Category Archives: Blog Tips

Favorite Photography Equipment for Blogging

bridget camera coffee fall converse

casey cameraWe have never taken a photography class in our lives (although we really wish we had) and have never had any formal training on how to use a camera. We definitely would not call ourselves “professional photographers” but we do feel confident in saying we have really grown to LOVE using our cameras and taking photos.canon-camerea-photography-equipment-3

Our secret tip? PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. We have come a long way (as evidenced by some of our embarrassing old posts) and give practicing credit for any and all our improvement over the past few years.

Arizona_camera_bridget-001Before the blog, the only camera we had ever used were those tiny point & shoot cameras that we took out with us in college. Looking back now, bringing a camera out & documenting those college nights wasn’t always the best decision (#holyembarrassing). But we share this fun fact to prove that if we rookies can teach ourselves how to use a DSLR camera, then we’re confident that ANYONE can! <– that means you!newborn_photography_tips_baby_owen-15

And it’s never too late to start. When B’s sister had her baby this past summer, she invested in a DSLR (with a little encouragement from B) and taught herself over the course of her maternity leave how to use it. Instead of recruiting Auntie Bridget to come over and take photos, she takes all of her son’s photos herself. Four months later, she’s already gotten pretty darn good at it and will only get better and better as her son grows up.bridget cameraSince we get asked about our photography favs quite a bit AND think the holidays could be the perfect time to add some of these items to your wish list, we thought we would finally create a post to share all of the products we use and love.

Our Photography Equipment

blogging_photography_favorites-47-pm

1. Canon EOS 70D // 2. Nifty Fifty // 3.  Wide Lens // 4. 24-70mm Zoom Lens
5. Go Pro // 6. Tripod // 7. Reflector // 8. Microphone //
9. Nautical Camera Bag // 0. Light Kit  // (not pictured) Shutter Release Remote

The Basics

bridget camera coffee fall converse Camera: When it comes to our actual cameras, we both have a Canon EOS 70D and couldn’t be happier. They’re very user-friendly and the price isn’t too crazy. If you’re looking for a good DSLR, we definitely recommend this one. We rarely use the lens that actually came with our camera body. Instead we use 1 of the 3 lenses below.

Lowes_Fall_Makeover_BEFORE_April_Mike_Bedroom-18Tripod: A tripod is essential if you want to achieve crisp & clear photos. Unless we’re shooting outside or in a very bright setting, you can bet we are using our tripods. We don’t have a specific one that we both use & love (we picked ours up in local photography shops), but this one on Amazon has amazing reviews.

Favorite LensesLens

Nifty Fifty: This 50mm lens is exactly what you need for close-up photography. You can use this lens to achieve pictures where an object is in focus in the front with a blurry background. We’ll often switch to this lens when it comes time for close-ups. Plus it’s so inexpensive! A little over $100 for a lens? Craziness. This is a must-have for any photography enthusiast.

bridget-home-tour-wide-shots-family-room-kitchen-dining-11Wide Lens: This is a new lens for us both and we purchased it so we can showcase a better wide shot during room reveals. It’s crazy just how wide this lens can go (as evidenced by the picture of Bridget’s dining room above). If you go too wide, it can look a bit fish-eyed so we try to avoid that. However if you’re a home blogger like us, you should definitely consider this bad boy. This lens would also be awesome for the realtors tuning in!

canon-camerea-photography-equipment-224-70mm Zoom Lens: This year we splurged and got this lens. It was pricey (so we only got 1 to share), but it is now our go-to. It produces gorgeous photos and can capture both wide & tight shots. It’s not the lens we use most often, because we don’t have to swap the lens out when shooting a project. We will say that it is super heavy…so it may not be the best lens to use when traveling. However, we’ve taken it on every blog trip so far because the photos it produces are just that good!

Accessories

jototeReflector: Reflectors are a great accessory to have because they can do 2 things. First, they can help bounce light into corners of a room where you need a little extra light. Second, you can take off the zipper cover and use it to diffuse when you have too much light. We don’t often use our reflectors when we’re shooting solo (because who the heck is going to hold it?!), but when we’re together we use it all the time.

Light Kit: Our light kits get used pretty frequently too. We mostly whip them out when shooting a space with no natural light or if it’s a very dark and cloudy day. This light kit is inexpensive and has all the basics.

Go Pro: We have this Go Pro and wish we used it more because it’s just so cool! We are going on a trip to Mexico for New Year’s, so we’ll probably bring it to capture some underwater video and photos! But a go pro is always nice to have to do a time-lapse of a big project, although we are often too wrapped up in the DIY to remember to turn it on and off. #oopsM

Microphone: Although we don’t do as many videos as we’d like, when we do record one together we will use this microphone attached to the top of our camera. It captures our audio a bit better than the camera mic, although there is certainly room for improvement!

oconnor-family-christmas-card-photoShutter Release Remote: A game changer when you want to take photos of yourself and don’t have a photographer. Bridget recently used this remote for her family’s holiday photo. Instead of asking someone to take it, you can set up the tripod and use the remote to release the shutter on the camera. So easy to use & an inexpensive accessory. <– Can you tell who is holding the remote in this picture?! 

Answer: My brother-in-law Joe (in the maroon plaid shirt) is “secretly” holding the remote in his right hand. 

joTotesCamera Bags: When you’ve got lots of equipment, it’s important to keep it organized! We each use a Jo Tote bag to keep our gear in check. Bridget has this one & this one, and Casey has this one. They’re great because you can move around the compartments so your items fit snugly and securely inside. Plus they’re super fashionable and look like a normal purse!

bathroom_bridget_paint_cameraIf you don’t know how to use a DSLR but really wish you could, we encourage you to make a commitment and give it a try… what’s there to lose?! Like we said before, if we can teach ourselves we are pretty darn confident that anyone can figure it out. And the holidays may just be the perfect time to take the plunge…canon-camerea-photography-equipment

Snap, snap <— pun fully intended. #getit? 😉

photography-equipment-for-bloggersbridget_and_casey_sigLooking for more photography inspired posts? You may want to check out some of these!

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6 thoughts on “Favorite Photography Equipment for Blogging

  1. Kellie Molway Ljungholm

    I love your post! I am new to blogging this year and trying to figure out the whole photography thing!! I can’t believe you are self-taught! y’all do an amazing job!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      You are too sweet Kellie. Congrats on starting a blog…so exciting! Our photography has come a loooooong way, and we still have lots to learn! But it is a fun skill to practice, and we’ve really come to love it.

  2. Ashley Sorrick

    Perfect post! I’m currently looking into a mirrorless camera for Christmas and I’m soo overwhelmed with all the options and camera lingo that I know NOTHING about lol

    Reply

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6 thoughts on “Favorite Photography Equipment for Blogging

  1. Kellie Molway Ljungholm

    I love your post! I am new to blogging this year and trying to figure out the whole photography thing!! I can’t believe you are self-taught! y’all do an amazing job!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      You are too sweet Kellie. Congrats on starting a blog…so exciting! Our photography has come a loooooong way, and we still have lots to learn! But it is a fun skill to practice, and we’ve really come to love it.

  2. Ashley Sorrick

    Perfect post! I’m currently looking into a mirrorless camera for Christmas and I’m soo overwhelmed with all the options and camera lingo that I know NOTHING about lol

    Reply

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More Newborn Photography Tips for Rookies

newborn_photography_tips_baby_owen-6

This handsome little fella is already almost 3 weeks old (where did the time go?!) and he still has me totally heart-eyed. You guys were right, being an aunt is AH-MAZING!
newborn_photography_tips_baby_owen-6When my sister asked if I could come over and get a few photos of Owen as a newborn, I was so excited for the opportunity excuse to play Auntie Paparazzi. I did however remind her that I’m not ((even CLOSE to)) a professional photographer and that she should definitely invest in a real photographer if she wanted professional quality photos. She insisted that my photos would be perfect for her. #awww

When Casey welcomed her nephew into the world with a newborn photo-shoot, she learned A LOT (and documented the tips in this post). That newborn photography post is actually one of our most popular posts, which is why I decided to build on that post with 10 MORE newborn photography tips. <– plus, any excuse to show off this cutie is okay in my playbook!

Disclaimer:

We don’t think our photos are close to professional quality, but we do feel that with enough practice (and lots of trial and error), new moms + friends can get some pretty amazing photos of their precious babies. And to us, that’s what it’s all about. We hope some of these tips help you capture the special baby in a stress-free environment <— we say that from experience. Newborn photos can be STRESSFUL, and to us, that stress defeats the whole purpose of these special photos.

1. Stay home! newborn_photography_tips_baby_owen-13

If possible, we do encourage you to stay at home to take these pics… for a few different reasons.

  1. Taking these photos at home will ensure that mom and baby are comfortable, in a comfortable temperature, and have access to anything the baby needs (i.e. diaper, bottle, new blanket, pacifier, nap time, etc.)
  2. We know we’re a bit biased, but we do think it’s important to capture hints of the home when possible in these photos. The house that you bring your baby home to is SPECIAL and is now officially a significant part of your family’s “story”. On the parent’s bed, in the little one’s new nursery, with a pet, whatever the case… being home is the perfect backdrop in our opinion.
  3. New moms are just that — NEW to the mom game. It’s important to take this transition slowly and being able to capture these photos in the comfort of your own home (and at the pace you want) is extremely important to keep this experience as stress free as possible.

2. Have a general plan, but be flexiblenewborn_photography_tips_baby_owen-5

I told Katie that I was there to take the photos, but I would take whatever photos she wanted to or do whatever she had planned. She made a very general plan of what she wanted the afternoon to look like, which helped me because I never felt like I was invading on her or Owen’s schedule. Plus it helped her because she had a few of the blankets, props, and “looks” ready for the photos before I came over. However, it is important to note that this plan should be very, very…. very flexible. Being flexible is key. If you don’t get to one of the “outfits” or one of your Pinterest ideas doesn’t work out, IT’S OKAY! There’s always tomorrow, right?!

3. Natural Light + Warmth = Winning combonewborn_photography_tips_baby_owen-15

Casey mentioned this tip in the original newborn photography post, but it’s so important that it deserves to be re-emphasized. If you’re new to the photography game, the biggest piece of advice we can tell you is ALWAYS shoot in natural light. Never at night, never with a lamp on, and never when the light in your home is less than bright. Having a space that is full of natural light is important to capture gorgeous photos. <— That goes for all photos, not just newborn photos.

Keeping the baby nice and warm in this bright space is probably the biggest tip we have specifically for newborn photos. From our limited experience, keeping baby warm and cozy is key in keeping him comfortable and photo-ready! (More heating tricks here)

4. Go with what’s YOU not with what’s on Pinterestnewborn_photography_tips_baby_owen-7

Pinterest is a magical place, isn’t it? We love Pinterest and turn to it for inspiration all the time. However, Pinterest can become stressful and overwhelming when you are looking to replicate an EXACT look rather than using that look as inspiration.

Spoiler alert: you’re never, ever going to replicate an identical photo — and that’s OKAY! We want you to create your own gorgeous photos and feel proud, not look back at these same gorgeous photos and feel disappointed that they don’t look like photos on Pinterest. So use Pinterest for ideas, but get excited to put your own spin and style on them. Photos that reflect you, your style, and this adorable little baby are way more perfect anyway!!

5. Get your light right before adding babynewborn_photography_tips_baby_owen-11

Super important. When you’re a rookie like me, getting the settings right on your camera may take an extra second… or 12. I find that it’s helpful to get your camera settings perfect before putting baby down to photograph. This way, you’re ready to shoot right away and you’re not wasting precious time. Let’s be honest here, every second counts when this adorable little guy in front of you cracks an unexpected smile. =)

6. Include mom, for more than the obvious reasonnewborn_photography_tips_baby_owen-18

Of course getting “mom” in the photo is important & so special to have for years and years to come. Plus we all know that moms are NEVER in photos because they’re always busy taking them! Not cool. So for obvious reasons we want mom to jump in the photo BUT we also think mom should be in the photo for some selfish photography reasons. Having mom in the photo almost immediately calms baby and provides that warmth that is so important to keep him calm and happy.

Owen was by far the calmest when he was being held by Katie, so getting her in the picture was a WIN-WIN!

7. Edit in black and white if you have an “oops!”newborn_photography_tips_baby_owen-10

Like I said, I’m a rookie when it comes to newborn photography so there were times my camera wasn’t on the perfect setting or the shadows/colors were a bit off. Because of those minor issues, the photos of these super cute moments were less than perfect (to say it nicely). However, editing the photos and converting them to black and white helped make-up for some of these rookie mistakes.

If you LOVE the photo but don’t love the photography skills behind it, try converting it into black and white and you may be surprised with the outcome! <— maybe not the answer for the entire batch, but an option for at least a few! #ourlittlesecret

8. NO pressure… newborn_photography_tips_baby_owen-14

If we’re being completely honest here, all you need out of this “photoshoot” are 5-10 photos you love. So forget having to do 12 outfit changes at 5 different locations — that’s too much and totally unnecessary to put this newborn through at this point!

Allow me to personally reassure you that if you take ENOUGH photos (even just with one blanket!), you WILL get 5-10 amazing ones (how could you NOT, these babies are so darn cute!?). So don’t feel pressure to get the “perfect” shot. You only need 5… let’s keep that in perspective. Five amazing photos of this perfect little human?! Forget the pressure… you’ve got this!

9. Don’t overlook the detailsnewborn_photography_tips_baby_owen-8

Don’t overlook the details! Mini toes, fingers, nose, hair…. all of these details are adorable and can be a fun touch to the scrapbook, photo stream, or baby announcement. So while you’re shooting away, don’t forget to snap a few pics of these tiny details that won’t always be so darn tiny.

10.  Embrace the imperfections! newborn_photography_tips_baby_owen-17

^ ^ ^ This picture… can you even?! I feel like Owen is saying, “MOM!! Ewwwww…. don’t kiss me in front of my friends!”. Is he 16 already?!

These imperfect faces and funny “mishaps” are actually the best part of some of these photos, so embrace the not-so perfect pictures! These moments are the ones that you’ll be extra grateful you have documented years and years from now.

So last but not least, when baby faces, baby postures, or ideas aren’t going exactly how you envisioned, just keep going with it because you may be surprised at how special these photos really turn out to be. Imperfect is the new perfect. 😉

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Our Photography Favorites

For your information, here is our all-time favorite photo equipment & what we use to take all of our pictures (affiliate links used):

Bridget Signature

PS. Have you seen Owen’s adorable “Happy Camper” Nursery?! Take the full tour here!happy_camper_nursery_reveal_gender_neutral

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One thought on “More Newborn Photography Tips for Rookies

  1. Dinky Feet Photography

    Definitely safety first, agree. The problem I have with most newborn photography, especially with props is that they all look alike. I could take photos from 20 different photographers and put them up and I couldn’t tell you which one is the signature look, their style. I am not sure I found the solution, but I just focus on the baby interacting with the parents, and if props are brought it in, they have meaning to that family, not some basket or luggage I brought. Still am working on my own style for that, but just a point I wanted to share and see other folks’ take. Thanks.
    Dinky Feet Photography

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One thought on “More Newborn Photography Tips for Rookies

  1. Dinky Feet Photography

    Definitely safety first, agree. The problem I have with most newborn photography, especially with props is that they all look alike. I could take photos from 20 different photographers and put them up and I couldn’t tell you which one is the signature look, their style. I am not sure I found the solution, but I just focus on the baby interacting with the parents, and if props are brought it in, they have meaning to that family, not some basket or luggage I brought. Still am working on my own style for that, but just a point I wanted to share and see other folks’ take. Thanks.
    Dinky Feet Photography

    Reply

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Rookie Mistakes from your Favorite Bloggers

casey bridget balloon

We all make mistakes in life, right? I mean that’s just a normal part of being human. But imagine if lots of your everyday mistakes were documented on the internet for the world to see. Yikes, right?! Welcome to the wild, wild west of being a blogger.

casey bridget balloonIt may seem like bloggers have picture perfect lives, especially when you view them one pretty square at a time on Instagram. Beautifully lit interiors, perfectly coiffed hair, spot-on makeup, and wrinkle-free wardrobes. We hate to break it to ya, but it’s all a BIG.FAT.LIE.

We all fail. A lot. And many of these mistakes are viewed by hundreds of thousands of blog readers. And to prove it to you, we asked some of our blogging buddies to share their worst rookie mistakes right here on the blog today.

From DIY projects gone awry, to newbie blogging blunders…we’ve got lots of hilarious ROOKIE MISTAKES to share with all of you! And you’ll even hear some mistakes from yours truly. So let’s get to the good stuff.

Emily from Emily A. Clark

Emily_Clark_2014_025Finish your project or you will be found out! I thought it would be fun to do a little Sharpie art on a garden stool, but it was late and I was too tired to finish the other side, so I just did one side for the blog post photo. Fast forward several months later, and Style Me Pretty Living comes to my house to shoot a home tour. Wouldn’t you know they shot—and published—that half-done garden stool? #embarrassing – Emily

Carmel from Our Fifth House

Biggest rookie mistake?  Hmmm…..it’s hard to pick one.  I made so many mistakes in my early blogging days.  I took nighttime photos, not the best idea for an interior design blogger.  I also made some pretty major design mistakes  – hanging curtain panels too low, hanging art too high…..the list is long.  But you learn a lot from mistakes, so I don’t regret any of them.  I’d say the biggest mistake I made was in forcing myself to stick to a blogging schedule.  I looked around at what my peers were doing way too much in the early days.  If they were posting 5 days a week, I felt like I needed to follow suit.  But the truth is, readers stay in tune with quality not quantity.  So if a 5 day a week posting schedule doesn’t work for your life or your creativity, it’s okay to cut back.  You really have to find your own groove and go confidently in that direction.  These days, especially this summer with my kids being home, I post maybe 3 times a week.  When fall rolls around I’ll go back to 4 days.  Learning that I don’t have to “keep up with the Kardashians” so to speak 😉 was the best thing for both my blog and my life.  Because at the end of the day, I’m a wife, a mom, a friend, a daughter, a creative, a book clubber, a secret reality tv watcher, a netflix binge watcher, a beach girl, a yoga practicer, a sometimes runner, a healthy food advocate…….I’m a lot of things outside of being a blogger and while I love blogging I don’t want it to ever take over all the other parts of my life that are just as if not more important.  -Carmel

Katie from Bower Power Blog

hallwayI guess my rookie mistake was about eight years ago. We bought our first house and it was the first time I really got to pick out paint colors…but we were on a very limited DIY budget so I decided to give discounted paint a go. I went to Home Depot, asked for the discount/return paint, bought it and went home to roll my hallway. In my brain, I thought I had purchased a soothing beige color….even as I rolled the color onto the walls, I thought, “this will darken up. this will mellow out, it will dry differently.” Jeremy’s first words when he saw it was “OH IT BURNS!” and he ran out of the house. Not looking on the paint color was definitely one rookie mistake, but definitely not my last. – Katie

Cassie from Hi Sugarplum!

I started my blog six years ago, which was practically the dinosaur ages, and I knew absolutely nothing, except that I had a head-full of ideas I wanted to share. I made (and continue to make!) plenty of mistakes, but my biggest was not purchasing my actual domain name in the beginning, and unfortunately, when the blog started to grow beyond just my favorite hobby, a squatter owned my domain name. #insertweepyemoji It took two years of watching and waiting for it to come up for auction, but I’m finally the proud owner of the absurdly-overpriced www.hisugarplum.com…definitely an expensive mistake! – Cassie

Kim from Yellow Brick Homekitchen-baseboards-01

We have had to redo all of the trim in our home from the ground up, literally – think: baseboards, doors, windows. Our home was chopped up so many times throughout the years, and as we piece it all back together, we’ve ripped up the old builder grade trim work in favor of something more beefy and beautiful. Despite the fact that we are this close to completing every last bit, every single time we install trim in a new room, we always make a mitered cut on the wrong angle. Every time! When you’re going through as much trim as we do, it adds up quickly! We are not immune to mistakes, but you would think that hopping in the car to buy more trim, just to paint it again and cut it again, well, you’d think we’d learn our lesson. Nope. – Kim

Gwen from The Makerista

I would say my biggest mistake at first was thinking that everything had to be incredibly awesome and a standout. I quickly learned that in order for a room to feel balanced and comfortable you need some things in the space to be quiet and a few key pieces to be the showstopper. If everything is amazing than nothing is. – Gwen

Chelsea from Two Twenty One

green-kitchenThis particular decor fail occurred a year before I became a card-carrying blogger, but it was a rookie mistake nonetheless. The year was 2009, my then-boyfriend, now-husband and I had just bought our first house. To say I was excited was an understatement. Then entire house was painted boring beige, so I couldn’t wait to pick up my paint roller and get to work adding a little color to the joint. But in my elated state I didn’t take the time to really think about the decor direction I wanted to take– all I knew was that I wanted to paint the kitchen green. So I got some samples, put them on the wall, and chose, what I thought at the time, was the best option. The photo of the kitchen speaks for itself. And to think that we lived with that color for 3 years. But hey, it makes for great before photo now! – Chelsea

Kristin from Bliss at Home

I was vacuuming before a photo shoot and had accidentally left the vacuum in the shot. You could barely see it from the angle I was shooting from, but I could see the yellow handle pop out behind the desk. Always double-check your shot before you move on to the next! I didn’t catch it until I went to edit photos. – Kristin

Courtney from A Thoughtful Place

As far as mistakes go, I have had had my fair share and continue to make them on a weekly basis. I always tell my kiddos that failure is the path to success. Having said that I don’t think the French’s mustard yellow accent wall I painted in our first apartment led to much success. Just a ridiculous amount of primer to cover it back up. It was heinous. Sadly one of my biggest rookie mistakes was in filming a video for the blog. I had this bright idea to add video tutorials for entertaining posts that I create. Well, my sweet and very patient hubby did the camera work. I don’t blame him as I told him how to hold the iPhone. Needless to say. . . failure. We filmed the entire thing vertically. I should have reached out to Casey for her masterful video skills. Who knew the camera was to be turned sideways. Eek. And now thanks to Pinterest, our video lives on forever to really drive home the point that we make mistakes all the time. You can check out our sideways video here.  – Courtney

Sarah from Sarah M. Dorsey Designs

sarah-dorsey-rookie-mistake-table-beforeI distinctly remember the first time I painted a piece of furniture – it was horrible! It was a super cheap black Ikea side table and I wanted it to be white (big surprise!). I picked up a paint / primer combo and got straight to work. At first, it didn’t stick at all – it kinda streaked on – after SEVERAL coats, it was fairly even. I let it dry, but it never really fully cured – it was forever tacky. I actually ended up upholstering those tables! Since then, I’ve learned to do plenty of research before starting a project, use good quality materials and sand – you can check out all of my painting tips here. – Sarah

Summer from Simple Stylings

My rookie mistake was not getting more organized from the beginning, or at least from the point I realized I was going to turn my blog into a business. There is a ton of behind the scenes work that goes into blogging and if you don’t stay organized and on top of things you can easily get overwhelmed. I’m still working on putting systems in place to keep up with my finances, my props and projects, as well as my blogging and social media schedule. If you can get organized early on you may just be able to keep your sanity in tact (and will not freak out when tax time comes!) – Summer

Bridget from The DIY Playbook

I’m embarrassed to even share this because I think it may be WORSE than a rookie mistake and more like a “little league”/”you didn’t actually just do that” mistake. Here goes nothing….

When I first started the blog, I had ZERO experience with tools (like NONE). I forget exactly what project I was working on at the time but I needed to drill a pilot hole through a piece of wood. Typically you would use a pilot bit (like this one):04-drill-pilot-bit

…and drill through the wood with little to no effort. Easy enough, right?! WRONG! Instead of a pilot bit, I used a screwdriver drill bit (like this one):Screwdriver Bit on Drill

… but rather than using it to tighten a screw, I used it to drill that dang pilot hole. Notice I didn’t say “TRIED to use it to drill pilot hole” because I didn’t just TRY, I DID it.

Rookie Tip: With enough muscle and perseverance, even a screwdriver bit will drill a pilot hole BUT beware because after about 3 minutes of serious muscle, the wood WILL start smoking from the friction. Literally — SMOKING!!

I thought it was weird that the wood started smoking (that should have been my first clue) but I didn’t know what I did wrong until after I questioned my dad about the whole experience. He never lets me play that down and quite honestly, I don’t blame him!! Haha holy embarrassing! On the bright side though, I’ll never make that mistake again and have come along way using a drill. I still laugh out loud thinking back to that day. #rookieprobs -Bridget

Claire from Claire Brody Designs

I can honestly count more DIY fails than DIY success stories of mine. I have come to accept the fact that I just am not a DIY person – I do it to achieve a look I want on the cheap, but it usually turns out a bit janky. That however hasn’t stopped me yet.

We rent our home, and when I was decorating our master bedroom I found this wallpaper pattern I HAD to have. The landlord said he was very hesitant to allow us to paint the walls and that we had to paint his original colors back when we move out, so the idea of adhering permanent wallpaper to his walls was out of the question. Yet I still bought the $200 roll of wallpaper. I told my husband I would figure it out but that we were going to have a wallpaper accent wall in our bedroom if it was the last thing I did.

I somehow dreamed up the idea of adhering the wallpaper to FOAM BOARD and then nailing the foam board to the wall. I thought I was going to be the next big DIY guru because the concept was nowhere on Pinterest yet. Well, it wasn’t on Pinterest for good reason. I had my husband slave over applying this wallpaper to foam board (using wallpaper adhesive) and then nailing it all to cover one wall. The foam board started to warp after one day of being nailed to wall. We never really talked about it but left it up for almost a year and acted like it looked great.

Lesson learned: Don’t apply wallpaper to foam board using wallpaper adhesive and then nail it to your wall. It will not work. -Claire

Casey from The DIY Playbook

gold-hardware-fail

You guys read about this rookie mistake a few months ago on the blog, but I’ll refresh your memory on this craft that turned out crappy. Having read about the magical qualities of the product “Rub ‘N Buff”, I decided to give it a try on hardware for our guest room fauxdenza. Long story short, I made a huuuuge mess trying to turn silver handles into gold & glam ones. And I also ended up having literal gold fingers for at least a day and a half #embarrassing – Casey

So there you have it…lots and lots of mistakes, blunders, slips, and errors. In fact, I think it’s safe to say we have a lot more fails than successes around these parts. And guess what…that’s a-okay with us! Life’s NOT perfect, neither are we, and it’s these silly mistakes that make life that much more fun. =)

And speaking of fun– we would LOVE to hear from you! Do any of you brave souls have a ROOKIE MISTAKE you’re willing to share with the group?! We’d love to hear them in the comments below.
Bridget and Casey Signature

A BIG thanks to this group of humble and uber talented bloggers who were all willing to take time out of their VERY busy schedules and send over a Rookie Mistake! (we heart all of you and find so much inspiration from each one of you!!) 

And thank YOU for tuning into DIY Playbook’s 2nd annual blog week. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. We had so much fun that we almost forgot today is FRIDAY (love when that happens). Happy (almost) weekend friends… see you Monday for more bathroom updates!!   

 

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24 thoughts on “Rookie Mistakes from your Favorite Bloggers

  1. Terianne Muhl

    Ha, ha…love this post! Pretty much everything I do turns out to be a rookie mistake it seems, but I just keep on keepin’ on…rookies eventually make it to the big leagues, right? At least now I know how NOT to do quiet a few projects :/

    Reply
  2. Trang

    What’s the saying – ‘to err is human’? Yep, we all make mistakes. Whether we fess up to it and get ridiculed is another story right? 🙂
    My rookie mistake is relatable to Bridget’s. Many years ago, when I was first using power tools, I had a drill (the old kind with a cord) and wasn’t aware (or think about it) that when you use drill bits, they get hot. Duh! I quickly learned my lesson after my thumb and index finger got torched touching the drill bit when removing it from the drill.

    Reply
  3. Erin

    I have two big ones. the first one was when we first moved into our condo. we wanted to paint the one wall in the living room a burnt orange. that took 8! coats. Yes i still remember the number from 8 years ago. the guy at home depot recommended tinted primer then to paint with the burnt orange. Needless to say after 4 coats, we had to go back and get gray primer and then go over it with the paint. Much better. It looked great in the end but he also told us to get semi gloss – UHM NOOOOOO. so last year i painted over the wall in a navy blue and got flat paint, that took 2 coats. paint has come a LONG way since then.

    the other mistake was we decided to build our own wine/liquor cabinet. the design was thought all the way through, but executing was a whole nother ball game! we ended up having to DIY our own legs because what we found in the store was never gonna work. plus the door, OMG don’t even. we ended up creating our own “handle.” and the table top, was a major mismeasure but it turned out good cuz we ended up with a gorgeous piece of wood on top. we still love it to this day, one of these days we’ll probably buy a liquor/wine cabinet, but the size we needed was really weird, hence why we DIY’d our own.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      These are both AMAZING Erin! The burnt orange wall…hahaha. Too funny. Happy to hear it’s a pretty navy now.

      And you guys have some major skills to build your own wine cabinet. Super impressive and awesome that you’ve been able to use it so much!

  4. Loveland Lodge

    What a great read. I to am guilty of the same one as Brooke – I was so excited to get a drill as a wedding shower present, but neither my husband nor I knew how to use it. We only recently figured out the whole drill bit vs. screw driver bit. The good news is now that we know how easy it is to hang stuff, it doesn’t take much to get my husband to help me anymore!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Hahahaha #rookieprobs. At least we can laugh about it now, right?! And we are obsessed with your positive spin on this mistake because you are so right! Using a drill is so darn easy now that we kinda know what we’re doing. Thanks for sharing! =)

  5. Marty Oravetz (A Stroll Thru L

    Oh I’ve made a million. My latest was choosing the wrong color again and again and painting the bathroom 5 times.

    Reply
  6. Elise Laney

    Rookie blogging mistake: editing the size of my images INSIDE the Blogger application instead of before I upload them. #rookie They looked terrible on mobile and now I am in the SLOW process of having to update my archives.

    Reply
  7. Abbie DeLaney Zinkan

    When we repainted our downstairs last year we decided we would do the ceilings as well (we didn’t do them the first time around, 1st mistake!). We figured painting ceilings was going to be just like painting walls, but we were very wrong! We bought the “special” ceiling paint and were told the amount we bought would do our entire downstairs. We had no idea that there are special ways to roll ceilings (if you don’t know either, I implore you to watch a Youtube video first, it’s very different) or that you absolutely cannot roll over an already painted spot. After using the entire purchase of paint on 1 room (yes, 1 room!) and seeing the resulting lines EVERYWHERE, we finally watched a Youtube video and figured it out. It was one of those special “if our marriage survives this it will survive anything” kind of moments!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      We had no idea about this!! Thank YOU for saving us this rookie mistake. Whenever we have to paint ceilings, we will definitely do our research…. thank you so much for sharing!

  8. Kathy @uptodateinteriors

    My first two years of blogging we lived in a rental with these straw yellow walls that we weren’t allowed to paint. I did everything to make the space beautiful but my all of my pictures were turning out really yellow (worse than the wall color). I finally realized as we were packing up to move that may camera had a “sun” setting turned on that made the pictures appear warmer. I still have a lot of color correcting to do on old photos but our current rental is all white. Wahoo!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Oh my goodness, we can relate to camera-related rookie mistakes ALL too well! We feel your pain, Kathy — thank you so much for sharing!

      As for the white rental, we love the sound of that =) Good luck!!

  9. Kara D

    Haha! Love reading through these, we’re all in the same rookie boat!

    My rookie mistake was forgetting to wash my newly bought curtain panels BEFORE hemming them. I realized my mistake within mere minutes after my friend and I had already painstakingly measured-measured-measured and fabric-tape-hemmed all of them. At that point, all I could do was cross my fingers on hoping I would never need to wash them. Well, I got away with it for about 1.5 years until I just had to wash them. They shrunk 2 inches! No more “kissing the floor” curtains. #doh

    Reply
  10. Suzanne Melton

    Bridget, I hope this story makes you smile.

    Dave is a retired residential elevator constructor. When he was an apprentice, his mechanic (we’ll call him Dan) told him this story.

    Back in the day before there were battery-powered hand tools, everything plugged into a wall. With two prongs; no ground.

    Dan’s apprentice was supposed to drill a hole with, apparently, a drill he’d never seen before.

    He couldn’t get the drill to make the hole. He broke three drill bits.

    Finally, he called Dan over to let him know something was wrong with the drill. Dan figured out the problem right away.

    “Oh, you’ve plugged the cord into the wall upside down. Just go over there, unplug it, turn it around, and plug it back in.”

    The apprentice did it and, when he got back to Dan, the drill worked!

    Dave doesn’t know if the apprentice ever figured out that Dan flipped the switch from Reverse to Forward while the apprentice’s back was turned.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      OMG…. this makes me feel A LOT better and has me literally laughing out loud. If an apprentice is making that rookie mistake with the drill, I guess I don’t feel as bad! hahaha what a great story, thank you!!!

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24 thoughts on “Rookie Mistakes from your Favorite Bloggers

  1. Terianne Muhl

    Ha, ha…love this post! Pretty much everything I do turns out to be a rookie mistake it seems, but I just keep on keepin’ on…rookies eventually make it to the big leagues, right? At least now I know how NOT to do quiet a few projects :/

    Reply
  2. Trang

    What’s the saying – ‘to err is human’? Yep, we all make mistakes. Whether we fess up to it and get ridiculed is another story right? 🙂
    My rookie mistake is relatable to Bridget’s. Many years ago, when I was first using power tools, I had a drill (the old kind with a cord) and wasn’t aware (or think about it) that when you use drill bits, they get hot. Duh! I quickly learned my lesson after my thumb and index finger got torched touching the drill bit when removing it from the drill.

    Reply
  3. Erin

    I have two big ones. the first one was when we first moved into our condo. we wanted to paint the one wall in the living room a burnt orange. that took 8! coats. Yes i still remember the number from 8 years ago. the guy at home depot recommended tinted primer then to paint with the burnt orange. Needless to say after 4 coats, we had to go back and get gray primer and then go over it with the paint. Much better. It looked great in the end but he also told us to get semi gloss – UHM NOOOOOO. so last year i painted over the wall in a navy blue and got flat paint, that took 2 coats. paint has come a LONG way since then.

    the other mistake was we decided to build our own wine/liquor cabinet. the design was thought all the way through, but executing was a whole nother ball game! we ended up having to DIY our own legs because what we found in the store was never gonna work. plus the door, OMG don’t even. we ended up creating our own “handle.” and the table top, was a major mismeasure but it turned out good cuz we ended up with a gorgeous piece of wood on top. we still love it to this day, one of these days we’ll probably buy a liquor/wine cabinet, but the size we needed was really weird, hence why we DIY’d our own.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      These are both AMAZING Erin! The burnt orange wall…hahaha. Too funny. Happy to hear it’s a pretty navy now.

      And you guys have some major skills to build your own wine cabinet. Super impressive and awesome that you’ve been able to use it so much!

  4. Loveland Lodge

    What a great read. I to am guilty of the same one as Brooke – I was so excited to get a drill as a wedding shower present, but neither my husband nor I knew how to use it. We only recently figured out the whole drill bit vs. screw driver bit. The good news is now that we know how easy it is to hang stuff, it doesn’t take much to get my husband to help me anymore!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Hahahaha #rookieprobs. At least we can laugh about it now, right?! And we are obsessed with your positive spin on this mistake because you are so right! Using a drill is so darn easy now that we kinda know what we’re doing. Thanks for sharing! =)

  5. Marty Oravetz (A Stroll Thru L

    Oh I’ve made a million. My latest was choosing the wrong color again and again and painting the bathroom 5 times.

    Reply
  6. Elise Laney

    Rookie blogging mistake: editing the size of my images INSIDE the Blogger application instead of before I upload them. #rookie They looked terrible on mobile and now I am in the SLOW process of having to update my archives.

    Reply
  7. Abbie DeLaney Zinkan

    When we repainted our downstairs last year we decided we would do the ceilings as well (we didn’t do them the first time around, 1st mistake!). We figured painting ceilings was going to be just like painting walls, but we were very wrong! We bought the “special” ceiling paint and were told the amount we bought would do our entire downstairs. We had no idea that there are special ways to roll ceilings (if you don’t know either, I implore you to watch a Youtube video first, it’s very different) or that you absolutely cannot roll over an already painted spot. After using the entire purchase of paint on 1 room (yes, 1 room!) and seeing the resulting lines EVERYWHERE, we finally watched a Youtube video and figured it out. It was one of those special “if our marriage survives this it will survive anything” kind of moments!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      We had no idea about this!! Thank YOU for saving us this rookie mistake. Whenever we have to paint ceilings, we will definitely do our research…. thank you so much for sharing!

  8. Kathy @uptodateinteriors

    My first two years of blogging we lived in a rental with these straw yellow walls that we weren’t allowed to paint. I did everything to make the space beautiful but my all of my pictures were turning out really yellow (worse than the wall color). I finally realized as we were packing up to move that may camera had a “sun” setting turned on that made the pictures appear warmer. I still have a lot of color correcting to do on old photos but our current rental is all white. Wahoo!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Oh my goodness, we can relate to camera-related rookie mistakes ALL too well! We feel your pain, Kathy — thank you so much for sharing!

      As for the white rental, we love the sound of that =) Good luck!!

  9. Kara D

    Haha! Love reading through these, we’re all in the same rookie boat!

    My rookie mistake was forgetting to wash my newly bought curtain panels BEFORE hemming them. I realized my mistake within mere minutes after my friend and I had already painstakingly measured-measured-measured and fabric-tape-hemmed all of them. At that point, all I could do was cross my fingers on hoping I would never need to wash them. Well, I got away with it for about 1.5 years until I just had to wash them. They shrunk 2 inches! No more “kissing the floor” curtains. #doh

    Reply
  10. Suzanne Melton

    Bridget, I hope this story makes you smile.

    Dave is a retired residential elevator constructor. When he was an apprentice, his mechanic (we’ll call him Dan) told him this story.

    Back in the day before there were battery-powered hand tools, everything plugged into a wall. With two prongs; no ground.

    Dan’s apprentice was supposed to drill a hole with, apparently, a drill he’d never seen before.

    He couldn’t get the drill to make the hole. He broke three drill bits.

    Finally, he called Dan over to let him know something was wrong with the drill. Dan figured out the problem right away.

    “Oh, you’ve plugged the cord into the wall upside down. Just go over there, unplug it, turn it around, and plug it back in.”

    The apprentice did it and, when he got back to Dan, the drill worked!

    Dave doesn’t know if the apprentice ever figured out that Dan flipped the switch from Reverse to Forward while the apprentice’s back was turned.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      OMG…. this makes me feel A LOT better and has me literally laughing out loud. If an apprentice is making that rookie mistake with the drill, I guess I don’t feel as bad! hahaha what a great story, thank you!!!

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How We Make Money Blogging

Money-Cash-Coins

They say it’s not polite to talk about money. Excuse us as we get a bit “rude” today while we completely throw that rule out the window and talk ALL about money…specifically how we make money blogging.

Honestly, this is a question we get all.the.time. Many well-intentioned friends & acquaintances casually assume that we blog as a hobby and don’t make any money in the process (which we don’t blame them for assuming since this whole blogging thing is pretty darn confusing at times). The truth is though we actually do make money and thought that addressing this awkward topic could be enlightening for fellow bloggers or just curious blog readers.

Coins-Money-Blog-FinancesBut before we jump into the details, let’s backtrack a bit. We certainly did not start this blog to make money. Not even a little bit. Instead we started because we thought it would be a fun hobby for us both, and something cool to do together. Fast forward 3.5 years, and we still see this as an amazing hobby we have the pleasure of enjoying together, but one that has also (surprisingly) bloomed into a steady stream of income for us.

Would we continue blogging even if our bank account was at $0? Absolutely!!! Because the happiness we get from this journey truly is priceless, and for us it’s not about the money at all. But if we’re being completely honest here, we must say that the extra income is very much appreciated, and we’re constantly looking for ways to grow our little baby company.

3-calendar-day-planner-computer-organized

How We Make Money Blogging:

blog-income-chartOkay, enough being mushy…let’s get to the facts. How exactly do we make money blogging? Well our income mainly comes from 4 different sources. If you’re a blogger we hope this information helps you as you navigate your blog finances. If you’re not a blogger, well bear with us, because this may be a bit boring for ya!

1. Sidebar Ads (22% of total blog income)

We went a long time blogging before we put 1 ad up on our site, specifically because we didn’t know we should even add advertisements to our site (#rookies)! It just wasn’t something we were focused on when we first began this journey. After we started to see a steady stream of page views, we decided to add a couple of ads from Google Adsense onto our sidebar. These made like $.05 a day. Seriously… five cents! But it was still sooooo exciting to think that we were making a couple of dollars from our little website (as in, a couple of dollars over a few months). #popthechampsoffice laptopAs we continued to navigate the blogging world, we joined a few ad networks. Some were great, others not so great. The worst part about this was managing it all. So many logins, so little time to go in and check how all of the ads were doing. Last year, we were able to join a company called AdThrive and they now handle all of our ads for us. This switch has seriously been the best decision we have ever made in terms of the blog’s finances. No more logins, no more managing a variety of ads, no more trying to figure out the HTML to make it all work. Instead they do all of the hard work for us, and we simply get a check every month. We love that we don’t have to waste time trying to figure out the sidebar ads, but instead can focus on creating quality content for our readers.

We also sell ad space on our sidebar to individual companies, but this isn’t nearly as profitable as our AdThrive income. We sell this space in 1 and 3 month increments, and we’ve had some great companies on our sidebar over the past few years. (Thanks Snapbox! Thanks Sailrite!)

2. Sponsored Posts (33% of total blog income)

Creating sponsored posts on our site is another source of income, and a controversial one at that. We’ve been fortunate to partner with a lot of great companies, all of whom we already use in our homes and daily lives. Our main sponsors are Lowe’s Home Improvement, HomeGoods, and Michaels, but we’ve worked with many companies over the years and have formed some great relationships.

lowes-sign-new-york-nycWhen a company reaches out, we usually have a set price range for a sponsored post, depending on the company and the amount of work that will go into the post. We’re not gonna lie, we turn down A LOT of requests for posts. Sometimes it’s because they want to “pay us” in product, but mostly because they’re just not a great fit for our audience or our brand.

We never want to promote something on our site that we wouldn’t use in “real life,” so we’re very picky when it comes to partnerships. Plus because we have day jobs, we’re very fortunate to be in a position where we don’t necessarily NEED to take on a specific number of sponsored posts to get paid that month. And with that being said… because we only have a limited time to blog during the week thanks to those day jobs, we are even more selective when it comes to sponsored opportunities and only take them on if we are really excited about them.

Pillow Michaels Makers Sonoma, CaliforniaWhen we do take on sponsored posts, we always try to organically weave it into our content the best we can. We’re not perfect, but we try our best to include a coupon code or giveaway into those posts so our readers can get a little incentive too.

3. Affiliate Links (3% of total blog income)

This is definitely a new source of income for us, and it is by far the least profitable for us. We’re guessing you guys have seen all of the RewardStyle/Like to Know stuff on Instagram? If not, then here’s a brief description. Whenever we link a specific product on our site, we can make it an “affiliate link.” That way if someone clicks the link, buys that product (or anything else on the website), we will get a small percentage of the profits.

bridget_city-002This is a big money-maker for fashion & lifestyle bloggers, and we love learning about the latest trends from our fellow bloggers. But, we’re often linking home decor items. And I don’t know about you, but I buy shoes and tops a heck of a lot more often than I buy rugs and couches. Therefore, as a home blogger we’re not making quite as much as other bloggers who focus solely on fashion.

We use both Reward Style and Magic Links, and they’re both pretty easy to create log-ins and get started. However, we also proceed with caution when it comes to this source of income because we NEVER want to make it seem like we’re always selling stuff. If we really do love something, we will link it to make it convenient for everyone to quickly find. But we never want to link items just for the sake of making money. <– there’s a big difference and we try to our hardest to be as authentic as possible (again, we’re not perfect).

4. Writing for Companies (42% of our blogging income) 

Writing blog posts for other sites is another way we make money blogging, and this one is by far our favorite. Specifically because it’s separate from our personal blog, and it doesn’t negatively affect our readers. Instead, we’re able to do what we already love to do (write about home decor & DIY projects!) for other sites while getting paid.

Happy Mover Holding BoxEach Thursday we publish a blog post on the HireAHelper blog. They’re a moving site, and it’s been so much fun to challenge ourselves with different moving topics each week. Who knew there was so much to chat about when it came to moving?! For some of our favorite HireAHelper projects, check out this post.

old_faucet_DIY_bridgetThis year, we also signed on as contributors for the new Zillow blog. This is great because it forces us to get some projects done around our homes (sealing granite counters, installing faucets, etc.), and it’s given us the opportunity to do a few more “hardcore” homeowner DIY’s while getting paid. 

We write for other sites sporadically too, and overall, these contributor posts make up a large chunk of our income. These opportunities are great because they provide us with a steady income and we’ve been able to form some great relationships with some awesome people from all different companies. This consistent income also allows us to budget for blog expenses in advance (like tech support, photography equipment, project costs, etc.). 

Money-Cash-CoinsSo there you have it…a behind-the-scenes look at how The DIY Playbook makes money. We never knew that this blogging world could be profitable, and we’re certainly not experts when it comes to this stuff. But we do feel like it’s good to share… especially for fellow bloggers or small business owners out there!

If you’re looking for more money talk check out some of these posts we’ve done before…

Bridget and Casey Signature

 

 

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13 thoughts on “How We Make Money Blogging

  1. Jaclyn

    I found your blog recently and I just want to say that I love it! I love how open and honest you guys are with your content and how your sponsored posts still feel authentically you. I am moving into a new home in the next couple of weeks and your Michigan Condo makeover has been huge inspiration!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Jaclyn, that makes us so happy to hear! Seriously, thank you for your kind words. And congrats on your new home! What an exciting time for you!!

    1. DIY Playbook

      Great questions, Brenda! Building these relationships and getting these opportunities definitely took time. We started by growing our blog and as we did, more and more sponsored opportunities came to us. Like we mentioned, most of the sponsored opportunities we received then and now, we turn down because they don’t feel like a authentic, natural fit. However when we do find a sponsored opportunity that we really believe in, we take it on and try to build long-term relationships with these brands (ie. Michaels, Lowe’s HomeGoods). As for our guest writing opportunities, those are a mix of them coming to us and us pitching them. If we have an idea to work with a brand or quest post, we are not afraid to reach out. We pitch our idea and hope for the best. The worst that can happen is the company saying no, right?!

      Hope this helps!

  2. Ice Cream and Tequilla

    I don’t think this discussion is rude at all. You discussed money in terms of percentages, not real dollar values. This way seems honest and sincere without being rude or oversharing.
    I really enjoy your blog because you’ve remained true to DIY, home improvement, and decor. I also enjoy seeing women use power tools themselves! It gives me the motivation and courage to learn to use drills and saws! I even signed up for a class at Home Depot!
    This week’s series has been a one of my favorites! I pinned something each day, especially the Polyvore stuff.
    Keep up the great work!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      That is so sweet of you! Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. We are so happy to hear you signed up for a class at Home Depot. Girl power all the way….so excited for you.

      And love that blog week has been helpful for you!

  3. Holly Antoine

    I recently stumbled upon your blog and I am so happy that I found you! I love all your content, and I myself have recently started a blog so I am very grateful for this post! I look forward to seeing more amazing content from you ladies! Thanks again!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Holly,
      Thank you SO much, we are so honored to have you on the DIY Playbook team! We’re also glad this post could help. Please don’t ever hesitate to reach out with any questions along the way. We love this blogging journey and love connecting with others who feel the same passion and excitement towards blogging. =)

  4. Kara D

    I’ve been reading your blog for almost 2 years now (actually over 2 years, since I know I’ve read the “State of the Blog” posts twice before!), and I cannot remember how I came by in the first place. You’ve become my new YHL 🙂 My friend and I absolutely LOVE reading all of your posts!

    I wanted to say that you have handled the sponsored posts very well, I really like that you’ve chosen to only the ones that speak to you and what the blog is about, and nothing random.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Kara you are seriously sooooo sweet! The playbook and YHL in the same sentence….wow, we feel lucky!! Love that you and your friend get to stay in touch even though you’re far away.

      And thanks for your kind words about sponsored posts!

  5. Ana

    I thought that sponsored posts were a blogger’s main source of income… I hadn’t even thought of using my blog as a way to establish my expertise and make money off of writing for other sites. What an eye opener!

    BetterThanRamen.net

    Reply

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13 thoughts on “How We Make Money Blogging

  1. Jaclyn

    I found your blog recently and I just want to say that I love it! I love how open and honest you guys are with your content and how your sponsored posts still feel authentically you. I am moving into a new home in the next couple of weeks and your Michigan Condo makeover has been huge inspiration!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Jaclyn, that makes us so happy to hear! Seriously, thank you for your kind words. And congrats on your new home! What an exciting time for you!!

    1. DIY Playbook

      Great questions, Brenda! Building these relationships and getting these opportunities definitely took time. We started by growing our blog and as we did, more and more sponsored opportunities came to us. Like we mentioned, most of the sponsored opportunities we received then and now, we turn down because they don’t feel like a authentic, natural fit. However when we do find a sponsored opportunity that we really believe in, we take it on and try to build long-term relationships with these brands (ie. Michaels, Lowe’s HomeGoods). As for our guest writing opportunities, those are a mix of them coming to us and us pitching them. If we have an idea to work with a brand or quest post, we are not afraid to reach out. We pitch our idea and hope for the best. The worst that can happen is the company saying no, right?!

      Hope this helps!

  2. Ice Cream and Tequilla

    I don’t think this discussion is rude at all. You discussed money in terms of percentages, not real dollar values. This way seems honest and sincere without being rude or oversharing.
    I really enjoy your blog because you’ve remained true to DIY, home improvement, and decor. I also enjoy seeing women use power tools themselves! It gives me the motivation and courage to learn to use drills and saws! I even signed up for a class at Home Depot!
    This week’s series has been a one of my favorites! I pinned something each day, especially the Polyvore stuff.
    Keep up the great work!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      That is so sweet of you! Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. We are so happy to hear you signed up for a class at Home Depot. Girl power all the way….so excited for you.

      And love that blog week has been helpful for you!

  3. Holly Antoine

    I recently stumbled upon your blog and I am so happy that I found you! I love all your content, and I myself have recently started a blog so I am very grateful for this post! I look forward to seeing more amazing content from you ladies! Thanks again!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Holly,
      Thank you SO much, we are so honored to have you on the DIY Playbook team! We’re also glad this post could help. Please don’t ever hesitate to reach out with any questions along the way. We love this blogging journey and love connecting with others who feel the same passion and excitement towards blogging. =)

  4. Kara D

    I’ve been reading your blog for almost 2 years now (actually over 2 years, since I know I’ve read the “State of the Blog” posts twice before!), and I cannot remember how I came by in the first place. You’ve become my new YHL 🙂 My friend and I absolutely LOVE reading all of your posts!

    I wanted to say that you have handled the sponsored posts very well, I really like that you’ve chosen to only the ones that speak to you and what the blog is about, and nothing random.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Kara you are seriously sooooo sweet! The playbook and YHL in the same sentence….wow, we feel lucky!! Love that you and your friend get to stay in touch even though you’re far away.

      And thanks for your kind words about sponsored posts!

  5. Ana

    I thought that sponsored posts were a blogger’s main source of income… I hadn’t even thought of using my blog as a way to establish my expertise and make money off of writing for other sites. What an eye opener!

    BetterThanRamen.net

    Reply

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The Truth about Running a Business with your BFF

Emoji Halloween Costume Bridget & Casey

Whenever we tell people that we’re business partners, we’re instantly bombarded with questions about what it’s REALLY like working with your bestie. Is there drama? Do we fight all the time? Do we have ever screaming matches that resemble those on The Real Housewives?!

Emoji Halloween Costume Bridget & CaseyWe don’t blame others for wanting the scoop! And today we’re ready to dish. Let’s get right to our list of frequently asked questions so we can tell you what it’s really like running a business with your BFF.

Is there ever drama?

Bridget CaseyChristmas CardThis is going to come as a big disappointment for most of you, but we can honestly say that there is minimal drama around here. Seriously. We’re not sugar-coating anything. We get along really well, and have similar personalities. We work hard, don’t enjoy conflict (Bridget legit gets like hives at the thought of dealing with confrontation in any bad situation), and each have the utmost respect for one another! But to be perfectly honest, we don’t really have drama in ANY relationships in our lives so it wouldn’t make sense that we would have drama with each other. The only slight “drama” that ever arises is if we’re both stressed out or have a big deadline. But in those cases, we don’t take it out on one another, instead we keep one another in check and put our frustrations into getting our work done.

Do you always get along?

Bridget_Casey_Chicago_Odyssey_Travel-14At the end of the day, we’re always going to be friends….first, business partners…second. And we would never want something petty to come in between our friendship. So yes, we do get along incredibly well 99.9% of the time! It helps that we have similar interests and work habits, because we enjoy doing the same kinds of things and don’t mind “burning the midnight oil” to get things done. If one of us put in way more hours and commitment than the other…then there might be some resentment. But luckily that isn’t the case with us!

We will say the only time when we’re not 100% on the same page is when one wants to push our business in a specific direction….while the other is a little hesitant. For example, I (Casey) wanted us to both get on board and learn how to use the editing software Lightroom. Bridget took a bit of convincing, because of the amount of time & work involved in learning a whole new program. But after a little nudging (that’s what besties are for, right?!), and a couple of weeks using Lightroom, we both agreed that it was the best thing we could have done for our blog. So we will say that there are instances like that when one person is ready to move full speed ahead, and the other is hesitant and cautious. This never leads to fighting or not getting along, probably more the opposite actually….. A LOT of positive reinforcement and encouragement to cheer the other one on in whatever new goal we’re striving for.

How do you divide tasks?

bridget-casey-computer-bedroomAnother great question! We both do projects, take photos, write posts, and deal with emails & social media. But there are certain tasks we enjoy splitting up, so our strengths can shine a bit more.

05-Casey-working-at-desk-officeCasey:

I’d say out of the 2 of us, I’m definitely the more “logistical” gal. How are we going to get things done? How can we make a to-do list to get our task completed? I like to make a gameplan and figure out how we can execute it most effectively.

Casey-bed-laptopI also do a majority of the proofreading (so if you see a typo…it’s my bad!), and I also edit our videos (because that’s what I do for my day job anyways!). I have a bit of a hand in the business/financial side of things too. Because my husband Finn is our CFO, I get together with him a lot to go over numbers and keep our receipts and invoices in check.

Arizona_camera_bridget-001Bridget: 

She’s totally right, Casey is DEFINITELY the logistic/business brain of the two of us and I’m SO lucky to have her…. especially her proof reading. I think your eyeballs would probably hate me if she wasn’t proof reading my posts.

As much as I enjoy writing a to-do list and chatting about the business side of things, I would say my strengths are on the creative side. I take care of all of the mood boards, graphics, and design heavy tasks. Like Casey mentioned we both photograph our own projects, but if we’re together shooting something, I am behind the camera and the one editing the photos. I love learning more about photography and trying to get better at it since starting the blog. I also brainstorm new creative ideas or initiatives (like blog week!) and then Casey’s logistical mind takes over and helps us make these ideas a reality.

Do you recommend everyone blogs with a buddy?

Bridget-Casey-SkylineHaving someone right there with you on this journey is ah-mazing! We can showcase 2 homes, get posts done twice as fast, and always have someone around to check the email and keep our inbox in check. Not to mention, events and blogger conferences are a heck of a lot less scary when you have your BFF glued to your side (plus, who doesn’t love an excuse to take a trip with your bestie?). And through the highs, lows, good times, and not-so-good times…there’s always someone there who totally “gets it.”!  Awesome, right?!

But, we certainly don’t think it’s for everyone. Before getting into business with a good friend or family member, we think it’s important to have an open and honest discussion about how you’re going to work together. How much time are you both willing to invest? What do you do if someone gets burned out? Having an open and honest relationship is key, and we think communicating these important questions upfront can save you a lot of heartache in the long run.

How has working together affected your relationship?

bridget casey christmas cIt’s made our friendship a heck of a lot stronger! Yes we’ve been friends since high school, but as teenagers it was a bit surface-level (not in a bad way, but when you’re young you care about boys, clothes, and other not-so-important things). Now, we chat multiple times a day and have seen one another at our best, and at our worst. We’ve gone on lots vacations and trips together (usually just the 2 of us…#girlstrip), and we do plenty of double dates with our hubbies. In fact, we’re even all heading to Mexico for New Year’s! We feel so grateful for this journey because how much it has impacted our friendship in the best way possible.

How are you guys the same?

bridget-casey-diy-guest-room-projectWe are both very ambitious, driven, compassionate and hardworking. But we’re guessing that can be said for many business owners who are excited about what they do! We’re also both fairly outgoing, bubbly, and optimistic. We don’t enjoy negativity and always try to make the most out of every situation <—wow, we sound like “goodie two shoes” don’t we?! We promise we don’t only live in a world of sunshine and smiles all the time! We’re also both super close with our moms, and love spending time with our families.

How are you guys different?

bridget casey happy Even though we share a lot of the same personality traits, we’re incredibly different too!  Bridget wakes up super early, and enjoys being in bed at a reasonable hour. While Casey doesn’t stay up super late, she certainly likes to sleep-in every once in a while and can stay up past 10:30pm <—rebel, I know!

Casey certainly enjoys her fair share of cocktails on the weekends, while Bridget can sip the same glass of wine all night long. To go even further, Bridget would probably rather skip that wine all together and order a chocolate milk shake instead.

bridget_summer_jeanshorts

Speaking of chocolate milkshakes, Casey eats super healthy and has a healthy routine for just about everything in her life (skincare, hair care, sleeping, exercise, etc.) while Bridget…. not so much.

When it comes to speaking in front of a crowd, Bridget is your go-to gal. Casey is freaked out by the idea of chatting to an audience, but she doesn’t mind being in front of a video camera! Bridget is much more creative, has gorgeous penmanship, and is incredibly crafty! Whereas Casey is logistical, pays attention to detail, and is very organized. <— Heck, I thought I was very organized until I saw Casey’s computer files… she’s a organizing machine!

bridget-casey-headshot-rookiesSo there you have it…a look behind-the-scenes at what it’s really like with your BFF as your business partner. We wouldn’t change it for the world and are so grateful to go through this journey side by side!

Bridget and Casey Signature

 

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4 thoughts on “The Truth about Running a Business with your BFF

  1. Austin Schneider

    It’s so fun to hear more about y’all’s personalities! Some traits definitely shine through in your posts, but obviously not all of them will, so it’s fun to hear about, specifically how you’re different. In my mind, you’re often a package deal! 😉

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      awww Austin that is seriously so sweet of you! We realized a lot of people don’t know how we’re different….so figured we’d inject some of that in there today.

  2. Kara D

    You guys are definitely very fortunate! 🙂 As a side note, I totally misread #girlstrip as girls strip! Made me do a double-take (double-read?) to realize what you really meant was girls trip! But I can’t unsee it now…. haha!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      OMGGGGGGGGG!!!! We are literally LAUGHING OUT LOUD. That is hilarious, Kara, and SO embarrassing for us! Note to self…. no more “Girls’ Trip” Hashtags. hahahaha

      And thank you SO much for your support. Seriously, your comment made our day. We feel so lucky to have amazing readers like you. THANK YOU!!! xo, B&C

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4 thoughts on “The Truth about Running a Business with your BFF

  1. Austin Schneider

    It’s so fun to hear more about y’all’s personalities! Some traits definitely shine through in your posts, but obviously not all of them will, so it’s fun to hear about, specifically how you’re different. In my mind, you’re often a package deal! 😉

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      awww Austin that is seriously so sweet of you! We realized a lot of people don’t know how we’re different….so figured we’d inject some of that in there today.

  2. Kara D

    You guys are definitely very fortunate! 🙂 As a side note, I totally misread #girlstrip as girls strip! Made me do a double-take (double-read?) to realize what you really meant was girls trip! But I can’t unsee it now…. haha!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      OMGGGGGGGGG!!!! We are literally LAUGHING OUT LOUD. That is hilarious, Kara, and SO embarrassing for us! Note to self…. no more “Girls’ Trip” Hashtags. hahahaha

      And thank you SO much for your support. Seriously, your comment made our day. We feel so lucky to have amazing readers like you. THANK YOU!!! xo, B&C

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How to Create a Mood Board on Polyvore

Shop the Look Mag Mile Makeover Mood Board

Believe it or not, we get our fair share of emails asking us how we make our mood boards. Because we use a free website (instead of photoshop) and our method is even more basic than rookie-level, we never really thought to do a blog post on the topic. HOWEVER, we recently realized that our way is perfect for people who want to visualize a space but, just like us, don’t know how to use photoshop!

Dining Room Mood BoardSo instead of feeling embarrassed that we’re totally taking a “shortcut” around the official photoshop way of doing this, we decided to embrace the “average, anyone-can-do-this” approach.

Not to mention, we actually really LOVE using Polyvore to make mood boards and really encourage EVERYONE to play around with different looks via mood boards before shopping for a new space. <—  this simple, free step has helped us design with intention so we are never victims of design regret!Dining Room Board and Batten Reveal

We create a mood board for every single space we work on and based on some of these examples, it’s pretty clear that these original mood boards clarify the “vibe” and direction of the space right from the start. It definitely gets us on the same page, while allowing us to give a visual to others involved in the process (like our hubbies, family members, readers, etc.)mag mile makeover living room shop the look mood boardSo today we’re here to break down the process of creating mood boards, so YOU too can easily create a mood board before your next project. maggie revealAnd if you’re not into home decor (which we doubt since you’re here reading the DIY Playbook), you can also use these boards to create outfit inspo, visualize your wedding plans (colors + flowers + decor) or even plan a party! <– the possibilities for mood boards are endless for visual learners like ourselves. Bridget Fall Fashion Mood BoardHave we sold you on mood boards yet?! We swear we don’t make commission on signing people up for this free website…. we’re just this passionate about mood boards and want to spread the love! (fun fact: Bridget loves this site so much she has actually uses it in her classroom for student projects… and the students LOVE it!)

Mood Board TutorialPOLYVORE_TUTORIAL.48 AM

1. Sign up for Polyvore

Go to Polyvore.com and Sign-Up (in the upper right hand corner) with an email account or even your Facebook/Twitter account. Once you’ve signed up, you’re ready to start your first mood board (or “set” as Polyvore calls it) by pressing CREATE in the upper right hand corner.

POLYVORE_TUTORIAL.09 AM

2. Start your Mood Board

Once you press CREATE, you’ll see the screen shown above. You may want to play around searching for items a bit, but honestly it’s pretty self-explanatory. You can search a specific item (ex: Target Threshold Pom-Pom Pillow Gray) or just search general items (ex: Gray Pillow). When you find an item you want to include on the mood board, simply drag it onto the mood board to the left.

.

There are specific categories you can search for items in as well. For example, I’m going to make a mood board based on modern chairs so I would go into the “HOME” category and type in “MODERN CHAIRS”. I can be as specific or general as possible, it all depends on what I’m looking to include on my mood board.

l

3. Drag, Drop & Format

As I come across chairs that I want to include on my mood board, I simply drag and drop them onto the board. The board is a “living document” until you press publish so you can move the items around, re-size them, re-format the images to a certain extent or even remove them from your board before publishing <– all of these things are super easy to do using the panel of options on the top right corner of the mood board.

Rookie Tip: If you hover over each item in the library, you can find out where it is sold and how much it costs. Some of the items are from overseas and won’t be identified in American Dollars, and we try to stay away from those items because we can’t really link them here on the blog.  If you’re just adding items to get a vibe of a space ,and not necessarily to buy that exact item, the source and price may not be as important to you.

POLYVORE_TUTORIAL.16 AM

4. Clipping Tool

Now some items can’t be found while searching Polyvore, yet you still may want to include these items on your mood board. For example, when I made the mood board for the nursery, I knew what large items Katie was going to buy (i.e. the exact crib and exact piece of art above the crib) yet those items weren’t in the Polyvore library to drag and drop. Because a lot of the mood board would depend on these key pieces, I used Polyvore’s clipping tool to clip the images from the manufacturer’s website (like Target and Minted). That way they would appear under “MY ITEMS” in Polyvore and I could easily drag and drop like any other item.

The only annoying part is installing the “clipping tool” onto your toolbar, but once you install it, you will have it on your toolbar forever.  To install the clipping tool, go to this page and follow the step-by-step instructions (probably do this before you start your first mood board).

POLYVORE_TUTORIAL.58 AM

Once the clipping tool is installed on your computer, you can “clip” items from literally every website. In this example, I went to West Elm’s website and found a chair I wanted to add to the mood board. I clicked on that chair on West Elm and then hit the clipping tool on my tool bar (usually you’re prompted to choose the exact graphic you would like to clip). About 5 seconds later, Polyvore notifies you that your item has been clipped. Now if you go back to Polyvore and click on the category called “MY ITEMS”, that chair’s image will be there for you to drag and drop onto your board.

POLYVORE_TUTORIAL.05 AM5. Add Text or Special Symbols

At any point you can add text, symbols, or special effects to your mood board. I usually wait until the very end of the process to add text, numbers, and arrows, but you can choose to do this step whenever you want.

All you have to do is click on the “text” or “arrows/numbers” categories and drag and drop onto the board. At any point if you don’t like the style, you can remove that text or re-format the color, size, transparency, etc. The other categories are cool to explore if you want to add paint samples, temporary wall paper ideas, or just general special effects that match your room/outfit/party/event.
POLYVORE_TUTORIAL.51 AMTo add arrows onto our boards, I simply drag and drop the numbers you see in the library of options. Sometimes I’ll resize them or move them around a bit, but other than that, it’s really that easy! POLYVORE_TUTORIAL.14 AMThen I’ll add the text, usually to the top of the board. These are the text options to choose from. I typically choose the same text every time to keep our mood boards somewhat familiar to readers, but you can have some fun with these fonts… and test out a lot of different looks!

Just drag the text style you want, drop it on the board, and write your message in the upper right hand corner. Once your message is written, you can change the color, size, transparency, etc. Super easy and quick and by clicking on the text box, you can go back and edit/adjust the text (or anything really) at any time!

POLYVORE_TUTORIAL.19 AMThe last thing I do before publishing the mood board is adding arrows or a mini graphic. You do this the same exact way you do anything else, drag and drop.

POLYVORE_TUTORIAL.38 AM6. Publish

Once your mood board is all set, hit PUBLISH in the upper left hand corner of the board (It took us about a year to figure this out)! If you don’t want to publish the mood board that same day, you can always save the board as a draft, and come back to it later by hitting CREATE on the homepage and then OPEN.

The great news is that if you do publish your board and want to go back and make changes, you can do that just as easily by pulling up the board and pressing EDIT on the right side of the screen.
POLYVORE_TUTORIAL.17 AMAfter you publish the board in polyvore, this “set” will always be a part of your Polyvore profile, which is amazing because you can always refer back to it.

When you hover over any product on your board in Polyvore, you can easily see where the item is from and how much it costs. Then if you click on it (twice), Polyvore will open up a new tab where you can buy that item from whatever store it’s from (i.e. PIER 1 in the image above). <– this is a super helpful feature for us because we can easily link directly to any item we include, without having to go back and find each URL ourselves.

 

POLYVORE_TUTORIAL.42 AMWe’re not sure if this last part is the most tech-savvy or efficient way to do this, but once our mood board is done we take a screen shot of the final product to show on the blog as a regular image  (there is any option to get a HTML code and include that instead).

nursery_moodboard_happy_camper.30 PMWhen we worked on the nursery mood board, we weren’t necessarily looking for EXACT items (except for the crib and art), we were just looking for items to get the “vibe”. Once we ironed out the vibe and color scheme of the room, we were able to send this image to Katie for her approval. Then all 3 of us saved this mood board image to our phones so we could easily access it when we were out shopping and saw something we loved.  gender_neutral_nursery_happy_camper_revealAs you can see from the reveal, the nursery didn’t stick EXACTLY to the board (which is OKAY!) but the mood board was super helpful to keep our vision on track. Plus, this mood board ensured all three of us were visualizing the same thing and could plan accordingly.

how_to_make_a_mood_boardWhether you’re a blogger looking to create more mood boards, or are just looking to get your hubby on board with the new dining room design, we hope this tutorial helps you visualize your space and plan accordingly. We promise that these mood boards are pretty darn easy and WELL worth the time throughout the entire design process.

Bridget and Casey Signature

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11 thoughts on “How to Create a Mood Board on Polyvore

  1. Brandy T

    This is SO helpful, I can’t wait to get started! Question: how do you get a paint color into the background, like the gray paint in the nursery board for example?

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Great question, Brandy. Next to the TEXT button there is a category that says “COLOR”. I dragged in a gray color and made that gray image super wide so it appeared as the background of the entire mood board, which then acted as the paint inspiration/visual.

      Does that make sense?!

  2. Lindsey Hammer

    I am so excited to try this out! I have 2 rooms that I need to tackle and this is going to help so much!

    Reply
  3. Carol Stratford

    Photoshop impaired here, so this post is GOLD! Thanks this will make my bedroom up date so much easier for the husband to imagine!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      haha happy to help Carol! We too know that it’s a lot easier to get the boys on board when they have a clear visual. Good luck with the bedroom.

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11 thoughts on “How to Create a Mood Board on Polyvore

  1. Brandy T

    This is SO helpful, I can’t wait to get started! Question: how do you get a paint color into the background, like the gray paint in the nursery board for example?

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Great question, Brandy. Next to the TEXT button there is a category that says “COLOR”. I dragged in a gray color and made that gray image super wide so it appeared as the background of the entire mood board, which then acted as the paint inspiration/visual.

      Does that make sense?!

  2. Lindsey Hammer

    I am so excited to try this out! I have 2 rooms that I need to tackle and this is going to help so much!

    Reply
  3. Carol Stratford

    Photoshop impaired here, so this post is GOLD! Thanks this will make my bedroom up date so much easier for the husband to imagine!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      haha happy to help Carol! We too know that it’s a lot easier to get the boys on board when they have a clear visual. Good luck with the bedroom.

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2nd Annual Blog Week

Chicago_Odyssey_insta-4 [Cue the confetti poppers!]

Welcome to The DIY Playbook’s 2nd annual BLOG WEEK, where we will be taking a break from all things DIY to chat about some behind-the-scenes blog tips and topics that often don’t get addressed around here. We have a whole a week of fun content based on our most frequently asked questions including:

  • Tuesday: How to make mood boards <– for rookies (like us)
  • Wednesday: What it’s like to run a business with your bestie… and our advice to others
  • Thursday: How we make money blogging <– and how you can too!
  • Friday: HILARIOUS Rookie Mistakes from our favorite bloggers <— stories from some of our favorite bloggers on some of their biggest DIY, decorating, and blogging rookie mistakes to date. Legit amazing.

But before we dive into all of that, today we are chatting about the STATE OF THE BLOG. Today’s post is a series of random updates that are happening behind-the-scenes of the blog, but never really make it into a post. Mostly because we can never figure out a clean and organized way to share this randomness. Think of this post as a pot luck of blog updates, and let’s be honest here, who doesn’t love a good pot luck!? <— especially when there isn’t any cooking involved!

Bridget_Casey_Chicago_Odyssey_Travel-13And speaking of our favorite. YOU GUYS, our amazing and supportive readers, are our absolute favorites and as a tiny token of our appreciation we’re hosting a giveaway to say thank you for your love and support!! More details and more mushy-gushy thank you’s at the end of this post.

Juggling our day jobs + the blogbedroom_mirror_navy_headboard_bridget-4

Emphasis on the “JUGGLE” because working full-time jobs and running the blog is a serious juggling act. Heck, all that juggling sometimes makes us feel like we’re those 2 crazy clowns in the circus. But to be perfectly honest, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

5-desk-area-cords-computerThis blog is our PASSION, our baby, what we look forward to working on every.single.day…. even if we’re up working on it way past our bed times. Yes it gets busy, and yes it can even get overwhelming, but we make it work because we WANT to. Do we think that maybe we can both blog full-time someday, without having to juggle our day jobs? Yes we do, but until then — a LOT more juggling. 😉

Fun Fact: Casey can actually juggle… like legit ‘three-balls-in-the-air-at-one-time’ type juggling! <– She’s probably horrified reading this right now, but she should know by now that any time I have the opportunity to brag about her, of course I’m going to! That’s what best friends do, right?!

Working with your Best Friendbirthday_casey_bridget_rookies_balloons_3-181

Spoiler Alert: there’s no drama, no fighting, and we can honestly say that we feel so grateful for the opportunity to work together. Since we get this question A LOT, we are actually dedicating a whole post on how it is for each of us to work with our bestie.  We’ll also dive into the tips we have for others who may be thinking about going into business with a bestie. As much as we LOVE it (it’s one of our FAVORITE parts of this whole journey), we would advise others to proceed with EXTREME caution. Weird, right?! Tune in Wednesday as we get personal & air our dirty laundry get totally real about how we make this relationship work (and actually thrive!).

Quarterly Meetings

Chicago_travel_sunsetWe briefly mentioned these before (I think?), but these meetings are definitely worth touching on again. Our quarterly meetings have a great impact on the state of our blog. As a group of 4 (us + our hubbies), we hold quarterly meetings to chat about the state of the blog, the blog’s finances, large purchases, future goals, etc. Our quarterly meetings also come with the DIY Playbook treating our VERY supportive hubbies to a double date night (our Q2 meeting was a sunset cruise.. so fun!).

We see these nights out as an investment in “team building” and a great excuse to “recharge” as a group… so much so that we just planned our Q4 meeting in Mexico for New Year’s!

Matt_finnThese quarterly meetings would not be nearly as effective without the help of Casey’s husband, Finn. He compiles our financial documents before every meeting, as well as an agenda, financial projections, and any other noteworthy information that needs to be discussed. We are SO lucky to have him and are SO grateful for ALLLLLLLLL of his hard work in handling all of DIY Playbook’s finances (without ever complaining).

Staying in our own laneEmoji Halloween Costume Bridget & Casey

This is still one of the best pieces of advice we’ve ever gotten (thanks Courtney!). Reading other blogs, following other bloggers via social media, and just staying up-to-date on what’s happening in the “blogosphere” can definitely lead someone into an ugly comparison trap — one that sucks away your creativity and forces you to think negatively about yourself. No thank you! For us it’s important to be aware of this trap so that we can avoid it at all costs. To do that we focus on staying in our own lane (we actually wrote a whole post about it here). We focus on us (and only us!!), what we can control here on the DIY Playbook, and in the process, are genuinely HAPPY for our blogging peers. We’re positive, happy people in real life and want this slice of the internet to reflect that.

Social Media Changes

Speaking of staying in our own lane, we really try to focus on this when it comes to social media.  There’s a lot of calculation, strategy and overall pressure that goes into using social media as a blogger. How do you grow your following? Are your pictures all “branded”? What hashtags are you using? How often do you post? At what time do you post? … and the list goes on and on and on. Holy stressful!

Obviously growing your audience via social media is a good thing. However, we don’t want to put pressure on ourselves and post/say things on our social media JUST to get followers. We want to be “us” and let our channels reflect who we are as people, which is a bit scary to put yourself out there for others to judge/comment on/gossip about/etc. Yikes! In the past, we haven’t always been super open or “personal” on our social media (i.e. Instagram) and kept our captions pretty general, but we have realized that sometimes it’s not JUST about the pretty picture, but it’s also about making connections with people (even if that comes at the risk of being vulnerable). We’re still navigating the waters, but being more real, candid, and just more open on social media is a goal we have and something we’ve been working on…. slowly but surely.

Stepping outside our DIY comfort zoneCasey-miter-saw-diy

And speaking of slowly but surely…. we are slowly but surely building up our tool collection and trying our best to step outside of our DIY comfort zone more and more (as evidenced by Casey’s guest room, her board and batten project, B’s new faucet, and her in-progress bathroom shiplap). We are really trying to make an effort to DIY with as little “help” as possible. Navigating these projects by ourselves has helped proved that we can do this! And if we can do these projects, we KNOW that you can too!

Of course B still loves to work with her dad, and sometimes we will have to hire projects out, but it’s empowering to tackle some of these larger projects (ones we would have NEVER been able to do alone just a few years ago), all by ourselves. #babysteps bridget-reading-directions-nail-gun

Learning & improving behind the scenes

bridget-casey-computer-bedroomThe blog has been experiencing some behind-the-scenes changes in order to improve the quality and experience for the reader. We recently had a tech team clean up the site so that it loads a lot quicker and is a lot more streamlined when it comes to all that techie stuff. It’s all a little over our heads, but anything that makes the blog quicker and more accessible is welcomed with open arms around here.

bridget camera coffee fall converse We also recently bought a new camera lens and have started editing our photos in Lightroom (since we hear that Picasa is not going to be around forever — teardrops) in order to increase our photo quality as much as possible. Now that we switched over, we feel like we should have made the switch to Lightroom about 3 years ago! <– that’s usually the story around here. We put off the switch forever and when we do finally dive-in, we love it and wish we would have done it sooner! 

Coming soon…

  • A new, much more efficient mobile site!
  • Hopefully more room reveals. <– Right now we’re working on B’s bathroom and Casey’s dining area. But we also want to dive into B’s neglected guest room!! #eek
  • More Video (see below for more details)
  • We’re attending the Haven Blog Conference in August and look forward to connecting with our fellow bloggers. We always leave feeling extra inspired and motivated to step outside of our comfort zone and look forward to seeing what this year’s conference has to offer. =)

More Video!!liberty mutual casey bridget

Our hyperlapse craft videos were such a hit, and we’ve been working on incorporating MORE of them, as well as more “just because” videos. We love creating video content (Casey does this for a living!) but making a video instead of a traditional blog post takes significantly more time, so unfortunately this isn’t always realistic. However, we’re trying to put a priority on video for the remainder of 2016.

Defining our individual styles

guest-room-gallery-wall-champagne-signThis is probably one of our biggest design related “goals” lately and one that doesn’t neatly fit into any specific category.Maybe we’ll put together a whole post on this if you guys are interested. In short, both of us are really working hard to identify our individual styles because we don’t think we’re quite there yet. We realize that coming to that “final conclusion” is definitely a journey, and right now we’re learning from our mistakes (and successes!).

bedroom_mirror_navy_headboard_bridget-7Our end goal is to both be able to confidently identify the look that is so US. We both want to nail down these answers before we ever move on to our “forever homes” and have been taking little steps in our real lives to hone these styles (i.e. only buying what we LOVE and not just buying because something is cute, being aware of how our personal fashion style influences our decor decisions, trying to identify what is “so us”, etc.).

The bloggers and style influencers that we love the most are ones who have totally NAILED DOWN their own style. If this is something that interests you guys, we’d love to document the journey a bit more via blog posts, but weren’t sure if this is a something that everyone would find valuable. Just a thought… and a topic that has really dominated our conversations lately.

Our ReadersChicago_Odyssey_Travel_ drink_cheers_champagne

And of course we saved the BEST for last. A state of the blog address would NEVER be complete without a BIG, SINCERE thank you to all of the AMAZING people who tune in everyday to read the blog, who leave sweet comments and suggestions, who email us questions or ideas, who follow us on social media, cheer us on, and most importantly, who make this WHOLE journey possible. We are forever grateful for your love and support and hope if nothing else, reading the DIY Playbook brings you a tiny bit of happy or inspiration each day.

We are all way too aware lately that the world is not always sunshine and roses, and we try to use this platform to focus on the happy, positive, fun-loving, light-hearted stuff while hopefully inspiring a few DIY rookies along the way. We want others to feel empowered to create a home that they LOVE because if we can do it, we KNOW that you can too!! From the bottom of our grateful hearts, thank YOU for being a part of the DIY Playbook team.

And because we want to CELEBRATE you, we are a hosting a giveaway and asking for a tiny bit of feedback. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for a chance to win a $50 gift card to Target <—because everyone loves Target! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Bridget and Casey Signature

 

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109 thoughts on “2nd Annual Blog Week

  1. Emily Dunham

    It’s really fun to see the behind the scenes of the blog – looking forward to your upcoming posts!

    Reply
  2. Reva

    Thanks ladies, for your fun and uplifting spirit! I have read your blog for awhile now, and you bring joy to my scattered free time and inspiration to my scattered house 🙂 I like that your projects are completed in addition to your jobs, because I know they are (theoretically) doable time-wise for me as well. I also like your guest help at friends and family’s homes–could make it a regular thing and call it Rookie Relief!

    Reply
  3. Samantha

    I really look forward to reading your posts; they inspire me to get moving on some ideas I have for my home. I’m not so much a video watcher but I might have to start if you move to video posts!

    Reply
  4. H Buchanan

    Probably not super helpful, but just keep doing what you’re doing! I love this blog. I think it has a great balance of content and I always look forward to reading!

    Reply
  5. Jenny

    The two of you are a great team! I really enjoy the room reveal post and love that you ask your readers their opinions about the room. I think it helps your readers feel more connected to your blog.

    Reply
  6. Christina

    Just discovered this blog – now it is one of my favorites! I am a renter and really appreciated the budget-friendly renter tips you shared recently – would love to see more posts with renter-friendly DIY ideas!

    Reply
  7. Erin

    Y’all are so cute! i love how you’re a solid team and you’re honest. Stay true to yourselves! i love that you’ve planned your meeting in mexico. I also would like to mention that styles will continually evolve and change over the years. If i look back to my style like 8 years ago to now, wowza it is different!

    Oh and thank you for fixing the website loading. that was sooo frustrating to me, it’d mess up everything on my computer. Crazy stuff.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      So right about styles changing! We look back to when we first started the blog…and whoa baby, it’s different! And happy that the site is working better for your now!

  8. Rachel Uhrig

    You guys are awesome and it’s so much fun reading about your diy-ing adventures. I also like the personal updates and fun personality you both add to each post 🙂 If you ever need a room to diy, my whole house is open and in the chicago suburbs – just kidding…kind of 🙂

    Reply
  9. Gretchen Braun

    I love this topic! I’m a new home owner, so the topic I would love for you to cover is what things you should do first..when it seems like every room needs some TLC!

    Reply
  10. Stephanie Cooper

    I love reading your blog, you guys one of my favorites! Posts about identifying your own style would be great!

    Reply
  11. Lindsey Hammer

    I look forward to opening up your blog everyday! I love that you are honest about what works and what doesn’t and I am learning as I decorate my first home to be true to me, but it is taking a little time to figure that out too! I would love to hear about how you pin down what your personal style is!

    Reply
  12. Carol Sesin

    Really looking forward to more video content! Do you have a YouTube channel? If so, I’d love to subscribe.

    Reply
  13. Emily

    Hi girls. I cannot wait for Wednesday’s post about working with your best friend. It’s something I’ve been thinking about and it will be good to read about your experience and input.

    Reply
  14. Kathy Harwood

    I’m probably not your typical audience. I’m a 50 yr. old who loves your blog! I don’t even remember now how I found you ladies, but your blog is sent to my email so I don’t miss a thing! I just love ya’ll!

    Reply
  15. christine

    Love the blog! My husband does most of our cooking, too. Would you consider doing any cooking yourselves? Might be fun to follow along as you try to work on those home skills, too.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      We love your idea (and I’m sure our husbands love it even more). To be honest we’ve never really thought about posts about this, but it’s definitely something we should consider. Thanks for the idea and for following along!

  16. Cindy

    Without a question this blog is easily one of my favorites. I’m pretty sure my husband is getting tired of hearing about all the DIY projects that I’ve been inspired to take on. #sorrynotsorry 🙂

    Reply
  17. Sara Kral

    Congrats on another successful year of blogging! Can’t wait to see what comes next! Nice work, ladies!

    Reply
  18. Ashley Sorrick

    I love this week! Can’t wait to read what y’all have to say! There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes! Have so much fun on your Q4 trip 😉

    Reply
  19. Carly Williams

    I don’t have any particular advice, but I think you guys have done a great job! I really enjoy reading.

    Reply
  20. Sarah M

    Thank you ladies for the constant inspiration and for keeping it real! I love that you have continued to give your readers glimpses into your personalities and lives. Keep up the fabulous work!

    Reply
  21. Lucy B

    Love your blog!… I started following you gals b/c you were from Chicago, but I’ve kept reading b/c your “rookie-ness” is very relatable.

    Reply
  22. Brandi Beals

    Personally I would love to hear about how you begin with a new decor project… I’m moving into a new house and I’m not completely in love with my furniture but I can’t start from nothing either… How do I use what I have (but maybe not everything) or how do I design a room and make it cohesive?

    Reply
  23. Betsey

    Looking forward to your post about working with each other – my sister and I have been talking about starting an online business together and I think you’ll be able to give us some good insight!

    Reply
  24. Katy Kownacki

    Love your style, love your tutorial! Keep doing what you’re doing! So glad I discovered your blog this year!

    Reply
  25. Natalie V

    Loved your latest post on DIY in a rental. Even though Casey is no longer a renter, I’d still love you see more rental friendly posts!

    Reply
  26. Rosie

    It is a really nice blog, I can’t think of anything more. I love home decor and DIY, also recipes. I love crafts that are home decor oriented.

    Reply
  27. DIY Playbook

    We LOVEEE this idea and will definitely add it to the blog calendar. We too find ourselves in the thinking phase and sometimes when you start overthinking, you get STUCK and can’t get started because you don’t want to make the wrong decision. We’ve been there…. a lot! Thanks for the idea, Veronica. So lucky to have you tuning in =)

    Reply
  28. Jessica Shilt

    I love your guys blog! My favorite posts are behind the scenes and quick easy diys! I love videos too! I’m more of a visual learner so I really like seeing step-by-step even in photos!

    Reply
  29. Brie

    I so enjoy your blog! All of the ideas you listed sound great. I personally like the easier, smaller crafts/DIY/organizational stuff you share because that’s more my interest/ability level, but I enjoy reading about the more advanced DIY challenges you take on. When you mention that you want to explore defining/distilling your style, I’d be more interested in learning WHY you are drawn to certain things- whether they be decor items, wall treatments, etc.- what about them just feels right to you? Is it the texture, the color, the size, the versatility of an item such that it could be used it in multiple places in your home, etc.?

    Reply
  30. Karen

    Love your style and DIY projects. You both always look cute and fashionable – know your blog is mostly about decor but would love to hear more about your personal fashion style too!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Karen…you are too kind! Most days you’ll find us with messy buns and yoga pants. haha. But we agree that you might see more fashion around these parts.

  31. Kerry

    I would definitely be interested in learning more about you define your personal style! I love your blog, and you can definitely tell how much hard work you two put into it!

    Reply
  32. Katie

    I think a little more about how you girls have advanced your photography skills would be interesting. It’s been on my to do list for awhile now, I’ve even taken an online class, maybe I’m just not consistent with it.

    Reply
  33. Trang

    You ladies are awesome and you know I love your blog. Stay true to yourselves and continue doing great things. I’m a huge bargain seeker and love to save money where I can with alternatives to things. I like to read blogs that offer tips to save money and/or time. Clever ideas are a plus. Your blog offers this so keep up the good work.

    Reply
  34. Austin Schneider

    I would LOVE to hear more about how you’re defining your individual styles! This is something I seriously struggle with, because I feel like I like several different styles, so categorizing myself as a certain style is pretty daunting.

    Reply
  35. Abbie DeLaney Zinkan

    I know neither of you have kids, but if you have ways/blogs that you’ve found that incorporate kid projects, I’d personally love to know more about that. I really like the “shop this look” posts (I can’t find that geometric white vase that B has ANYWHERE). I love the mood board help from today’s post, so thank you for that. Overall, I like coming to a blog that feels like me, with people who are real, make real mistakes and learn/teach from them all. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Aww thanks for your sweet words Abbie! We appreciate the support.

      Kid Blogs: We are big fans of Bower Power Blog…she has 4 boys and is always doing fun kid projects. Definitely give it a look!

      Geometric Vase: Have you tried Lulu & Georgia? They definitely have a similar one, and Casey has it at her house and loves it. Pricier than the Target one, but similar look.

  36. Elizabeth Jones

    You guys are my favorite DIY blog! someday ill find enough courage to tackle a big project like yours in my house! I love the little hacks, like switching light fixtures or faucets. making things look new on the cheap 🙂

    Reply
  37. Kim R.

    LOVE the idea of a post/series re: nailing down your style. That’s something I’ve also been giving a lot of thought to lately (both home-decor and fashion wise), so would be interested to hear more about your process and any helpful tips!

    Reply
  38. Jaclyn Lorimer

    I totally need to have a tech team clean up my site! I would love some more insight into that process–it feels a little overwhelming at the moment, but I know that some things need help!
    XO, Jaclyn

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      We are seriously clueless when it comes to html & coding…so thank god we have people who can help us out! Seriously the site would be slow as molasses if it were up to us!

  39. Laura Mueller

    My favorite blogs are diy! Im designing and building my house from the ground up and love lots of new ideas!

    Reply

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109 thoughts on “2nd Annual Blog Week

  1. Emily Dunham

    It’s really fun to see the behind the scenes of the blog – looking forward to your upcoming posts!

    Reply
  2. Reva

    Thanks ladies, for your fun and uplifting spirit! I have read your blog for awhile now, and you bring joy to my scattered free time and inspiration to my scattered house 🙂 I like that your projects are completed in addition to your jobs, because I know they are (theoretically) doable time-wise for me as well. I also like your guest help at friends and family’s homes–could make it a regular thing and call it Rookie Relief!

    Reply
  3. Samantha

    I really look forward to reading your posts; they inspire me to get moving on some ideas I have for my home. I’m not so much a video watcher but I might have to start if you move to video posts!

    Reply
  4. H Buchanan

    Probably not super helpful, but just keep doing what you’re doing! I love this blog. I think it has a great balance of content and I always look forward to reading!

    Reply
  5. Jenny

    The two of you are a great team! I really enjoy the room reveal post and love that you ask your readers their opinions about the room. I think it helps your readers feel more connected to your blog.

    Reply
  6. Christina

    Just discovered this blog – now it is one of my favorites! I am a renter and really appreciated the budget-friendly renter tips you shared recently – would love to see more posts with renter-friendly DIY ideas!

    Reply
  7. Erin

    Y’all are so cute! i love how you’re a solid team and you’re honest. Stay true to yourselves! i love that you’ve planned your meeting in mexico. I also would like to mention that styles will continually evolve and change over the years. If i look back to my style like 8 years ago to now, wowza it is different!

    Oh and thank you for fixing the website loading. that was sooo frustrating to me, it’d mess up everything on my computer. Crazy stuff.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      So right about styles changing! We look back to when we first started the blog…and whoa baby, it’s different! And happy that the site is working better for your now!

  8. Rachel Uhrig

    You guys are awesome and it’s so much fun reading about your diy-ing adventures. I also like the personal updates and fun personality you both add to each post 🙂 If you ever need a room to diy, my whole house is open and in the chicago suburbs – just kidding…kind of 🙂

    Reply
  9. Gretchen Braun

    I love this topic! I’m a new home owner, so the topic I would love for you to cover is what things you should do first..when it seems like every room needs some TLC!

    Reply
  10. Stephanie Cooper

    I love reading your blog, you guys one of my favorites! Posts about identifying your own style would be great!

    Reply
  11. Lindsey Hammer

    I look forward to opening up your blog everyday! I love that you are honest about what works and what doesn’t and I am learning as I decorate my first home to be true to me, but it is taking a little time to figure that out too! I would love to hear about how you pin down what your personal style is!

    Reply
  12. Carol Sesin

    Really looking forward to more video content! Do you have a YouTube channel? If so, I’d love to subscribe.

    Reply
  13. Emily

    Hi girls. I cannot wait for Wednesday’s post about working with your best friend. It’s something I’ve been thinking about and it will be good to read about your experience and input.

    Reply
  14. Kathy Harwood

    I’m probably not your typical audience. I’m a 50 yr. old who loves your blog! I don’t even remember now how I found you ladies, but your blog is sent to my email so I don’t miss a thing! I just love ya’ll!

    Reply
  15. christine

    Love the blog! My husband does most of our cooking, too. Would you consider doing any cooking yourselves? Might be fun to follow along as you try to work on those home skills, too.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      We love your idea (and I’m sure our husbands love it even more). To be honest we’ve never really thought about posts about this, but it’s definitely something we should consider. Thanks for the idea and for following along!

  16. Cindy

    Without a question this blog is easily one of my favorites. I’m pretty sure my husband is getting tired of hearing about all the DIY projects that I’ve been inspired to take on. #sorrynotsorry 🙂

    Reply
  17. Sara Kral

    Congrats on another successful year of blogging! Can’t wait to see what comes next! Nice work, ladies!

    Reply
  18. Ashley Sorrick

    I love this week! Can’t wait to read what y’all have to say! There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes! Have so much fun on your Q4 trip 😉

    Reply
  19. Carly Williams

    I don’t have any particular advice, but I think you guys have done a great job! I really enjoy reading.

    Reply
  20. Sarah M

    Thank you ladies for the constant inspiration and for keeping it real! I love that you have continued to give your readers glimpses into your personalities and lives. Keep up the fabulous work!

    Reply
  21. Lucy B

    Love your blog!… I started following you gals b/c you were from Chicago, but I’ve kept reading b/c your “rookie-ness” is very relatable.

    Reply
  22. Brandi Beals

    Personally I would love to hear about how you begin with a new decor project… I’m moving into a new house and I’m not completely in love with my furniture but I can’t start from nothing either… How do I use what I have (but maybe not everything) or how do I design a room and make it cohesive?

    Reply
  23. Betsey

    Looking forward to your post about working with each other – my sister and I have been talking about starting an online business together and I think you’ll be able to give us some good insight!

    Reply
  24. Katy Kownacki

    Love your style, love your tutorial! Keep doing what you’re doing! So glad I discovered your blog this year!

    Reply
  25. Natalie V

    Loved your latest post on DIY in a rental. Even though Casey is no longer a renter, I’d still love you see more rental friendly posts!

    Reply
  26. Rosie

    It is a really nice blog, I can’t think of anything more. I love home decor and DIY, also recipes. I love crafts that are home decor oriented.

    Reply
  27. DIY Playbook

    We LOVEEE this idea and will definitely add it to the blog calendar. We too find ourselves in the thinking phase and sometimes when you start overthinking, you get STUCK and can’t get started because you don’t want to make the wrong decision. We’ve been there…. a lot! Thanks for the idea, Veronica. So lucky to have you tuning in =)

    Reply
  28. Jessica Shilt

    I love your guys blog! My favorite posts are behind the scenes and quick easy diys! I love videos too! I’m more of a visual learner so I really like seeing step-by-step even in photos!

    Reply
  29. Brie

    I so enjoy your blog! All of the ideas you listed sound great. I personally like the easier, smaller crafts/DIY/organizational stuff you share because that’s more my interest/ability level, but I enjoy reading about the more advanced DIY challenges you take on. When you mention that you want to explore defining/distilling your style, I’d be more interested in learning WHY you are drawn to certain things- whether they be decor items, wall treatments, etc.- what about them just feels right to you? Is it the texture, the color, the size, the versatility of an item such that it could be used it in multiple places in your home, etc.?

    Reply
  30. Karen

    Love your style and DIY projects. You both always look cute and fashionable – know your blog is mostly about decor but would love to hear more about your personal fashion style too!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Karen…you are too kind! Most days you’ll find us with messy buns and yoga pants. haha. But we agree that you might see more fashion around these parts.

  31. Kerry

    I would definitely be interested in learning more about you define your personal style! I love your blog, and you can definitely tell how much hard work you two put into it!

    Reply
  32. Katie

    I think a little more about how you girls have advanced your photography skills would be interesting. It’s been on my to do list for awhile now, I’ve even taken an online class, maybe I’m just not consistent with it.

    Reply
  33. Trang

    You ladies are awesome and you know I love your blog. Stay true to yourselves and continue doing great things. I’m a huge bargain seeker and love to save money where I can with alternatives to things. I like to read blogs that offer tips to save money and/or time. Clever ideas are a plus. Your blog offers this so keep up the good work.

    Reply
  34. Austin Schneider

    I would LOVE to hear more about how you’re defining your individual styles! This is something I seriously struggle with, because I feel like I like several different styles, so categorizing myself as a certain style is pretty daunting.

    Reply
  35. Abbie DeLaney Zinkan

    I know neither of you have kids, but if you have ways/blogs that you’ve found that incorporate kid projects, I’d personally love to know more about that. I really like the “shop this look” posts (I can’t find that geometric white vase that B has ANYWHERE). I love the mood board help from today’s post, so thank you for that. Overall, I like coming to a blog that feels like me, with people who are real, make real mistakes and learn/teach from them all. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Aww thanks for your sweet words Abbie! We appreciate the support.

      Kid Blogs: We are big fans of Bower Power Blog…she has 4 boys and is always doing fun kid projects. Definitely give it a look!

      Geometric Vase: Have you tried Lulu & Georgia? They definitely have a similar one, and Casey has it at her house and loves it. Pricier than the Target one, but similar look.

  36. Elizabeth Jones

    You guys are my favorite DIY blog! someday ill find enough courage to tackle a big project like yours in my house! I love the little hacks, like switching light fixtures or faucets. making things look new on the cheap 🙂

    Reply
  37. Kim R.

    LOVE the idea of a post/series re: nailing down your style. That’s something I’ve also been giving a lot of thought to lately (both home-decor and fashion wise), so would be interested to hear more about your process and any helpful tips!

    Reply
  38. Jaclyn Lorimer

    I totally need to have a tech team clean up my site! I would love some more insight into that process–it feels a little overwhelming at the moment, but I know that some things need help!
    XO, Jaclyn

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      We are seriously clueless when it comes to html & coding…so thank god we have people who can help us out! Seriously the site would be slow as molasses if it were up to us!

  39. Laura Mueller

    My favorite blogs are diy! Im designing and building my house from the ground up and love lots of new ideas!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

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

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Tips to Make Tax Season Easier Next Year

Money-Cash-Coins

Today is the day many people dread…TAX DAY. Poor April 15th gets a bad rep. It can be a stressful time for many as they scrounge through receipts, look for discarded papers, and make last-minute appointments with their accountants to get their taxes filed by this time. In years past we’ve both been pretty lackadaisical when it came to prepping for tax season. But now that we own a small business together, we’ve been forced to get our act together early on so we can stay organized & get our taxes done on time..or even early!

blogging_taxes_computer-2We certainly are not pros when it comes to this stuff (we’re not exactly math or finance whizzes…), but we do have a few techniques that we use year-round to make tax season a bit easier. So whether you’re just filing your personal taxes, or you’re a small business owner too, we hope you’ll takeaway a few tips from today’s post.

So without further ado, here are 6 tips to make tax season easier next year!

1. Come up with a system for receipts, income, & expensescoffee-change-receipts

Now that the 2015 tax year is behind us, you can start fresh with a good plan for 2016. That means you need to come up with a system for your receipts, income, and expenses and stick with it! Holding onto receipts can be a big pain, but it’s a lot less stressful when you have a plan in place. We each have separate file folders for our personal receipts and our business receipts. These file folders are then organized into 12 separate tabs, one for each month. Whenever I buy something that I know is tax deductible, I save the receipt in my wallet. Once my wallet gets a bit full, I file it into the appropriate folder and month. But instead of saving this big massive folder to deal with at the end of the year, I enter the receipts into a spreadsheet every other month or so. I note the amount, date, and also categorize it (travel, food, medical, etc.) That way it isn’t an overwhelming task at the end of the year.

Receipts-Change-MoneyWhen it comes to income, Finn keeps a very detailed record of what’s coming into our bank account for The DIY Playbook. Then come tax time, he is just able to print out his excel document and give it directly to our accountant. If you’re just starting to track your income, then we suggest starting small with a google doc that outlines what’s coming into your bank and from whom.

2. Create a designated “spot” for tax itemsfile folder and wash tape

So we have our little file folders for receipts, but there are also other tax-related documents that come your way. We have an electronic file filled with those important documents, and also keep all hard copies in a file folder. Come up with a system that works for you to hold onto those important papers. You don’t want to be scrambling to find these at the last minute, so hold onto your W-2’s, 1099’s and other important documents and put them in a safe place.

file boxAlso figure out a space for your old tax documents. We originally kept ours in our file cabinet, but after a few years it took up way too much space. We now have a nice large box that houses all of our tax info from previous years.

3. Find a pro you trust, or make a plan to do your own

Money-Cash-CoinsCome up with a plan for how you’re going to handle your 2016 taxes. Doing them yourself? Figure out what software you need and get it way ahead of time. Hiring a professional? Don’t wait until February or March to desperately search for an accountant. Instead, start now! Ask friends, family members, and coworkers for their recommendations. Then meet with your new accountant soon to ask any questions, discuss what they will need from you next year, and come up with a gameplan. It will be much easier for the accountant to squeeze you into their schedule when they’re not working long hours and weekends during tax season.

4. Spend time researching major tax breaks on your own

baby-feet-newborn-harry jrJust because you’re using a pro, doesn’t mean you can’t do some homework on your own. If you had any major life changes (bought a house, had a baby, had a medical emergency) make sure you look into the tax benefits that go along with these big events. Then when you meet with your accountant, you’ll know what to bring up and discuss.

5. Save old tax returns digitallygoogle_drive_tax_folder

If possible, save old tax returns digitally in a secure spot (you can put a password on the file) so they can easily be accessed. When it comes time for big life events (applying for a mortgage or life insurance) you will have your returns at your fingertips. Of course you should also keep the hard copies of your returns, but having the digital files instead of the 40+ paper stack will prove to be much more efficient.

6. Practice good habits year-round

1-calendar-laptop-office-organizedThis one should be a no-brainer, but it’s actually the hardest tip to implement. When it’s the middle of summer and tax season isn’t for another 9 months, it can be easy to push off thinking about it. Instead, make these habits a part of your routine. File your receipts, update your spreadsheets, and keep in contact with your accountant. This will save you a lot of time, stress, and heartache come April.blogging_taxes_computer-3

So what do you say? Ready to make tax season a heck of a lot easier in 2016? We sure hope so.

As always, we’d love to hear YOUR TIPS! We have lots of room for improvement, so let us know what works for you.

And for more tips on how we handle our blog’s finances, check out this detailed post.

Bridget and Casey Signature

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14 thoughts on “Tips to Make Tax Season Easier Next Year

  1. Summer Hogan

    I love these tips! I did such a poor job in 2015 and vow to do better this year!!! My process is (will be similar) 🙂

    Reply
  2. Kara D

    I have a friend in the financial business, and she told me that they were all advised to file taxes early because this helps ID fraud – you file them before someone tries to file them “as you” which is a lot messier to fix. Another incentive to get them done early!

    Reply
  3. Diana @ Bumps Along the Way

    As someone who used to do taxes for a living…YES!! Organize your stuff as best you can! I used to get shoe boxes of receipts to sort through…you really don’t want to pay me to do that for you! And I really didn’t have time to do it!

    Reply
    1. Diana @ Bumps Along the Way

      Don’t wait until the last minute! One of your tips was working on it throughout the year which is KEY. We’d get a lot of info days before filing deadlines which is just stressful. And mean to the accountant. =)

  4. Colleen Bansley

    Love all these tips! As an independent contractor (realtor) we have to keep track of so many expenses. I try to stay as organized as I can, but there are just always so many receipts, and with online purchases and expenses it makes it hard to keep everything in one place if you don’t print it. So I’m obsessed with my Gmail folders. Any expenses go into the a folder with the label 2016 tax expenses and an additional folder with the specific label. I just have to remember to print it all or remember to look it over carefully. I should be more diligent about entering my expenses in my spreadsheet weekly, but I am not. Thank God my father in law is our accountant and gives us time!

    Reply

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14 thoughts on “Tips to Make Tax Season Easier Next Year

  1. Summer Hogan

    I love these tips! I did such a poor job in 2015 and vow to do better this year!!! My process is (will be similar) 🙂

    Reply
  2. Kara D

    I have a friend in the financial business, and she told me that they were all advised to file taxes early because this helps ID fraud – you file them before someone tries to file them “as you” which is a lot messier to fix. Another incentive to get them done early!

    Reply
  3. Diana @ Bumps Along the Way

    As someone who used to do taxes for a living…YES!! Organize your stuff as best you can! I used to get shoe boxes of receipts to sort through…you really don’t want to pay me to do that for you! And I really didn’t have time to do it!

    Reply
    1. Diana @ Bumps Along the Way

      Don’t wait until the last minute! One of your tips was working on it throughout the year which is KEY. We’d get a lot of info days before filing deadlines which is just stressful. And mean to the accountant. =)

  4. Colleen Bansley

    Love all these tips! As an independent contractor (realtor) we have to keep track of so many expenses. I try to stay as organized as I can, but there are just always so many receipts, and with online purchases and expenses it makes it hard to keep everything in one place if you don’t print it. So I’m obsessed with my Gmail folders. Any expenses go into the a folder with the label 2016 tax expenses and an additional folder with the specific label. I just have to remember to print it all or remember to look it over carefully. I should be more diligent about entering my expenses in my spreadsheet weekly, but I am not. Thank God my father in law is our accountant and gives us time!

    Reply

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Video Q & A with The DIY Playbook

bridget-casey-computer-bedroom

Last month, we asked you guys to submit some questions that we would then answer in a little video here on the blog. Well the day has come for us to dish!

bridget-casey-computer-bedroom

We wish we could have answered all of your submissions (seriously some good/hilarious/interesting questions) but we did choose a variety of our favorites to chat about on-camera including…

1. How do we dust our shelves? <— The price we pay for having so many accessories and knick-knacks…

2. How do we juggle our full-time jobs & the blog? <— Spoiler alert…we definitely don’t do it all!

3. How do you decide if buying tools is worth the investment? <—Amazing question! We can’t wait to go into this one in even more detail this Spring.

4. Where do you store out-of-season clothing? <—As 2 gals with small homes, this is always a challenge!

5. You always look so put together, but don’t shop a lot…how? <—HA! Can we kiss you through the computer screen? Let’s just say we rarely looked “put together” in real life. There’s a lot of messy buns and yoga pants happening behind the scenes.

6. Any favorite recipes that your hubbies cook? <—-Bridget’s answer = hilarious.

7. Do you ever want to have children & will they be on the blog? <—- We got this question like 10x! Apparently you guys really want the scoop on when the Finn & Matkovich clans will be growing….

Now for all of the answers, check out our video. (And even if you don’t watch it all, you’ve at least gotta see us prancing around with balloons and cupcakes. Yes it happened…)

And let’s elaborate a bit on the question about our hubbies and their cooking. Bridget mentions how she has cooked one (yes, only 1!) meal for Matt since living in their home. I asked her if her meal was at least any good. Her response? She was making chicken parm and saw that the recipe called for breadcrumbs. She literally took a piece of bread, shredded it into chunks with her fingers, and coated the chicken with that. I literally almost peed my pants when she told me. We had to stop the video for a few minutes to compose ourselves. I think it’s safe to say we could both use a few cooking lessons.

bridget-casey-laughing-bedroom-computerAgain, thank you so much for submitting questions and also for supporting us on our birthday week! We had a wonderful third year of blogging and can’t wait to see what year four brings!

Bridget and Casey Signature

 

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10 thoughts on “Video Q & A with The DIY Playbook

  1. shawnna griffin

    hey girls! I just subscribed to the blog a little while ago! Yes that’s right! Y’all seem so fun! Can’t wait to see more!

    Reply
  2. Alysia @ Slim Sanity

    Lol….I wondered if you’d have any magic tips for dusting. Unfortunately, it’s just a crappy chore I guess 🙂

    Reply
  3. Summer Hogan

    LOVE THIS! You guys are great on camera! I just recorded my first very amateur video but have yet to throw it out here….We’ll see 🙂

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks so much Jessica! We had lots of fun putting it together 🙂

      We use Final Cut Pro to edit, but iMovie works well too and is pretty user-friendly.

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10 thoughts on “Video Q & A with The DIY Playbook

  1. shawnna griffin

    hey girls! I just subscribed to the blog a little while ago! Yes that’s right! Y’all seem so fun! Can’t wait to see more!

    Reply
  2. Alysia @ Slim Sanity

    Lol….I wondered if you’d have any magic tips for dusting. Unfortunately, it’s just a crappy chore I guess 🙂

    Reply
  3. Summer Hogan

    LOVE THIS! You guys are great on camera! I just recorded my first very amateur video but have yet to throw it out here….We’ll see 🙂

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks so much Jessica! We had lots of fun putting it together 🙂

      We use Final Cut Pro to edit, but iMovie works well too and is pretty user-friendly.

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Blogging: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly (Take 2)

birthday_cupcake_candle_3

Let’s face it, sometimes blogging looks a heck of a lot more glamorous than it really is. In reality, there are many good, bad, and even ugly things that come along with running your own blog. And in honor of our 3rd birthday week, we figured it was a good time to dish. birthday_cupcake_candle_3

THE GOOD

12-coffee-cup-flowers-kitchen-subway-tile-backsplashGet projects around the house done: Not gonna lie, the blog has really forced me to get my butt into gear with our Chicago condo. In fact, I often walk around each room and jot down what I want to do directly into our blog calendar. That way I’m pretty much forced to tackle a project because if it’s written down, it’s more likely to happen! I doubt we’d have accomplished this much if it wasn’t for the blog.

Readers feel like friends: It’s true, we totally see you guys as our friends and we have the BEST friends a girl could ever ask for. We love seeing familiar names in our comments and on our social media. We feel like over time we learn so much about you guys through these interactions and feel so blessed. This is definitely a really, really GOOD GREAT part of blogging. From the bottom of our hearts, thank YOU!

Support from strangers: We talked about the overwhelming support we get from some important people in our lives earlier this week, but we also need to mention the amazing support we get from strangers! Yes, complete strangers have blown us away with their support via social media, blog comments, and emails. We are so darn grateful for every single one of these and ALWAYS work hard to reply back to everyone who took time out of their chaotic schedules to reach out over the past 3 years! You words of support and encouragement mean more to us than you may ever realize. Sincerely, thank YOU!

Bridget-Casey-Travel-NYCAlways something fun to look forward to: We constantly say that there is ALWAYS something to look forward to when it comes to the blog, because we are always so busy preparing for what’s next on our calendar. We are both people who would rather stay busy, and the DIY Playbook definitely keeps us very busy doing things we LOVE to do! So being busy and always having something exciting, challenging, and NEW to look forward to is one our fav parts of the blog.

Emoji Cell PhoneThere’s never a day we don’t talk: We talk every.single.day. Usually our first text exchange is before 7:30am and we continue to exchange texts or emails throughout the day. Often during the evening is when we’ll touch base with a phone call, especially when a lot is going on in the blog or in our inbox! This blog has strengthened our friendship so much and has allowed us to be constantly communicating and constantly up-to-date about what is going on in each other’s lives (like up-to-the-minute updates) and this is by FARRRR one of the best parts of this entire experience. We feel so blessed to have each other.

THE BAD

3-calendar-day-planner-computer-organizedAlways having something you “should be doing”: We just told you that being busy and always having something to look forward to and prepare for is the “good” part of the blog (and it almost always is), but at times this can be the tough part too. Because we are busy with our day jobs and trying to juggle life outside of the blog, anytime we have “down time” or free time we feel like we need to be doing work so we don’t fall behind. Having that looming feeling that we should always be doing something is definitely hard to escape at times and can become a tad stressful. But remember… we actually like being busy so as long as we’re not overwhelmingly busy, then we make it work!!

Dining Room Board and Batten Reveal Feeling like you can’t make your home what you want because it’s been done on the blog before: Sad, but true. We always want to try to create/showcase new, original, creative content on the DIY Playbook. Usually we LOVE this part of the blog, but sometimes this actually becomes a problem. There are times we want to repeat something we already did (and love), but feel bad doing so because we don’t want readers becoming upset that we’ve “been there, done that”.

board and batten bedroomTake B’s board and batten obsession. She likes it so much that she put it in her hallway, her bedroom and her dining room and we felt bad for repeating it so much. AND we actually got some hate mail about how offended someone was that we kept re-doing the same design choice. EEK! (They’re really not gonna be happy when Casey shows off her new family room built-ins…) We felt bad, but if we love these projects, sometimes it’s worth redoing them rather than just doing something to be “new”. I mean we are the ones living in our homes, shouldn’t it look the way we want? We don’t necessarily want a trendy space, we just want spaces we LOVE… fine line, right?!

flower phone camera nyc bhgNot unplugging as often as we should: Eek… we both have some serious room for improvement in this category. For both our own sanity and the sanity of those around us (cough, cough… those poor hubbies), we need to do a way better job of setting limits and UNPLUGGING. <– enter that looming feeling that we could be checking, updating, emailing, etc. and we’re wasting time.

birthday_bridget_cupcake_3_happyTalking about our blog feels like bragging so we avoid it: Chatting more about the blog in our “real lives” was one of our 2016 goals, and we are totally failing at it so far! The DIY Playbook is such a HUGE part of our lives, but it’s hard to chat about it with friends and family without feeling like we are bragging…. so we usually default to a generic response when someone asks about it. We NEED to get better at this, especially because it’s something we are so proud of and it’s such a huge part of our lives!

tile toolsNot having enough time to tackle bigger projects: If we had it our way, we would tackle far more weekend warrior projects and hardcore DIYs (hello bathroom remodel!). Unfortunately though, this is not always an option when we are trying to juggle work, blog, family, friends, and LIFE. =/ However, we did carve out two FULL weekends this month to tackle one of our biggest DIYs to date! We had to put it on the calendar 3 months in advance to make it happen (seriously..) but we can’t wait to get started!  

THE UGLY

Negative comments: This is just the W-O-R-S-T. Very rarely do we get ugly, negative, or mean comments on our own blog or our social media accounts. However, when companies share our projects on their social media pages or websites… that’s when we’ll see some straight up RUDE comments. We totally understand that not everyone shares our style or taste (we’re all different and that’s okay!!) but we just can’t seem to understand the need for someone to make these rude comments on the internet. If people have constructive criticism or a difference of opinions, we are all ears. But straight up rude/mean/offensive opinions that serve no purpose… Why, why, WHY?! We just can’t seem to understand and probably never will, but hope to focus on our own work and our own positivity. =)

“Am I good enough?”: Possibly stemming from those mean comments (yikes) or maybe just they’re just natural feelings that come with putting yourself out there for everyone to judge, but we would be lying if we said we don’t sometimes question ourselves and wonder if we’re really good enough. We try our best, try hard to stay true to ourselves, and hope to inspire a few fellow DIY-ers along the way — but bottom line: we are rookies! We are not expert carpenters, not full-time bloggers, not professional interior designers, and are NOT perfect… just average homeowners who love DIY and home decor.

bridget-casey-computer-bedroomBack issues: The chiropractor called, she’s reminding you about your appointment tomorrow after work! <– true story!! Blogging from our beds, our kitchen islands, or our couches during the Bachelor is not doing either of our bodies (specifically our backs) any favors. We try to hit the gym when we can to help make up for this sitting/slouching but we do sometimes have sore backs, necks, or even arms (Bridget) because of our bloggin’ ways. #30goingon75

So we hope we brought you a little behind-the-scenes to see the reality of being a blogger. Not so glamorous, right? Also, if you want to read our first take on the Good, Bad, & Ugly series be sure to check out this post from 2 years ago! (Crazy that not much has changed!)

birthday_balloons_3Bridget and Casey Signature

P.S. Another GOOD thing about the blog? Your husband asking to jump in your photo shoot for a little impromptu balloon fun! Gotta love a man who isn’t afraid of pink balloons. (& here he thought he was getting away with me not putting this picture on the internet this week) birthday_Finn_balloons_3

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20 thoughts on “Blogging: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly (Take 2)

  1. Heather

    I say board and batten ALL THE THINGS and forget the negative comments! It is your house, your blog, not anyone else’s. If you do a project that has already been done, readers can skip that post. And who knows…you may be doing a project for the 5th time but this time you tried to approach it differently and that allows you to show a different perspective on a project.

    Reply
  2. Gretchen Braun

    I’m (hopefully) going to be buying a new house soon and starting a DIY blog, so all of this is really helpful to know! I’m so glad that I found your blog this year and it’s been a huge source of inspiration to me. Keep doing what you’re doing!!

    Reply
  3. Emma and JW

    You’re both so amazing. I’m so grateful for the support you’ve given me over the last year and feel so grateful to be part of your community! I totally agree that unplugging can be tough when there’s always a social media profile to update, but I love that you’re working on that (I am too!)

    Reply
  4. Erin

    hahahah that last photo!!

    but yeah. the ugly, it sucks when people are negative about you repeating something. don’t they realize that it’s not the easiest thing to come up with new things all the time! creative people (i am one) have mental blocks all the time, sometimes a tried and true just works!

    just keep rockin’ on the way you are… and pssh to the negative comments, they’re just not happy with themselves. It’s all about constructive criticism!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks Erin! And yes we welcome constructive criticism, but being hurtful for no reason…no thanks!

      And isn’t that picture hilarious?! He is gonna kill me…

  5. Trang

    I definitely think all to good (and great) things out weigh the bad aspects of blogging (except for the back pain). I love you guys and can’t imagine not reading your blogs. THANK YOU for putting yourselves out there and being a part of my daily life. What you do takes tons of work, sweat, and maybe even tears at times.
    And the haters – shrug it off. You can’t please everyone and those people only show their ugliness with hate mail and negativity. They obviously never learned as a child to not say anything if you don’t have anything nice to say. It really does only show their own insecurities. Your passion should never be criticized.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks so much Trang. We appreciate your kind words about any negativity. We try to be upbeat & positive all the time and remind ourselves that anything hurtful stems from their own insecurity.

  6. Lisa Martin

    Your honesty is endearing:) Focus on the positive and let yourselves enjoy a real life discussion with friends and family about your blog! I’m sure you hear about their successes at work often. Thanks for being true to yourselves.

    Reply
  7. Austin Schneider

    Y’all’s blog is truly one of my new favorites (I check it religiously, even though I know my email will alert me to new content ha ha). I just want to encourage you specifically when it comes to “repeating” ideas, PLEASE DO! I tend to do that with gallery walls (3 in my apartment and counting), but that’s real life, and it never looks EXACTLY the same because it’s in a different room/has been tweaked slightly/etc. Trust me, your true fans won’t be bored. 🙂

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      You are so sweet! And so happy to hear you’re okay with doing a project another time in a different space. Thanks for being our “true fan” Austin! Lucky to have you.

  8. Colleen Bansley

    Love Finn’s blogphotobomb! You girls are awesome and so talented in DIY projects, writing, hyperlinking to every cute thing in a post because we are dying to know where it’s from and so many other things. You should be so proud of yourselves for creating this amazing site. And you risk putting yourselves out there and that takes guts and patience. It’s hard not to dwell on the negative but I hope you can focus on all the positive and what a gift this blog is to so many loyal readers! Thank you!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      He saw it while he was at work today and was like…”seriously, Casey?!” hahahaha.

      Thanks so much for the support Colleen! We’re so happy you found the blog this year 🙂

  9. katie c.

    Your blog is one of my very favorites! I love that you aren’t “expert carpenters, professional interior designers”, etc., because I’m not either! Your beautiful, creative homes make me feel like I can have a beautiful home too, even though I’m not any of those things, either! Keep being yourselves!!

    Reply

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20 thoughts on “Blogging: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly (Take 2)

  1. Heather

    I say board and batten ALL THE THINGS and forget the negative comments! It is your house, your blog, not anyone else’s. If you do a project that has already been done, readers can skip that post. And who knows…you may be doing a project for the 5th time but this time you tried to approach it differently and that allows you to show a different perspective on a project.

    Reply
  2. Gretchen Braun

    I’m (hopefully) going to be buying a new house soon and starting a DIY blog, so all of this is really helpful to know! I’m so glad that I found your blog this year and it’s been a huge source of inspiration to me. Keep doing what you’re doing!!

    Reply
  3. Emma and JW

    You’re both so amazing. I’m so grateful for the support you’ve given me over the last year and feel so grateful to be part of your community! I totally agree that unplugging can be tough when there’s always a social media profile to update, but I love that you’re working on that (I am too!)

    Reply
  4. Erin

    hahahah that last photo!!

    but yeah. the ugly, it sucks when people are negative about you repeating something. don’t they realize that it’s not the easiest thing to come up with new things all the time! creative people (i am one) have mental blocks all the time, sometimes a tried and true just works!

    just keep rockin’ on the way you are… and pssh to the negative comments, they’re just not happy with themselves. It’s all about constructive criticism!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks Erin! And yes we welcome constructive criticism, but being hurtful for no reason…no thanks!

      And isn’t that picture hilarious?! He is gonna kill me…

  5. Trang

    I definitely think all to good (and great) things out weigh the bad aspects of blogging (except for the back pain). I love you guys and can’t imagine not reading your blogs. THANK YOU for putting yourselves out there and being a part of my daily life. What you do takes tons of work, sweat, and maybe even tears at times.
    And the haters – shrug it off. You can’t please everyone and those people only show their ugliness with hate mail and negativity. They obviously never learned as a child to not say anything if you don’t have anything nice to say. It really does only show their own insecurities. Your passion should never be criticized.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks so much Trang. We appreciate your kind words about any negativity. We try to be upbeat & positive all the time and remind ourselves that anything hurtful stems from their own insecurity.

  6. Lisa Martin

    Your honesty is endearing:) Focus on the positive and let yourselves enjoy a real life discussion with friends and family about your blog! I’m sure you hear about their successes at work often. Thanks for being true to yourselves.

    Reply
  7. Austin Schneider

    Y’all’s blog is truly one of my new favorites (I check it religiously, even though I know my email will alert me to new content ha ha). I just want to encourage you specifically when it comes to “repeating” ideas, PLEASE DO! I tend to do that with gallery walls (3 in my apartment and counting), but that’s real life, and it never looks EXACTLY the same because it’s in a different room/has been tweaked slightly/etc. Trust me, your true fans won’t be bored. 🙂

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      You are so sweet! And so happy to hear you’re okay with doing a project another time in a different space. Thanks for being our “true fan” Austin! Lucky to have you.

  8. Colleen Bansley

    Love Finn’s blogphotobomb! You girls are awesome and so talented in DIY projects, writing, hyperlinking to every cute thing in a post because we are dying to know where it’s from and so many other things. You should be so proud of yourselves for creating this amazing site. And you risk putting yourselves out there and that takes guts and patience. It’s hard not to dwell on the negative but I hope you can focus on all the positive and what a gift this blog is to so many loyal readers! Thank you!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      He saw it while he was at work today and was like…”seriously, Casey?!” hahahaha.

      Thanks so much for the support Colleen! We’re so happy you found the blog this year 🙂

  9. katie c.

    Your blog is one of my very favorites! I love that you aren’t “expert carpenters, professional interior designers”, etc., because I’m not either! Your beautiful, creative homes make me feel like I can have a beautiful home too, even though I’m not any of those things, either! Keep being yourselves!!

    Reply

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