Ask Casey No. 8

I get lots of design questions from you guys, but I actually get questions about a lot of other things happening in my life, like marriage, blogging, motherhood, fashion…really every single category! So, I tackle your inquiries in my “Ask Casey” blog post series answering your questions every month or so.

Ask Casey No. 8

Ask Casey No. 3

Here are a few past posts if you want to catch up…

The google form (at the bottom of the post) has helped me keep everything organized so I can slowly make my way through your inquiries.  So, if you have another question today, be sure to submit it down below.

Virtual DesignMy living room with modsyHow we keep our living room tidy with a baby

How do you feel about virtual interior design services like Modsy and Havenly?

I’ve never used Havenly, so I can’t speak to that service but I have used Modsy. I teamed up with Modsy last year for help figuring out our living room layout and it was super beneficial. (Full disclosure –  it was a paid partnership, but my positive review and experience are 100% genuine). I think it can be helpful if you’re really stuck with a room layout, as I was. It might not be super helpful if you already have all of your furniture, though. One of the best parts about Modsy is that you can see the pieces you might buy in the space to envision how they work together, how they flow, etc. So if you’re starting from scratch in a room, I think it could be a great tool.

Date NightsGoodbye 2019

What are you and Finn doing for date nights in the midst of baby and COVID life?

We really haven’t had too many date nights lately and we realize this is something we need to be much better at. When Rory goes to bed for the night at 7:00 pm, we both usually catch up on work, workout, shower, etc. We do try to have dinner together a few nights a week (although the kitchen reno is certainly changing that right now) and sit on the couch and watch a movie or a show. We haven’t gone to a restaurant since March and probably won’t for the foreseeable future due to COVID. We did have my mom babysit Rory this past weekend to have dinner with friends at their house and it was lovely! Also, our anniversary is coming up in a few weeks, so we’ll have to plan something special at home for that!

We know that a strong marriage makes us better parents, so one of our goals is to really work on this.

Breastfeeding & Exclusively Pumpingtrying to be productive with a newborn

When did you start pumping so your mom and Finn could feed? Why did you choose to exclusively pump?

I started pumping right away, even when I was mostly nursing Rory. Rory would usually eat on one side and I would pump the other. This helped build up some milk so my mom and Finn could feed Rory (and then I would pump while they fed her). Early on, we found that Rory was doing a lot of “snacking” when she was nursing and then she would want to eat again an hour later. If we gave her a full bottle (where we could monitor the number of ounces), she would have a full feeding and be satiated for a few hours. When we put her on a schedule at eight weeks, I decided to exclusively pump and we never looked back. (P.S. I used both this pump and this one).

I actually stopped pumping earlier this month. My supply dipped a lot as I started cutting pumping sessions, due to working (and sleeping!) more, and we started using a combo of breast milk and formula. Eventually, Rory was doing so well with the formula that we decided to move to it exclusively. She is doing great; I’m doing great; and we’re both proud of the time we had breastfeeding together.

Working Out with a BabyThe best sports bras for breastfeeding moms

Any advice on finding the time/motivation to work out with a little one at home? I’m struggling!

The struggle is real and I have no good answers. I’m trying my best to run a few days a week and then do a combo of yoga and strength training on the other days. That certainly doesn’t happen all the time. Finn does the first shift of the day with Rory, so I’ll try to sneak in a workout then. Or, I’ll go for a quick run when I put her down for her last nap of the day or after bedtime. To be honest, working out is often at the bottom of my priority list. But I’m trying to give myself grace, and so should you!

Sponsored PostsHow to hang a gallery wall

What do you do when a sponsored product/post doesn’t work, breaks down quickly after installation, or just turns out to be a POS?

This question made me laugh out loud. (That POS comment…ha!) Honestly, I’ve luckily never had this happen. And that’s because I don’t promote products that I’ve never used before. Most of the brands I’ve worked with are companies I’m already using on an everyday basis. If a company had a new product that they want me to try out, I’ll try it first before ever agreeing to do a sponsored post about it. If something did turn out to be a POS, I would email the company back, tell them my honest thoughts, and say that it’s not a good fit for my audience. Over 90% of my sponsors are long-term partnerships (i.e. Lowe’s, Crate and Barrel, Rust-Oleum, etc.) and they’re reputable companies with quality products.

Flipping Homeswe bought a house

Would you ever buy a home to renovate and flip (versus live in, renovate, and sell)?

Never say never, but at this time, probably not. I could see us buying another property to rent out or Airbnb. We’ve talked about that a lot as we discuss the future and what we’ll do when we’re “done” with this house. We also love the idea of buying a lake house in Wisconsin or Indiana to fix up and rent out on Airbnb and also enjoy it ourselves over the summertime! Right now, we’re focusing on our current home and we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

COVID & Baby4th old Rory

How are you dealing with COVID anxiety and Rory?

I’m not gonna lie, it’s tough, just as I know it is for so many families out there. Rory hasn’t met many people outside of our family and it will probably stay that way for quite some time. We’ve socially distanced with friends who we know have also been quarantining, but other than that, we haven’t really done much or seen anyone. I’m grateful that we can keep Rory home and safe. We haven’t been able to see much of Finn’s family yet since they live in Houston.  I’m dying for her to meet her cousin, Teddy, who is just six months older than her. For now, we’re making do with lots of FaceTime calls.

City vs. SuburbsFixing the peeling paint on our house

You mentioned selling your house eventually. Are you going to move to the suburbs someday?

We’ve always known that this wouldn’t be our “forever house.” In fact, because we love fixing up homes I don’t know if we’ll ever have a “forever house.” We love living in the city of Chicago because we’re so close to so many amazing things, like great restaurants, museums, the lake. But now that we are in the middle of a pandemic, the luxuries of city living aren’t what they used to be! We haven’t really gone anywhere all year. However, it’s important for me to raise Rory surrounded by diversity and I love that about city life. I also want to be near my family and everyone lives only 10-15 minutes from us. I imagine we will sell this house someday and maybe pick another Chicago neighborhood to live in for a while. I don’t really see the suburbs in our near future, but who knows where life will take us?

Submit Your Questions

Have a question you want to be answered? Use the google form below and I’ll answer it in the next Ask Casey post.


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.