. Finn and I have both been trying to cook more protein and veggies each week, so we’re less likely to order Thai food for dinner. I feel like every time I cave and eat something “naughty” the wedding gods are looking down at me with disappointment. I’ve also really upped my water intake, so I can have that nice “bridal glow.” On the weekends I opt for coconut water for extra electrolytes, especially since I’m usually having a cocktail or two at night. Vanilla-Bean-Bath-Soap

SKIN:

Continuing with the “bridal glow” topic, I’ve been doing my best to keep my skin looking good. For the most part, I stayed out of the sun this summer. If I was out, I always wore sunglasses and 55spf sunscreen on my face. I tried my best to avoid tan lines on my shoulders and back, but I may have some faint lines that need to be covered.

I’m a big bathtub girl (yeah I know some people think baths are gross…#sorryimnotsorry), so I’ve tried to limit my tub time so as not to dry out my skin. I’ve also added a face mask to my weekly routine, and I still use my clarisonic brush every other day. So far no zits to be found, and fingers crossed I don’t wake up next Saturday with a big one…Essie-Nail-PolishHAIR & NAILS:

You may have noticed that my hair is getting long. Like super long. I’ve been growing it out for the wedding, and I’ve been doing my best to keep it healthy. Less shampooing, and more deep conditioning for this blondie. That also means a lot less blow drying, and a lot more top knots. I actually just found these amazing spiral hair pins that I use to make my top knots (in picture above.) No need for a rubber band….2 of these should keep your hair secure. They’re awesome and I feel like my hair isn’t quite as damaged because of them.

I also worked with my hair stylist to schedule my highlights and haircuts prior to the wedding. I’m getting my hair colored today (woo hoo!) so it is fresh for next Saturday. My stylist and I also planned out my exact colors ahead of time, so I don’t have any scary blue hair moments like from Bride Wars…


Although if anyone can pull off blue hair, it’s Kate Hudson 😉

As for my nails, well my nails pretty much suck. I’m a hardcore nail biter. Yes, again it’s gross…but I can’t help it! I have stubby little fingers and stubby nails to go along with them. I’ve been growing out my nails so I don’t have to get fake ones put on for the wedding. My plan is to go next Friday and do a gel french manicure. Hopefully they’re long enough and I don’t munch on them before walking down the aisle.

Bridal-Beauty-RoutineMAKEUP:

Luckily, I’ll have my makeup professionally done for the big day. Although I did have to purchase my lip color prior to my makeup trial in August. I ended up going to Sephora, where I proceeded to try on about 10 different colors. Finally, I chose a lipstick and a lip pencil. I then went to pay…only to find out it was $82 total. Holy smokes. $52 just for the lipstick alone. I was flabbergasted, yet I felt so bad that I went ahead and made the purchase. Days later I went back, and I ended up exchanging my items for much more reasonably priced alternatives. Wow…I didn’t even know lipstick could be so expensive!

Book-Married-For-LifeMIND:

Finally, I’ve been doing my best to rest and enjoy these last few weeks before our wedding. Even though we have a lot going on, I’ve tried to hop in bed early each night to do a bit of reading before attempting to get in a good 8-9 hours of rest. It’s a great way to unwind, and it stills my mind before my head hits the pillow.

Finn’s Aunt gave us this book at our wedding shower, and I’ve loved reading a couple of pages each night at bedtime. The book offers advice from couples who have been married 50 years or longer.

Married-for-Life-BookThe words of wisdom and marriage tips are priceless, and it reminds me that October 11th is just the start of our life together. Casey-SoloOf course I want to be a beautiful bride next weekend, but I know that in the end it won’t really matter if my hair is frizzy, I have a zit on my nose, or my nails aren’t perfectly manicured. I’ll only be thinking about my handsome groom at the end of the aisle, and the beautiful life we have planned together. casey_sig

 

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5 thoughts on “My Bridal Beauty Routine

  1. Danielle

    I’m quickly approaching my one year anniversary (November 3) and I remember those last few days of jitters! Just know that none of the “stuff” really matters – the whole day is about you and your man and the love you share!
    My one suggestion is to try to take every single moment in and implant it in your memory as best you can. I only had a few sips of champagne throughout the day (honestly all I wanted was water! That dress was heavy) and saved my drinking til the after party, which I know helped me remember all those special moments even more.
    Congratulations and wishing you the best of luck!!!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Danielle,
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment and the wonderful advice. I’m going to do my best to take it all in and enjoy every minute of the day! Happy Almost Anniversary!

      xo,
      Casey

  2. Jacquelyn

    Congratulations! How exciting! I married my awesome husband in April, so the experience is quite fresh. I was doing very well with the whole bridal beauty routine myself until about three weeks before our big day. Disaster hit in the form of a sudden, unexpected bout of anemia that had me laid up for three days. Exercise was off-limits until my iron levels were greatly improved, which was a huge bummer (I bike to and from work everyday and I was doing some bridal workouts).

    In the days leading up to our wedding, I remember being sad that I had lost all of my muscle tone and my dress, which had fit so perfectly before, was a bit snug. In the end, though, the day was beautiful and I don’t care that my arms weren’t quite as toned as they usually are in the photographs. It seems nobody but me and my mom noticed anyway.

    My two cents: continue doing what you are doing and, no matter what bumps might happen between now and the big day next weekend, stay calm, smile and laugh, and enjoy it all. It goes by so fast but leaves happy memories! 🙂

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Jacquelyn,
      Oh my goodness…anemia does not sound fun! I’m sure you looked beautiful though!

      Thank you so much for the sweet comment and wonderful advice. I will do my best to stay calm and enjoy every minute!

      xo,
      Casey

    2. Sherri

      Anemia does not come on suddenly. Unless you’ve had a lot of blood loss, being anemic is a gradual process over months. It’s not a quick,fix, either. You need to be on daily iron supplements for at least 6 weeks in order for your red blood cells to multiply. I hope your physician explained this to you….it’s impossible to have a “sudden bout” of anemia

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5 thoughts on “My Bridal Beauty Routine

  1. Danielle

    I’m quickly approaching my one year anniversary (November 3) and I remember those last few days of jitters! Just know that none of the “stuff” really matters – the whole day is about you and your man and the love you share!
    My one suggestion is to try to take every single moment in and implant it in your memory as best you can. I only had a few sips of champagne throughout the day (honestly all I wanted was water! That dress was heavy) and saved my drinking til the after party, which I know helped me remember all those special moments even more.
    Congratulations and wishing you the best of luck!!!

    Reply
  2. Jacquelyn

    Congratulations! How exciting! I married my awesome husband in April, so the experience is quite fresh. I was doing very well with the whole bridal beauty routine myself until about three weeks before our big day. Disaster hit in the form of a sudden, unexpected bout of anemia that had me laid up for three days. Exercise was off-limits until my iron levels were greatly improved, which was a huge bummer (I bike to and from work everyday and I was doing some bridal workouts).

    In the days leading up to our wedding, I remember being sad that I had lost all of my muscle tone and my dress, which had fit so perfectly before, was a bit snug. In the end, though, the day was beautiful and I don’t care that my arms weren’t quite as toned as they usually are in the photographs. It seems nobody but me and my mom noticed anyway.

    My two cents: continue doing what you are doing and, no matter what bumps might happen between now and the big day next weekend, stay calm, smile and laugh, and enjoy it all. It goes by so fast but leaves happy memories! 🙂

    Reply

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Q & A with The Rookies

Okay, okay… we promise this is the last day of non-DIY centered posts. We will be back Monday morning (9:00am) with what we’re here for… DIY blogging!! Less about the players, more about the game. 

Where is your home located and how long have you lived there?


C: My fiance Finn and I rent a loft space in a condo building in downtown St. Louis. We have lived here for almost 2 years.

B: My +1 Matt and I recently bought a house in the suburbs of Chicago. We’ve He’s been in the house for about a month…. I’ll join him once we make it “official” #oldfashioned 

How would you describe your decorating style?

C: Overall, I would say my style is comfortable. I try to create a place where anyone can come right in and automatically feel cozy and welcome. You won’t see anything too stuffy in our space. I also want our home to reflect our personalities, so you get a feel for us as people (and a couple) when you walk through our door.


I tend to lean more towards a traditional, simple, and clean look…but I like to add a trendy touch too. I typically start with classic, neutral pieces and then add pops of color with accessories. I also like mixing old and new pieces all together. So in our home, you’ll see decor from Crate & Barrel and Target…mixed right in with flea market and thrift store items.  I’m also not a big fan of clutter (and our place isn’t very big!), so you’ll often see baskets, ottomans, and secret storage all around our home. 
B: Yikes! What a tough question. I guess I never thought about exactly what my design style is. I guess I would say… Rustic meets farmhouse meets grandma chic with a hint of preppy. I attract to rustic furniture because something about it screams coziness, which I love. The farmhouse component brings the “casualness” to the mix while the grandma chic accounts for my love for all things vintage, old school, and/or self-proclaimed grandma-ish. That clears it up, right? Oh, and I can’t hide my attraction to hints of preppy. Bring on the globes, stripes, and bow ties (That means you, Matt). #hinthint

Where do look for inspiration?

C: These days, blogs and Pinterest are my source for DIY inspiration. You can see some of my favorite blogs on our sidebar under “Hall of Fame Bloggers

B: Beyond the ever-inspiring blogs and Pinterest as Casey says, I also find inspiration from the wonderful people around me. I am very lucky to say that my family is full of creative people (most who think they are not creative at all)! Each is creative in their own way and they inspire me to tackle new projects and ideas.


Where is your favorite place to shop for home decor?

C: Without a doubt, thrift and antique stores. You just never know what you’re gonna find. I like to find quality furniture (they just don’t make it like they used to) and then revamp the pieces to our style.
I also can never ever visit Target without perusing their home area (such cute, and reasonably priced goodies!) And Home Goods…I’m obsessed! If I had an unlimited budget, I would love to go crazy at West Elm, Restoration Hardware, and Pottery Barn. 

B: Wow Case, I couldn’t have answered this question better myself! I would have to add that our new house is literally 60 seconds away from a TJ Maxx/ Marshall’s/HomeGoods combo so I am definitely a little too Maxx-inista lately. I also spend a lot of my summer searching for local garage sales and estate sales. It’s the ultimate trash to treasure challenge and I am hooked!

Describe your home in 5 words or less.

C: Comfortable, personal, relaxing, contemporary.
B: Full of personality, tradition, coziness & happiness.  


What’s next on your to-do list for your home?

C: Ahh..there is always something isn’t there?! I would really like to focus on the dining room table. Maybe find a big industrial or farmhouse table for a reasonable price and DIY some chairs & a bench!

B: Any and all decorating & personalization. One month in to our new house, we have nothing hanging on the walls and have lots to do to make this cozy ranch a home. 
What’s the best decorating tip/trick?

C: Be true to your style and personality. You don’t need to run out and buy whatever is “in” or trendy that season. Pick pieces that reflect you, and they’ll never go out of style in your eyes. For example, if you enjoy relaxing on the couch each night…buy a comfy couch that you love. It’s always function over fashion for me.

B: Don’t buy something unless you love, love, love it! Don’t just buy something because it’s on sale, super cheap, or at a store that you love. Don’t settle for buying any new lamp because you need a lamp. Hold out until you find that lamp that you absolutely adore. With a home filled with items you l.o.v.e, you are bound to create a place that reflects your style and (most importantly) that makes you proud. (I guess this same advice is true about finding your future prince charming… don’t settle for any old frog!)

How did you first catch the decorating “bug”?

C: It all started with these old, antique chairs. My future mother-in-law gave them to us, because they were in her family for generations. They needed a lot of TLC and I wanted to keep them going for years to come. I researched online how to spruce them up, and came across the home decorating blogosphere that I now love! Once the chairs were done, I was hooked and have been working on projects ever since.
B: I’ve always been really interested in all things decorating, fashion and general creativity. I took every “home ec” class that was offered in high school and ended up majoring in Home Economics (formally known as Family and Consumer Sciences) in college. Some of my college courses included sewing, fashion design, housing, and even cooking. To say I was in my glory is quite the understatement. This creativity morphed into a more DIY focused interest when I stumbled upon some of the Hall-of-Fame bloggers several years back and have been combining the two ever since. 

Let’s be honest, DIY isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. What do you dislike about DIY?

C: I’m the kind of person that likes to start a project and finish it right away! So, painting projects can be so hard for me! I want to get it done and into our space quickly…so waiting for the paint to dry or cure is absolute torture!

B: Impatience is a huge problem for me as well. I am just so excited to see that final product that it’s hard for me to patiently wait. Tools also intimidate me so… any projects that require some (or any) tools tend to scare me.  

Check back this afternoon for a peek into next week’s projects along with some “breaking news”
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Style Stats

As you follow our DIY adventures, we think it’s important that you know a little bit about each of our styles. You may be more neutral and traditional like Bridget, or more colorful and contemporary like Casey. Check out our style boards to see our must-haves and see where you measure up…  
1. Traditional. I like how this clock adds function, style, and tradition to any room. It’s never too late (pun intended) to add accents and a little charm to your space.

2. Coral. A great way to add texture and feel like you are living in a cottage on the east coast. Need I say more?

3. Being from the suburbs of Chicago, this masterpiece reminds me of all the wonderful memories I have growing up around Chicago. My parents were amazing and made a point to expose us to the city as much as possible.This particular place in Chicago is one of our favorites. It’s the place where we gather to watch the river turn green on St. Patrick’s Day each year…. one of my favorite traditions. (Plus, you can’t go wrong with some vintage travel artwork).

4. Organization is really important to me and these fabulous metal bins from Home Goods offer organization that is affordable & stylish! I love the hint of industrial that these baskets offer and appreciate their versatility. I use them in my guest bedroom to hold towels, my bathroom to hold clutter, my bedroom for storage and my family room to organize books.  

5. Recently, I started my own little collection of globes. Garage Sales, Estate Sales, Thrift Stores… I’m always on the look out for these treasures.  They bring a taste of vintage to any space…. plus they make any room more well-rounded.  

6. Industrial pendants like this one from Urban Archaeology make me swoon. I’m on the look out for new lighting in our space and I can’t resist a fixture just like this! Industrial meets rustic meets vintage… yes please!

7. From a home of two teachers, we love the hint of classroom that this chalkboard from Amazon.com brings. We haven’t tackled any large chalkboard projects just yet, but we definitely have some big ideas on the way! Stay tuned…

8. I am quite the sucker for all things stripes, especially navy and white stripes. To me, stripes mix my love for nautical with hints of “preppy-ness”. Our master bedroom has a rug similar to this from West Elm, but this pattern can be incorporated just about anywhere. Pillows, sheets, artwork, towels, a shower curtain, napkins…. you just can’t go wrong with thick stripes.

9. I strive to make my home as comfy and cozy as possible and cable knit pillows like these seem to be just the ticket. Nothing screams out come cuddle like this cozy cushion. Plus, lots and lots of pillows are a must to create a cozy space that make you feel home sweet home.  

1. Throw pillows are the perfect way to add a pop of color and personality into your home. I have a love for anchors and you’ll see many throughout our home. So this pillow from Joss & Main was a must for my style board.  I also heart chevrons..so I could definitely see this Target pillow getting comfy on our couch.

2. I die over this chair. It has such a clean contemporary look, but the nailhead trim adds a dramatic touch. A chair like this could work great in our master bedroom for a little reading nook.

3. How about this crafty little bar cart from Crate & Barrel? I’ve already posted about our $20 bar cart, but if we ever want to upgrade this one would be next in line! It provides stylish storage and would be a hit at any party.

4. I’m pretty much obsessed with chalkboard everything! We actually made our own DIY chalkboard with an old frame (spray painted white) and sheet metal (painted with chalkboard paint). It’s displayed in our kitchen and it is always fun to write sweet notes or to-do lists right up there.

5. You’ll find many, many baskets around our place. We live in a loft and don’t have a ton of storage options so baskets help conceal our clutter. I especially love baskets with tops like this one, so everyone doesn’t have to see what is inside.

6. The pattern and color on this rug are fantastic! The subtle blue would work great in our home, and the pattern is right on trend.

7. You won’t find any living plants in our home (I have a very brown thumb!), but we do have a few fake ones around the house. They bring a bit of nature and greenery into our space. This succulent is a very cute find.

8. This media console is FANTASTIC! I want, I want, I want! I love the distressed wood and industrial look. The draw pulls are adorable, and you could hide all types of goodies in those drawers. Fabulous TV stand to splurge on one day…

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Meet The Rookies: Casey

1-CaseyHeadshot2013

Well hello there reader. I can’t believe I’m actually writing to you right now. I’m not gonna lie…I can chat about home decorating and DIY projects ALL DAY LONG. But when it comes to telling you all about me…well that’s a different story!

For you, dear reader, I will do my best to sum up my 25 years…

My name is Casey O’Halloran and (just like my blogging buddy) I too grew up on the south side of Chicago. I come from a fun-loving, rambunctious, Irish family of 6 and I’m the youngest of the bunch.
I’m blessed to have parents who encourage and support me everyday. And are even willing to participate in crazy events like this one.
Rounding out the clan, are siblings who love me no matter what (even though I was the younger, bratty sister growing up)
My family has a love for all things Notre Dame…
So it was only fitting that I attend the University of Notre Dame to follow in my parents’ footsteps.

After college, I moved to the big, popular, trendy city of Wausau, Wisconsin.  
 
Oh what’s that…you’ve never heard of Wausau? Well, neither had I…
It’s a small little town in Northcentral Wisconsin, where there is snow on the ground 8 months out of the year #imnotevenjoking.
I moved there to pursue my career in broadcast journalism. I worked there as a news reporter and anchor, and I freakin’ loved it!
After a year, it was time to move to a larger market. So about 2 years ago, I moved to St. Louis to continue my career.
I currently work as an on-camera host/video producer for a large company in the area.  It is fabulous and I’m privileged to work with a creative group of people.
Eventually, I would love to move back to Sweet Home Chicago. If the right job knocks on my door…I’ll take it in a heartbeat #seriouslyhiremenow


Here are the main players you’ll see me chatting about here on the DIY Playbook:
 
Finn; Mike; fiance; the boy; manfriend; roomie; high school sweetheart; boy toy; boyfriend; future hubby
Any combo of those names may be used to describe the man of my dreams. Finn and I have been together for an eternity 8.5 years, and we will be making it official in the Fall of 2014.
Luckily, Finn supports my crazy career (he moved with me up to the tundra of Wisconsin, and down here to our current St. Louis loft). He’s also a DIY-er at heart, and will spend Saturdays with me searching for treasures at the local Goodwill (But not Sunday…no siree…Sundays are reserved for football).  

We’ve had a blast creating a home that is personalized to our tastes, and represents both of our styles.  
I’m the luckiest girl in the world to have Mike, and even though I’ll miss my last name…I’m secretly pumped to have the cute name of Casey Finn (seriously so short and cute right?!)
Jan; Janimal; Mom; Mrs. O’:
Jan is my mom and she is quite possibly the kindest, most generous, friendliest woman on earth (I swear I’m not biased). We’ve been best friends for years, and I talk to her on the phone every.single.day. My siblings and I adore my mother, as you can see by this fabulous gift we made for her last Christmas.
I’m sad to live far away from her (Mom, I promise I’ll be back soon), but I make it home every chance I get so we can do fun things together like this and this.

The Janimal totally supports my DIYing, and has secretly been reading the unlaunched version of our blog for the past 6 months. We make a point to work on a craft or project every time we get together, and Jan even caught the DIY fever when she re-decorated her laundry room.
Okay, so you just learned way more about me than you ever possibly wanted to know.
I’ll leave you with this. This blog is going to be just like our personalities. Fun, laid back, and friendly. You won’t see any crazy, super-difficult tutorials here. You won’t see us posting 3 times a day, clogging up your Google Reader.

You’re a reader, and therefore you’re our friend, and we will treat you that way. So dive right in, feel free to reach out to us, and join us as we give this blogging thing a go.
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6 thoughts on “Meet The Rookies: Casey

  1. Erin (Running Tall)

    Ahh Wisconsin sounds like where I live! I’m up in Canada (Saskatchewan to be exact) and it’s winter here 8 months out of the year too (if not more). And my live-in BF of 6 years is named Mike. Mikes are the best 😉 PS: Your loft is super cute. I’m trying to turn my tiny condo into a personalized haven and this site will be a godsend!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Erin…that is too funny! When we lived there, I bought so many cute scarves, hats, & boots to at least make the 8-month long Winter stylish! Now, I never get to wear any of them. I should send them all to you 🙂

      Your Mike sounds awesome! Let me know if you do any cute projects for your condo. I would love to see them.

  2. Angela Frey

    I’m not even sure how I found your blog, but I saw prints of Wisconsin in your decor, so I had to read more about you. I grew up in Fond du Lac, so I know exactly where Wausau is. Even crazier, is one of my best friends work at WSAW! I’m guessing if you were there a couple of years ago, you would know him. Do you know Mike Lauber? We’ve been friends since the 1st grade. I also live in Missouri, just on the other side of the state near Kansas City. It’s a small world!

    Reply
  3. DIY Playbook

    Angela what a small world!! Yes, I absolutely know MIkel Lauber. What a great guy, and now with all of his cute daughters.

    So happy you found our blog, and you’re both a Missourian and Wisconsinite too!

    Reply

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6 thoughts on “Meet The Rookies: Casey

  1. Erin (Running Tall)

    Ahh Wisconsin sounds like where I live! I’m up in Canada (Saskatchewan to be exact) and it’s winter here 8 months out of the year too (if not more). And my live-in BF of 6 years is named Mike. Mikes are the best 😉 PS: Your loft is super cute. I’m trying to turn my tiny condo into a personalized haven and this site will be a godsend!

    Reply
  2. Angela Frey

    I’m not even sure how I found your blog, but I saw prints of Wisconsin in your decor, so I had to read more about you. I grew up in Fond du Lac, so I know exactly where Wausau is. Even crazier, is one of my best friends work at WSAW! I’m guessing if you were there a couple of years ago, you would know him. Do you know Mike Lauber? We’ve been friends since the 1st grade. I also live in Missouri, just on the other side of the state near Kansas City. It’s a small world!

    Reply
  3. DIY Playbook

    Angela what a small world!! Yes, I absolutely know MIkel Lauber. What a great guy, and now with all of his cute daughters.

    So happy you found our blog, and you’re both a Missourian and Wisconsinite too!

    Reply

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Meet the Rookies: Bridget

Wedding

Welcome back to the DIY Playbook! On behalf of the both of us, we would like to say how truly thankful we are for all of the love and support we received on yesterday’s launch. We are overwhelmed by all of the support and want to thank YOU, our fabulous readers, for all that you have done to make our launch day so special. We have lots of projects ready to go and we can’t wait for you to see what’s in store!

Now, back to your regular scheduled post….

Welcome back to the DIY Playbook, we are so thankful that you’re here. If you’ve stopped by for the same reason I think you you have (some DIY fun, of course)…. you can do this! Whether you’re a hall-of-famer or just a rookie like me us, I hope the Playbook can provide you with some inspiration that will lead you to a new project, idea, or gift you can be proud of. For all the rookies out there that are a little hesitant or intimidated by all things tools, paint, or mini construction, join the club. We understand these fears, but urge you to dive right in anyway… what do you have to lose? Like my dad always told us girls growing up…. “Get a mitt and get in the game!”

I hope that this blog does just that…. urges you to “get a mitt, paintbrush, stencil, hammer, or drill and get in the DIY game”
My name is Bridget O’Connor, and I grew up in a southern suburb of Chicago. I have a wonderful family that doesn’t necessarily love, love, love DIY as much as me, the middle sister, but supports my crazy ideas anyway. I have two sisters that are my best friends, and we share parents that are the most selfless, supportive, and hardworking people we know.
Growing up, we lived in a modest ranch that we affectionately named the Chestnut Club. My parents treated the Chestnut Club as another member of the family, showering him with endless love, sweat, and commitment; keeping him up-to-date, fashionable, and always a proud staple of the O’Connor clan.

This commitment, hard work, and creativity that my parents always showed towards the Chestnut Club mixed with my passion for crafts, scrapbooking and organizing paved the way for my grown-up passion; DIY-ing. #thankspatandmike

In high school a few lockers down, I met my creative match. With two irish names that started with O’, we were bound to be best friends. We spent one night a week scrapbooking, many endless hours making puffy paint t-shirts, and later graduated to helping each other decorate college dorm rooms. Over ten years later, we live in separate cities, see each other far less than we want to, but still share a love for DIY. Although our projects and decorating styles have changed (thank goodness), we still share our O’ last names (not for long…tear) and we still share late nights DIY-ing (like this one or this one) and gossiping like old times. We’re teammates, best friends, and starting this blogging journey as complete rookies…. together.

My other DIY partner-in-crime and teammate is my uber creative and supportive boyfriend, Matt. After Matt created a scrapbook of pictures and commentary of each of our date sites in honor of our first Valentine’s Day together…. I knew he was a keeper. From our small town tours (complete with a favorite small town voting ballots) to hilarious rhyming stories he created to celebrate big events in our relationship, Matt is definitely a DIY-er at heart, and I’m so lucky to have him! I definitely could not have created this without his help and support of my garbage picking habits. More on that later…

Outside of my passion for DIY-ing, I work as a high school Family & Consumer Sciences/Special Education teacher. I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember… read more about that here. This is a career that I absolutely love and a career that I am extremely thankful for everyday.

Join me as I try to juggle time with my family, friends, main squeeze, career, grad school and anything else that pops up along the way to continue my love for all things DIY. I hope to take my Rookie salary and Rookie status to transform my new house to a personalized masterpiece that I can call home. Just like my parents did for the Chestnut Club, I hope to mix the perfect ingredients of love, creativity and hard work into our new ranch in hopes that the Longview Lodge can be just a part of the family as the good old Chestnut Club. Take a tour of our new home here and check out our home announcements here!

Now that you know far more than you probably ever needed to about Bridget, it’s Casey’s turn to step up to the plate. Get to know more about my favorite teammate and DIY rookie, Casey, in tomorrow’s post.  
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Welcome to the DIY Playbook!

Hello there and welcome to The DIY Playbook.  We are so happy (& grateful!) you decided to come check out our little piece of the blog world.


Now, you may be wondering, “What the heck is the DIY Playbook?”, and “Who are these Rookies?”

We’ll try and break these questions down for ya…
The “DIY Playbook” is a do-it-yourself blog designed to give you the “plays”, tools, and inspiration to makeover your home without breaking the bank.  Every project and craft that you’ll find here is something we’ve done and incorporated into our own homes.  Those projects range from decorating a vintage bar cart, to creating your own Valentine’s Day wreath, or even hosting a fabulous holiday themed party.  
We also believe we’re a unique blog that caters to our generation. If you’re a twenty-something a few years out of college, then you’ve probably outgrown the college dorm look, but don’t have much money to make your new “grown-up” place look fabulous. We’ll help you transition your pad from college-student to adult.

On the DIY Playbook you’ll find step-by-step instructions and tutorials so you can easily (& cheaply) re-create our projects.
    
As you explore the DIY Playbook, you’ll notice a sports theme throughout much of the blog. When deciding on a name and vision for the blog, we wanted to do something fun & different. Something where we could make ridiculous puns (i.e. hitting projects out of the park) and create a look and feel unlike other DIY blogs. 
Our +1’s are sports fanatics, and they gave us the idea, courage, and inspiration to really bring the Playbook to life. They’ve been our biggest cheerleaders, and we’re hoping you’ll see them step up to the plate (ha) and post every now and then. 
We will try to post new content 4 times a week. We think it’s a pretty safe number. We don’t want to be an annoyingly-in-your-face-blog-where-we-post-100-times-a-day and you feel like you need to unsubscribe because you can’t keep up! Whoa take a breath there. 

And we also don’t want to abandon our readers for months on end, and randomly post a few times a year #notgonnahappenhere. 

Instead, we want to generate fun, interesting, and inspirational content a few times a week to get your creative juices flowing.

We call ourselves “rookies,” because we’re certainly not professionals. We’re not professional interior designers, decorators, or carpenters (Ha. Not even considered rookies on that last one…more like in T-ball when it comes to carpentry) And to top off our list of un-qualifications we’re definitely new to this whole blogging thing. #yikesdowehaveanytalents?
So why should you read anything we have to say? Well, we like to believe that we’re just like YOU! We enjoy reading blogs, pouring through home catalogs, and browsing Pinterest for craft and home décor inspiration. Through the years we’ve both succeeded (& failed) plenty o’ DIY projects, and we think we have some good tips and tricks to share.
So now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we want you to cozy on up to our blog, and take a look around.
Here’s the thing, we’ve secretly been working on this blog for about 6 months.  We’ve been too chicken perfecting all of the content…to give our site a look and feel that really screams “Bridget & Casey.” 

That means we have 6 months worth of posts ready for you! Yep, almost 50 posts in our archives that are patiently waiting to be clicked on!

Here’s a little cheat sheet on navigating our site…
Well if you’re here…then you’ve officially succeeded at Tip #1. To get to our site, all you need to do is visit DIYPlaybook.blogspot.com. Our site looks and works best with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and updated versions of Internet Explorer. For some reason, the blog doesn’t look too great in older versions of Internet Explorer, so try not to visit us that way.
 
The tabs directly under our header offer you the best way to navigate our site. “Home” is where you’ll find the latest posts. So if you ever need to catch up on a few weeks worth of posts, just visit the “Home” tab.
Then once you get to the bottom of the page, click on “Older Posts” for even more DIY fun. 
“Play by Play” is essentially an archive of all of our projects. Everything is categorized by the type of project…Furniture, Organizing, Entertaining, etc. Just click on the thumbnail and you’ll be taken to that particular post.
The “Top Scores” tab is where you’ll find cheap-o deals and steals that we’ve found while shopping, antiquing, or even dumpster diving #nojoke
If you want to check out our digs (Casey’s loft & Bridget’s new house) just head to “Home Field.” There you’ll find mini home tours of our unique spaces. Just click on the image and you’ll be directed to the tours.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Don’t laugh at our scary, pics from childhood #yeesh
The “Contact” tab has info if you want to give us a shout.
Alright, alright, enough coaching! Take a look around & we’ll be back tomorrow with more details about The Rookies!
 
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12 thoughts on “Welcome to the DIY Playbook!

    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks Erin! We’ve got lots of great projects yet to come. Be sure to check back!

      P.S. Totally loving this quote from your blog…”My sarcasm hand is always raised and 90% of my iPhone photos are of my dog.”

      Freakin’ hilarious. You rock!

  1. rachel

    I definitely went through all the “old” posts- loving the blog! As a 24 year old about to get her own place, I can’t wait to gather my spare change and tackle some of these projects!

    Reply

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12 thoughts on “Welcome to the DIY Playbook!

  1. rachel

    I definitely went through all the “old” posts- loving the blog! As a 24 year old about to get her own place, I can’t wait to gather my spare change and tackle some of these projects!

    Reply

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