Category Archives: Just for Fun

Happy Hour No. 9

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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 bring to DIY Playbook’s monthly Happy Hour.happy-hour-graphicThese monthly posts are a chance to catch up with friends and bring just a little extra happy to your day. So grab your coffee (or champagne) and let’s catch up!

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Caseyearrings

    • When it comes to jewelry, I’m pretty minimalistic. In fact, I often wear the same few things every single day. I just added these everyday earrings (in gold) to my repertoire and I love them. Just a hint of trendy, but still simple enough to be worn with just about anything. I also picked up this cuff bracelet and I love wearing it with my gold watch!
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  • Has anyone ever heard of (or used!) the product Baby Foot? It’s insane! My husband and I tried it before our Mexico trip in December and were wowed by the product. Essentially you put little booties on your feet and let them sit one night for an hour. Then a few days later all of the dead skin on your feet starts coming off…in sheets! It’s incredibly disgusting (& you have to wear socks for a week to hide your feet), but once the shedding is done your feet will be baby soft. It’s crazy and actually kinda fun. I recommend trying it out at least once. We just did our second round to get our feet ready for sandal season!balcony-wide-patio
  • We’ve busted out the grill for the season and can’t wait to start grilling on our small patio every weekend. I just got this veggie basket so we can do grilled onions and peppers. Really looking forward to those warm summer nights with home cooked dinners on the grill.

Bridget

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  • I splurged and bought this navy + white shirt and I LOVE it. I think I’m going to get a lot of use out of it because I can dress it up (even for work!) but also wear it very casually too (like jeans + converse casual). I’m working on a post for this staple so stayed tuned.
  • For Matt’s birthday, I got him this quarter zip*  and this pullover* (*size down)… both for our upcoming trip to Iceland! He’s also obsessed with the super comfy shirts from this site so I surprised him with one of these too. If your +1 loves the Cubs & Joe Madden as much as Matt does, these shirts are definitely worth looking into.brown-leather-jacket-with-converse-bridget-2

sunglasses

  • I’ve been looking for a pair of cheap of sunglasses for the summer and I finally found a pair I liked. Definitely a steal at $14! I typically LIVE in my Ray Bans (definitely worth the investment) but sometimes I want to rock a cheap pair of shades, especially if I’m going somewhere where I’m afraid they may break or get lost in the shuffle. Coffee Lipstick Bridget
  • Casey recently discovered this Sephora Lip Stain and has been insisting I try it! She says she puts it on in the morning before work and doesn’t have to re-apply ALL DAY! Then she told me it’s $14 so it’s now on my shopping list next time I’m at the mall.

Link It

  • Congrats to a fellow DIY blogger, Sarah, on her growing family. We cannot wait to see this nursery take shape.
  • A small home packed with style.
  • A 3-day kitchen makeover you have to see to believe. (And for less than $5k!)
  • Are you making these mistakes when hanging art?
  • The most fearless DIY’er we know purchased a warehouse that she is turning into her family’s home! This home journey is going to be one to watch!
  • Obsessed with this copycat art. A $3,000 piece looks almost identical for a $12?!!
  • Salon Etiquette…definitely learned a few things after this read.
  • Our girl crush on Chrissy Teigen has only grown after reading this article.DIY_Takeover_Letterfolk
  • Did you guys catch the DIY Playbook Takeover on @LiketoKnow.it.Home’s Instagram account last Monday? We had way too much fun and feel so grateful for the opportunity!

Casey Updates

At the beginning of the month, we headed down to Houston to visit Finn’s sister. She is quite possibly the sweetest girl on the planet, and always likes to do holidays and birthdays up big. Since it was just Finn’s 30th she greeted us at the airport like this…

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Can you even?! What an awesome surprise. We had an epic weekend packed with lots of food. I’m talking BBQ, tacos, grilled pizzas, and fresh sushi. So many memorable meals, but what made it even better was hanging out with family that we don’t get to see nearly enough. casey-finn-houston

I wore this romper for one of our dinners out on the town. It’s become a favorite of mine when traveling because you can just throw the 1 piece in your suitcase and you already have an outfit all put together! Plus, you gotta love the girly scallops! Pair it with a cute clutch, heels (these nude ones are my new spring favorites!), and jewelry and you’re good to go!fine-casey-birthday

I celebrated my 29th birthday last weekend and Finn made it extra special. We started the birthday festivities with 5 courses of cocktails at The Aviary. It was insane (definitely an experience if you like trying new drinks!)

Then last Saturday I spent the entire day with my favorite people! Bridget, Finn, & I hit up a new Hawaiian restaurant called Mahalo and split this The Big Kahuna pineapple drink. It was delicious and a wonderful way to start my 29th year.

Bridget Updates

Washington_DC_Travel-12This month has been an EXTRA busy one. April kicked off with our spring break trip to D.C., and as evidenced by this recap post, we had an absolute blast!! I was so impressed with D.C. and can’t wait to go back sometime.

How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-72Right when we came back from D.C., like literally RIGHT after my bags were unpacked, I used the remainder of our spring break to finish the shiplap in the office. Although it made for a busy/messy end to the week, finishing this project was well worth it because now all of the big projects in the office are officially done. (Side note: Sharing a full post of this affordable project soon, but in the meantime you can see pictures on our Instagram page).

image1The rest of the month was a bit of a whirlwind with our news segment and a few other smaller projects we’ve been working on. Thankfully there was still some time for fun and family. For Easter my family got together for one of our favorite traditions — sunrise mass! We all roll out of bed and meet at North Ave. beach on Easter morning (around 5:30am) for mass on the beach as the sunrises. It’s such a gorgeous view watching the sunrise over the city, and being surrounded by my favorite people makes it even more special. This was Owen’s first Easter, last year we were celebrating his arrival with this Mother’s Day photo shoot:mothers_day_photo_gift_oconnor_family-005

How is he already here and crawling?!!

OwenToday’s happy hour post marks ONE month left until I’m off for the summer… just writing that seems crazy to me! Where has the time gone?! I’m SOO excited for this time off because it gives me a chance to relax (my schedule has been insanity lately as evidenced by this day-in-the-life post) and then focus more on the blog for a few months. The countdown has officially begun!ABC_7_News_Table

And before we sign off for the month, we have to stop and say thank you ALL for your endless love and support. After our news segment, we were honestly overwhelmed by all of the support we received and couldn’t wipe the smiles off of our faces because we felt so blessed. We’re not sure how we got so lucky to be surrounded by such amazing, positive, and supportive people but we never want to take it for granted. You’re amazing and fill our lives with such happiness, thank YOU!

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10 thoughts on “Happy Hour No. 9

  1. Kristen Ayotte

    What a fun airport greeting! I love people who love a celebration! 🙂 Hope you gals have a fun weekend!

    Reply
  2. Katie

    I’ve totally done that baby foot thing and it is equal parts gross and amazing. I had to remember to wear fully closed shoes during the peel process…embarrassing! Bridget, thanks for that striped tank recommendation. I picked one up for summer and it’s so comfy.

    Reply
  3. Trang

    OMG, I’ve been dying to go to The Aviary for years Casey. Reservations book up fast AND it’s such a commitment since you have to pay up front and set a time/date which is hard when we are there for a few days and usually wing it with our friend on the things to do/eat. I’m all about the cocktails, but is the food pairing worth it also?
    Mahalo is now on my list to check out sometime also. So much to do and so little time when in Chi-town!
    Bridget – how it possible that this school year has flown by so fast??? I’m so jealous of you and all my teacher friends for your upcoming break! Enjoy your last month.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Trang you HAVE TO GO! It was one of the coolest things I’ve done in Chicago. We did the 5 course food & drink. 3 courses would have been just as good. The food was delicious and really interesting…but we definitely left pretty hungry. We ended up going home after and ordering a pizza. hahaha!

  4. Katie

    Ok I’m a few days into my first baby foot experience and it is freaking me out! I’m holding on to the hope that my feet will be super soft after this!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      haha Katie, I’m literally lol’ing over here. It is creepy isn’t it?! Don’t worry..all of the grossness will fall off and you will be left with soft feet. Just wear socks around the house for a while.

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A Day in the Life of Bridget

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Last week Casey shared a glimpse into her average day and this week it’s my turn. Before we dive into my daily routine, a quick disclaimer: Please excuse some of the iPhone photos. Working in a school makes it hard to truly snap photos of my daily routine, especially since I didn’t want to include students. Although it’s far from glamorous, I’m so lucky to have this everyday routine and the chance to do what I love both during the “school day” and after.

Rise & Shine

5:30am: My alarm goes off and it’s time to start the day!

bedroom_headboard_Pillows_5:30-6:00am: Matt pops up and gets ready while I lay in bed and read through some of our new emails, catch up on the news, and check out my favorite blogs for the day. Even though my eyes are barely open, I love this time to ease into the day. Usually I’ll text Casey a few times, depending on what I find in our inbox. I know she’s still sleeping, but she’ll see it in a few minutes when she gets up!

bathroom_round_mirror6:00am: Get up and get ready. I shower at night before I go to bed and lay out my outfit so I really don’t have too much to do in the morning.  I always put on music during this time, usually using the Pandora App on my phone. Then I wash my face, brush my teeth, put on my outfit, throw on some make-up, and straighten or curl my hair. I can get ready in 20 minutes… tops.

6:30am: Sit down for breakfast. I eat greek yogurt and granola everyday and I’m trying to incorporate some water into this meal too! I also grab the lunch that Matt made me (he’s seriously the best) and we chat over breakfast.

FullSizeRender (4)6:40am: Since Matt and I work together, we drive together 95% of the time. Our ride is so stress free. We usually use that time to chat about the day and what we’re doing after work.

typing_on_laptop_computer-26:55am:  I’m an hour early for work and I’m always the first one in the office. I take this time to sit and work on my email while looking over my to-do list for that day. I tie up any leftover emails and organize all of my lessons.

IMG_50698:00 – 8:48am: I teach the Special Education Work Program during 1st hour and today we are finishing up our unit on entrepreneurship. We used some of the time today to chat about Bill Rancic and his tips for kids in business. Although none of the students know who he is, I tell him all about how he went to the same high school as them and they immediately love him and want to learn all about him.

IMG_50708:48 – 8:55am: I don’t have a classroom to call my own, so at every bell I pack up my things and head across the building for my next class. In this case I hustle through the hallway crowds and arrive at 2nd hour homeroom right as the bell rings and the pledge of allegiance starts.

*Fun Fact: The hallway pictured above is the SAME hallway where Casey & I had lockers next to each other in high school. This is where it all started and we became fast friends!

8:55 – 9:30am: This is a short homeroom and I work with a few student. I look up at the clock to find that it was already 9:29, which means it’s time to quickly pack up my bag and head across the school to 3rd hour! I literally have to power walk (sometimes run on a bad day) to get to class before the bell rings. It’s hard holding students accountable to be on time when I’m not,  so I do the best I can to be there. Flats often come in handy for this.

Flats_Shoes_Jeans_Fashion-39:40-10:25am: Made it just in time for the bell! Third hour is similar to 1st hour so I repeat the lesson (with a few changes to meet the needs of this class). I look up at the bell and realize, how is already 10:25?! And then it’s usually followed by a thought that goes something like this, “Thank goodness 3rd hour is over because I’ve had to pee since 8:30 and now I finally have the chance!” #teacherproblems

Working Lunch

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10:25 – 11:19am: You know you’re a teacher when your days (and lunch break) are timed to the exact minute. It’s my prep/lunch period during this time so I usually return emails, make copies, grade papers, write IEPs, or anything else that is on my to-do list that day. That’s also the time I look at my phone and see I have 6 unread texts from Casey (a welcome distraction!) During this time I’ll also shovel in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (glamorous, right?!) along with some veggies & hummus.

11:19am-12:19pm: It’s my 5th hour government class and I co-teach with one of the teachers I had in high school! Today we’re going over the political spectrum and starting to explain the difference between republican viewpoints vs. democratic viewpoints. The kids are super respectful and really curious so I leave feeling really proud of them!

FullSizeRender12:15-1:10pm: Lunch duty time! This is a time when I stand in the cafeteria and oversee a section of students. I actually like this time of the day because it forces me to unplug and just walk around. I usually chat with some of the kids in my section, but I also want to give them enough space to enjoy their lunch with friends (who wants to waste their time chatting with a teacher during lunch?!). When I’m done chatting, I’ll stand in my section and mentally review my to-do list for the rest of the day.

IMG_50711:10-2:15pm: I’m off to another classroom where I co-teach with a different government teacher. In this class we’re dissecting the preamble of the constitution. To help analyze and remember it, the students are presenting a song/dance they created of the preamble. The songs are amazing and one group chooses to rap it, which literally has me CRYING in laughter… and amazement!

FullSizeRender (2)2:15 – 3:00pm: Last but very not least, I head up to my class of the day to co-teach Economics with another teacher (and blog reader! Hey Colleen!!). The class usually flies by and before we know it, the school day is over and I’m usually thinking it’s 3:00 already?!!

After Work

3:20pm: I typically don’t stay after work to finish any additional work because I come in an hour before work and never, ever take a lunch. Skipping lunch and working through the whole day definitely makes for hectic days, but come 3:20 I’m always grateful because this usually means it’s time to head home… and start my second job of the day — blogging!

Matt and I drive home together and swap stories from our days. This is such a great time to catch up and chat about our plans for the rest of the evening. Both of us talk to our parents each day so we usually take this time call our parents and see how their days are going.

bridget-home-tour-wide-shots-family-room-kitchen-dining-103:45pm: On nice days or ones that I don’t have a ton of work to do for the blog, Matt and I will get outside and go from a 3 mile walk/run. Unfortunately I don’t always have (or make) time for this.

On those days I get home and get right on the computer to start working on the blog. I sift through our email, shoot Casey a few texts, and write/photograph anything I have. If I have to run errands for this weekend’s project, I’ll do it during this time too. Today, I’m cutting the grass. I run home, change, grab my headphones and get out to cut the grass and do some minor landscaping around the house since the start of the spring usually comes with some much-needed landscaping.

5:00pm: Dinner time. Thanks to Matt our dinner is made (and so are our lunches for tomorrow!) so we sit down and enjoy. He really is the best at allowing me to work while he takes care of A LOT around the house. Honestly, I’d probably forget to stop and eat if it wasn’t for him!

office_square-bridget5:30pm: I finish up the blog work, organize my outfit for tomorrow, straighten up the house, shower and get ready for bed. Usually Casey is getting out of work/work out class right about now, so if we have to discuss anything from the day we will chat during this time.

bedroom_headboard_Pillows_-58:45pm: I like to try to get to bed to finally relax for the day by 8:30 or 8:45pm. Partly because I like a good night’s sleep and partly because I’m exhausted. I’ll typically post my Instagram for the day in bed, text Casey a few more times, and then lay in bed to watch CNN. Gotta get that beauty rest so I’m ready to do it all over again tomorrow!

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15 thoughts on “A Day in the Life of Bridget

  1. Erin

    whoo.. this is every organizer’s dream — everything is timed! and i love that you guys drive to work together! less stressful for sure!

    Reply
  2. Trang

    Man Bridget, I’m super envious of your 8:30-8:45 bed time. I need to make this a priority in my daily routine so that I am able to get up at 4:50 AM when the alarm goes off (to go to the gym before work). There are days where I just can’t muster the energy to get up. It’s because my bed time was at 11 or 11:30 PM. This week, I’ve made an extra effort to go to bed earlier (like 10 PM!) and there is definitely a noticeable difference. I got up 2 minutes on my own this morning before the alarm went off and I felt so rested. Woooohooo!
    I got my masters in education and can teach middle school Language Arts and Science, but I chose not to. I have many friends who are teachers and they told me not to do it (make the career change). I admire teachers for all their hard work and dedication. Not to mention not being able to eat lunch most times! I eat constantly throughout my day and spend the lunch hour at either Target or Marshall’s. I could save so much money if I didn’t take a lunch right?
    Anyhow, I enjoyed reading both yours and Casey’s daily life. It makes knowing you gals a bit better. Happy hump day and enjoy the rest of your week.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      You’re amazing for staying up late AND getting up early to work-out. I WISH I could do that. Heck, I wish I could get up early to work out even after going to bed early. You Go Girl!

  3. Pam

    I had forgotten how a teachers’ day goes. My mom was a teacher for over 40 years (now retired). She always talked about how everything was timed down to the minute. Teachers are a true blessing and it sounds like you are a good one. Loved the post.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      40 years?! That’s amazing! Since I’m so used to living on a “bell schedule” it’s so crazy to think of other jobs that do not. I always ask Casey simple questions like, “you can go to the bathroom anytime you want?!” or “you can eat whenever?!” OR you can wonder away from your desk anytime throughout the day?! Haha It’s hard to imagine all that freedom! =) Thanks for stopping, Pam!

  4. Kerri Hansen

    Wow Bridget, that is one action packed day! Who needs a gym, with all that racing around the school! I get the feeling that you are an amazing teacher, one of those caring, committed, kind teachers that change kids lives and make a huge impact on them. I have no doubt that your students heart your face and love probably love chatting with you during their lunch break. Loved the sneak peek into your day! Thanks for sharing and keep on being awesome! ❤️

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Kerri, you are WAY too kind!! I love what I do and feel so grateful for the opportunity! Although it can be challenging at times, the kids are hilarious and make everyday a lot of fun!

  5. Marguerite Huber

    Based on the pictures of the commons area and the crazy colors and tiny lockers, I am pretty sure I know which high school you work at! I grew up right by there and went to a different high school in the district.

    Reply
  6. Kara D

    PBJ and baby carrots for lunch! That’s my daily lunch, with a side of string cheese. Haha! I have major respect and admiration for you to be able to cover all kinds of topics (politics, history, skills, etc) in a quick fashion for the kids, especially with special needs. Kudos!

    Reply

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A Day in the Life of Casey

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A couple of years ago, we did a post about a typical day in our shoes. While we both admit that we’re pretty boring, it was actually kinda fun to jot down how a day in our lives typically goes down.

After our survey at the beginning of the year, a few of you asked us to do an updated “day in the life” post. So that’s exactly what you’re getting here today! Last time we both put our days into one post and it was (admittedly) all over the place. We figured splitting it up would keep things a bit more streamlined.

casey-work-blazerI’m sharing what a typical Wednesday looks like for me, and then next week Bridget will share the scoop on her daily life. We’re not gonna lie…things are far from glamorous in our day-to-day and we certainly don’t “do it all.” But we feel like this gives you a glimpse into how we juggle our full-time jobs and the blog all at the same time.

So let’s get started!

Morning Routine

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6:15am: As soon as my phone alarm goes off, my hit feet the floor and I am up for the day. My husband is all about that snooze button, but I prefer to get right out of bed and start my day! I head to our master bathroom and wake up with a nice steamy shower!

6:40am: After the shower, I head to the kitchen and turn on all of the lights out there. I fold any blankets that we used the night before and really just tidy up our entire main living space. I turn on our Keurig, take my vitamins with a huge glass of water, and get my breakfast together.

 

breakfast-computer-coffeeI either have a smoothie that we made the night before, or greek yogurt with berries, protein powder, chia seeds, flax-seed, and raw almonds. It’s super boring, but I love it and have never gotten sick of it! While drinking my coffee and eating breakfast, I check my work email, personal email, and the blog email. At this time I make sure our daily post is up and running, and I post it on our Facebook page.

casey-lipstick-bathroom7:00am: After my hair has had some time to air dry, I finish blow drying it (while scrolling Instagram..) and then curl or straighten it. I then put on makeup, all the while texting Bridget. She gets up before I do, so I’ll usually have a few texts waiting for me when I wake up (such a nice morning treat!). I then get dressed (out of my super old kimono that my husband makes fun of), give Finn a kiss goodbye (he’s still sleeping…), and head out the door.podcasts-phone

7:30am: I try to get out of the house by 7:30am every day, but sometimes that gets pushed back a few minutes. Once I’m out the door, I take the 1/2 mile walk to the train. I usually listen to podcasts during my commute. I have a love for so many podcasts (YHL, Chris Loves Julia, Jenna Kutcher, Science vs., etc).  I just finished “S-Town” from This American Life. Anyone else listen? So fascinating!

division-street-blue-line

After my walk to the train, I wait a few minutes until a blue line train pulls up. My train ride is only 3 stops into downtown, so I’m there in no time at all. Once I arrive at the Clark & Lake stop it’s only about a 7 minute walk to my office building.

Work Hard

Chicago_River_Night_Winter_Casey_Bridget8:00am: I try to get to work every morning by about 8:00am. I work right on the river in the AMA building. It’s nice because it’s really in the heart of the city, it’s close to everything, and my office has insane views. Like seriously so good! We’re on the 25th floor and the 35th floor, so you really can’t beat the scenery on a cloudless day.

Once I get in, I power up my computer, get more coffee, fill up my huge S’well water bottle (gotta hydrate!), and start making my to-do list for the day.

planner_bedroom_coffee_flowers-28:30am: Our department is always in by 8:30 for our morning meeting. We meet as a team and go over what everyone is working on that day, and chat about any “roadblocks” (the new “it” term in our office) that may be interfering with our daily tasks.

9:00am: Last time we did a “day in the life” post, I was working at WGN producing a DIY show here in Chicago. I still work in video production, but I work for a large tech company called Outcome Health. My job is similar to what it has been throughout my career (I book shoots, direct shoots on-site, write scripts, and work with editors to create finished pieces), but my production focus is on healthy lifestyle content. So a bit different from DIY, but still a nice challenge!

computer-work-chicago-viewsMy mornings are usually pretty crazy and due to the nature of my role, no day is really the same. But I’m often checking emails, in meetings, writing scripts, setting up future shoots, or giving notes to editors on videos in progress.

On this particular Wednesday, I’m going through footage from a shoot I recently did with a local chef. I roughly edit it together, write a script, and pass it off to an editor so he can really bring it to life.

10:30am: My tummy starts to growl and I look at the clock. Only 45 more minutes until lunchtime…

Time to Eat!

11:15am: I feel pretty spoiled, but we have a catered lunch every single day at 11:15am. Each day is different and we have a variety of different cuisines (Asian, Mediterranean, Italian, etc.) If you’re not into what’s being served, they also have a wide variety of to-go salads. Today is sushi day (a popular day around here!), but the line is incredibly long! Instead of waiting, I quickly grab a salad and head back to my desk to work through lunch.

Over my lunch hour, I try to squeeze in a bit of blog time. I don’t ever blog at work, but I do keep our inbox cleared and respond to comments when I have some time.

coffee-bar-barista-work12:00pm: By the afternoon, I’m usually craving some new scenery to get my creative juices flowing. I head to our other floor, and sit in our large family room area. We have a barista in here, so I often opt for an afternoon latte (trying to cut back…but damn it’s so good). Even just sitting by the coffee bar area is nice because of the aromas! I choose a sunny spot and dive into my work.

I also text Bridget throughout the day. I love hearing from her when she’s bouncing from classroom to classroom. We’ll usually touch base a few times to discuss anything interesting happening in our inbox, or really just anything funny that’s going on!

2:00pm: On Wednesdays we have meditation in the office at 2 o’clock. I’ve only gone a handful of times, but I absolutely love it. It’s nice to get away from the craziness of the day and take a few minutes for yourself. Plus sitting in a dark room with relaxing fragrances is a nice change of pace!work-computer-storyboard

2:30pm: I leave meditation feeling rejuvenated and ready to power through the next couple hours. I have a meeting with one of our animators who is working on an advanced segment with me. She is incredibly talented and really can bring anything in my head to life! She shows me a storyboard she is working on (illustrations that go along with my written script), and we work together to finalize the images so she can get started building the animation.casey-athleisure-13

4:45pm: I look at the clock and realize that I need to change into my workout clothes if I’m going to make my 5:30pm Body Pump class. I change quickly and head out the door by 5pm so I can hop back on the train to my neighborhood.

Drop it Like a Squat

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5:27pm: I get to body pump and it’s packed! I have an intense workout (so good…but so hard) and leave there an hour later completely wiped.

6:45pm: I call my mom on my walk home from body pump. I chat with her at least every other day and love catching up even if it’s just for a few minutes.

There’s No Place like Home

7:00pm: I get home, put my bags away, and change into pajamas. If I’m sweaty, I’ll shower now. If not, I wait to shower in the morning. I then pick out my clothes for work the next day (yes, I know I’m like a 5-year-old but it makes things so much easier in the morning!), pack my gym bag, and head to the kitchen.

how-to-load-dishwasher-maytag7:30pm: I unload the dishwasher, throw in a load of laundry, and then Finn walks in the door! I chat with him for a few minutes, and we catch up on our days. After he’s had a few minutes to unwind, he starts making dinner <–I know, I’m so lucky to have a husband who actually enjoys cooking. If it was just me, I’d eat cereal or scrambled eggs for dinner every.single.night.

finn-organizing-fridge8:00pm: While Finn whips something up, I squeeze in some blog work. I manage the inbox, respond to comments, edit a few pictures, and have a quick call with Bridget to plan what we’re going to post to Instagram tonight. After hanging up with her, I head to the kitchen and Finn & I eat dinner together.casey-finn-mike-family-room-1-2

9:00pm: By this time, I always try my best to put my phone and computer away so I can just spend some time with Finn. I take my clothes out of the dryer, sit on the floor in the family room, and fold while we start watch TV. We’ll usually take the hour before bedtime to hang out and catch up on shows we have DVR’ed. We’re big fans of Scandal, Modern Family, The Goldberg’s, and so many more. We watch about an hour of TV until I’m so sleepy that I’m afraid I’ll fall asleep on the couch.

10:10pm: I wash my face, brush my teeth, and get ready for bed. Finn tucks me in every night, so I call for him to come do our night-time ritual. While he turns on the sound machine, I set my alarm for 6:15am the next day. He gives me a kiss, and I’m usually asleep in about 10 minutes flat.

Blogging Time

casey-computer-dining-roomWeekends: As you can see, there isn’t a heck of a lot of time for blogging in my typical weekday. I do squeeze in a few small tasks, but other than that not a lot of actual blogging happening! Therefore my weekends are usually pretty packed with blogging. I try to do project and take photos on Saturdays, and then devote Sundays towards editing pictures and writing posts. I do squeeze in a few blog posts on weeknights, but it really depends on how busy my week is. But just goes to show, you can find time to do the things you love!planter-desk-indoor-snake-plant-1

So there you have it. A day in my life. Not super exciting, right?! I told you it wouldn’t be very glamorous! I can’t wait until next week when Bridget shares a day in the life of a high school teacher and blogger. That’s bound to have a little more drama than my day does…

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23 thoughts on “A Day in the Life of Casey

  1. shawnna griffin

    hey girl- love the post! Your one busy Gal! I think it is so nice that you and Finn take time to spend with each other that is so important!!

    Reply
  2. Erin

    dang i’m in awe that you don’t even eat until 8! I’d be STARVING, even with an afternoon snack!! I workout in the morning though cuz it gives me less chances to NOT do my workout. and walk the dog after wards….who likes to be a lazy butt and be a little straggler while on our 45 minute walk!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      haha! Bridget says the same thing. She is in bed at like 8, and I’m just sitting down for dinner. I agree on to working out in the morning. I try to do that 1-2 times per week because it feels so good to just get it done!

  3. Pam

    Your day sounds like mine, packed to the brim. But I love it. Thanks for sharing. I work and try to blog on the side. You give me inspiration to keep going.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks for the sweet words Pam! Happy to hear I’m not alone. And it’s so true…easy to squeeze in time for things you love (like blogging!)

  4. Emily Dunham

    I love day in the life posts! It’s always so fun to see what someone else’s ‘normal’ day is like!

    Reply
  5. Jill Steinwender

    Thanks for sharing! I enjoy living in someone else’s shoes. I’m impressed with your busy life (lives) that you do as many posts, projects, and respond to comments! Keep it up.

    Reply
  6. Kristen Ayotte

    Day in the life posts are some of my favorites! It’s always so interesting to me how other people spend their day. I love that your hubby tucks you in at night, that is the sweetest thing!

    Reply
  7. Kara D

    I also find myself having dinners at 7:30-8pm, and I have often wondered if I’m eating too close to bedtime! I am not a morning person at all, so there is no working out in the morning for this chick so therefore dinner has to be later. I love the group gym classes! DVR is such a game-changer, I love being able to see all the shows I want to see ready and there for me to watch (and skip the ads!). Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      I agree! Eating at 8 and then going to bed at 10…probably not the best for us??? But I don’t know what else to do.

      Group classes are the best! I feel so much more motivated and it’s easier to get in a hardcore hour workout with other people pushing you on!

  8. DIY Playbook

    Thanks so much Kate! So there are actually 2 different planners in the post. The one in the last photo is from Erin Condren. This is my second one I’ve had, and I love it. Very cool because you can completely personalize and customize it to fit your needs.

    The “You Got This” planner is actually from Michaels! They have a large selection of planners that are simple and streamlined.

    Hope that helps!

    Reply
  9. Trang

    You certainly make the most of your time daily Casey; so organized! I admire your will to just watch 1 episode of a good show with Finn a night. I get so hooked (currently watching Prison Break) on these shows and have to watch ‘just one more’. I wish I didn’t have a 30 minute drive to and from work and could just walk. It’s such a healthier lifestyle; I’m so jealous. I do try to squeeze in my audio book during the drive so it does help with multi-tasking. I’d like to get into podcasts, but am not sure how on an Android (I’m so technologically challenged). Whenever I visit my friend in Chicago, I take the Body Pump classes with him too. We don’t have that here in Ohio. I did recently check out Orangetheory Fitness with my sister while in Houston. That was a nice change up, but we also don’t have that close enough to where I live. So I’m left with weight training at the gym and zumba at another group workout facility or more recently, Bollywood zumba which is fun. With the nicer weather approaching, I’m hoping to do more trail running and biking.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks Trang! I try to just do 1 episode, but that does sometimes turn into more than 1. And on the weekends…it’s an all out bingefest in our household!

      Love Orange Theory! I’ve done it a few times. It’s similar to another class here in Chicago called Shred 415. That’s another good one. Good for you for creating your own routine at the gym. I find that I lack the motivation to create a strength routine and stick with it on my own. The classes definitely help with that!

  10. Diana @ Bumps Along the Way

    I love these sorts of posts! I started doing them myself when my son was about 8 months old and try to do a new one every 6 months or so. I find it so interesting how our days change as he grows and I love seeing how others spend their days!

    Reply
  11. Kerri Hansen

    Loved reading about your average day, and it made me so nostalgic for Chicago! We lived there briefly just over 10 years ago now, and it was one of my favorite times of my life. The El, the gorgeous downtown-oh how I miss it all! I need to come back and visit!

    Reply
  12. Brenna McConaughey

    Thank you for sharing! Chicago is my favorite city and it seems like you’ve taken advantage of living there! What a fun job and cool office! P.S. Please share your “get busy” desktop background!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Hey Brenna..thanks so much! The “Get Busy” is from Serendipity Press Prints. It was a free download on that site. But now when I go try to see it again, it looks like their website shut down??? Lara Casey has a lot of awesome free desktop background too if you want to look there.

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How (& Why!) We Gave up Coffee

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Coffee. It’s always been a big part of The DIY Playbook. In fact, in those early blog days you’d most likely find us spending our weekends together, working on the website, DIY’ing in one of our homes, and splitting a big pot of hot coffee.coffee

But here we are, 4 years later, and we both haven’t had a cup of coffee in quite some time. What gives? Allow us each to explain.BarnDoor_Paint_swatches_coffee

Bridget (Before): Coffee has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember… literally. My grandpa was an all-day coffee drinker and we spent a lot of time with him and my grandma growing up. My parents actually owned a lake house with them so we lived together almost every weekend. He was the best grandpa ever and would do anything for his granddaughters, including pour them a cup of coffee when they requested. And when did we request said cup of coffee? Well, every morning we were with him of course. And not only did he let us have coffee with him each morning, he allowed us to put in as much half + half and sugar as we wanted. I bet you can imagine how many heaping scoops of sugar we would dump into our cups when mom wasn’t looking! Outside of drinking coffee with grandpa since age 6 or 7, I started drinking coffee regularly in college and my love for it has never wavered (although the amount of sugar has!). In “adulthood” I enjoy my coffee with a bit of sugar-free, flavored creamer.buffalo-check-pajama-pants-coffee-mug

Casey (Before): I started drinking coffee in my first job after graduating college. As a TV news reporter, I worked long days and would use caffeine as my fuel. Since then, my love for coffee has only grown. It’s always been a part of my morning routine. I wake up, shower, drink coffee, eat breakfast, and then head to work. Then at work I probably have 1 (or maybe even 2!) more cups.

casey-bag-purse-nordstromI can’t drink coffee black, but would try to avoid putting too much crap in it. Mostly just some almond milk, or a sugar-free vanilla creamer. We have an on-site barista at my work, so my coffee habit was getting a bit out of control. I’d find myself heading to the coffee bar after lunch to get a latte while doing work in the afternoon.mug-of-coffee

When considering what to do for Lent this year, I decided to give up caffeine so I could get my coffee habit in check. I banded together with 2 other co-workers and we all decided to go cold turkey and give up caffeine completely.

chicago_bridget_fashion_fall-coffee-sweaterBridget (During): During the work week I would fill up a small thermos of coffee to go and bring it with me to sip on as I tackled periods 1 – 3. I loved having the warm cup of coffee to sip on as I prepared for the day and looked forward to stealing a few sips in between classes. On the weekends, Matt and I usually have a cup of coffee in bed while we watch the morning news… it’s honestly one of my favorite Sunday morning traditions.

planner_bedroom_coffee_flowers-5I wasn’t over consuming coffee but I was definitely under consuming water as a result of my coffee intake. I’m not someone who drinks a lot of anything so there were many days where I would drink my morning coffee and not drink another liquid until tomorrow’s morning coffee. <— I know, SOOOO unhealthy… and actually a bit dangerous. My body grew accustomed to it so I didn’t feel dehydrated. But there were plenty of times I would get lightheaded if I stood up too quickly or would feel SO tired after the caffeine wore off. Casey drinks SO much water and she was constantly on me to change my ways and drink more liquid and she was exactly right. I had to change my ways.

Casey (During): I didn’t realize how caffeine played such a big part of my day until I gave up coffee. Holy smokes did I feel horrible those first 5 days. Without my morning cup of joe, it was hard to get up and going. And I found myself unable to concentrate at work or in morning meetings. Those first 5 days were pretty miserable. Dull headaches, sleepiness, and just an overall sense of feeling “off.” I was also incredibly hungry in the morning, despite eating the exact same breakfast. I guess I never realized how much coffee filled me up!

coffee mug outdoorLuckily, things quickly improved after that. After about a week I started to feel amazing. I woke up raring to go, started sleeping better, and didn’t need any caffeine to dive into work. I was clear-headed, my energy levels were sky high all day long, and I just felt good…really good.

decaf-coffee-starbucksBut I still missed my coffee. I’d see coworkers cradling their mug, sipping their hot coffee, and I wanted some…badly! I tried non-caffeinated tea, but it just didn’t cut it! For me, coffee is more than just caffeine. Coffee offers a sense of comfort and an excuse to take a break and have a yummy drink before moving on with my day. I did have a few decaf lattes during lent (which tasted delicious!), but I never had any caffeine during the 47 days! Which made me pretty darn proud!

Bridget (Now): I stopped drinking coffee last October and haven’t had a caffeinated coffee since. Like Casey mentioned, I felt HORRIBLE the first 5 days… legit awful. I never get headaches and my head was non-stop pounding for a few days. I also missed the morning routine and the sense of comfort the warm coffee brought, but wasn’t willing to start drinking it again if it meant more headaches someday.Washington_DC_Travel-27

Slowly but surely I started incorporating more water into my diet and started feeling a lot better. No more headaches, no more feelings of light-headedness, and no more afternoon crash. I still have a lot of progress to make on the water front but I’m doing SO much better and I find that I crave water more and more now!

On the weekends I still splurge and make one cup of decaf coffee so Matt and I can still carry-on with our weekend tradition but other than that, I don’t drink any coffee. And honestly I don’t have any plans on making the switch back to caffeine anytime soon. <— those headaches are enough to keep me motivated!

Bridget_Casey_Headshot_rookies-3Casey (Now): So lent is officially over and I’m still trying to figure out what to do now. Do I think I’m going to quit caffeine or coffee for good? Probably not. Will I cut back on the amount of caffeine I consume? Absolutely! If anything, this little experiment proved to me that I can still be a hardworking gal even without that extra caffeine boost. But it also made me realize how much I was actually consuming. 3 cups a day is a bit too much for me. I think now I’ll probably stick to 1 cup at home, and save the lattes as special treat 1x per week.

So that’s been our coffee journey recently! We still LOVE coffee and are definitely not telling anyone that they should give it up, we just thought it would be fun to share since Casey (as of yesterday) survived Lent coffee-free! We would love to hear from you guys about your relationship with coffee. How much do you drink per day? Do you love it? Wish you didn’t? Ever thought about giving it up? Have you already given it up? Bring on the tips!!   

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6 thoughts on “How (& Why!) We Gave up Coffee

  1. Pam

    I am a coffee lover too. I found the Green Mountain Half-Caff coffee and I love it. Great flavor with only half the caffeine.

    Reply
  2. Emily Dunham

    I used to love coffee when I was little – having it after dinner at my grandparents like the adults. I got really turned off by it though once I got older, and just started drinking the ‘fancy’ drinks last year. I only treat myself occasionally (1x a week or less), but I kind of wish I didn’t like them so much – both for the hit on the wallet, caffeine and calories!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Emily that cracks us up! Happy that Bridget isn’t alone in her drinking coffee as a child thing. And agree on the money & calories. Wish I didn’t love it as much too.

  3. lisa

    I gave up coffee last summer. I was bloated and felt not healthy after being a daily drinker since living in Seattle. Since giving it up (I still drink tea daily) I feel better, my complexion is better and I have lost weight around my mid-section. I read that coffee was very acidic and that extra acid is not good for anything. During my coffee detox I drank those waters enhanced with Ph or labeled as Ph balancers, that was good too. Way to go girls for giving it up. Then, as you mentioned, if I do have a cup it is a special treat. Love you, love your blog!–lisa in AZ

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks so much for sharing your journey, Lisa! The Ph water is also a great tip for others looking to make this journey! Ad thanks so much for your kind words and all of your support. We are so lucky to have you tuning in… all the way from sunny AZ!! =)

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How to Load your Dishwasher for Clean Dishes Every Time

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[Disclaimer: We have partnered with Maytag to bring you this post. All opinions are our own and are not influenced by Maytag. Thanks for supporting the brands that support this blog!]

The dishwasher is actually a pretty controversial appliance in our household. Specifically the loading of the dishwasher. Rinse before? No pre-rinse needed? Bowls in the top rack? Bowls in the bottom? Should you hand wash pots and pans? Seriously…so many differing opinions on the BEST way to get your dishes clean!

clean-dishes-maytag-dishwasher-kitchenI’ve always been a pre-rinse kinda gal and I usually keep big kitchen items (pots, pans, casserole dishes, etc) out of the dishwasher. I’m not sure why, but it’s just a habit I’ve gotten into.maytag-dishwasher-6

But since getting our new Maytag dishwasher, I’ve changed my tune a bit. I researched best practices for loading dishwashers (lots of interesting findings from The Institute of Home Science) as well as for my specific model. Here are my findings…

7 Tips for Squeaky Clean Dishes

how-to-load-silverware-dishwasher1. Don’t Nest Silverware: Essentially silverware should go into the machine in various ways so they don’t “nest” together (which is kinda like spooning). If they nest, then they can’t get fully cleaned. Instead, don’t group like silverware. Put spoons with forks and be sure to point some spoons down and some forks up instead of placing them all the same way. This will create variety so they all get super clean!rinse-aid-dishwasher

2. Rinse-aid is a Must: Another tip that I haven’t always followed in the past, but apparently it really is a must if you want spot-free dishes. I usually just buy a big bottle, fill it up all the way, and then monitor it every month or so to make sure it doesn’t get too low.detergent-packet-dishwasher

3. Try High-Quality Dish Packets: We’ve typically been a liquid dish soap household, but ever since getting our new Maytag dishwasher we’ve converted to the little packets. It’s what was recommended for our particular unit and I’ve found that it really does make my dishes extra clean. It’s been found that they reduce residue and they’ve really worked well for us!scraping-food-into-sink

4. Scrape, but Don’t Pre-Rinse: Finn has always been a scraper…and I’ve been a pre-rinser. And I used to yell at him for putting super dirty dishes in the dishwasher, because with our old machine they would never ever come out looking very clean.clean-dishes-maytag-dishwasher-kitchen

Now with our new dishwasher (& its super powerful motor!), there is no need to pre-rinse. In fact they say you’ll save water if you just scrape off big food chunks and then load up your dishes. If we leave any food on the plate, the chopper in the dishwasher disintegrates the food particles so they don’t recirculate in the wash. Think of all the time (& the dry hands!) we will all save by doing this!tupperware-dishwasher

5. Put Dishwasher-safe Plastic Up Top: We use a lot of tupperware (don’t look at our tupperware drawer though…it’s packed to the brim!), so there is some in just about every cycle we run with our dishwasher. First, make sure your tupperware is dishwasher-safe. If it is, put it on the top rack in the middle facing down towards the sprayer!clean-dishes-plates

6. Top vs Bottom: Cups, bowls, and big utensils go up top. Pots and pans, large dishes, and plates go on the bottom. As a bowl on the bottom girl…I need to change my ways!distilled-white-vinegar

7. Keep your Dishwasher Clean: Again, another tip that I need to do a lot more often. Our dishwasher never gets too dirty, but film does build-up after lots of cycles. To combat that, just put 2 cups of white vinegar in a cup on the bottom rack and run a normal cycle without detergent. This will help remove white spots and film in your appliance!

The exterior of our dishwasher is fingerprint resistant stainless steel (amazing, right?!) so I barely have to wipe it off because it always looks clean & shining. But for the few times I do wipe the outside down, I simply wipe it down with a damp cloth and it looks as good as new in no time!  clean-dishes-cupboard-kitchen

Armed with those 7 tips, I’m vowing to make the most of my dishwasher and get the cleanest dishes possible. Now I want to know…are you particular with the way you load your dishwasher? I feel like everyone has their own way of doing it in their house! Would love to hear!

P.S. This is our final post with Maytag. I officially gave you all the scoop on all of our new appliances over the past 6 months. If you’re shopping for new ones, I’d definitely recommend checking these ones out because I’ve been really happy with each of these new pieces.  Also, May is Maytag month so there will be some great deals heading your way soon!

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10 thoughts on “How to Load your Dishwasher for Clean Dishes Every Time

  1. Erin

    we just got white plates from crate & barrel. and let me tell you – BEST decision ever. things just look prettier on white plates. but we have colorful bowls! So i’m one lucky girl cuz my husband does the dishes — mostly. however, we basically only run the dishwasher once a week, so i feel weird if we don’t pre rinse. But its not like we scrub it down, but it still gets somewhat of a rinse.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Love white plates! So classic, you really can’t go wrong. Wow, so amazing that your husband does ALL the dishes. Can’t even believe you only run it 1x per week. That’s amazing!

  2. Kerri Hansen

    Those are helpful tips! I have been having some issues with our dishwasher which is only 3 years old, and wonder if the vinegar trick would help. I have poured vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher and run it without dishes but didn’t notice a difference. I am curious about the cup of vinegar trick. Can you elaborate a bit more on that? Do you use like, a coffee mug, filled with vinegar on the bottom rack? When we bought our house 4 years ago, we did a complete kitchen Reno, and my rookie mistake was installing the dishwasher too far away from the sink. It made sense estetically but has impacted the functionality of the dishwasher, plus loading is a pain because we scrape and rinse the dishes in the sink and then transfer them into the dishwasher which is on the other side of the kitchen. You know what they say about hindsight!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      The vinegar really helps with buildup! I usually just do a bowl in the top rack filled with vinegar, or a cup on the bottom filled with it. Then I’ll run a hot cycle. I think the water kinda mixes in with it and it gets rid of grime and musty odors. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

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Our Cleaning Confession

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In honor of keeping it real here on the DIY Playbook, we have a BIG CONFESSION to make. Yes we are do-it-yourself bloggers but there is one thing in our own homes that we are not doing ourselves anymore and we feel the need to give you all the details. What DIY project have we recently hired out you ask?

Cleaning.Cleaning Confessions-2

Yep, at the start of 2017 we both hired cleaning ladies to come and clean our homes every other week. Why are we sharing this with you guys? Well, honestly we felt A LOT of guilt when we first decided to hire out. But we’ve since come around and realize how great of a decision it really was and continues to be at this stage in our lives. We also wanted to be transparent so you guys know that we don’t “do it all” like some of you have so kindly given us credit for over the years.

Our Relationship with CleaningSpring_Cleaning_Supplies-7

The ironic part of this entire situation is that we both don’t mind cleaning. In fact, sometimes we find it kind of satisfying when we look back and see the “before & after”. Is it the most fun thing we would choose to do in our free time? No. But it really did give us both a great deal of satisfaction to whip our homes into shape with a few hours of cleaning. For us, cleaning was therapeutic and a welcome time to brainstorm projects, ideas or just life topics while we scrubbed. Plus blaring tunes always made scrubbing toilets that much better.Spring_Cleaning_Supplies-2

Cleaning was never a dreadful task to us, which was part of the reason we felt really bad handing it off to a professional. But we also realized it was still a chore that took up some of our precious free time.

Why Hire Out?Spring_Cleaning_Supplies-4

As you guys know we both have full-time jobs on top of all of the work required to keep the DIY Playbook up & running. Having full-time jobs, and what feels like a full-time job here on the blog, means that our hours away from work are typically spent blogging, and the minimal “extra” time that is left over is divided among chores/exercise/errands/family/friends/husbands. Not exactly the best ratio… but part of price we pay for doing what we love.Spring_Cleaning_Supplies-3

Spending a few hours cleaning each week isn’t a huge time commitment, but it was still time that we could have spent blogging, having fun with our husbands, squeezing in time to see our family/friends, or exercising. Time is so very precious these days and we realized that outsourcing some of the things on our to-do lists (like cleaning) was worth the cost if it meant we could give more time to our husbands, our families/friends, or even ourselves.

The CostSpring_Cleaning_Supplies-6

Budget all of our expenses and you’ll rarely find us splurging on items just because. Plus when we each sat down to account for this new expense into our monthly budgets, we quickly realized that our time is well worth the monthly investment. Even if we had to cut a couple of nights of takeout a month in order to make room in the budget for a cleaning service expense, we were sold. So to us, paying a cleaning fee seemed like a worthwhile expense.

Spring_Cleaning_Supplies-9It took us a bit of time to come to that conclusion (like several months of conversations + feelings of guilt), but once we did it was a great relief. We decided right then and there, and even promised each other, that we would not feel guilty about hiring some help and we started searching for local services to lend us a hand.

How do We Like it Now?

Bridget’s cleaning person comes every other Friday, while mine comes every other Tuesday. You cannot even understand the happiness that fills us when walking into our homes after a long day of work to find a clean home. It’s an amazing feeling! Spring_Cleaning_Supplies-8

Funny story, for the first few months we thought we might have hired the exact same person to clean our homes! Both of our ladies have the same, very unique name…so for awhile we thought it might be the same person!? But after further investigating we realized it’s not the same woman. But we certainly got a kick out of that. What are the chances?!

typing_on_laptop_computer-2As for the cost? It’s worth every single penny. We both use money we make blogging to pay for our cleaning services and we feel confident that it’s such a worthwhile expense. We now each have a few hours more each week to devote to the blog and we couldn’t be happier.

master-bedroomBut just because we have someone come every 2 weeks does not mean that we’ve given up cleaning all together. We’ll both do a light cleaning every once in a while when things start to look a little gross and we always make sure things are looking extra good before company comes over!

Is a Cleaning Service right for you?

We’re not saying you need to go hire a cleaning service for your home. But if you are living a very busy life, we encourage you to look for ways to add more time into your schedule. We promise that removing some of the chores and tasks on your plate will be well worth the extra expense and will provide you the necessary time to focus on you!

Is this forever?Spring_Cleaning_Supplies

Do we think we’ll always hire out a professional to clean our homes? Probably not. Like we mentioned before we actually don’t mind cleaning our homes and if we had more time in our day, we’d still be cleaning them.

Maybe if our lives slow down some day we will get back to our routine of DIY cleaning. And we can’t really predict how much we will be willing to pay a cleaning service when we add kids to our homes. Before we decided to hire out, we read quite a few blog posts about it and learned that some moms don’t like paying cleaners because they feel like their house is a disaster soon after and then feel that they just wasted money on the service. That seems like a very real concern, but we’re not to that stage yet so we will have to wait and see.

We feel so much better getting this off of our chest and keeping it real with you guys! We don’t do it all and are more than happy to ask for help if it means that we can focus our time on our passion or the ones we love.

But enough about us, we want to hear from you! Do you use a cleaning service? Do you hire any other “job or chore” out to save time? We’d love to hear your experiences/advice!bridget_and_casey_sig

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20 thoughts on “Our Cleaning Confession

  1. Erin

    i tried to have someone come in and clean our place. a couple things — first my husband is not comfortable having someone come in and clean when we are not home. Secondly, we have a dog, so it would have to be when we can take the dog out. and I honestly didn’t feel like the cleaning person did a good job — like i had to tell them what to do. How hard is it? wipe every surface from top to bottom! maybe we’ll get a cleaning person again soon.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      It can be hard to find someone who you can trust AND does a good job! And I didn’t even think about the dog thing. I wonder what other people do?

    2. Kerri Hansen

      It is hard the find the right person, the struggle is real! It took us awhile, but now we have an amazing lady who loves our dog. If hiring out the cleaning is something you really want to do, keep looking! Ask around and see if anyone you know has someone they could recommend, that’s what worked for me!

  2. Caroline

    Our issue is also the dogs. Our dogs are not exactly stranger friendly (that’s putting it mildly), so the last time we had a cleaning person, either my husband or I would have to take off work for the afternoon and sit in the backyard with our dogs. That began to feel ridiculous. If I’m going to take an afternoon off work and pay someone else to clean, I might as well just do the cleaning myself. But ohhhhhh how I miss it. That feeling of walking into a clean home is amazing.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      That is a tough scenario Caroline! I didn’t even think of what people do when they have dogs. Hopefully some other readers will weigh in with their tips!

  3. Kerri Hansen

    Early on in my marriage, it became very clear that my husband and I are on very opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to tidiness and cleaning in general. He is like Pig Pen and I am more like Monica from friends. It was something we often fought about and when baby #1 came along and I was working, we had to get help. It was really difficult to find a good person, we went through a couple of different people. Now, years later with 3 kids, a dog and a crazy schedule, I have an amazing woman to help me with cleaning as well as the kids. My husband works crazy hours and we don’t have family in town, so I need the help. But I often feel guilty about it. It’s part of that whole super woman, “I should be able to do it all” myth that is out there. That is why I love you guys for posting content like this, to help shatter that stupid myth and take away guilt. Not only are you prioritizing and focusing on what matters, you are giving someone else a job! My cleaning lady is from the Philippines and is working a crazy amount of hours to save enough money to bring her 3 daughters to Canada. I feel good about the fact that we are helping with that goal.
    Here is a funny thing about having a cleaning person, and I know I am not alone in this, but often I find myself “cleaning for the cleaning person”! When you have kids, you have clutter, so if someone is coming over to clean you need to first clear away the legos, artwork etc!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Love your insight on this, Kerri!

      -Cleaning for the cleaning lady….yes totally a thing! I remember as a kid we had a cleaning lady and we would all hate Thursdays because we had to make our beds and clean up our rooms. To us it seemed crazy! Now as an adult, I totally get it!

      -Love that you are looking at the best part of the situation…giving a job to someone who works so hard! Absolutely love hearing that. And I hope she can bring her daughters to Canada. That’s awesome!

      Again, thanks for sharing!

  4. AJ Marton

    I feel no guilt over having a cleaning person, if only for her impending visit causing my family to help put things away every two weeks. If I wanted a house that didn’t look like a battlezone, pre-cleaning person I would have to do it myself and I would get extremely resentful of my children and my husband.

    With a cleaning person we have to put things away so she can actually clean the surfaces of our house. This means the weekend before she comes the entire family helps me put things in their rightful places! I don’t consider that cleaning the house for the cleaning person…she cleans, we put things away so she can get to what she should be cleaning.

    It’s a fabulous thing to have my family to help put their messes away every two weeks with hardly any argument.

    An interesting point is that both of my daughters really like the actual physical cleaning of surfaces and I really don’t mind it as long as I don’t have to vacuum (which they both love anyways) but they and their dad have difficulty with putting away things. We need the cleaning person just to consistently have us put away everything otherwise the house would only be fully cleaned up a few times a year for holidays/parties.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      That is too funny AJ! Tidying up can definitely be a nuisance, so it’s good that your cleaning person gives you the motivation to get the whole family on board!

  5. Lucy

    before we had kids, we had a cleaning person come every other week. it was the first “luxury” to go as we sought a simpler life. i miss it. i really, really, really don’t like to mop the floors.

    Reply
  6. Teran

    Can you share more about your process of finding a cleaning person? My husband and I are in the same boat–super busy and unsure if we want to spend our precious free time cleaning, but we’re unsure how to best take the plunge. How did you find someone you trust to be in your home without you? How did you communicate your needs? How did you decide on a cleaning budget and find someone who works within that budget?

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      All great questions, Teran. We asked our family and friends for recommendations and both found our cleaning ladies that way. We then had our contenders come over and check out the space and give a quote. Once we narrowed in on a couple we liked, we did a little “test” run to see how they performed. And then eventually ended up choosing the best!

      Definitely worth looking into if you want to free up some of that precious weekend time together!

  7. Cassie Facko

    Amen. I would starve before I cut the cleaning lady. Ours comes every other week, but I still spend a lot of time cleaning up after the kiddos and I’m a maniac the day before she comes so I’m sure to get all of the laundry and everything put away. They day she comes I try to stay out of the house with the kids as long as possible, because they can mess it up in less than 5 minutes. No joke. We also hired a landscape company to cut our lawn every week, so Rich can spend time playing with the kids or gardening on his day off. Worth every penny!!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      haha you crack us up Cassie! So happy you get some time back with a cleaning lady! And great idea to hire someone to do the lawn. Miss you lady!

  8. Diana @ Bumps Along the Way

    Appreciate the honesty! I’m curious how much your cleaning ladies do vs. what you still do yourselves. Like basic dishes and the stuff that needs done daily or nearly so, I’m assuming you’d still do that? But you hire out the dusting, vacuuming, etc? I’d love to hire someone just to clean my non-carpet floors (I love vacuuming!). Those seems so hard to keep clean. And clean the grout. And maybe do some of the seasonal tasks I put off every year like cleaning screens and such…

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      We definitely still do all of the basic daily stuff (laundry, dishes, tidying up, etc.) Really they do the vacuuming, mopping, dusting, bathrooms, and a full clean-up of the kitchen. It’s nice to not have to devote a couple hours each week to those things!

  9. Jackie B

    I hate cleaning for the cleaning lady, but it needs to be done. I’m always home on cleaning day and usually, just one step ahead of her. I love my cleaning lady, but I’ve had cleaning ladies from hell! So judgemental! For one in particular, I had to take a Xanax before she would come! She would make you feel bad about the littlest things. Having one that cleans well is important, but I feel that having one that meshes with your personality and lifestyle is equally important. No more Xanax because of her! Dumped her! Love, love, love mine now!

    Reply

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Happy Hour No. 8

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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 bring to DIY Playbook’s monthly Happy Hour.happy-hour-graphic
We want these monthly posts to be a chance to catch up with friends and bring just a little extra happy to your day. So grab your coffee (or champagne) and let’s catch up!

Love It

Casey

  • After our flats post, I ended up getting these lace-up flats for spring. I’m so excited to start wearing them once the weather gets a little bit nicer. Stay tuned for an update on how we’re liking our new flats later in April.casey-work-11
  • I upgraded my hair dryer last year to this one and it was a game changer. How the heck did I get by so many years with my old, beat up one? This one dries my hair sooooo fast (granted my hair is pretty thin, but still!) Plus it’s not too heavy, so my arms aren’t tired after drying.
  • During the winter my skin can get incredibly dry, so I recently picked up this night cream from CVS. It’s thick and hydrating and my skin just soaks it up. I’ve never been a big night cream gal, but so far I’m loving it.
  • I’m so ready to start wearing spring clothes! I’ve got my eye on these sandals and may have to throw these jean shorts into my online shopping cart too!

Bridget

  • I scored this tank & this shirt at Target and I’m super excited to start injecting a little Spring into my closet. I’m making a conscious effort to buy items that are versatile and very “me” & I think these two shirts fit the bill. Plus, they were pretty affordable (in true Target fashion) so I’m excited to give them a try! <– I’m styling the tank tomorrow on the blog!
  • I decided on these $19.99 flats vs. these $65 flats for our most recent mission to find comfy work flats. I’m giving both an equal shot at work and collecting all my data so we both can report back soon.

office_rug_pouf-Toms

  • I scored this brown leather pouf at HOMEGOODS recently for $100. I’ve never seen a brown one there so I scooped it up immediately… even though $100 is usually a bit more than I’d like to pay. But then I saw a similar one on Wayfair for $200 and didn’t feel so bad about the splurge. Anyone know where to find affordable poufs? I remember how excited I was when we scored this one for my sister’s nursery at the Land of Nod outlet on sale for $35 (reg. $79), but honestly have never seen such a great deal since.

BarnDoor_Handle

  • After lots of search, I finally decided on a barn door handle and installed it earlier this week. I can’t wait to show you the finished product on Friday, but until then… here’s the link to the best hardware I came across. The pulls are a bit pricey, but they’re specifically made for barn doors so it came with screws thick and LONG enough to fit through our 2″ door.

Link It

  • We were so honored to chat with Mr. Fix-It himself, Lou Manfredini, last week on WGN Radio here in Chicago. It’s always fun connecting with Chicago people who share our love for DIY so connecting with Lou and some of the listeners after the show was such an honor! You can listen to us at around 43:00 with this link.
  • Filing this kitchen makeover under “DREAM KITCHEN”
  • Good tips to style a fireplace mantle
  • Spending money on experiences, not things <—loving this idea!
  • Items to get rid of in every room in your house. Do you agree with this listletterfolk-thanksgiving-hallway
  • You guys know how much we LOVE our Letterfolk signs and although we wish we changed out the letters more often than we do, they bring some serious fun (and motivation!) into our homes. We bought ours here (and love them!), but our friend Mandi just started selling these similar boards for a better price so we wanted to give you guys the heads up if you’re in the game for your own letter board!minted_diy_playbook
  • Another sale alert! Our favorite place to buy art, Minted.com, is celebrating 10 years by providing the best sales of the year (competitive with their black friday & Cyber Monday sales). Shop their amazing art selection here and be sure to use the following coupon codes for an even better deal:
    • Free Shipping = SHIPFREE
    • Buy 3+ Party Items and get 15% off your Party Purchase = no code necessary
    • $10 credit toward wedding stationery samples = 10FREE
    • Check out the DIY Playbook’s favorites here (in our Minted store).4th_birthday_DIY_playbook-2

The survey results are in from our 4th birthday week and we’re reminded once again how AMAZING YOU GUYS ARE! Wow, we could not be more grateful for all of your kindness and all of your ideas, advice, suggestions, & encouragement. We sat down at a coffee shop one afternoon and went through every single piece of feedback and discussed how we could take your advice to make the blog even better. Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy days to provide such valuable feedback. You guys seriously rock!

The one new component from the survey this year was the “fun facts” you guys shared about yourselves. We were incredibly humbled by the amazing group we have tuning in everyday (including a corporate pilot, ballerina, professional opera singer….) How cool are our readers?! We were cracking up at some of the hilarious fun facts about you guys and it makes us want to hang out with each and every one of you in person. 

Casey Updates

I recently got back from a trip to Phoenix with my mom, sister, and grandma. We’ve been going out there every March since I was a kid to get some R&R and escape the cold of Chicago for a long weekend in the sunshine.

meme-jan-casey-lizIt’s always such an easygoing weekend with my favorite women, but this year was bittersweet because my grandma is selling her Arizona house and moving back to Missouri full-time. We spent lots of time helping her pack up and ended up spending our afternoons looking at old family pictures and listening to stories from her childhood.

Here’s a gorgeous photo we found of my grandma’s parents before heading off on their honeymoon. My grandma guesses it was about 1918…

casey-old-family-photosIsn’t it stunning? I love how it captures their young love and the style of the time. Could you imagine being so dressy to travel today?!  I need to frame it and display it somewhere in our home. Still searching for the perfect, special spot. meme-arizona-houseI’m away from home again this weekend, this time visiting Finn’s sister and her husband in Houston! We’ll be celebrating his 30th birthday and spending time in their new house. Can’t wait to catch up and explore Houston while we’re there!

Bridget Updates

This month has been very busy with office projects. I swear almost every weekend I’ve spent planning, DIY-ing, or cleaning up after the mess in the office.
full-office-wayfairDon’t get me wrong I’m SO excited for the progress and am obsessed with the look so far, I just feel like it’s been extra busy around here because of the XL to-do list. The great news is that the project is wrapping up (kinda?) and hopefully I will get a little bit more free time back on my hands soon. Until then though, I still plan on shiplapping the back wall probably over the next few weeks. The other side of the room also needs some attention so I need to figure out what I’m going to do over there and then update you guys on the progress!

St.PatricksDay_Flowers_Bridget_Irish-2But before I get into that larger project and that whole NEW mess, Matt and I are spending a little down time in DC for his birthday! It’s been our tradition to check out a new baseball stadium for his birthday for the past three years and so this year we are headed to see the Nationals’ Park, while also making a vacation out of the trip. Does anyone have any recommendations for the DC area? Tourist attractions, restaurants, bakeries, ideas of what to see/do…. we are all ears and would love your feedback! And as always if you want to follow along on our travels, be sure to follow our Instagram.

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13 thoughts on “Happy Hour No. 8

  1. H Buchanan

    Have fun in DC! A lot of the Smithsonian museums are free to go through (or ask for a small donation, it’s been a while since I’ve been) but they’re very cool! My favorite is the museum of American History! Also, the Cherry Blossoms are supposed to be incredible to see!

    Reply
  2. Erin

    I’m in the DC area! for tourist attractions: I recommend the newseum — it is pricey but completely worth it, if you want free – definitely the American history museum – that’s one of the most interesting. if the weather’s decent do take a peek at the cherry blossoms – however the weather has been messing with them so I don’t think they’re as amazing as they usually are! georgetown is always fun to walk through — never gets old. but i wouldn’t drive, i’d either ride a bike or take one of the circulator buses to get there.

    for restuarants – it really depends where you’re staying. I’m always a fan of our local chain — matchbox — it’s a good mix of american food but they do it right! for breweries — i think it’s a bit on the snobbish side but Churchkey does good beer. Founding Farmers — they do great local stuff — I did just go to their sister restaurant – Farmers & distillers — the food was fine but i wasn’t too impressed with the food – but their glazed donuts are worth a drop in. and I’m not even a donut person!

    I’d try Etto for some good pizza. i’m a pizza fiend! and while churchkey is somewhat near nationals stadium. I’d also try Eatbar which is also in the area.

    Georgetown Cupcakes is so overrated, but if you really want to go — go to the one in Bethesda – that never has a line. the one in georgetown does, and I think it’s ridiculous! instead try baked & wired which is also in georgetown.

    Reply
  3. Trang

    Houston!?! My parents moved there last summer so I go visit every quarter. We are taking a family trip there next month. I grew up there in the elementary years and it’s changed so much. My husband has never been there so I plan on showing him around the town when we visit. Have a great visit and let me know what you get into while there.

    Reply
  4. DIY Playbook

    Thanks so much Linda! It’s actually from my grandma, she works at an Irish store on the southside of Chicago and she bought it for me. She says they get them shipped from Ireland. =) I love it and think of her every time I wear it.

    Reply
  5. Kerri Hansen

    Hi gals, I have just returned from our spring break vacay. I have been without internet, and while it was kinda nice to completely unplug, i missed my daily dose of diyplaybook! Casey, what an amazing girls getaway weekend you had and that picture is amazing. I love vintage photos like that, such a cool piece of family history! Bridget, that pouf you scored at home goods has me green with envy! It looks amazing in your office, such a nice compliment to those bookshelves. I am loving your office! Can’t wait for the final reveal!
    I love that off the shoulder blouse you got from Target, I may have to single white female you on that one! Are you too young for that reference? I squeezed in a quick trip to Target while in LA last week and picked up these blush colored cargo pants:
    http://intl.target.com/p/women-s-utility-jegging-cargo-pocket-pink-mossimo-153/-/A-51702189 and I love them! Word to the wise, size down as they are super stretchy!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Kerri,
      Awwww, we hope your trip was amazing! “Daily dose of DIY Playbook” <— this made our day… thank you!! We're happy you're back and all caught up 😉 And isn't Target the best?! Thanks for the fit tip, can't wait to check out these pants!! And LA?! How amazing!!

  6. DIY Playbook

    Julia,
    You are the SWEETEST!!! haha “proud owner of your coffee table” literally made me LOL.

    Thank you SOO much for all of these recommendations. I can’t wait to check them out. And I’ll have to note your recommendations in my recap post after the trip. Sincerely, thank you!! xo, B

    Reply
  7. Kara

    I’m in DC! If you’re into beer, I highly recommend Churchkey, though I haven’t found it to be snobbish like the other person mentioned. They have 50 beers on tap plus hundreds of bottles, and great food. They have a sister brewery, Bluejacket, which is actually right near the baseball stadium. The food there is also great. If you’re here on a weekend, definitely check out Eastern Market. Its part farmer’s market, part flea market. Its also not too far from the baseball stadium, so you could possibly go there before the game, depending on what time first pitch is. As for museums, the Newseum is awesome. You could spend the entire day there. I agree with another commenter…the Library of Congress is awesome. I also really enjoy the guided tour of the Capitol building, so you could hit that and the Library of Congress at the same time. Just a couple blocks from there is Good Stuff Eatery (for burgers & shakes) or We, the Pizza (for pizza). Both are owned by a former Top Chef competitor and are great. There’s also an amazing exhibit at the Hirshhorn Museum called Inifinite Mirrors. You need tickets to go, but each morning they give out some tickets for same-day timed entry. You just need to go early to get tickets. I could go on and on, so if there is a specific cuisine you’re looking for, let me know!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Wow, this is AH-MAZING!! Thank you for all these tips/suggestions…. I can’t wait to map it all out. I honestly can’t thank you enough, Kara!!! This helps sooooo much!

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Stovetop Recipe to Make your Home Smell Fresh for Spring

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With the weather warming up a bit, I find myself doing a bit of spring cleaning, purging, and organizing. And usually when on a cleaning mission, I love opening up our windows and doors to let the fresh air in.stovetop_smell

Unfortunately it’s still a bit too chilly to open up the windows, so I came up with a creative way to add some fresh smells to our home…stovetop potpourri.

diy_stovetop_spring_smells-5Have you ever tried it? Essentially it’s just throwing a bunch of fragrant ingredients in a pot and letting it simmer on the stove all day long. It’s love how incredible aromatic it is and it makes the entire house smell divine.

I’ve done this during the Christmas season with cinnamon sticks, cranberries, nutmeg and other seasonal flavors. But I decided to try a fresh one with some spring-like fragrances.

Ingredients

Here’s my recipe for a lemony fresh scent for your home this spring.

  • 2 T. vanilla extract
  • Pot with water (fill up about ¾ of the way)
  • 2 lemons sliced
  • Bunch of mint
  • Bunch of rosemary

diy_stovetop_spring_smells-4That’s it! We often have some of these ingredients stocked in our fridge and pantry already, so it’s not too difficult to throw together.

diy_stovetop_spring_smells-6

Instructions

Just fill a pot up with ¾ water and then add all of the ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil and then let it simmer on low for as long as you want.diy_stovetop_spring_smells-8

diy_stovetop_spring_smells-9It may get a little mushy after a bit, but it should stay pretty fragrant all weekend long. I’ll sometimes make this on a Saturday morning and then turn it on whenever we’re doing things around the house on both Saturday and Sunday. Then Sunday night I’ll dump the mixture.

diy_stovetop_spring_smells-12While I love lighting candles, this is a fresh alternative and it really permeates the entire home. I hope you’ll give it a try.

diy_stovetop_spring_smells-11If you have any other stovetop recipes I’d love to hear them! It’s fun to try different concoctions to see what smells might come along with it. Plus this is a way to get me in the kitchen without having to actually produce anything edible for me & Finn. Baby steps, right?!
casey_sig

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13 thoughts on “Stovetop Recipe to Make your Home Smell Fresh for Spring

    1. DIY Playbook

      That’s a great point! We’re not very familiar with essential oils (not at all actually) but we don’t see why not?! Sounds like a great way to add more aroma!!

    2. Sandy Russell

      I would try putting all the ingredients in a juice or tomato can, add some pebbles to stand them on in a pot with water. < If you are going to add essential oils. No hazard to your health that way.

  1. kkpinnola

    You could also take any aromatic fruits that you were going to throw out and put them to good use this way. Adding spices you have on hand would work, too. To me the idea is to use what you have and experiment with that.

    Would the essential oils affect your pot for later use, i.e., hang around?

    Reply
  2. Jewell Martin

    I have lemons, one apple, and one orange. I have no fresh herbs, but I have several dried herbs and spices. I have some imitation flavorings including vanilla, plus some real vanilla extract. All I have to do is mix and match to find the combination I think we might enjoy. And get to the grocery store for some more fresh food. Best wishes on your own stovetop potpourri.

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A Big Happy 30th Birthday to Mr. Finn

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Today is a very special day…it’s my husband Finn’s 30th birthday! I remember back when we celebrated his 18th birthday and I was so excited to go all out for his big day. I ended up getting his favorite things…18 of them. Diet Coke, a basketball, his favorite candy, etc. I wrapped up each gift and he just beamed when he saw all of the gifts. It was a really special time and I still remember it all these years later.

2005, Right around his 18th Birthday

2005, Right around his 18th Birthday

Now here we are at the big 3-0, and I had absolutely no idea what to do for him. I think I started a little too strong at the age of 18, ha!
finn basketball

Since Finn’s birthday always happens during March Madness he usually asks that we just keep it low-key so he can watch all of the games. So even though I did want to throw a big 30th birthday party, I knew it probably wouldn’t be what he wanted. But I still wanted to show him how loved he is by all of the people in his life. So I came up with another plan…

30 Years of Memoriesbirthday-presents-finn-7

A couple of months ago, I reached out to 30 of his closest friends and family and asked them to email me a favorite memory of Finn. It didn’t have to be anything crazy, just a paragraph was all I was looking for. A couple of weeks later, and the emails started rolling in!birthday-presents-finn-5

I received so many beautiful letters from Finn’s favorite people. Memories from his childhood, pictures from long ago, and stories about him that I had never even heard. Every single person I asked wrote back to me and I ended up with 30 letters for my birthday boy! I printed them all out, put them in envelopes (along with some of the photos), and tied them up with some pretty string. By the time Finn reads this post, he’ll have received all of his letters. I cannot wait to give them to him!

Time to #Explorenew-birthday-presents-finn-1

With the personalized part of the present crossed off my list, I still wanted to get my guy a few other things he would love. As I’ve mentioned before, our word for the year is “explore” and we’re trying to travel as much as possible before starting a family. I decided to go with that as my theme for his birthday gifts.birthday-presents-finn-4

After lots of online shopping, I ended up getting him a monogrammed leather passport cover, this awesome bucket list book (seriously can’t wait to fill it out together), and a nice rain jacket from Patagonia that he can use for our upcoming Iceland trip. I also got one of those little Polaroid Instax cameras, along with extra film, and a photo album that is just waiting to be filled up with pics from our travels! birthday-presents-finn-3

I got some wrapping paper from HomeGoods and then picked up some travel accessories in the scrapbooking section of Michaels to bring the theme together. I’m hoping he’ll love all of the fun items to celebrate our upcoming year of travel together.View More: http://ginacristine.pass.us/casey--mike-1

When trying to figure out what to get Finn for his 30th birthday, I did a lot of research looking for ideas. I wasn’t sure if I would blog about what I got him, but I figured if I could give at least one of you out there some guidance for an upcoming birthday then the post would be well worth it!

If you have someone in you life who is hard to buy for consider doing a theme. I promise it makes shopping a lot easier! And if you want a personalized gift, the 30 years of memories was another idea I’m happy I ran with.

Happy 30th Birthday Mr. Finn
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A big happy 30th birthday to my favorite guy. A guy who always makes me laugh, who makes me feel safe, and who makes every day special. I love you Mike Finn and I am blessed to be your wife. Here’s to 30 more years together side-by-side. casey_sig

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17 thoughts on “A Big Happy 30th Birthday to Mr. Finn

  1. Erin

    wow that is amazing!!! it is definitely a challenge to figure out what to get our significant others!! i like that you did a theme. I need to really get my act together and start working on my husband’s gift — he’s turning 45 this year, and it is SO hard to figure out what to get him. But i also will note that we’ve actually been trying to be more focused on experiences versus gifts.

    Reply
  2. Emily Dunham

    Happy, happy birthday to him! Absolutely LOVE your personal gift to him. So sweet and thoughtful and something he can cherish for always! My aunt had my cousins do that for my dad’s 60th birthday and it was just so neat reading their different memories!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks so much Emily! It was so fun to put together and it’s a present that will never get old. Love that your family did that for your dad’s 60th. I’m sure he loved it!

  3. Sarah M.

    This is so sweet and thoughtful! My guy’s 30th is coming up in May and I think I just found the gift idea I’ve been searching for. 🙂 Happy birthday, Finn!

    Reply
  4. Ashley Sorrick

    Happy Birthday to Finn! Love your packaging – so creative! We’re doing the travel thing right now before kids!

    Reply
  5. Jaclyn Lorimer

    My husband turned 30 a couple of weeks ago and I got him a new grill—and then my parents sent him a grill too! Maybe I need to dip into some more themed/personalized options next time!

    XO, Jaclyn
    lorimerliving.com

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Winter Video 2017

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Spring is officially here, although the Chicago weather would say otherwise. But after our incredibly mild winter, you won’t find either of us complaining about slightly chilly temps (except for that 1 snowstorm we had last week…but we’ll give it a pass this time)Chicago_River_Night_Winter_Bridget

Every few months we like releasing a little video montage of what we’ve been up to over the past few months. It’s almost like a video scrapbook of all of the fun stuff we’ve done together, the places we’ve seen, and the updates in our homes. We always mean to get video whenever we’re DIY’ing or blogging together, but we somehow always seem to forget! Without fail we’ll be packing up for the day and look at each other like…dang it, we didn’t get any video! Chicago_River_Night_Winter_Casey_jacket

Here are our past videos if you want to catch up…

Chicago_River_Night_Winter_Casey_BridgetToday we’re back with our Winter 2017 video. We were fully expecting that this video would be chock full of snow scenes and chilly brisk days, but as mentioned we had a long stretch of no snow here in Chicago! Instead you’ll see some beach scenes (from our Mexico trip), shots of us looking freaked out before our home show presentation, and then footage from around our favorite city.

Winter Video 2017

We hope you enjoy this little snapshot of our last few months. Let’s just say we’re eager for warm spring days ahead, so we can finally ditch all of the layers and have some fun outside of the house.

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10 thoughts on “Winter Video 2017

  1. H Buchanan

    I love these videos! Such a fun little glimpse in to your lives, and your Mexico videos have my dying for some warmth and sunshine!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks Trang! On your next visit to Chicago you’ve gotta get a hot chocolate at Bombobar. I know you’re a healthy gal, but it was a fun indulgence!

    2. Trang

      Oh girl, when I am in Chicago, being healthy goes out the window. I must indulge in all that the city has to offer! Bombobar will be on my list at the end of April.

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