Category Archives: Just for Fun

The DIY Playbook Style Series – Leather Jackets


The DIY Playbook Style Series: Like many of you, we both strive to buy clothing that not only reflects our style, but is also comfortable, affordable, and can be worn at work AND on the weekends (did we mention we don’t want to spend a ton of money either). We know that a lot of the DIY Playbook’s readers are currently in this same exact situation, so hopefully together we can start this new journey of connecting one another with clothes (and sales!!) that make us all feel confident and comfortable. Don’t get us wrong, we are NOT fashion experts and we are not even fashion forward, just regular girls trying to have a little fun with our styles all without breaking the bank. *If you’re confused as to why the heck we’re writing about fashion today, be sure to check out this post!

travel-essentials-fall-fashion-outfitAnd today we are diving into the details of our leather jacketstravel-carmel-bridget-fall-fashion-leather-jackettravel-carmel-casey-leather-jacket-toms-dinner-succulents

Because we both recently invested in new leather jackets, we figured this would be a good starting point. So let’s dive into this fall fashion staple.casey-courtney-carmel

We’re both big fans of leather jackets, as it’s the perfect addition to our wardrobes for those brisk fall days. As Chicagoans, we’re all about making the most out of our time outside before winter comes into town. Because once those chilly temps come, we’re big homebodies who stay indoors and become vitamin D deficient!

Usually we don’t spend too much money when it comes to our clothes, but since this is a wardrobe staple that will be worn over and over…we were okay spending a tad more for leather jackets (like $100-ish). Whenever either of us purchase new staple items we both tend to do lots of research before we swipe that credit card. Shopping for these jackets was no different. We read reviews, checked out lots of sites, and found some awesome contenders.

Our Favorite Leather Jackets for Fall


*Affiliate Links Used 1. Double Peplum // 2. Classic Moto // 3. Drape Front //
4. Drape Front with Zipper (Casey’s) // 5. Draped Moto Jacket // 6. Easy Rider //
7. Leather Biker (currently on sale…33% off!!)  // 8. Cropped Moto (Bridget’s) // 9. Faux Suede

Here are the ones we each purchased for our own wardrobes.

Bridget’s Leather Jackettravel-carmel-bridget-leather-jacket-fall-fashion

I have actually been looking for a tailored leather jacket for A WHILE! I spotted this one online recently and sent the link to my little sister for her approval (she’s my fashion conscience). Ironically, she emailed me back saying… “that’s the EXACT jacket that I have!”. I’ve borrowed hers a lot over the years so I knew I loved the fit and went ahead and bought it immediately. It cost around $100, which is usually far more than I would ever spend on one piece of clothing but since I plan on wearing this for years (yes, years!) to come…. I didn’t mind spending the extra money.

Fit tips: I bought an XS and it fits extremely snug (however, I’m not always an XS). The faux leather is super soft and very nice quality. And I usually don’t like things to feel snug, but I like when jackets fit more tailored and less baggy…. especially a leather jacket. But since it is a bit snug,  I can only wear very light things under it. If you’re looking to wear layers under your jacket, I would definitely suggest sizing up on this one.

Casey’s Leather Jacket

casey-fall-fashion-jeans-jacket-purseAt just over $100, there was no way I couldn’t say no to this jacket. I loooove the “drapey” look, as I think it’s so flattering and instantly adds a little edge to your outfit. My big pet peeve with leather jackets is when they feel so tight like you can barely move your arms. No bueno. This one has stretchy material on the back of the arms, so you have lots of mobility. I’ve only had this jacket for about a month, but I’ve been wearing it constantly. All in all…a great purchase!

What we wear our jackets with

  • Jeans (just got these distressed ones this season. So soft!)
  • White Pants
  • Flannel around the waist
  • Fall Dress (just purchased this dress in navy. Comfortable & soooo flattering. Can’t wait to take pics for you guys)
  • T-shirt or Blouses
  • Pretty much anything!!

Where NOT to Wear your Leather Jacket

travel-casey-beach-carmelAnd we’ll leave you with this parting advice. A leather jacket may not be the most practical clothing option when you visit the beach. We were not expecting such brisk temperatures during our recent trip to Carmel-by-the-Sea and our leather jackets were the warmest clothing options we brought. So therefore we had to both wear leather jackets down to explore the beach! Talk about awkward. You can only imagine some of the looks we were getting…. and rightfully so! bridget-travel-beach-carmel-leather-jacket


Bridget and Casey Signature


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4 thoughts on “The DIY Playbook Style Series – Leather Jackets

  1. Whitney Regeth

    I love #8! I recently purchased a white leather jacket and absolutley love it. I think I need to get a black one now! They really do look great with anything!


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The DIY Playbook Style Series — What Is It?!



Let’s start off by saying right from the very start that the DIY Playbook is NOT (we repeat… NOT) turning into a fashion blog. HOWEVER we do want to introduce you to a new and somewhat fashion-y series that we plan on sharing here on the Playbook every Wednesday.

It is our honor to formally introduce you to the DIY Playbook Style Series, which is designed to give you guys what you’ve been asking for over the past year or so — more details about our wardrobes, what we wear to work, how we shop on a budget, how our styles are the same, how our styles are different, etc. But before you think we’ve officially lost our minds, allow us to explain.i_heart_paint_organization-2We will still be sharing our normal DIY + home decor posts every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (just like we have for the past 3.5 years) so don’t be nervous that things are about to change drastically around here (not even close!). Our normal content will look the exact same as it does now, but we have decided to step outside of our comfort zone to try something new on Wednesdays.

Why Wednesdays? travel-beach-casey-toms-jeans-fall-fashion-scarf

Well, we decided to post The DIY Playbook Style Series on Wednesdays because as of lately we don’t post anything on the blog on Wednesdays. Posting this new content every Wednesday will hopefully keep everyone happy and on the same page. For those of you who may be interested in this new content, you will know when to stop by to hear us talk about wearing white jeans after Labor Day, why we live in TOMS wedges throughout the fall, where we find those $12 blouses we love, and anything else that comes up along the way.

Bridget_Casey_Fashion_tassel_-8And for those who would rather us SKIP the fashion posts and stick to the DIY, you can easily skip posts on Wednesdays and come back on Thursdays and Fridays for the normal DIY and decor content. We think this is a good compromise and a great way to answer the fashion-based emails/messages we get so often… all without intruding on our beloved DIY content.

Real Talktravel-carmel-bridget-white-jeans-loft-blousejpg

The DIY Playbook Style Series (and everything that comes along with it) is VERY new to us and pretty darn scary (getting in front of the camera and putting yourself out there is never easy) but we are super excited to challenge ourselves and have a little fun along the way! Why the heck not, right?! <— our motto lately. You can’t help but at least try…. right?

The Formattravel-style-fashion-leather-jeans-bag

These weekly posts will be designed to answer FAQ’s about our clothes or give you guys a little insight as to what we’ve recently purchased, what we are currently loving, or just a little behind-the-scenes into each of our styles. We plan on highlighting one “theme” per week to keep these posts organized and efficient. Next week’s Style Series will be all about our fall leather jackets. We BOTH invested in new ones this year and we can’t wait to share what we think of them so far, how we wear them, and what other ones we looked at while we were making our BIG decision on which jacket was best for each of us.

Our Fashion Philosophy

travel-carmel-bridget-casey-fall-fashion-michaels-makersIf anyone’s thinking right about now, “who do these two think they are telling ME about fashion?!” … you’re right, we DON’T! We are total rookies when it comes to fashion (trust us, B’s fashionista little sister is never afraid to remind us of that. Sorry Mags.) but we think that’s what makes this weekly post unique. We’re JUST like a lot of you when it comes to fashion.

casey-desk-bedroomLike many of you, we both strive to buy clothing that not only reflects our style, but is also comfortable, affordable, and can be worn at work AND on the weekends (did we mention we don’t want to spend a ton of money either).

Bridget_Casey_Chicago_Odyssey_Travel-14We know that a lot of the DIY Playbook’s readers are currently in this same exact situation, so hopefully together we can start this new journey of connecting one another with clothes (and sales!!) that make us all feel confident and comfortable. So don’t get us wrong, — we are NOT fashion experts (ha! do you remember this embarrassing fashion post?!) and not even fashion forward, just regular girls trying to have a little fun with our styles all without breaking the bank.

Bridget and Casey Signature

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27 thoughts on “The DIY Playbook Style Series — What Is It?!

  1. shawnna griffin

    Hey girls love the post! I think it is great to share about fashion on Wednesdays! And Bridget that is crazy funny about the dress! ha ,ha

    1. Erin Olson

      That’s the story of my life… My sister and I do that all the time. Growing up, I was always forced to be the one to change if we were dressed too similar. #youngersisterprobs

  2. Erin

    love this!!! and total fan of the tom wedges. I have 2 of them. but i’m hoping that my work stays casual so that i can wear jeans with them! as i don’t feel like my work pants work very well with them.

    1. DIY Playbook

      We feel ya on that! They do have some other Tom boots that we’re interested in for the fall…so we may have to try those with work wear! We’ll keep ya updated..

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BEFORE Pictures – Lowe’s Fall Makeover


It has been a little while since we have given you guys an update on our upcoming Lowe’s home makeover, and we are so excited to fill you in on where things stand today.

Last we chatted, we gave you a little teaser of the space and offered up a few tidbits of information about these lucky homeowners. Since then, we’ve had the chance to meet April & Mike and see the space in person. And guys….IT’S GONNA BE SOOOOOOO GOOD.

Meet April & Mike!

Let’s begin with the most adorable couple ever. Mike & April got married last December, and purchased this home a few months after their wedding. They’re so excited to make this house their own as they start their new life together.

And they deserve all of it …. & more.

These high school sweethearts have suffered heartbreak that we can’t even imagine. A few years ago, April’s brother passed away tragically in an accident. After that unspeakable loss, Mike’s father suddenly passed away, which led April and Mike to postpone their wedding in order to be there for their grieving families. They both describe their family as the most important part of their lives.

So much so that they purchased this specific home to be close to their families, so they can help out and be there as much as possible to lending a hand whenever they can. And what was most shocking to us is their strength. Even though they’ve endured so much tragedy, they’re still incredibly positive, kind, and selfless. If you can’t tell already…we’re pretty blown away by these 2.

They’re an amazing couple and we feel so fortunate to give them a tiny slice of happiness in their new home. This is their first year of marriage and while they are constantly thinking and helping those around them, we also want them to have a place that is sacred and relaxing to them as a couple.

When we invited ourselves over to see the space, they welcomed us with open arms and didn’t mind that we took about 1,000 pictures and examined every nook & cranny of their bedroom.

The Bedroom – Before

As of now there is minimal furniture and decor in their bedroom, and it’s just begging for a little life & creativity. Lowes_Fall_Makeover_BEFORE_April_Mike_Bedroom-17

It’s also a fairly big bedroom (which we didn’t realize until we physically stepped inside), so we have lots of areas that are ready for a little TLC. Lowes_Fall_Makeover_BEFORE_April_Mike_Bedroom-13

We will get into our exact design plan (mood board & all!) next time we chat about the makeover, but one thing we definitely want to do is paint all of the wood trim white, as well as the closets and doors. Plus, we’ll be replacing the green with a nice warm gray color on the walls. Just the painting alone is A LOT!


We’ve also got big plans to transform these closet doors in order to brighten up the space and add lots of visual interest. Picture them with some cool molding, sleek black handles, and oh’s going to look fabulous!

Even though we have a lot of work ahead of us, we’re confident that this space is going to look pretty darn amazing by the time we’re outta here. At least that’s what we keep telling ourselves.

The makeover is all set for the weekend of October 1st, so the countdown is officially on! We have all of the furniture ordered, we’re planning out the DIY details, and we even have big plans for a couple of videos as we transform the space. Honestly, so much excitement and activity happening… we promise we will keep you guys updated every step of the way! Stay tuned =)Bridget and Casey Signature


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14 thoughts on “BEFORE Pictures – Lowe’s Fall Makeover

  1. Victoria | the Maypop

    Family is so important, and I value my own more and more each day. Love that you’re doing a makeover for this couple. I’m not one to hesitate over painting wood, especially mid-century nondescript trim, but something about the grain on those closet doors just speaks to me. What about cerusing (think I spelled that correctly) or something similar? I love the idea of lightening them but still having the grain peek through! Just a thought. Everything you guys do is beautiful, and I know this won’t be an exception.

    1. DIY Playbook

      Family first, we completely agree! Thanks Victoria!! And we love the grain of that wood door too but unfortunately the doors are older and a bit beat up so adding a little TLC to those is definitely on our to-do list. But yes…. we couldn’t agree more that wood grain is so dreamy!

  2. Lisa Prosapio Brennan

    You girls are amazing!!! Can’t wait to see the process and transformation on the blog! Looks like you couldn’t have chosen a better couple either <3

    1. DIY Playbook

      Aw, thank YOU Lisa! We are SO lucky to be working with April and Mike. They are amazing and so humble/grateful/open-minded…. we really hit the jackpot! We can’t wait to give them a space that they l-o-v-e!

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Happy Hour no.1

Chicago_Odyssey_Travel_ drink_cheers_champagne

We’ve always done a monthly recap here on the DIY Playbook, but we have decided to reformat this monthly tradition.

planner_bedroom_coffee_flowers-5Some of you mentioned that you appreciate the personal updates and hearing what we have going on behind-the-scenes. While others noted that you like the links to things we are currently loving across the internet (other blog posts, articles we loved reading that month, items we recently purchased, etc.).

We decided to do a little bit of both in our new and improved monthly feature that we have affectionately named, “Happy Hour“.

What’s Happy Hour?

To us, Happy Hour is a time to sit back, relax, and catch up with friends. It’s a time to chat about everything and anything, and that’s exactly what we want to bring to DIY Playbook’s monthly Happy Hour.

happy-hour-graphicWe want these monthly posts to be a chance to catch up with friends and bring just a little extra happy to your day. Each month’s Happy Hour will be posted at the end of the month and will loosely follow this format:

  • Love It <— items we are currently loving or recently bought
  • Link it <— blog posts, articles, and links we found noteworthy throughout the month and want to share
  • Casey’s Updates <— What Casey has been up to outside of the blog this month
  • Bridget’s Updates <— What Bridget has been up to outside of the blog this month

So grab your coffee (or champagne) and let’s catch up! coffee

Love it


  • I recently picked up this chambray shirt and it’s just so good. Not too thin, and I can wear it by itself or layered over a cute top. A new staple in my wardrobe (Fit tip: I ordered a M and it’s perfect!)
  • My leather jacket was getting very worn, so I scooped up a new one. This one is so comfortable, and you seriously can’t beat that price! I’m pretty sure I’ll be wearing it on repeat this fall. (Fit tip: Be sure to size up)
  • I spent soooo much time looking for the perfect fall bag for work, and I finally pulled the trigger and got this one. Love that I can wear it cross body, or on my shoulder and there’s enough room for my laptop.


    • It’s no secret that I love a good graphic tee. So when I saw this SUPER COMFY one for $14… of course I just had to buy it. Plus it has stripes, so we were practically meant to be. happy-hour-shoes
    • My sister wore these lace up heels recently and I totally want a pair. She says that they’re super comfortable, not very high and can easily be worn to work. If they weren’t $89, I’d totally buy them and wear them all.the.time.
    • When peplum is mixed with a casual sweatshirt, you get this adorable top. I bought this blouse when I was back to school shopping but made sure to wait unit LOFT had a 40% off sale. The fit is awesome (read: you can order as much dessert as you want on your next date night because this shirt will never tell).

Link it

  • Pretty sure we both want to buy just about everything in this new collection
  • This is definitely something we both want to do more of before we start families…
  • Chicago DIY’ing duo with some serious skills. I mean can you even believe these amazing planters?!
  • Proof that a family-friendly basement can be stylish
  • Social Media Etiquette 101 (yes to everything in this article!)
  • Not only are Katie & Jeremy just about the cutest couple ever, but they’re hardcore DIY’ers. Love this laundry room they’re working on!
  • This is such a great idea for a patio space.
  • We’ve been nominated for a blog award (Best USA Interiors Blog for the 2016 Amara Awards) and would love you forever if you took a minute to vote for us! The awards event is held in that would be pretty unreal!

Casey Updates:

haven-conference-emoji-photobooth-caseyThis month started off with our whirlwind trip to Atlanta for the Haven conference, and luckily it has slowed down since then. Bridget and I had an awesome girls weekend together, and we enjoyed catching up with our friend Michelle (from the blog Iron & Twine). Love hanging with online friends in real life!

On the work front, I’ve been busy juggling a lot of different video projects so the weekdays have been hectic! It’s gotten to the point where my husband and I say we’re 2 ships passing in the night. I’m often up and out the door for work before Finn even wakes up, and then he works pretty late and I’m in bed early.

Casey FinnBut because we don’t get a lot of quality time together during the weekdays, we’ve made our weekends a priority. Date nights, bike rides, and afternoons spent exploring have filled our August weekends…and it’s glorious! We’re also big TV binge watchers at night, and just finished watching all of The Flash, Veep, and always seem to sneak in some How I Met your Mother reruns. Seriously just so good.

Gym-ShoesI also joined the gym near me and have tried out a few new workout classes. Pilates, Body Pump, Spinning….I’ve been changing it up every other day and it’s been amazing! My body is constantly sore, but it hurts so good. Hoping to burn off some of those summer cocktails I’ve been enjoying a bit too much lately 😉

Bridget Updates:

haven-conference-bridget-casey-diy-playbook-rookies-atlantaLike Casey mentioned, the month started with our amazing trip to Atlanta for the Haven Conference. We had SUCH a great weekend but I knew in the back of my mind that when I got home it was almost time to head back to work for the school year. And that’s exactly what happened.

Lyndsay'sBacheloretteParty-66After we headed back home from Atlanta, I spent the next few days preparing to go back to work. I did some last-minute organizing around the house, did a tiny bit of back-to-school shopping, and spent as much time with the family as I could before we were all back-to-school. Transitioning back into the school year is always a bittersweet but wow, I have NOTHING to complain about because my summer was absolutely perfect.

O'Connor-girls-Baby-Q-family-owen-bridgetAnd to cap it all off, we spent our last “free” weekend celebrating baby Owen with a backyard “Baby-Q”. Being together with our extended family and celebrating the newest member of the Chestnut Club was the perfect way to end one amazing summer!chicago-fireworks-night-time-cruise-photography

Bridget and Casey Signature

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10 thoughts on “Happy Hour no.1

  1. Kristen Ayotte

    Love the new format for monthly updates! It’s so hard to believe that summer is closing. September is always the busiest month for my hubby and I so I looking forward to ushering Fall in with lots of fun! 🙂


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Video: Our Chicago Summer 2016


Well, it looks like our summer is just about over. Bridget has been back to school for 2 weeks now, and we’re already busy filling our September schedule with lots of projects. Those carefree summer days are officially behind us, and we’ve got fall on our minds. Anyone else?!

beverly-shores-chicago-sunset-lake-michiganbeverly-shores-summer-ice-cream-cone Even though we’re sad it’s over, we are grateful for such an amazing Chicago summer!  We went on a few trips, spent lots of time outdoors, and got plenty of projects done around each of our homes. At the beginning of the summer, we vowed to take some video every time we were together…even if it was just a few seconds here and there. That way, by August, we could create a mini reel of all of the fun stuff we did over the summertime.haven-conference-bridget-casey-diy-playbook-rookies-atlanta

Chicago_Odyssey_Travel-21Today we’re showcasing that video! It’s chock full of a little bit of everything…spending time with our hubbies, blogging on our computers, drinking coffee, sipping champagne, taking photos, boating on Lake Michigan, decorating our homes, etc. It’s really just a concoction of all of the tiny moments that made our summer so much fun!

Our Chicago Summer 2016 – VIDEO

We’re hoping to create these mini videos for every season (our fall one is currently in the works!). I guess you could consider it to be a video scrapbook of our lives, our blog, and our friendship. And since we became fast friends because of our love of scrapbooking (way back in high school…), we’re considering this to be our adult method of documenting all of the fun we have together.

Cheers to a wonderful Chicago summer. We feel so grateful for such an amazing summer together, but we’re officially ready to bring on the fall!

Bridget and Casey Signature

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8 thoughts on “Video: Our Chicago Summer 2016

  1. Kerri Hansen

    What a great idea! I love the video, you two ladies just keep turning out awesomeness! I am a Canadian, living in Vancouver, but lived in Chicago. My son, who turned 12 yesterday was born at Illinios Masonic! We took him to Chicago for his 10th bday, I attached a pic of us at Navy Pier. I love seeing the footage of your gorgeous city, I miss living in Chicago! I LOVE your blog and also follow you on Instagram. Reading your content is the way I often start my morning, of course with a cup of coffee! Gold stars for the both of you! Hugs from Canada!
    Kerri, Little Nest Design

    1. DIY Playbook

      Kerri, you seriously made our day with your sweet comment!

      -Love that you used to live in Chicago, and love that you brought your son back to where he was born! You guys look sooo happy in that picture.

      -Thank you so much for the kind words! We are so lucky to have you taking time out of your morning to read our little slice of the internet!! 🙂

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What is #DIYPlaybookSOS?

We briefly mentioned #DIYPlaybookSOS in our Lowe’s Fall Makeover announcement but haven’t  really talked about it, outside of our Instagram, since then. Fast forward through a few crazy weeks and it’s finally time to catch up and give you all of the details on what the heck this #DIYPlaybookSOS is all about.
diy-playbook-sos-instagram-18We get a lot of emails asking if we offer design services. We are always extremely flattered by these emails and quickly reply…. we wish! But with our full time jobs and maintaining the blog, we don’t have enough free time to take on spaces outside of our own (maybe one day!).

But because these readers were so sweet to reach out and ask for our advice, we found ourselves taking a look at their spaces, considering their design dilemmas, and weighing in with a bit of our feedback.

As we continued to get more and more of these emails, we started thinking that maybe other readers could benefit from seeing some of these design dilemmas and hearing our advice on what we would do in these spaces. And that’s when #DIYPlaybookSOS was born.

output_5FcNrY (1)Essentially, #DIYPlaybookSOS is a quick and easy way for our readers to reach out to us and say, “DIY Playbook, save our space!”. If you post a picture on Instagram or Facebook, tag @diyplaybook and use the hashtag #DIYPlaybookSOS to let us know what your design dilemma is. Every few weeks, we will share one of these spaces (with your permission, of course!) and offer our DIY and decor suggestions along with links to products we recommend.

WHY #DIYPlaybookSOS?

We figure this mini series a good addition to the DIY Playbook’s editorial calendar for a few reasons…

  1. You may have the exact same design dilemma as one of the featured spaces, so hearing some decorating advice could help you tackle your own home!
  2. We can showcase various styles that may be different from ours.
  3. It’s fun to shake things up! So why the heck not give it a try?!

We’re sharing our FIRST #DIYPlaybookSOS feature this Friday and we can’t wait to hear what you think! Do you like seeing other styles? Do you like seeing spaces that are outside ours? Do you think you can use some of these tips in your own home? Don’t hesitate to let us know!!

Submit Your Space3-calendar-day-planner-computer-organized

And if you have a space that needs a little love, share it with us by tagging @diyplaybook and using the hashtag #DIYPlaybookSOS. Maybe your space will be the next feature on the DIY Playbook!

Lowe’s Fall Makeover Updates

Chicago Bean WinterOh and one more thing!! Speaking of #DIYPlaybookSOS, we are super excited to share some updates on the Lowe’s Fall Makeover. Before we get into the details, we first have to say THANK YOU very, very much to all of our local readers who took time to apply for this Chicago makeover. We were OVERWHELMED with the amount of applications and read through every single one of them. We really, really hope we get more of these opportunities because there were so many cool spaces and so many amazing families that we would LOVE to work with someday. Seriously, we want to come to each and every one of your homes!

But this time around, there is a special couple that we just cannot wait to work with this fall. Meet April and Mike. These two newlyweds are high school sweethearts who have gone through some extremely difficult times over the past few years. With some very tragic circumstances within both of their families, April and Mike have worked hard to support their families through devastating times… even at the cost of putting their own wedding on hold to focus on the needs of their families.

We will be tackling their master bedroom and hope to give this amazing couple the sanctuary they deserve, as they start their life together in their first home. Here’s a pic of the space before we get our hands on it. It has so much potential, and we’re really excited to bring our vision to life. bedroom-before-lowes-makeover

Stay tuned over the next month as we introduce you to Mike and April (you’re going to love them!), see more of their space, hear all about our plans for this bedroom oasis, and tune in for the BIG makeover!!

Bridget and Casey Signature


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10 thoughts on “#DIYPlaybookSOS

  1. Erin

    excited to see what Mike and April end up with!!

    and love the idea of just sharing tips and ideas in the blog for those who want feedback (but don’t have their own blog!)

    1. DIY Playbook

      We are soooooo excited to get started! It’s going to make for a fun makeover, for a very deserving couple!

      And hopefully #DIYPlaybookSOS goes well! We’re excited to showcase other styles and more spaces!

  2. Kara D

    I am excited for this new “series” – I hope it doesn’t burn you guys out. Looking very much forward to what you’ll do for April and Mike!
    (…and secretly-not-so-secretly I hope you’ll be able to help with some of my design dilemmas! I’ll definitely be submitting some #SOS pics through IG!)


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Dorm Room Decor… for Adults!

good morning gorgeous pillow dormify

It’s been 6 years since we graduated college (where has the time gone?!), and we both look back on those school days with such nostalgia. Sleeping in, hanging with friends at the dining hall, and staying up late to cram for finals…all a big part of our college days (along with a few wild nights…but that’s a story for another day!)

dorm makeover dormify grace roomLast year, we got to re-live our dorm room days when we completed this dorm room makeover at Saint Mary’s College.

dorm room pillows dormifyIt turned out pretty darn adorable didn’t it?! Spending time in the dorm that day made us miss those “good ol’ days”…. well, minus the part about living in a non-air conditioned building on a HOT August day. #dontmissthat

When we did that dorm room makeover, we realized that there are some AWESOME products out there geared specifically towards college kids for their dorm rooms and college apartments. So many cute things that we wish we could have incorporated into our spaces way back when (True Story: Casey’s entire dorm room was hot pink…her bedding was even hot pink polka dots. While Bridget went with a bright, way too colorful Hawaiian theme. Yikes.)

dormifyPhoto via Dormify

But who says you have to be in college to buy some of these products?! Heck, we would love to incorporate many of these new college items into our homes TODAY! Here are some dorm room essentials that we are totally digging right now. We believe any of these would actually work in any “adult home”.

dorm_decor.04 PMFuton // Hanging Planter // Storage Ottoman // Animal Mail Sorter // Striped Schoolbag // Home Sweet Home Banner // Sheets // Letter Club Sign // Grey Trunk //  Oops Eraser // Acrylic Paper Sorter // Jewelry display // Storage Boxes

So cute, right?! Just goes to show, you don’t always have to look at traditional stores for home decor pieces.

And now for the fun part…A GIVEAWAY! We’re giving away $200 to Dormify so you can deck out your dorm room, apartment, our house with cute accessories! Dormify started with products specifically geared towards decorating dorm room spaces, but they’ve since expanded their collection to include items beyond those college years. You can see more of their adorable products used in real spaces over on their Instagram page.

For your chance to win the $200 gift card, enter via the Rafflecopter widget below,. Make sure you leave a blog post comment to qualify!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We’ll announce the winner on the blog next week. But don’t worry, if you don’t win you can still get a major discount on some Dormify goodies. Just use the coupon code “DIYPLAYBOOK” at checkout for 20% off most items!

Happy Shopping, friends!

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74 thoughts on “Dorm Room Decor… for Adults!

  1. Kathleen Nelson

    Unfortunately I went to a commuter college when I went to college way back when but I loved buying all the fun dorm stuff for my kids’ dorms! They have the coolest stuff out there now.

  2. Amy Lynn

    Oh, the memories! My roommate went with all purple, and I went with blue. I do remember we had a Leopard fold out chair. I’d actually love a couple of these items to decorate my classroom, like the futon, and the hash tag marquee light. The trunk would make a cool bench and double as storage. Thanks!

  3. Nicole Amorim

    My dorm room was covered with photos and pages from magazines…I wasn’t very stylish! If I could do it all again I’d go with soothing colours and the less is more aesthetic 🙂 Love the cute organization and decor options from Dormify!

  4. Leslie

    My roommate and I were not the best decorators. I bought a horrible duvet cover that had a giant flower on it and was impossible to keep free of fuzz and wrinkles. My crowning dorm decoration was a picture wall and song lyrics.

  5. Meaghan

    My roomie and I both had colorful quilts (unplanned!) for out beds and lots of photos in handmade frames. There were also a bunch of maps – my roomie was a world linguistic major – hence the maps. Love that black and white duvet cover! I wish I had been so chic in college!

  6. Trang

    My dorm was not pretty at all despite the fact that I attempted to make it pretty with what I had. Students have so many options now. I’m super jealous.

  7. Erin

    yeahhhh it’s been uhm too long since i’ve been at college, and it was never cute! i do remember i collected the milk mustache ads and was obsessed with buffy the vampire slayer, if that gives you any indication on how long ago it’s been since college.

  8. Anne Weber-Falk

    I didn’t go to college but my daughter is there now. Wow what a mess she had the first two years. She is juuust starting to find her style this year. Next year she hopes to have an apartment with friends. That futon is just what she is looking for. I will have to remember this.

  9. Sara Warfel

    My goodness look how far dorm room decorating has come. I remember everything being bright bright bright and all plastic everything. I love the new elements with ceramic, acrylic, wood tones. Ahh if I could go back and redecorate (without the studying, of course)!

  10. Emily

    Lucky for me, I only had to live in a dorm room for one year. I had a purple and white striped bedspread and my roomie went with pink and brown polka dots. I was able to borrow a futon from a family friend for additional seating – black with orange leaves. The walls were painted brick and we were unable to hang anything. I wish I knew about command strips then. I also wish I understood about coordinating colors and patterns.

  11. Betsey

    I think I had just about every color represented in my dorm room. Striped colorful comforter, brown sheets, orange towels…WOOF.

  12. Jody Hon

    I missed out on the dorm room experience, living at home to save $$. I would like to think my dorm room would’ve been decorated as cute as your dorm room makeover, but since my style was still majorly developing there is really there is no telling what crazy design scheme I would’ve come up with HA!

  13. Lucy

    i never stayed in a dorm, but i did share an apartment with my brother. it was very minimalist–it had to have a function, “to look pretty” doesn’t count.

  14. Stephanie Cooper

    My roommate and I wanted to add color to the walls so we hung scrapbook paper on the wall to create an accent wall ’tiled’ with various colors! I may or may not have had paper fall on my head in my sleep a few times! haha

  15. Abbie DeLaney Zinkan

    I’m from Boston and my roommate in college was from Upstate NY – we are both hardcore sports fans so our walls were clashing football, baseball and hockey teams – fortunately we got along fine, but if you’d seen our room you would have thought we were enemies.

  16. Amanda

    My College Dorm Room was apparently the only time I liked the color pink.

    I am rocking the above Rhino Letter Sorter on my work desk. I am glad my style has evolved 🙂

  17. Sarah M

    This stuff is so cute! My dorm room was definitely the hot pinks, bright blues and random photos and posters plastered to the wall. I’m so glad my style has grown up a LOT since then!

  18. Sara Kral

    I love perusing all the dorm items in the stores now! And I love how they tend to be less expensive than other like items!

  19. Kat W

    My dorm was “buy all the bright colors” themed! Perhaps toning that down a bit would have been good… ha!

  20. Michelle

    My dorm room was boring. Slap up a few James Dean posters and call it a day. I had no idea what my style was. ha.

  21. Annabellainla

    I didn’t go to college but my dream dormroom would be pink purple and black and have a sort of Paris theme

  22. coupcrazy

    My dorm room was small and not very decorated besides my colorful comforter, I wish a had more storage.
    aka Brenda Haines

  23. SadieBee

    I lived in a dorm all 4 years! It was so fun to decorate and set up “house” so you had a comfy space all your own. I was in a studio a lot, too, so I had my lil set up there as well. My apartment isn’t too much bigger now, haha, and I’m still using some of the same stuff!

    1. DIY Playbook

      We completely agree… decorating your first “home” set up (even if it was only a dorm) was SO exciting!! It was the first time to really explore your style and there’s something so fun about that. =)

  24. Kat

    Dorm room life is so much more comfortable and stylish than when I was in school. I love all the cushy mattress toppers that can make the standard-issue mattress feel more like home. I’d add a variety of cute and comfy decorative pillows to personalize it and make it unique.

    1. DIY Playbook

      We completely agree, Kat! Dorm decor has come ALONG way since we were in college. LOVE all of these new pieces, so much room for creativity and individual style.

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Apply for a FALL MAKEOVER with Lowe’s + DIY Playbook

Chicago Wall Art

 Lowe’s is sponsoring this makeover series. All opinions and photography are our own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog. 

Remember when we traveled to Buffalo, New York last Spring to makeover the patio of the most adorable and deserving family?

Lowes Spring Makeover Patio RevealThat weekend was a whirlwind of DIY excitement. We had a team of Lowe’s professionals, a 72 hour deadline, and a patio that needed a lot of TLC. But thanks to everyone’s hard work (and a few very late nights!), the patio came together and we were beyond honored to reveal this happy and colorful space to the Wright family.

Looking back, that whole experience was one of our favorite blogging projects to date. There’s just something so special about the opportunity to pay it forward and leave feeling like we made the homeowners a little more excited and proud to call their space home sweet home.

Greetings from Chicago Wall Graffiti

ANOTHER Makeover with Lowe’s + DIY Playbook

When Lowe’s asked if we wanted to partner with them to makeover ANOTHER space for ANOTHER deserving family right here in the Chicagoland area, we immediately said YES!!!!!

DIY Playbook Save our Space Letterfolk board

How to Apply

As of TODAY, we are officially taking submissions for this Fall Makeover. If you live in the Chicagoland area (or you know someone who does) and have a room that needs a little DIY love, then we REALLY hope you apply. <—– in the most non-creepy way possible, we want to come over and help!

Submission Due Date

All submissions are due FRIDAY (as in 2 days from now!!) so it’s important that you submit your space as soon as possible. Once all of the spaces are submitted, we will read every single submission and announce the homeowner next week. AHH!!!

DIY Playbook Save our Space Letterfolk boardFrom there, we will take you guys through every step of this journey! We will share everything from the design plans, to the weekend work, to the exciting reveal and all the project details in between. We can’t wait to share this experience with all of you.The DIY Playbook Rookies Casey and Bridget FallSo if you have a space that needs a little love and you live in the Chicagoland area, please, please, please APPLY HERE (or forward this post on to someone you know!) But before you officially apply, here’s a few more details to consider.

  • Be looking to fix up a space within their residence.
  • Makeover project should be able to be completed within 48 hours.
  • Must be the owner of your home.
  • Be outgoing, energetic, and fun with unique stories to tell.
  • Be comfortable being on camera and/or interviewed by media.
  • Be in need of expert design help from us!
  • Be able to make quick decisions in order to keep tight timelines.
  • Be available for a 2 day period to complete the makeover (September 16th through October 2nd).
  • Allow photos of your home to be shared online.
  • Must be 21 years of age or older to apply.
  • Complete the online application form and agree to the terms in the application.
  • To apply visit this site.
  • We will only contact eligible participants.


 DIY Playbook Save our Space We would love to get a sneak peek of some of the submitted spaces before Friday! Snap a photo, tag @diyplaybook on Instagram or Facebook and use the #diyplaybookSOS (short for DIY Playbook Save Our Space) so we can check these rooms out… and start dreaming up ideas!

And for those of you who live outside of Chicago, don’t worry we have not forgotten about you! We have something for you too…. coming very, very soon. In order to prepare for that, we’d love for you to snap a picture of a space that needs to be saved, tag us on social media, and use the hashtag #diyplaybookSOS to tell us a little bit about your design dilemmas. We may have a few things up our sleeves and we’re looking for spaces that need a little DIY love. =)

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6 thoughts on “Apply for a FALL MAKEOVER with Lowe’s + DIY Playbook

  1. Erin

    man i am SO jealous! for me it’s just a revamp of the kitchen. but my husband does not want to put any more money in the kitchen. but it feels SO dark, which is crazy as the dining room and living room are BRIGHT. plus the kitchen is so not my taste.

    1. DIY Playbook

      Maybe someday we’ll be able to go all over the country doing makeovers! That would be awesome.

      And I get ya with the kitchen. Hard to brighten up that space on a budget!

  2. Renee Porter

    Woohoo! I applied! Luuuurrve this! Here’s hoping my wacky family and our fugly bathroom get picked, LOL!

  3. Brittany

    Applied! Obsessed with your decorating/remodeling skills and would love to have you create something amazing in my kitchen!


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July Recap & Personal Updates


Happy Friday friends! Can we all agree that the summer is flying by?! What a fun month it has been both on the DIY Playbook & behind the scenes. Bridget became an aunt, we celebrated BLOG WEEK, took a weekend trip to the lake with our hubbies, and even celebrated our 10 year high school reunion (10 years, already?!). Wow, we have A LOT to catch up on.

On the Blog

  • The highlight of our month was BLOG WEEK <— blog week is one of our favorite weeks of the entire year and we were blown away and SO grateful for your support. We love hearing from you guys and really appreciated your feedback and ideas. Our calendar is already exploding with new ideas and posts… thank YOU so much!! Here are our posts from that jam-packed week…
  1. State of the Blog
  2. How to Create a Mood Board without Photo Shop
  3. What it’s really like working with your BFF 
  4. How we make money blogging! <–definitely a popular post with you guys!
  5. Rookie Mistakes from our Favorite Bloggers!

blog laptop computer inspiration

Around the Web

  • Our blog friend turned real friend, Courtney from A Thoughtful Place, bought a new house and we can’t wait to follow along as she makes it her own! Here’s a “before” tour. Congrats lady!!
  • Another one of our fav bloggers bought a house and plans on flipping it to eventually sell it. We’ve never followed along on a “flip-to-sell” journey, so we’re excited to tune in (before pics here)! Plus anything Dana from House*Tweaking does is pretty much amazing. #bigfans
  • As if we needed another reason to love Emily Henderson. Her post about blogging in the midst of tragedy is a must read!
  • We’ve been digging Young House Love’s new podcast. But we especially loved this one where they chat about bloggers & sponsored posts.
  • Our sweet friend, Monica from East Coast Creative, just came out with this awesome web series! She partnered with our favorite brand (Lowe’s!) for a show called “The Weekender.” In each episode, Monica completes 5 projects in 2 days that homeowners can all tackle themselves. Definitely check it out!darby
  • We are proud contributors of the new DARBY APP!!! You can download it now at the AppStore… it’s called “DARBY”. This app reminds us of a mix between Pinterest meets Instagram via hyperlapse videos. It’s a scrolling feed of hyperlapse video tutorials for crafts, DIY, cooking, and more! We’re honored to be among such amazingly talented contributors. Maybe this app will be the motivation we need to get our butts in gear to amp up our video game. #fingerscrossed



This summer has been incredibly busy for me work-wise. I’ve taken on a few new production clients, and I’m working on a pilot for a new local show. So when my dad asked if we wanted to get away for a weekend to a lake house, it was very welcomed! Some of my family went, and I invited Bridget & Matt along for some laid-back summer fun. beverly-shores-to-chicag-sign

We went to Beverly Shores which is actually only about an hour from Chicago. It was such a fun weekend, as we went to the beach, hit up some outlet stores, and went on a long bike ride exploring the area. beverly-shores-pink-house

On that bike ride, B and I found this amazing PINK house! Can you even?! It was right on the water, and the bright pink next to the deep blue water….STUNNING!beverly-shores-chicago-sunset-lake-michigan

I love summertime, because even though the weekdays may be crazy…it’s always nice to take time to relax and spend time with your loved ones on the weekends. And for us that usually means ice cream, grilling out, and drinks on the patio.

Also, my godson turned 1 this month! I can’t even believe it has already been a year. I love this little guy to pieces and can hardly keep up as he runs all around getting into trouble. What a cutie pie!


newborn_photography_tips_baby_owen-5I’m sure you guys are SICK of hearing about him (I’m so sorry… I promise I’ll stop after this post!!), but this month was pretty much ALL about the newest member of the Chestnut Club. Welcoming Owen into our family and watching Katie become a mom has been SO amazing. We’re all so happy for her and feel extremely blessed to have this healthy, handsome little fella in our lives.paint_converse_diy

Outside of learning how to hold a baby (note: I’ve never really been around babies so there’s been lots of LEARNING), this month has been filled with LOTS of mini DIY projects around the house. I’ve been working hard to finish up the bathroom & have lots of mini DIY projects in the works that I can’t wait to tell you ALL about! I’m trying to get as much of my to-do list done before going back to work in 2 weeks. AND I want to get started switching the guest room and office, so getting these mini projects out the of the way will help me get to that bigger project sooner!beach_travel_diyplaybookstyle

In the “fun” department, Matt and I LOVED heading to the beach with Casey & Finn for the weekend. It’s always fun when we get together, but throw in a sunny weekend on the beach and we can’t ask for much more than that!

flowers_dinner_tableI also attended our 10 year high school reunion this month and had an absolute blast! Since Casey & I went to the same high school, it was our high school reunion (not just mine). But Casey was busy celebrating her nephew’s first birthday, so I went without her.

Although I REALLY wish she was there, Matt and I had SUCH a blast. I was a little hesitant going but I’m very glad that I did.  It was great catching up with old friends and chatting about the “good ol’ days”. Where did those 10 years go?!

Bridget MattI know summer is not technically over for me for another two weeks, but I can’t help but feel so grateful for this time off. Meeting Owen, visiting Alaska, spending quality time with my family and friends, & getting lots of projects done around the house… my summer has been more than I ever could have imagined.

Bridget and Casey Signature

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6 thoughts on “July Recap & Personal Updates

  1. Trang

    As my 14 year old said last night, ‘the days go by so quickly as you get older’. LOL…if only she knew. Seriously though, where has summer gone? I can’t believe you go back to school in 2 weeks Bridget (so do my kids). You and Matt seem to have had a great summer with many memories and that is awesome.
    Casey, with the new work clients and project (I want to know more about this local show!), I hope you and Finn got to enjoy time on your patio/deck! I can’t get over how beautiful it is.
    I love that pink house. I would never think to go with the color, but it really works for that house! Wow.

    1. DIY Playbook

      What a wise 14-year-old! The new show has been so fun to work on because it’s about all of the fun “hidden gems” and activities in Chicago. We’re just airing a pilot right now, but hopefully it gets picked up! Then I’ll really be “in the know” on what’s cool in the city. haha.

      Hope your summer is going great, Trang!

    2. Trang

      Is this something that can be Tivo or DVR? I can get my friend to record and save for me for when I come to Chicago to visit next.

    3. DIY Playbook

      Yes! I’ll keep you updated. We don’t have an air date yet, but will be on WGN end of August or early September. I’ll also share the links in the blog for next month’s recap so you can see!

  2. Lucy

    I love your tidbit on Beverly Shores. I’m collecting ideas for short road trips from Chicago (max 3-4 hrs drive) for weekend getaways. I’d love it if you guys could write more on this topic = more frequent weekend roadtrips to “do research”. 😉


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Baby Updates: B joined the AUNT Club!


I planned on sharing baby updates in our July recap, but since a few of you have asked (you guys are the sweetest!!), I can’t make you wait until then. And let’s be honest here, I’m too excited to wait until then too!


Baby Owen
8lbs 9oz
20 inches long

After 26 hours of labor, this handsome little firecracker was born on the 4th of July and immediately stole the hearts of our entire family. Baby Owen, mom, and dad are all doing great! And just like his nursery suggests, Owen is a very happy camper so far. I mean, look at that smile… baby_owen_katie-3Katie asked me to bring my camera to the hospital this week, so I captured a few photos of Owen as a newborn. Just like Casey did for her gorgeous nephew, I will be photographing Owen next week when he’s home and they’re a bit more settled in.

More Photos Coming Soon!

Hopefully after that I’ll have lots more adorable photos to share on the blog, as well as more ROOKIE tips for taking pictures of your newborn. <— Ironically, the Rookie Photography Tips we shared after Baby Harry’s photo shoot is one of our most popular posts! I guess we shouldn’t be surprised because the little guy is just so darn cute. (Can you believe how big he’s getting!?)
baby_owen_katie-2Until then, I can’t thank YOU all enough for your love and words of encouragement over the past few weeks. From the nursery, to the few updates we shared on our Instagram, we are so grateful for your kindness. I know Katie has been reading ALL of your comments and is REALLY feeling the love. Sincerely, thank you so much!! baby_owen_katieI hope you have a great weekend, can’t wait to see you on Monday for the start of our 2nd annual BLOG WEEK!! Enjoy the sunshine! xo,


Update: I took Baby Owen’s newborn pics, you can check them (and get rookie tips for taking newborn pics) out hereBridget Signature

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6 thoughts on “Baby Updates: B joined the AUNT Club!

  1. Ashley Sorrick

    Oh my goodness, congratulations!!! He’s so handsome! Being an aunt is the best thing ever!!


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