Category Archives: DIY Time Out

Our Holiday Wishlist

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Dear Santa,

We promise we have been very good girls this year. Here are some items we’ve had our eyes on. We may not need any of these items, but we sure would be happy to find these under the tree on Christmas morning.

xo,

The DIY Playbook Rookies

DIYP

1. Hooded Jacket (Casey): I don’t know how I did it, but somehow I survived last year’s Polar Vortex without a heavy-duty, hooded, snuggly,warm, jacket. Well…I’m not making the same mistake twice. This year a winter jacket was on the very tippy-top of my Christmas wish list. I asked for a jacket that would go all the way to my knees and had a hood. As long as it has those 2 features (& is incredibly warm) I’m happy. Who cares if I look like a puffy snow monster. Fingers crossed I receive this gift…or else it’s going to be a long, cold winter for this girl.

2. Lo & Sons Bag (Casey): I recently learned about these amazing bags and after doing lots of research…I’m so impressed with them. Lo & Sons bags are great if you’re a gal like me and like to carry tons of stuff with you at all times. Their bags have so many compartments and can hold just about anything. My college roommate first introduced me to the company as I oohed and aahed over her weekend bag (She has the O.M.G. bag). I need a new work bag and this T.T. bag fits the bill. I know it’s a bit pricey, but this baby seems splurge-worthy.

3. Bracelet (Casey): These bracelets are also a new-to-me brand. I first found out about these fashion forward bracelets from the blogosphere. I mean how cute are those leather tassels? Yes please, I’ll take a dozen. 

4. Curling Wand (Bridget): I blame it on this post. Thanks to Cassie’s hair curling tutorial, I have had my eye on a curling wand. I typically use a straightener to curl my hair (tutorial here), but next year I would love to try out the curling wand. I heard there’s a learning curve though, so….. no promises.

5. Hair Dryer (Casey): Bridget has this hair dryer and it is the BEST. I spend so much time drying my hair (usually while thumbing through my Instagram feed) and I’m in need of a much more powerful hair dryer. Whenever I use Bridget’s I’m always amazed by how little time it takes to get my tresses tamed and dry. What am I going to do with all of my free time if I receive this gift?

6. Camera Bag (Bridget): If you only knew what I carry my camera around in now, you would know exactly why I put a new camera bag on my holiday wishlist. Yikes! A new camera bag would help me get my gear A LOT more organized while also making it more appropriate for me to bring my camera to functions and not look like I’m headed to a 7th grade sleepover.

7. Camera Strap (Bridget): This item is not a necessity by.any.means. Quite honestly, a new camera strap was put on my list for strictly fashion purposes and for no further function at all. I bought Casey one for her birthday last year and have loved hers ever since, so I thought this was my chance to add a little more “personality” to my blogging gear. Why not, right?

8. Life Planner (Casey): My trusted to-do list just might be my best friend. #SorryBridget. Seriously, I am such a list girl and love the satisfying feeling of crossing something off that never-ending to-do list of mine. This life planner is not only adorable, but it is full of tools to help organize your life and your lists. Plus it’s not too huge and I can toss it into my work bag with room to spare. So let’s hope Santa is nice and I get a personalized “Casey Finn” life planner this year.

9. Everyday Watch (Bridget): This watch is definitely a splurge and really puts emphasis on the “wish” part of “wishlist”. I already have a gold watch, which I absolutely love and wear almost all of the time, but I like this neutral watch because it goes with everything! The gold watch that I currently have goes with almost everything, but whenever I wear silvers or want to dress the look down, I end up watch-less. This neutral watch would provide me a watch to wear and LOVE with every look, plus the hot pink pops of color are just too fun not to love.

Bridget and Casey SignatureSo tell us, what’s on YOUR holiday wishlist this year?! We’d love to hear!! 

 

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Wedding Fashion Fails…

casey finn mike
We should probably be the last two people you turn to for fashion advice. However, that isn’t stopping us from sharing our insight and poking some fun at ourselves in the meantime. After today’s really awkward post, I think you’ll have a better appreciation of why we stick to the DIY & home decor genre and stay as far away from fashion blogging as possible.
{Cue the awkwardness here}
Long story short, Casey came up with this brilliant idea to share a little insight on our “fashion picks” for some of the upcoming weddings we both had scattered throughout our summer schedules. Being ladies in our twenty-somethings, it’s definitely a time where wedding season is in full force, and with a large portion of our readers sharing in these experiences right along with us, we thought this would be a great way to open the floor to conversation about wedding attire. She said we could share a few pictures of us and our handsome better halves attending weddings and chat about what we wore, where we got it, why we loved it, you know… the basics. Pretty standard, right?
I was a little hesitant but with a little convincing by my bestie…I was totally on board! So, my first wedding came and went and I totally forgot to snap a picture. Fashion Blogger Fail #1.
Then, the second wedding came and this time I was determined not to miss my opportunity. Luckily, I did not forget to snap a pic (see above). Bonus! And technically, I wore the same outfit to both weddings… so forgetting to take a picture at the first wedding probably worked out for the best. Fashion Blogger Fail #2.
Fast forward a few weeks and I’m making my “mood board” for this very post and brainstorming what outfit insight I’m going to share. Well, well, well… that’s when I realized that I wore my dress completely backwards not to one wedding, but to TWO different weddings.
If you just scrolled back up to check out the pics, I don’t blame you. hahaha EPIC Blogger Fail.
Wedding Fashion

Looking back, I did think it was kind of strange that the tag was in the front of the dress... but never thought that the dress was backwards! Could you imagine if I was photographed for one of those magazine “Who wore it better” competitions? Yikes…

So yes, almost two weeks later I text Casey this while simultaneously retiring any potential dreams I had of becoming a fashion blogger.

I’ll stick to the DIY. Case…a little help here?!

Casey and Mike

Okay, I’ll admit it…I was the one to come up with this amazing idea to chat all about wedding fashion. Back when we did our blog survey, you guys said you wanted more insight into our lives and this was going to be our attempt to show you a different side of these two rookies. But as Bridget said…it turned into a big blogging fail.
casey and finn at wedding
I too have attended many weddings over the past year, and I have many more fabulous soirees to attend this summer. But when I started to think about all of the amazing ensembles I’ve worn to these events, I realized something. I didn’t actually own any of the dresses that I wore to these weddings, they all belonged to my mom! Yep, this so-not-fashion-blogger perused her mother’s closet to find the right attire for all of her wedding events.

casey purple dress

Not that Janimal doesn’t have amazing taste…the woman has the best stockpile of classic pieces! Plus, it’s pretty awesome that we can share clothes and who doesn’t love a price tag of “free”?! But in these photos, I’m wearing her dresses and her jewelry (like the gold necklace below!) Jan deserves a big thank you for clothing me and making me presentable at any fancy function!

Casey and Finn wedding

So I guess this post proves that we will never ever be fashion divas. It’s just not in the cards for us. But perhaps that makes us the best wedding guests of all? Instead of focusing on ourselves and our own looks, our focus is on the true beauty….the bride! Plus, less primping and worrying about our clothes gives us more time to party and celebrate the bride and groom.

A big toast to the kickoff of wedding season. We’ll see you on the dance floor…

Bridget and Casey DIY Playbook
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DIY Time Out: Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

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With Mother’s Day only a few days away, we thought it might be nice to give our favorite readers some gift ideas for their own fabulous moms. But since we are not mothers (and therefore not experts on the topic) we knew we had to enlist some real experts… and when we say experts, we mean the two biggest experts we know. Our own MOMS!

Jan (aka Janimal) and Pat are two regulars here on DIY Playbook and we thought it might be fun if they shared some of the products and items that they’re currently crushing on. Perhaps this will inspire you to find a gift that your own mother (or even you!) will truly love.  

First up, Janimal’s favorites…

Mother's Day Gift Ideas
  1.  Backpack: I went back to school last fall to work on a Master’s degree and I needed a heavy duty backpack to carry my books, my lunch, my laptop and my water bottle. I realized early on that all my stuff is HEAVY! This backpack is strong, comfortable, and light and I can keep everything organized and ready for class without weighing me down!
  2. Sperry Topsiders: I love these shoes!! They are just about the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn and this gold color looks good with everything. I wear them with pants, with shorts, sometimes even with casual skirts and dresses.
  3.  Keurig Coffeemaker: I used to make a pot of coffee every morning, drink one or two cups, and then throw the rest away. Now, with this great gift from my son, I can make one delicious cup at a time…no more waste! Plus, there are so many great flavors (and even tea and hot chocolate) to choose from.
  4.  Starbuck’s iPhone App: This is one of my favorite phone apps. Now, I don’t need cash when I want a good cup of coffee. I can easily load money onto this app and when it’s time to pay for my drink at Starbucks, I just wave the bar code in front of their scanner. It keeps track of my account and I earn stars towards free drinks.
  5.  Iced Tea MakerThis is one kitchen appliance that this iced tea lover could not live without. I always have a big pitcher of iced tea in my refrigerator and this is the way I brew it perfectly every time!
  6.  Motorola Blue Tooth: In Illinois the motto is “Cell phone in one hand, ticket in the other!” Well, I don’t want any tickets, but I spend so much time in the car that I wanted to be able to talk on the phone while I drive. The answer is this great little gadget. I can keep my eyes on the road and talk all I want without worrying about a ticket!
  7.  Kitchen Garbage Can: This garbage can has a sensor that opens the lid when you wave your hand over it. The lid stays nice and clean because I don’t ever have to touch it. Even if my hands are gooey when I’m cooking, the garbage goes in the can without any mess on the outside.
  8. Jambox: My sons and soon to be son-in-law gave me this as a birthday gift and with this little box I have music wherever I want it.  It is wireless, so I go to Pandora on my phone and I can listen to music all day long.  It has wonderful sound for such a small, little gadget.
  9. Water Bottles: This year I decided to develop my ecological spirituality and one thing I did was stop buying bottled water. Instead, my daughter gave me six re-usable water bottles that I keep in my refrigerator. I use them, wash them in the dishwasher, fill them up and put them back in the refrigerator until the next time. Even if I have company, I can offer them water from my re-usable water bottles and I’m not helping to pollute the environment.  
More Mother's Day Gift Ideas
  1. Blazer: I love a bright blazer that I can use to dress up or dress down an outfit. I pair this bright blue blazer with all sorts of colors and prints to create a colorful look that fits in at all types of occasions this spring. I usually look at the Limited or the LOFT for an affordable blazer that I can wear all season long.
  2. Neutral Nail polish: I’ve been wearing quite a bit of neutral nail polish lately, and I love that it is so versatile. The neutral shimmer seems to match with almost everything, plus it’s just enough color to add a little shimmer to my look without being overwhelming or too flashy. (Although, I have been known to love a bold color too!)
  3. Flats: Most recently, I have been wearing Target’s leopard flats because my daughters gave them to me as a gift and I really love them! Again, I feel like I can wear them with almost anything, plus they are affordable and easy to travel with. And because they have such a busy pattern, they are far more forgiving when they get scuffed or stained. 
  4. bareMinerals Make-up: I don’t typically wear a ton of make-up, however, I love bareMinerals. The blush feels like it is barely there and stays on all day. This blush comes in a large variety of colors and lasts a long time! I brush it on lightly in the morning and don’t ever have to reapply, plus I never feel like it is too heavy or oily for my face. 
  5.  Pond’s Moisturizing Cream: Moisturizing is part of my daily routine and is so important in maintaining healthy skin. I use Pond’s Moisturizer at least once, sometimes twice a day to keep my face moisturized, protected, and most importantly, healthy. 
  6. Ready to Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies: These are great to have on-hand in your refrigerator. This pre-made cookie dough gives you the homemade taste without the homemade hassle. If I have company over at the last minute and I’m looking for a last-minute dessert idea, I pop some of these in the oven and in a few minutes, I have warm cookies to serve to my guests without the mess!
  7. GODIVA Chocolate Martini Mix: Every once in a while, I enjoy a Chocolate Martini and this GODIVA Martini Mix makes for a delicious one at home! Placing this mix in a basket with a few other drink essentials could make a great gift for the Martini lover in your life. Cheers to them!  
  8. Lint Free Cloths: I buy these at the DollarStore and absolutely love them for cleaning mirrors and glass surfaces in my house. I usually use them with a glass cleaner and love that they don’t leave lint, fuzz, or any unwanted residue on my newly cleaned surface. Two cloths for only $1, you can’t beat ’em!
  9. Electrolux Vacuum: This is probably one of my all-time favorite things on the list. I use this vacuum at least once a day, usually more. Its charger is also its “stand”, which I keep in my pantry. I pull out this cordless and lightweight vacuum whenever I can. Usually once in the morning and once after dinner, I do a quick round around my first floor, which takes about 3 minutes and boy does it make a big difference! I then take it back to its charger, close the door of the pantry and let it hide until next time.

A big thank you to our two favorite ladies for taking the time to share their favorite items with us and all of you. We’re glad they gave us a few hints before their big day. (wink, wink).

Oh, and if you need a personalized tag for your mother’s day gifts, we have your back! Download a set of FREE tags here & make your mom’s day a little extra special… she deserves it! 

Bridget and Casey DIY Playbook

 

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4 thoughts on “DIY Time Out: Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

  1. Vicki

    tell aunt pat I love the “i use this vacuum about once a day” … no over exaggeration there!!!! love this post, Vicki!

    Reply
  2. Vicki

    tell aunt pat I love the “i use this vacuum about once a day” … no over exaggeration there!!!! love this post, Vicki!

    Reply

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4 thoughts on “DIY Time Out: Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

  1. Vicki

    tell aunt pat I love the “i use this vacuum about once a day” … no over exaggeration there!!!! love this post, Vicki!

    Reply
  2. Vicki

    tell aunt pat I love the “i use this vacuum about once a day” … no over exaggeration there!!!! love this post, Vicki!

    Reply

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What’s in Casey’s Bag?

Casey-s-Shoulder-Tote
I’ve got a little secret for you. I’m a die hard trashy magazine reader. Yep. I just can’t seem to get enough of Us Weekly, In TouchPeople…you name it…I love flipping through it! If you’re a magazine reader too, then maybe you’ve seen the feature in Us Weekly called “What’s in My Bag?” In the article, they show you a little sneak peek inside a celebrity’s handbag. It’s kinda fun and you get to see all of the cool products that the stars use!
Now we all know we’re no celebs (puh-lease), but we still thought it might be entertaining to show you all of the random crap stuff we carry in our bags. Just because it might give you a little insight into our personalities. Today is all about my bag, next Friday we’ll sneak a peek at B’s bag.
Michael Kors bag with fresh flowers
Here’s the bag I’ve been using all the time lately. It’s Michael Kors and it is fantastic. Usually I’m not the kind of girl who spends a lot on shoes and bags, but I spent a little extra on this one. It’s a great workbag because it is big enough to hold file folders, an umbrella, and any other work essentials. I also love that it zips! This is key when riding on the bus or subway…I just feel like my stuff is a bit safer in there.
Items in handbag
Holy moley…look at all the stuff I carry around all the time. This is definitely what you’ll typically find if you take a peek in my bag. Let’s just say I like to be prepared, and I just might have a sore shoulder at the end of a long day.
ventra card
There’s my Ventra card (bus & subway pass if you’re not a Chicagoan). I pretty much walk or ride public transportation everywhere, so having my card in a case that I can easily access makes my day a lot easier. I used to be that girl who would dig through her bag to find her card…now I know better.
As a DIY’er, I always have a tape measure on me. It’s great when I’m out shopping and need to know if a specific piece of furniture might fit in our space. In fact, I even keep dimensions of things I may need in my phone so I can always have the numbers right in front of me! Better to be prepared…you’d hate to miss out on a sweet piece of furniture just because you thought it was a couple inches too big for your space!
lipgloss
Every girls gotta have a little beauty in her bag, right? A comb and light pink lipgloss often come in handy. Then I always keep business cards on hand, because you just never know when you might find another DIY lover! I keep my personal cards, as well as the blog’s, tucked inside my little orange case.
sunglasses
I keep many of the little accessories in my bag tucked inside that small peach purse. I like it much better than having a bunch of little things floating around in a big bag. I usually keep my gum, bobby pins, lip gloss, and any other small beauty supplies in it. For me it means less digging around, and more time finding what I need!
Apple and tape measure
Next to my tape measure, I’ve got an apple. I’m a total apple girl..I probably eat 2 a day. Gala is my absolute favorite…but this green one did the job too.
cell phone case
Then finally, you won’t ever see me without my iPhone. I try to put it away and “unplug” whenever I can, but I must admit I’m pretty much addicted to it. I got my phone case from The Everygirl’s shop and I absolutely love it. It says “Scour the World for Beauty” and I receive oh so many compliments on it. It’s a little girly and a little glam…love it!
michael kors black tote
So there you have it, all of the randomness that I usually keep in my big ol’ bag. Sometimes you’ll even find some fresh flowers tucked right in there too. But only if I just made a quick run over to my fav grocery store Trader Joe’s.
Bridget taking pictures
Be sure to tune in next Friday to see what Bridget keeps in her bag. Until then you’ll just have to tide yourself over with this behind the scenes picture of B photographing her purse contents. Could you guess we shot these photos standing on a chair outside? Ha!
Casey DIY Playbook
What do you keep in your bag? Anything specific you won’t leave home without? 
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DIY Time Out: Winter Edition

b&c

These 2 Chicago ladies are sick of the snow, sick of the cold, and just plain tired of this harsh winter.  Sure the first snow day was a-okay with us, but now this is just getting ridiculous.  But we suppose that is just one of the things that comes with living in the midwest…ya just never know what you’re gonna get. So we’re dealing with winter the best way we know how…in style!

Here’s some of our favorite winter must-haves that are making this season a little more bearable.

Part I
1. Hunter Boots: These boots are a bit pricey, but they’re sooooo worth the splurge. We both own a pair of black ones and they’ve survived multiple winters. They’re great for overcoming big slushy puddles, but the inserts also keep your footsies nice and toasty! —C & B

2. Leather Gloves: I own a pair of black leather gloves and they’re a staple in my winter wardrobe. I wear them constantly and I’ll be damned if I lose one. —Casey

3. Spray Tan: I’m not ashamed to admit that I am a spray tanner! Yep, I’ll tell you loud and proud. I used to do real tanning beds back in college, but I finally wised up and got my skin healthy again. Now it is only fake tanning for me! This Neutrogena spray is my absolute favorite. No orange skin here. —Casey

4. Yogi Green Tea: If I’m feeling a little chilly at work I simply make a nice cup of green tea. The Yogi brand is the best because they always have an inspirational message on them. Definitely a nice pick-me-up in the afternoon. —Casey

5. Ikea Sheepskin: I’ve always admired the sheepskin look that I’ve seen in other bloggers’ homes. However, I was always a little too chicken to actually incorporate it into my own style. Well not any more! On my last Ikea trip I picked up one of these and I haven’t looked back! It’s so warm and cozy, and I find myself constantly moving it around our home. On a bench…draped over a chair…over the back of a stool…wherever it is, I’m loving it! —Casey

6. Bath Salts: Whenever I’m chilly and can’t warm up, I always take a nice hot bath. I know it totally dries out my skin in the wintertime, but I just can’t help it! It’s soooo relaxing and instantly warms me up. I’m more of a bath salt girl than a bubble bath girl, so these are a must near our bathtub (plus they add a decorative element to the side of our tub!) —Casey

7. Jodi Picoult Books: Jodi Picoult is without a doubt my favorite fiction writer. I’ve read all of her novels, some even twice! If you’re looking for a new read, pick up anything of hers and you won’t be sorry. —Casey

8. Kate Spade Coffee Mug: I recently received this exact mug from a relative and I’m obsessed. You know Bridget and I are both coffee fanatics, and drinking out of a fashionable mug just makes my morning cup o’ joe taste that much better! —Casey

Part II
1. Coffee To-Go Mug: I take coffee on the run Monday-Friday. I appreciate the weekends when I can  relax and sip coffee out of a regular mug, but having a cute to-go mug makes drinking it on the way to work far more enjoyable. —Bridget

2. Scarf: I’m definitely a scarf girl. Not this EXACT scarf, but in general, I wear scarves three seasons a year. Having a thick, warm, staple scarf in this brutal winter is a must! I tend to gravitate toward neutral colored scarves so they are versatile and can work with almost every outfit. —Bridget

3. Black Tights: Being a teacher by day, I have to dress the part during the week. To keep warm at work while still looking professional, I rock lots of black tights usually paired with…

4. Black Suede Wedges: I don’t have these exact wedges, but ones very similar. I am loving the black wedge this winter. I’m usually on my feet for a big portion of the day so a comfortable shoe is important. These black wedges are winter-y, functional, & perfect paired with tights. —Bridget

5. Doughnuts: Need I say more? These treats are my breakfast favs all.year.round. Fortunately for my waistline, these delicious treats aren’t a daily indulgence. —Bridget

6. Winter headband: I have a winter headband very similar to this one and I love it! My favorite part is that this headband keeps your ears warm, yet doesn’t totally mess up your hair-do. Here’s a peek at me rocking one of my winter headbands here. —Bridget

7. Patagonia Vest: Splurge alert! This one is not-so rookie salary friendly, but for the amount of use I get out of it…. I do feel like the price tag was worth it for me (plus, I got it on super sale!). This vest is warm, fuzzy and super cute to add layers to any winter outfit. Thanks to my trendy little sister, I feel like I’m up on the winter trends with this piece, yet still warm and cozy. Thank girl! —Bridget

For this DIY Time Out, we enlisted the help of one of our favorite bloggers to share the winter items she can’t live without. Here’s what Michelle from Iron & Twine is currently crushing on…

1. Anthropologie Monogram Mug:  Coffee, cocoa, cider or tea…a good mug is essential! This season my go-to cup is this Anthropologie Monogram Mug. Not too big, not too small, but just right for that certain cup of warm-me-up!

2. Aveeno Daily Moisturizer Lotion: Winter months can be harsh on your skin and skimping on a good moisturizer can be a winter don’t. To ensure my skin is spring ready, I stick to Aveeno Daily Moisturizer. And from someone who’s tried them all, this is hands down my favorite!

3. Softlips – Classic Vanilla: Soft lips…enough said.

4. Bed Buddy Hot Pack: Ok, this thing looks and sounds super silly, but I promise it’s life changing! Pop this thing in the microwave for a couple minutes and voila ~ instant heat pack. It’s typically meant for muscle pain, but this thing works great for lazy snow days huddled on the couch watching movies.

5. Crate & Barrel Zinc Boot Tray with Liner: To help corral wet & snowy boots and shoes, this boot tray is the perfect mudroom or entryway accessory!

6. Original Hunter Rain Boots & Welly Socks: These Hunter Boots & Welly Socks are the perfect pair for warmth and comfort! Whether shoveling snow, or going on a winter walk, these are a must have! And the best part?! When winter turns to spring, these boots are the perfect accessory for rainy days and afternoons spent gardening.

7. North Face Gloves: These gloves will keep you warm while also ensuring you don’t miss a beat texting, Instagraming and web browsing.

8. LLBean Ultrasoft Comfort Flannel Sheet, Fitted Stripe: To ensure a good night sleep, flannel sheets will help you stay warm on those brutally cold winter nights.

9. Le Creuset, French Onion Soup Bowl: French onion soup is my favorite easy go-to winter dinner. And while these Le Creuset handled bowls cost a pretty penny, their durability to withstand high heat, allows you to place them in the oven to ensure that perfect melted cheese topping! By far this is one of the most used items in our kitchen!

10. West Elm Favorite Throw:  Love these throws! And at this price you might as well splurge on two…or three!

*. Fresh Flowers: Nothing can brighten up a dreary winter day better than a bouquet of fresh flowers. Hit up your local grocer for an affordable arrangement. This time of year I love a large vase filled with colorful tulips.

Check out Michelle’s drop dead gorgeous home tour here, but in the meantime, here’s some tulip eye candy from her home. She’s so right, a vase of tulips really does brighten up a dreary winter day!

Bridget and Casey DIY Playbook
What are your winter must haves?!
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3 thoughts on “DIY Time Out: Winter Edition

  1. Shannon

    Jodi Picoult is my favorite fiction author too! I have also read every book, only once though. My absolute favorite is The Pact (the old Lifetime movie did NOT do it justice!)

    Ya’ll are more than welcome to come hang out on the beach in St. Petersburg, Florida with me! It’s going to be really warm this weekend 😉 I am from the suburbs of Chicago and couldn’t take the cold or snow anymore. I feel for ya girls, but I am not envious at all! Stay warm, hopfully you only have to endure a few more weeks!

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3 thoughts on “DIY Time Out: Winter Edition

  1. Shannon

    Jodi Picoult is my favorite fiction author too! I have also read every book, only once though. My absolute favorite is The Pact (the old Lifetime movie did NOT do it justice!)

    Ya’ll are more than welcome to come hang out on the beach in St. Petersburg, Florida with me! It’s going to be really warm this weekend 😉 I am from the suburbs of Chicago and couldn’t take the cold or snow anymore. I feel for ya girls, but I am not envious at all! Stay warm, hopfully you only have to endure a few more weeks!

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DIY Timeout: Wedding Edition

Wedding Venue Details
It’s time to take a DIY time-out around here! Since we’re not even close to being done talking about all things wedding, we thought it would be fitting to make a list of Bride & Bridesmaid’s Wedding Day Must Haves. Come check out our favorite things from Bridget’s big day….

Bridget's Wedding Day Must-Haves

1. Pearl Earrings: Pearls were my jewelry of choice for the big day. I don’t wear that much jewelry in “real life” so I wanted this to be reflected on my big day. I went for simple pearls studs (fake) and thanks to my favorite DIY rookie, borrowed a real pearl bracelet. I’m so thankful that A. Casey had pearls to lend me and B. I was able to check off my “something borrowed” from one of my favorite people in the world.
2. Ivory Scarves: We gave ivory scarves as a tiny token of appreciation for all of the wonderful women in our wedding. The grandmas, readers, and all of the ladies who had a key role in the ceremony were given a simple ivory scarf. And, I rocked a simple scarf throughout the day. I’m a scarf lady and I was happy to have one of my “staples” as a part of the day.
3. Sparkling Flats: Simple, affordable, comfortable, and most importantly… ready for a long night of dancing! I love heels, but to eliminate the fuss of having to change shoes half way through the day, I went with the flats and never looked back. #functionoverfashion
4. Mistletoe: A holiday wedding definitely calls for mistletoe, right? It just seems like the perfect symbol to blend a day of “love” and the holidays. We added mistletoe to our DIY photobooth (stay tuned) & enjoyed watching all of the fellow lovebirds smooch in front of the lens.
5. Antique Frames: Again, a part of our DIY photobooth. I snagged two large gold frames for less than 10 bucks and our guests had a ball with them!
6. Chalk: Matt and I and our amazing bridal party had the pleasure of taking pictures before the ceremony at Matt’s former high school. Since Matt and I are both teachers (and met teaching) we thought it was only appropriate to incorporate “school” somewhere into our big day. We used the chalk to write a few messages on some classroom chalkboards (more on that soon) and also heard chalk is a good tool to mask anything that may get on your dress. Seeing as though we had 6 white dresses in the crowd, the chalk definitely came in handy for more than just a photo-op!
7. Lots of Coffee in Cozy Mugs: For a long and cold day like we had, lots of coffee (in cute mugs of course) was a wedding day must. We even gave our bridesmaids coffee gift cards the night before- just to make sure they were fueled all.day.long.
8. Red Nail Polish: Let’s not get crazy, I didn’t rock red nail polish on my fingers… this red polish was part of my pedicure. I love red nail polish, but I don’t know if I could pull off that bold statement in an all white wedding.
Now.. onto my amazing bridesmaid’s favorite things. Case, what were your wedding day must haves?

Casey's Wedding Favroites

1. Convertible Mittens:These all white mittens provided just the right amount of warmth on Bridget’s big day! I’m always a big fan of the glove/mitten combo and these went well with my white dress.

2. Coach Love Rollerball: This portable rollerball fragrance was a perfect addition to my clutch for the night. The scent isn’t too powerful and with “love” in the name it seemed fitting for Bridget’s big day!

3. Beaded Clutch: Now this isn’t the exact clutch I had with me at the wedding, but it is very similar! It fit our white & silver bridesmaid’s theme and was a great size…not too big, and not too small. The best catchall for all kinds of wedding day goodies.

4. Blonde Bobby Pins: I went with a half-up, half-down hairdo for Bridget’s wedding and there were plenty of bobby pins stuck up into my hair. Whenever I see blonde bobby pins I snatch them up because they’re often difficult to find. I made sure to keep some with me all day long just in case my hair (or more importantly the bride’s hair!) needed any more securing.

5. Altoids: Typically I’m a big gum girl (Trident spearmint is my favorite), but I didn’t want to be chomping away on gum in all of B’s wedding pictures. So Altoids were my mint of choice for the day. They’re curiously strong ya know…

6. Bare Minerals Bronzer:When you’re in a wedding in December, your skin is probably not looking its tannest. That’s okay. I get a glow all year round with my favorite bronzer.

7. Essie Nail Polish in “Better Together”: I’m no nail guru, but apparently Essie is the new rage in nail polish. I just love that they have an entire wedding collection of colors. This one was perfect for my manicure and it was so fitting that the color is called “better together.” Love it!

8. Chandelier Earrings: My dress had some silver sparkles on the front, so I decided to get some sparkly chandelier earrings to match. These added just the right amount of sparkle, without being overly flashy. I’m hoping I can get some more use out of them this year too!

Bridget and Casey DIY Playbook
Any brides or bridesmaids out there? What were your favorite items that came in handy on the big day?
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3 thoughts on “DIY Timeout: Wedding Edition

  1. Nikki

    I love all the little details. I’m getting married this fall and I feel like there are so many little things to not forget!

    Reply
  2. Lisa Muhs

    Two questions… Where was the white chalk for my lipstick mishap? Also, where was the memo on red nails? #bridesmaidfails

    Reply

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3 thoughts on “DIY Timeout: Wedding Edition

  1. Nikki

    I love all the little details. I’m getting married this fall and I feel like there are so many little things to not forget!

    Reply
  2. Lisa Muhs

    Two questions… Where was the white chalk for my lipstick mishap? Also, where was the memo on red nails? #bridesmaidfails

    Reply

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DIY Time Out: Christmas Edition

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Today is a special day. No, not because it is Black Friday (anyone get some deals this morning?!) Today is special because it is our annual Favorite Things Party.

You can read all about the party from last year’s post right here. But I’ll also sum it up for you.

-We invite a big group of women over to Janimal’s house.
-In the invitation, we tell everyone to choose a favorite item that they have absolutely loved over the course of the year.
-Bring 3 of that same item, and try and spend about $90-$100 total for all 3.
-At the party, explain why you love your favorite thing.
-Then, you’ll have a chance to choose 3 new things to bring home and give as a holiday gift, or save for yourself (no judgment here…last year I kept all of my picks!)

The party is tonight, but we wanted to give you guys a sneak peek into the favorite things of the special women in our life.

Here’s Casey’s family and their favorite things…

Team Casey's Favorite Things


 1. Deluxe Travel Kit: This year I purchased this awesome travel kit for a two week trip.  I needed something that would hold all of my toiletries and didn’t want to worry about them spilling all over my clothes in my carry-on.  Unlike squeeze able bottles, the hard plastic bottles are air tight and durable. I’ve found the bottles are easy to refill and not nearly as messy as other 3 oz. travel size containers.  As a frequent traveler, I am constantly going through security, and this mesh bag is perfect, you can throw in the bin without having to put in a plastic quart-size bag because it is transparent.  Happy, mess-free travels!”
-Elizabeth

2. Mercury Glass Jar Candle: “I have an obsession with candles from Anthro, and this just makes my obsession even stronger. The mercury glass jar is so glam, and the candle inside is even better. Smells amazing, lasts forever, and instantly updates any home decor space.” -Casey

3. Cutco Knife: I got this knife about 5 years ago and have used it almost everyday since. It is so easy to use, it never gets dull, and can be used for most any kind of cutting. The warranty is guaranteed forever and it is made in the USA.” -Mary, aka Casey’s “Meme”

4. Urban Decay Eyeliner: “I love it because it has six different colors of eyeliner in a nice, compact case.  The eyeliner colors have a bit of sparkle to them, so they are fun and unusual.  When I am in a hurry, these colors give my eyes some pizazz without having to wear any eyeshadow.” -Jan

5. Seven Color Watch Set: “I love this watch set because it is trendy, flashy, and versatile.  No matter what I’m wearing, chances are there is a band that will work.  It’s a great, inexpensive way to add variety to your wardrobe.” -Jackie

Here’s Bridget’s family and their favorite things…

Bridget's Fav Things

1. Eat Cake for Breakfast Coffee Mug ($20): “I love my morning cup of coffee and drinking it out of this Kate Spade mug reminds me that life is too short to worry about counting calories, skipping dessert or not indulging in a little something sweet first thing in the morning. Cheers to skipping the healthy dose of yogurt and diving right in to a piece of delicious cake!” -Maggie 

2. Gold Deer Silhouette Pillow ($24): “You can never have enough pillows, right? I love the new trend of these sparkling pillows, especially around the holidays! I think it’s the perfect mix of holiday, sparkle and coziness. Mix this pillow with a fluffy plaid blanket and you have an inviting space full of trend-setting texture!” -Bridget [a variety of sparkly holiday pillows can be found @HomeGoods!]

3. Estee Lauder Eye Liner ($26): “This is by far my favorite make-up essential. This Estee Lauder eye liner comes in a few different colors, my favorite is dark navy. The liner goes on smoothly and the liner lasts a longggg time! When I run out, I just buy the refills rather than buying a whole new liner.” -Katie

4. Target Leopard Flats ($14.99): “As far as I’m concerned, these fifteen dollar flats match with everything! Along side stripes, polka dots, bright colors… these flats just work and add a J.Crew flare on a Target budget.” -Danielle

5. Revlon Lipstick ($4.99): “My signature color: Mocha Ice. Wherever I go, whoever I see…. you can bet that I will have my favorite lipstick on!” -Pat 

Hopefully we gave you a few gift ideas so you can tackle that never ending holiday to-do list. 

Happy Shopping! 

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DIY Time Out: Casey’s August Favorites

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DIY Time Out

Casey's August Favorites

My sister-in-law (Thanks Jackie!) got this awesome jewelry cleaner for me and I’ve become pretty obsessed with cleaning my engagement ring, watch, and earrings regularly. All I do is add water and a splash of hydrogen peroxide, hit the button, and listen as the machine cleans away all of the dirt and grime on my jewelry. It works really well and everything always comes out sparkly!
 I love me some Ann Taylor Loft. It is by far my favorite place to shop for clothes and I always venture in when they’re having a 40% or 50% off sale (which happens all.the.time.) I bought these coral shorts at the start of the summer and they’ve gotten plenty of use. I typically pair it with a white or black top and a chunky statement necklace.
On the weekends, you’re most likely to see me with dirty, unwashed hair. Sorry, it’s the truth! I just hate blow drying my hair when it’s so darn hot out, and I like to give my hair a “rest” on the weekends. Cute straw hats like this one are a lifesaver when my hair isn’t looking too hot. A low messy bun, some cute earrings, and this hat….I’m all set for a Saturday afternoon!
 We live in a loft, which means our bedroom walls only go 3/4 of the way up the wall. It’s fine most of the time, but when I’m trying to go to sleep and Finn is awake…no bueno. This sleep machine (again another purchase by my fab sister-in-law!) is a great way to drown out any noise.  This machine isn’t like any of the somewhat annoying ones with bird calls, rainforest sounds, and soothing guitar strings. Instead, it is just white noise. It lulls me right to sleep every single night.
For my birthday, my mom got me wedges similar to these but with pink stripes. (I think the theme of this post is “Casey doesn’t shop for herself.” Clearly I’m not a big shopper!) Not only are they incredibly comfortable, but I’ve gotten so many compliments on them.
This lip balm is always on my desk at work, so I can keep my lips smooth and flake-free! You can find these lip balms mostly anywhere (Walgreens, Walmart, Target) or you can purchase through our Amazon store here.
You can read past DIY Time Outs right here
P.S. We upgraded our “baby blogspot” blog to a real url. Woo hoo! We are now www.thediyplaybook.com. If you go to the old url, it will redirect you, but be sure to update your bookmarks so you can still find us. Thanks everyone!
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DIY Time Out: Man Edition

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While our ladies are living it up in Atlanta, they asked us to take over the blog on this lovely Friday.  They must have known our post was bound to be a success, since we impressed them with our blogging and DIY skills back in April. (more about that here.)

So take note girls, we’re revealing our manly “must haves” in this edition of DIY Time Out.

DIY Time Out
Matt & Finn's Must Haves

Matt’s…
1. Lacoste Cologne: Every Christmas, as sure as Santa will come down the chimney, it is just as sure that my mom will present me with a cologne gift. Lacoste has been my “staple fragrance” which is sure to turn the heads and tingle the nostrils of many-a-DIY’er.

2. Bigalow Organic Green Tea Every morning before work I used to begin my day with a cup of coffee. However, I have found a much healthier alternative which not only tastes better in my opinion, but helps keep my appetite in check throughout the day.

3. Bruce Springsteen Live in NY Album: Whenever I hear the words “Springsteen” and “New York City,” my heart skips a beat. One of my all time favorite albums is played regularly in our household. The near twenty minute rendition of “Tenth Avenue Freezeout” makes me feel like a teenage girl during “Beatle-Mania.”

4. Nalgene Water Bottle: My summer has been filled with a lot of long runs and workouts. The Nalgene Water Bottle has been attached to my hip since the beginning of July thanks to a recommendation from my brother. Thirty two ounces of water goodness is the typical finale to a long and draining work out.

Finn’s…
5. Whiskey Ball: Whiskey on the rocks can put a little hair on any guy’s chest. Lately I’ve been adding this cocktail to my repertoire, and I always like it cold and a bit watered down. This ice sphere does the trick. It’s just a plastic spherical mold, that you fill with water, and then freeze. I add the cube to my drinks and feel extra classy when I’m sipping my whiskey.

6. Digital Wireless Headphones: Since we live in a loft (aka no privacy) I use these wireless headphones to watch TV late at night. Casey heads to bed around 9:30pm (no joke, she is crazy)..while I’m more of a night owl. All I do is plug in these headphones and I can watch all the TV I want, while Casey dreams away in our quiet loft.

7. Crew Forming Cream: I’ve been using this hair product for years. All I can say is it is well worth the price tag.

8. Silver Tie Clip: I’m not always thrilled when Casey drags me to antique shops and flea markets, but sometimes I do find a few things for myself. On a past flea market trip, we found a silver, vintage tie clip. It was only $10 and I’ve worn it many times. Cufflinks are cool too, but you have to wear a specific button shirt down for those. I can wear a tie clip whenever I have to wear a suit and tie, and it adds a little pizzazz to my ensemble.

Don’t worry DIY Playbook fans, you’re not stuck with us for too long. Your two favorite girls will be back on Monday.

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DIY Time out: Bridget’s Summer Favs

favs
1. Old Navy Vintage Tees: If you happen to run into me this summer, chances are I’ll be rocking one of these $7 vintage tees from Old Navy. I have them in like every color (literally) and they even come in stripes! They feel like that old high school t-shirt that you’ve worn so much that it’s so soft you can’t wear anything else. Need I say more?
2. Maybelline New York Great Lash: I hate to admit it, but I know absolutely nothing about make-up. Make-up brands, make-up styles, even types of make-up… I am clueless. I do, however, know one thing: I love this super cheap, super awesome mascara from Maybelline. You can pick it up for under five bucks at Walgreens, Wal-mart, Target… and it does its job like a champ! This mascara even comes in waterproof, which is perfect for the summer.
3. Sperry Top-Siders: Need I say more?
4. Vera Bradley Travel Make-up Bag: Vera knows what she’s doing, and this travel make-up bag is no exception. Although I know nothing about make-up, I do know that when I travel I like to keep my make-up organized & of course looking cute. Thank you VB. This mini traveler has little compartments that help each little make-up or accessory find a home when on the road.
5. Tresemme Split Remedy: I feel like I’m 5 again. I think that’s the last time I ever used no tangle spray, which is the juvenile version of split remedy as far as I’m concerned. Ever since I’ve grown out my hair, my post-shower tangles are awful and a few sprays of this miracle potion takes all the pain out de-tangling those darn knots.
6. Sunglasses from Amazon: These rockstar shades are my summer go to’s and the best part… I bought them on Amazon for under ten bucks!! You can buy your very own pair (in ANY color) here!!

If you missed Casey’s favs last month, you can read about them here!

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