Category Archives: About the Rookies

A Day in the Life…

Bobbi-Brown-Lipstick

Today we are changing things up with an atypical blog post. Instead of a craft, DIY project, or home eye candy, we’re going to give you a sneak peek into our day-to-day lives. Now we realize that this may not be the most exciting post in the world, but if it helps you understand us a little more then it seems worthwhile to us. Plus, we always like reading “Day in the Life” posts from other bloggers and friends, so we figured it was finally time to dish. So let’s get this day started!

5:24am (Bridget): My alarm goes off and it takes me a few seconds to figure what’s going on. I pull my phone out of the charging station and hit snooze. Matt jumps out of bed and turns our bedroom lights on.

 
5:27am: A second alarm goes off, I hit the snooze button and slowly let my eyes adjust to the light. While Matt is already up and getting dressed in the other room, I lay there and look through my phone. Unlike Casey, I need a few snoozes before I can be vertical for the day, and I enjoy catching up on the news/emails in my bed as I’m half asleep. As I come to a little bit, I actually read through our emails, look at social media, and skim through some of my fav blogs. If I find a post that really sparks my interest, I try to make a mental note to look at it on a desktop later that day.

5:42am: Matt pops in to say… “come on, get up!”. He knows quite well it’ll probably be another few minutes before I can actually peel myself out of bed. I reply to Casey’s texts from the night before (I was already sleeping by that time) and update her on a few items I saw in our inbox knowing that she won’t see these texts until about 7:30am.


5:50am: Matt pops in to say, “Come onnnnn… I need to get to work early!”. I reluctantly get out of bed, put Pandora on and start getting ready.


6:15am: I get to the kitchen where my amazing husband has my coffee made and waiting for me. I eat a few scoops of yogurt, try to chug a glass of water (thanks to Casey’s recommendation to drink a glass of water before my morning coffee) and put my lunch in my bag.

6:35am: Matt and I grab all of our stuff and off we go… together. Since we work at the same place, we often get to drive together, which is AWESOME and makes the ride a lot more fun.  We chat about the day ahead on the ride and make our plan for after school.

6:55am: We get to school (aka work) and each go our separate ways to start our days.

7:00am (Casey): My alarm goes off and I’m up and headed to the shower in about 2 seconds flat. I’m the kinda girl who does not hit snooze…really ever. Once I hear that alarm, I am up for good. My husband, Finn, is quite the opposite. In fact, he enjoys setting alarms way before he needs to be up because he believes the best feeling in the world is when you look at the clock and know you still have plenty of time to sleep.


7:20am: I head to the kitchen and make breakfast and a cup of coffee. I eat the same thing everyday for breakfast and I wouldn’t have it any other way. (man…this post is making me realize I lead a pretty boring life. ha!) I get out greek yogurt, throw in some berries, and then add protein powder, chia seeds, and milled flaxseed to the yogurt mix. My mom says it looks like glue. To me it’s delicious (although it may resemble glue). I typically eat my breakfast, drink my coffee, all while checking my personal email, my work email, and our blog email. I also make sure our daily post is up and looking good, and I’ll add a link to it on our fb page.

7:40am: Time to beautify. I head to the bathroom and finish getting ready. I’ll typically browse through Instagram while drying my hair, and shoot Bridget a few texts about the blog as I get ready. Fun Fact: I wear this weird black kimono when I get ready every single morning. Finn thinks I’m crazy, but I get too hot if I have real clothing on, and I have never perfected the whole towel tucked under the armpit thing. So instead I wear this until I’m ready for my work clothes.

7:41am: I’ve been at the computer in the teachers’ office room for about 45 minutes responding to emails, inputting grades, making copies, and getting all of my lessons ready for the day. I like to get in early because no one else is in the office yet, and I get can a ton done. Once about 7:40 hits, I put all of my stuff in my bag and head to the opposite side of the building for my first class. Because I teach a different class every hour, I am a “traveling teacher” and don’t have a room to call my own. School starts at 8:00am — the halls are packed (we have a school of 4,000 kids!) as I make my way across the building.

7:48am: I put the agenda on the board, greet students as they walk in, catch up with my co-teacher and chat about last-minute details before the day’s lesson. At about 7:55am I head outside of the classroom door and greet students as they walk into our class.

8:00am: The bell rings and our Economics lesson for the day starts! Economics is only a semester class, so we have a whole class of new sophomore and senior faces this semester. I miss last semester’s group, am still learning the new student’s names, but I’m excited to start fresh! My co-teacher kicks-off the lesson and we go back and forth teaching and assisting students throughout the lesson. I love the opportunity to teach with her each day and learn so much from watching her. 

bedroom8:05am: I wake Finn up and kick him out of bed, so I can make the bed. I make the bed every single day. Our room is just too messy if it’s not done, with pillows everywhere. I then pick up the kitchen, tidy up the couch, run the dishwasher, give Finn a quick kiss and head out the door. If I have time, I’ll add in some cleaning to my morning routine. Whether it’s a quick clean of the bathroom or the floors, it’s nice to take something off of our cleaning schedule for the week.


8:15am: Depending on the weather, I’ll either walk to work (about 1.8 miles) or hop on the bus. I prefer to walk if I can because it’s a beautiful way to start my day with a clear head. I’m not much of a music person. Instead I like to just hear the sounds of the city and maybe say my prayers on my walk to work.

8:45am: I get into the office and make my to-do list for the day (& make another cup of coffee). I’m lucky to have a breathtaking view right from my desk of Lake Michigan. I work in an old historic building in downtown Chicago (Tribune Tower) and it’s really neat to work in this building. As I disclosed on the blog before, I work in television as a freelance video producer. Right now, I’m producing a DIY & home improvement show called Weekend Workbench. We recently won an Emmy (woo hoo!) and right now we’re shooting season 3 of our show. The new season will start airing in late February here in Chicago, and you may see 2 familiar faces on the show (I somehow convinced Bridget to do a few segments on the show with me this year!) More details about our TV appearances coming soon…day at work-001

8:46am: There’s one minute left of class. We wrap up the lesson, allow students a little time to pack up and my co-teacher and I take this time to have some casual conversations with individual students. We try to have individual conversations with each student as much as we can; learn a little something about them outside of our Econ material. The small group I’m chatting with today updates me about their LOVE for the APP Trivia Crack (it’s seriously taking OVER the teenage population, and I do have to say, is pretty gosh darn addictive for adults too!). The bell rings and we wish the class an awesome day! My co-teacher and I have about 15 seconds to chat before students come piling in for the next class. I have to head to my next location for the next class, so my time there is limited. We chat quickly about the pros and cons of the lesson, touch base about what the plan is for tomorrow and head our separate ways until tomorrow morning!


9:00am-1:00pm: Chatting about “a day in the life” is really hard with a job like mine, because every day is so different. As a producer, I’m in charge of coming up with the show content, scheduling our video shoots, going on the shoots to tell everyone what to say/where to look/what to do, reviewing the footage, writing the scripts, and reviewing the edit of the projects and final show. From start to finish…I’m a part of the show-making process. We have 2 cameramen (who also edit the show), 1 host, and then I’m one of 2 producers for this particular show. It’s a lot smaller team than people realize, but we have a great time together. It can be very rewarding to come up with a concept for an episode…and then see it air on television a few months later.

8:55am: Bell rings, I’m in a new room with a new group of “homeroom” students and a new co-teacher. This class is a shorter class that is not an academic requirement, but more so a class to bond, get adult support, study, and socialize. I use the time to help one student with his algebra homework, then chat with another student about her debate competition this past weekend, and then help another student organize his folders for the new semester. I look up and it’s already time for the next class… and a new location.

9:30-10:25am: I pack up my bag and head across the building for my next class. I’m a special education teacher part of the day, so my next hour is a resource class and one that allows students time to catch up on academics, study, seek additional instruction, organize, etc. etc. etc. I walk in with 3 students approaching me with three different issues that need attention now. The bell rings. I get the class started, and then quickly transition into addressing each student’s need. Bathroom? – “go… quick! Next time try to use the bathroom during passing period”. Nurse? – “I’m so sorry you don’t feel well, let me write you a pass to the nurse ASAP”. Make-up Test? “Yes, I did receive that from your Geometry teacher, let me get it out of my bag. Go ahead and get your calculator and pencil out and I will get you that test. You have 30 minutes to complete this”. Once I get those 3 started, I walk around and make sure everyone else is on task. I find someone throughout my journey around the room that wants someone to quiz him in Earth & Space Science. I sit down next to him, placing my body in a way that I can monitor the whole class while working with this individual and start quizzing him. Before we know it, it’s time to pack up and we are headed off to our next class! Pack up my bag and I’m on the move again…

locker10:35am: Resource hour again… different room. I run to the washroom, see that there’s a line and realize I don’t have time to wait. I keep walking to the class in order to get there on time. The hour flies by and before we know it, I’m packing up to move classrooms again.

11:30am: I’m onto a new room and a different subject, general education Career Internship. It’s a class of all senior students who work in the community and also attend a half day of classes in high school. We are learning about taxes, as the students will be receiving their W-2’s in a few weeks. We go over a few examples and practice filling out 1040’s to prepare for an upcoming quiz. The bell rings and we stop there until tomorrow. I pack my bag and head back to the office!

12:20pm: I drop my bag at my desk, grab my sandwich and water and head to lunchroom duty. I realize that it’s 12:21 and I haven’t even checked my phone. I also realize I have to be at duty in one minute and a half and I still need to run to the restroom. I make a pit stop on my way and walk in the threshold to the lunchroom right as the bell is ringing. I have the next 22 minutes to walk around my section of the lunchroom to make sure students are eating in peace and keeping their area clean. I walk around this section while I eat my sandwich and sip my water. I chat with a few students as I pass their table and see Matt pop out of his office, which is right off of the lunchroom. We stand in my section, ask how each other’s days are going and then the bell rings. Time to go!

1:00pm: If we’re not on a shoot, I typically bring my lunch and heat it up in the microwave. Finn is the chef in our household, so I’m at his whim when it comes to what I eat for lunch. Typically he’ll make lots of staples on Sunday (grains, chicken, veggies) and then we’ll portion them out into tupperware containers for the week. Today’s menu…chicken, quinoa, and a vegetable medley. Healthy…but oh so satisfying when you’re a hungry gal.

1:06-1:22pm: I already ate my lunch during duty, so I have a few minutes to check my phone, answer any texts, and sit in silence for a few minutes. How is it almost 1:30 already?!!!

1:30-5:00pm: Like I said before, my days are quite different so it’s hard to share all of the details. If I’m in the office, then I’ll typically be doing a number of things. I’ll review footage and roughly edit it, before handing it off to the “real editor” to polish it up, add music, graphics, etc. Or I’ll write the voiceover for our host, and sit with him in the sound booth as he tracks it. Or I’ll review edited segments with our editor and have him tweak things to make it more exciting/interesting/entertaining. It can be a lot to juggle, but it’s a great fit for me, my work ethic, and my personality.

1:30-2:30pm: I can finally catch up on school emails, grade some papers from first hour, input grades, make copies, look at my lesson plans for next week to finalize copies/assessments/and anything else that needs to be done. I go check my mail and have to head out to go meet with my student’s boss. Since I teach the “work program”, I head out in the community to watch my students work, assess them, meet with their bosses and see what else we need to work on in class in order to improve these students’ professionalism. Today’s meeting is at a local ice arena.

2:30-3:15pm: I meet with the boss, chat about this student’s progress from last semester, get a glowing review and leave excited to report the good news to my student tomorrow! I get in my car and swing back to the high school to pick Matt up and head home.

computer 4:00pm: We get home! In the fall, I coach and don’t get home until dark, so it’s nice to be home early throughout the winter. I’m able to get some blog work/house work done during the week, which is amazing. Matt heads out to work out (I should be going too but make a mental excuse why I can’t and wish him well). I have some time to finally check the blog email, social media, and write a blog post. Because it’s winter, I don’t have enough natural light to take any photos. I wish I could get some photos done to post a new project I’m working on, but instead, I stick to the computer work on the blog instead. I answer a few emails (our policy is to get back to every email within 24 hours), document the DIY Playbook mail that I picked up in our mailbox, work on some upcoming posts and plan ahead. Because we both work full-time and have limited access to the blog during that time, we are forced to stay very organized and plan way ahead. I usually call both my mom and dad during this time to see how their days were. It may be weird that I’m 27 years old and still talk to both my mom and dad every single day, but hey, it’s one of my favorite times of the day! After I get off the phone with them, I shoot Casey a few texts, “Did you see this email?” “Do you mind if I respond like this?” “OMG, how nice is this comment {Screenshot}”, etc. etc.

5:00pm: I bolt out of work with desperate hopes to make a 5:30pm workout class. Since I only have about 25 minutes to get there, I hop on the red line train since it’s my quickest route to class. I’ve been going to a place called Shred415 for about 6 months now and I’m addicted. It’s interval training on the treadmill and with weights and it’s a killer workout. They opened up a location nearby last year, and I try to get into at least a couple of classes a week.

5:30-6:30pm: I sweat my butt off and contemplate quitting class a few times. Luckily I make it out alive and leave class a sweaty, scary-looking mess.

5:30-6:30pm: Matt is home from working out. He starts dinner while I organize the house, pick out my outfit for work tomorrow, and do some laundry. I am not a fan of cooking and would probably eat PB&J every night if I was in charge. So I’m thankful that Matt is whipping up dinner tonight… and every night. #heisakeeper. We sit down and eat together (no phones or TV!) and chat about what’s on tomorrow’s agenda.


7:00pm: I come home to find that Finn is already home from work. We chat about dinner plans, and he decides he’ll whip something up for us from what we have on hand in the fridge. Again, can I please reiterate how LUCKY I am to have a husband who enjoys being the cook in our household?! Seriously…he is the best, and he is a heck of a cook. While he whips up dinner, I unpack my work bag, pick out my clothing for the next day, pour a glass of wine, and head to my laptop. Sometimes I’ll give Bridget a quick call at this time to catch up about any important blog things that have happened over the course of the day. Throughout the day we divide and conquer our daily blog to-do’s…managing our inbox, responding to comments and reader emails, prepping posts, etc. Luckily, it’s been a pretty uneventful day and we’re able to keep things fairly short.

7:45pm: Finn & I eat dinner and catch up. We chat about our workdays and enjoy a little down time together. Because we’re both usually so busy at work, we don’t have a lot of time to chat during the day. So it’s nice to have this time together.

computer


8:00pm: Dishes are clean, we are organized for tomorrow’s work day and we can finally sit down and relax. I’m not one for sitting down to watch TV, so I’ll either blog if I haven’t finished up or I’ll “putz” around the house. Once I sit to watch TV– I’m a goner. #ZZzzzzzzzzz

8:10pm: I clean up the kitchen, while Finn settles into our family room area. Once things are nice & tidy, I’ll bring my laptop over to tackle some blogging. I’ll edit pictures, proofread posts, pin a few images, and maybe Instagram something from our daily post. 


9:00pm: I put my laptop away, and put my cell phone in the bedroom. I’m trying to get better at disconnecting and backing away from the screen at night. If not, I’ll find myself constantly scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, instead of spending quality time with my husband. Getting our phones out of the room really helps with the whole “unplug for love” motto. We’ll usually watch a few shows on TV (favorites include Scandal, How I Met your Mother re-runs, Modern Family, & Seinfeld).

Fuzzy-Gray-Slippers9:00pm: Call us crazy, but Matt and I are in bed by 9:00pm. We both set our alarms, we put on the 9:00 news and the 60 minute sleep timer. Usually I’m sound asleep by 9:05 — the 5:24 wake-up call comes sooner than you think! I got to get that beauty rest in order to do it all over again tomorrow…

10:30pm: Finn tucks me into bed, turns on our sound machine (it’s seriously the best!) and kisses me goodnight. I make sure my alarm is all set and ready for 7:00am the next morning.

blogging-behind-the-scenesFridays/Weekends: Now you’re probably thinking..”ummmm..Casey, your day doesn’t feature a lot of blogging.” And you’re right. Since I’m freelance, I get to choose my work schedule. 97% of the time I work Monday through Thursday, and keep my Fridays off. That means I have all day Friday to devote to blogging. So on Fridays I’ll usually take all of my blog pictures since it’s my only uninterrupted day at home with daylight. I get to work right when Finn leaves the house and take pictures for hours. Seriously. Our home becomes a disaster zone, as I get out all of my photography equipment and style up certain areas on our space. Bridget & I try to leave Friday afternoons (when she gets out of school) open, just in case we need to have any conference calls with brands or sponsors. So Fridays really do become all day blogathons for me…and I love it. My favorite day of the week by far. I do try to do some cleaning and grocery shopping on those days, but it’s often a race against the clock before Finn gets home from work.

Blogging Time for B: I’m a lot like Casey, but my blog marathons are typically on the weekends since I have to work on Friday. I try to pick one of the days to blog/photograph and the other day to enjoy time with Matt. Like Casey, I knock-out a ton of photography so that I can write the posts throughout the week nights and be on target with our schedule. And if you haven’t noticed, we’re a little TYPE A when it comes to all things blog, so we are way ahead of schedule in order to cut down on last-minute stress of photography (and not having enough natural light). At any given moment, we are scheduled about 1-2 months in advance and have our posts DONE and scheduled to be posted automatically at least 2 weeks out. Of course life happens and we need to re-arrange our posting schedules, but for the most part we are way ahead of “real time” (which has its pros & cons). And when it comes to spring breaks, winter breaks and SUMMER breaks, you can imagine I’m in my glory photographing and working on the blog whenever I want.

So there you have it…a glimpse into our everyday lives. It’s crazy, it’s hectic, it’s busy….but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanks for following along. Until tomorrow…Bridget and Casey Signature

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14 thoughts on “A Day in the Life…

  1. Alysia @ Slim Sanity

    I could definitely get more organized with blog stuff…mostly where I save things on my computer. It’s all over the place lol

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Oh we’re pretty disorganized there too! Pictures everywhere! We’re trying to start 2015 off a bit more organized when it comes to our pictures files…but we’ll see how it goes.

  2. Diana

    Wow, this sounds exhausting!! Haha. Impressed you gals are able to keep up on the blog so well with your busy jobs! (That isn’t sarcasm, I’m being honest!)

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      haha, thanks Diana. It can be exhausting, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. This blog makes us sooooo happy (& reader like you make us so happy!) so it’s all worth it!

  3. Lydia

    I’ve never been on this site before, but this post makes me want to read more because you sound like normal people! Not to mention, producing DIY shows? Dream Job!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Lydia,
      Thanks so much for visiting our blog. Yes…we’re very normal people! Ha!
      Producing a DIY show is fun…but not quite as glamorous as it seems.

      Thanks for tuning in. Can’t wait for you to read more!

      xo,
      B & C

  4. Cathy Cortes

    Thanks for sharing your day! So fun to see what a day in the life is like for other people, especially bloggers. Love to see how hard you guys work to make this blog happen. Shows that if you love something and are passionate about it, you can make it happen 🙂

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks so much Cathy! We’re happy you enjoyed it. An yes…we wouldn’t subject ourselves to all of this craziness if we didn’t love it. Thanks for reading!

  5. Meredith

    LOVED reading this post! I’m usually not a huge fan of ‘day in the life’ posts, but you’re such good writers that I read every word 🙂 Plus, it was hugely inspirational to read about Bridget’s schoolday; this shows me–a teacher, as well–that is IS possible to teach full-time and still produce awesome content for a blog on a regular basis. Thank you both for sharing!!

    Reply

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14 thoughts on “A Day in the Life…

  1. Alysia @ Slim Sanity

    I could definitely get more organized with blog stuff…mostly where I save things on my computer. It’s all over the place lol

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Oh we’re pretty disorganized there too! Pictures everywhere! We’re trying to start 2015 off a bit more organized when it comes to our pictures files…but we’ll see how it goes.

  2. Diana

    Wow, this sounds exhausting!! Haha. Impressed you gals are able to keep up on the blog so well with your busy jobs! (That isn’t sarcasm, I’m being honest!)

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      haha, thanks Diana. It can be exhausting, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. This blog makes us sooooo happy (& reader like you make us so happy!) so it’s all worth it!

  3. Lydia

    I’ve never been on this site before, but this post makes me want to read more because you sound like normal people! Not to mention, producing DIY shows? Dream Job!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Lydia,
      Thanks so much for visiting our blog. Yes…we’re very normal people! Ha!
      Producing a DIY show is fun…but not quite as glamorous as it seems.

      Thanks for tuning in. Can’t wait for you to read more!

      xo,
      B & C

  4. Cathy Cortes

    Thanks for sharing your day! So fun to see what a day in the life is like for other people, especially bloggers. Love to see how hard you guys work to make this blog happen. Shows that if you love something and are passionate about it, you can make it happen 🙂

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks so much Cathy! We’re happy you enjoyed it. An yes…we wouldn’t subject ourselves to all of this craziness if we didn’t love it. Thanks for reading!

  5. Meredith

    LOVED reading this post! I’m usually not a huge fan of ‘day in the life’ posts, but you’re such good writers that I read every word 🙂 Plus, it was hugely inspirational to read about Bridget’s schoolday; this shows me–a teacher, as well–that is IS possible to teach full-time and still produce awesome content for a blog on a regular basis. Thank you both for sharing!!

    Reply

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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
    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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DIY Playbook gets a Makeover!

Rookie 3

Rookie2

SURPRISE…The DIY Playbook got a makeover! Welcome to our new and improved blog, can you tell we’re excited?!

DIY Rookies 1

Yep…these photos say it all. We are truly over the moon happy to not only have a professional site that looks great, but also one that functions well too.

But let’s back up a second, because this is all new news to you! At the end of 2013, we made a big ol’ list of things we wanted to accomplish here on the blog in the new year. At the very top of that list? A site redesign! It’s not that we didn’t love the old site, it served us well for over a year. But that site was the ultimate DIY project…we coded and created the entire thing from scratch all by ourselves. We knew that someday, when we had enough pennies in the bank, we would hire someone who actually knows what html means (seriously, we still have no idea) and someone who could use Photoshop like a pro. We hired Wicked Magpie Productions in February, and have spent the last 5 months working together to redesign The DIY Playbook. Last Thursday, the site actually went “live”, but we kept it hush-hush just to ensure that it was actually up and running smoothly. Well, we haven’t had any crashes just yet…so we figured it was time to spill the beans on our new and improved site.

Let’s take a little tour of the new site, so you know how to navigate it like a pro!

DIY Playbook Homepage

So here’s the top of the site where you’ll find lots of good stuff. We’ve got some fun sliding photos, which we’ll change up seasonally, as well as our new sleek logo. We decided to keep everything very clean and simple, just so the eye candy within the posts can really shine. For colors, I bet you’re not surprised to see that we kept with our favorite color scheme….blues and grays! If you ever want to get back to “home” simply click our logo at the top, and you’ll be taken back to the homepage.

DIY Playbook Social Media

Up at the top right, there are multiple ways to “Join our team.” We couldn’t help ourselves and of course had to add silly sports puns throughout the site. If you’re not already following us on social media, click these buttons and come follow along! You can also opt to receive our daily posts right in your inbox…simply click “Subscribe by Email” and enter your email address.

DIY Playbook Menu

Moving onto the tabs. These are similar to what we had on the old site, but they obviously have a much better look. Clicking “Play by play” takes you to all of the different categories of posts.

Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 10.06.05 AM

Or you can simply hover over “Play by play” to see the wide variety of categories to choose from. If you click “Home Field” you’ll find our individual home tours, and then the rest are pretty self-explanatory.

We also have a search bar! Yes, this was very exciting to us since we certainly didn’t have that on the old site. If you’re looking for a certain post, but can’t seem to remember when it published or the name of the title…just type in a few words and it will hopefully pull up the correct post.

If you’re still following along, it’s time for another mini celebration. P.S. those balloons were so hard to blow up. I think we need to work on improving our lung capacity.
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DIY Playbook Categories

Okay back to our little tour. On the right side of the page (aka the sidebar) you’ll find the cutest little circle icons. We knew we wanted to add some personality into the page, so we had them design images that correspond with a variety of blog post topics. We’ve got holiday, wedding, crafts, etc. Just click on any of those and you’ll find lots of blog posts. You’ll also see those little icons next to the daily blog post, to give you a sense for what the post is actually about.  Or if little pictures aren’t your thing you can simply search for a post by month in the archive list.

Rookie7I swear we are actually looking at falling confetti in this above pic. #toohardtocapture

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DIY Playbook Comments

Now onto the actual post. At the bottom of each post you’ll find this “share the love” box. If you’re totally digging that post, feel free to share it on social media or email it to a friend. We’d love you forever if you shared your fave content. You can also easily comment on the blog post right in the comment box. Easy peasy!DIY Rookies9

DIY Playbook Footer

Now onto the bottom of the page, here you’ll find the latest and greatest from our social media accounts.

DIY playbook Meet Casey

 

If you click “Meet the Rookies” in the tab you can well…meet the rookies! We also dive into our own personalities a bit with a fun questionnaire. We’ll be adding more pictures and info to these pages over the next couple of weeks, so be sure to come back for more info soon.

DIY Playbook Play by Play

Now onto one of our favorite parts of the site…the PLAY BY PLAY! Our old catalog of posts was a nightmare to navigate. That’s probably an understatement, it was pretty dang horrendous. Now we have scrollable categories so you can search for projects and posts easily. We’re still going through our 350+ posts to categorize them, so this will continue to populate over the next few days. DIY Playbook Cell Phone

If you like to catch up on your favorite blogs via your phone or tablets, we have great news…the site is compatible on every device! Yep, catch up on our posts right from your cell phone with our easy to navigate, streamlined mobile site. Rookie6

Okay, have we completely overwhelmed you? Yeah, we’re pretty overwhelmed too. This site is our little baby, and transforming it was a looong stressful process. In fact, there is still so much that needs to be done to get it up and running the way we want it. Please let us know if you have any issues with the new site. Just shoot us an email at diyplaybook@gmail.com with a quick message about the problem you’re facing. We’ll do our best to troubleshoot it and get it back to normal!

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Long story short…we are absolutely thrilled to take this next step in our “blogging career” and we couldn’t have done it without all of YOU! We know we say it a lot…but you guys are the ones who make the late nights, endless phone calls, and jam-packed schedules totally worth it. Hearing your kind, encouraging words each day is the reason we do this. Thank you for being such supportive DIY Playbook fans.

Bridget-2526CaseySignature

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6 thoughts on “DIY Playbook gets a Makeover!

    1. DIY Playbook Post author

      Thanks Clare! We’re still fixing glitches here and there…but overall we’re very happy!

    1. DIY Playbook Post author

      Thanks Tony! Jesse & Terry worked so hard on it. We’re very happy with the way it came out!

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6 thoughts on “DIY Playbook gets a Makeover!

    1. DIY Playbook Post author

      Thanks Clare! We’re still fixing glitches here and there…but overall we’re very happy!

    1. DIY Playbook Post author

      Thanks Tony! Jesse & Terry worked so hard on it. We’re very happy with the way it came out!

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Happy Birthday Casey!!

Our birthday girl is a talented writer, avid reader, and extremely hardworking & humble professional. She would never, ever talk about her work, so please… allow me.  
As a journalism major from University of Notre Dame, Casey has been a TV reporter, news anchor, video producer, on-camera host, and now, a blogger! Within all of these job titles, Casey has worked hard, both on camera and off, to bring her viewers the “story”. Breaking news, special reports, entertaining interviews, Casey’s got the story and is dedicated to sharing it with honesty, dedication and authentic enthusiasm. Although each of these stories make up a part of Casey’s life, there are other stories that define my best friend far more accurately.  
 Like her storybook romance to her high school sweetheart, Mr. Finn.

Or the many stories about Casey growing up as the baby sister of 3 fabulous siblings
Or maybe the stories of her moving up to a cold little town in Wisconsin to follow her dream
Regardless of which story it is, each one has helped build the positive, grateful, hardworking, and compassionate woman she is today.
Casey is one-in-a-million, and I’m so lucky & grateful to be a tiny little part of her amazing story.

Cheers to my favorite rookie. May this twenty-somethin’ chapter be full of love, laughter and lots of happiness. And in honor of Casey’s special day, we’re celebrating with a gift for YOU, our wonderful readers. Click here for your own FREE printable to give to the “Casey” in your  life!

As much as I’m so happy to be a part of Casey’s story, I’m equally thankful that she’s a part of my story. Download and print a copy of this free printable by clicking Here! Either of these printables paired with a great book can be a thoughtful little gift for a teacher, mom (mother’s day is coming up) or that someone special in your life.

Happy Birthday to one heck-of-a-teammate!!

Love,

PS. Tune in around 2:00 PM for another reason to celebrate! Can you guess what it is?
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3 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Casey!!

  1. Mom

    Happy Birthday to my baby! Enjoy this day knowing how much you are loved!
    This is a beautiful birthday gift, Bridget. You and Casey are lucky to have each other as BFFs!

    Reply

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3 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Casey!!

  1. Mom

    Happy Birthday to my baby! Enjoy this day knowing how much you are loved!
    This is a beautiful birthday gift, Bridget. You and Casey are lucky to have each other as BFFs!

    Reply

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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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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. 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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