The Year of Casey
Every year, I try to come up with a word to describe what I want to get out of the year ahead. A couple of words from years past have been “growth” and “connection.” This year my word is “Casey.” I know, that sounds so freakin’ bizarre, right? I’ve dubbed 2022 the “Year of Casey”! And now you might be thinking, “Isn’t that a little selfish?” Well, allow me to explain…
Why “The Year of Casey”?
I think the saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup,” really applies here. I’ve found that I’ve been putting a lot of things ahead of myself…most notably, my business and my kids. But in order to be a better wife, mother, friend, and entrepreneur I need to give back to myself first.
I’ve spent the last five years doing a lot of crazy things to my body. I had three miscarriages, multiple rounds of IVF, thousands of shots, a vaginal birth, and then a c-section, all in a very short amount of time. My body hasn’t been my own in years. I honestly don’t even know what “normal” feels like anymore.
In 2022, I want to change that. I have lots of personal goals and they all involve re-discovering myself.
Okay, let’s first discuss some of the physical changes I’m excited about. Some of these things may feel a bit vain to you, but I think if something makes you feel more confident, then you should go for it. I’m doing these things for me, not for anyone else. You do what works for you!
Fertility treatments and pregnancy created a lot of dark spots and melasma on my face from the excess hormones. It’s all also aged me a bit, along with the normal age progression – I am in my 30’s, after all! So here are a few things I’ve recently done that are making me feel good.
- Fraxel: In the fall, I had a treatment called Fraxel. It lasers the top layer of skin off and lightens melasma. (Don’t worry! It’s not painful.) It worked really well for me and I’d love to do another treatment but it’s realllll pricey, so I may be waiting a bit. I got this done at my dermatologist’s office and I talk about it a bit more in this Instagram highlight.
- Botox: Yep, I recently got botox on my forehead and I’m loving the results. I have a pretty big forehead and I had some deep lines and wrinkles. I’m really pleased with the results and I will likely go quarterly. I see Jessica J. at Innovative Med Spa in Lincoln Park.
- Laser Hair Removal: I’ve always gotten terrible razor bumps along my bikini line. I purchased a package at my local spa (SpaDerma in Lincoln Park) and got 3 laser hair removal treatments for $99. I am excited to be rid of the razor burn for good.
My Fave Skincare Products
I’ve been excited about skincare for the past few years now. Here are some of my favorite skincare products that I use regularly. It’s a nice treat at the end of the day to do a little skincare routine.
- Collagen Night Cream: I use this every night for my dry skin.
- Resurfacing Serum: I use this every other night.
- Revitalash: This gives me sky high lashes.
- Microfoliant Exfoliator: I use this 1-2 times per week to exfoliate.
- Lip Sleeping Mask: This is the best for soft lips.
- Self-Tan Drops: I put a few drops of this into my moisturizer 1-2 times per week.
- Retinol: This is an anti-aging must-have. I rotate between this product and a retinol that I get from my dermatologist.
- Midnight Recovery Oil: This smells so good. I use this a few times a week.
- Eye Serum: This goes under my eyes in the morning.
Buying Clothes That Fit My New Body
If you know me, then you know that I’m not a big shopper. Sure, I like shopping for home stuff, but when it comes to clothes, not so much. In fact, I have clothing from high school and college that I still wear. Eek. My body is still in a bit of a transition since having Ellis. I’m back down to my pre-pregnancy weight, but I’m definitely softer and rounder in some areas. Because of this, my clothes just don’t fit that great. Jeans are tight and loose in all the wrong places and I think it’s time for a few new things.
My friend, Bridget, and I booked a color consultation with Laura Harcar from House of Colour for this weekend. She is a color expert and is trained to use the principles of color science to help people discover their particular color palette. Basically, you leave the consultation with a better idea of the colors that work well with your skin tone/hair/eyes and then you can purchase items that amplify your natural looks! I’m excited to find my colors before I buy some new pieces for my wardrobe.
Finding The Right Exercise Routine
After having Ellis, I started weekly physical therapy sessions to regain my core strength and work on my pelvic floor. It was so beneficial and I’ve officially “graduated” from my physical therapist. I highly recommend this to anyone! It was such a great way to ease back into being active and gaining more strength and flexibility.
I’ve been active my entire life – I was a dancer growing up and through college – and then I really fell in love with group fitness classes in my 20’s. Since COVID, and having two kids, I haven’t found a new workout routine that I’ve stuck with and enjoy. I’ve done strength and yoga classes at home, but I haven’t been super consistent with anything.
One of my personal goals is to find a way to incorporate fitness into my routine two to three days a week. It might not sound like much, especially because I used to work out a lot more, but I’m trying to be realistic about what I’ll actually fit into my schedule. Pre-COVID, I found an adult dance class that I absolutely loooooved, but the world now is a bit trickier. I’ll keep you guys posted as I work on this one…
Now, let’s discuss mental health…the biggest part of “The Year of Casey.”
Prior to seeing a therapist myself, I thought that therapy was reserved for couples on the brink of divorce or for someone who had experienced a lot of trauma. Now I know therapy is a wonderful tool for absolutely everyone!
Finn and I first saw a therapist after we lost our baby, and speaking to someone who specialized in infertility, was a tremendous tool as we dealt with our grief. After becoming parents, we found a new therapist who specializes in marriage, to help us connect and continue to work on our relationship, even as new parents. We saw him virtually every week until I had Ellis, but we have since put those sessions on the back burner. Now that we’re coming out of the newborn haze, we’re planning to get back into it.
I think every relationship, even when you’re in a good place, takes a lot of work. If anything, talking to a marriage counselor has made us realize how amazing our marriage truly is and how we don’t want to take it for granted. It is something I would recommend to any couple out there.
Starting a CBD Regimen
I’ve touched on this before, but I recently got back into a CBD routine. (It’s not recommended during pregnancy/breastfeeding, so I waited until after having Ellis.) You can check out this Instagram highlight for more details, but I’ve found that a regular CBD routine gives me a lot more patience as a mom and keeps my stress and anxiety in check. Also, just to clarify…CBD is not the same as THC. They’re just derived from the same plant. Ha, trust me, I’m not walking around high all day!
I use these daily soft gels, these daily drops, and these gummies daily. (You can learn more about my routine in that highlight too.) I’m a big fan of Equilibria Women and their mission to help women. You can use code DIYPLAYBOOK for 15% off your first order.
An Hour For Me Each Evening
Finally, I’m doing my best to devote an hour to myself each night to do something for me. The kids are in bed by about 7 pm, so I usually read, take a bath, listen to a podcast, or watch a TV show from 7-8 pm. If it’s a weeknight, I’ll then get ready for bed. (Yep, I like to go to bed early!) If it’s a weekend, I’ll stay up a tad later to watch a movie or show with Finn. Here are a few things I’ve really enjoyed lately…
- Apples Never Fall (Fiction Book)
- Atomic Habits (Non-Fiction Book)
- Wish You Were Here (Fiction Book)
- Love on the Spectrum (Netflix Series)
- Queer Eye (Netflix Series)
- Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)
Excited About “The Year of Casey”!
So there you have it…a bit more about my personal goals and the things I’m doing in 2022. I’ll check in in a few months to discuss my progress and new things I’m doing during “The Year of Casey.” Now, tell me in the comments below, what are you doing for YOU this year? I’d love to hear more ideas!
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.