Ask Casey No. 1
I get lots of design questions from you guys, but it’s funny…I actually get questions about a lot of other things happening in my life — marriage, blogging, infertility, fitness, fashion…really every single category! So I want to tackle some of your inquiries in a new “Ask Casey” blog post series. My plan is to tackle your questions every month or so here on the blog.
This time I asked for your questions on Insta Stories and I was flooded with messages! I answered a few on Instagram, but saved these for today’s post! And if your question wasn’t answered, don’t worry. I’ll probably tackle it in July’s post!
What is your best advice for a newlywed couple?
We actually did a post last year on how to have a healthy and happy marriage, so definitely give that a read for more in-depth tips. But I would say knowing each other’s love language is a good place to start as newlyweds. When Finn & I were prepping for our wedding, we read the book The 5 Love Languages. My love language is “Acts of Service”, which means I feel loved whenever Finn does everyday tasks for me (like taking out the trash, washing the dishes, cleaning the bathroom, etc.). Finn’s love language is “Words of Affirmation”, which means he feels love when he is encouraged, complimented, and hears positive words that lift him up.
When we learned about one another’s love languages, it truly transformed our relationship. I can run around and do things around the house for Finn until I’m blue in the face, but that isn’t how he feels love (it’s how I feel love). So instead, I do my best to listen to him, provide encouragement, and throw compliments his way as often as possible. I say give the book a read and you’ll be on the right path for a happy marriage!
We bought a fixer-upper. How do you decide what you do vs. a professional?
This is such a good question and it’s one I get often. For us, we always hire out advanced tasks that need to be up to code. For example, moving plumbing and electrical in a bathroom…we hire a professional. But changing a light fixture or swapping a faucet, we can easily handle ourselves. This blog post highlights more things to consider when DIY’ing vs. hiring out.
In the new house, we’re hiring out all of the initial tasks that are way over our heads (and would take us forever to accomplish at nights and on the weekends). So our contractor will be knocking down walls, adding all new electrical throughout the home, replacing all of the floors, etc. He isn’t touching the kitchen or the bathrooms so we will tackle those ourselves on our own time.
What qualities of Finn do you hope your future children have?
This question made me teary. Can I say all of them?! Ha Ha! But seriously, you guys pretty much know Finn as the fun and funny guy on Insta stories, but he is also the most intelligent person I know. He is so quick and witty, and I hope our future children get his brain (and he will definitely be the one helping them with their math homework – not this girl). He is also incredibly kind and sensitive and I absolutely love that about him.
My heart grows every time I see him having a blast with our niece and nephew. I can’t even imagine how it will feel to someday see him with our own children. And better yet, to see a bit of him in our kids.
How often do you purge items in your new home?
All.the.time. Seriously, we are both constantly purging and it was a necessity because of our small condo. Even though we will be moving to a much bigger place, I still feel like we’ll always be getting rid of stuff. I use this “paper bag” method for my clothes and then I follow some of the tips from this post to keep everything else clutter-free. There is no better feeling, in my opinion!
How do you make house decisions without getting overwhelmed by all of the decisions?
I do get overwhelmed, but I try to take things reaallllly slowly. For example, right now I’m not even thinking about any of the furniture or decor for the new house. Until I’m in our house and living there, it’s impossible to make the correct decisions. But when the time does come, I will go piece by piece. I will find the perfect couch and then I’ll wait for months to find the perfect coffee table. It’s a process and I rarely make lots of big decisions all at once (that’s when mistakes happen). Home doesn’t happen overnight and the process is the fun part!
For our new house, I’ve had to make some decisions on flooring, paint, etc. When I’m making those choices, I try to stay really focused on one piece at a time. So I’ll research all of the flooring options and narrow it down. I use Pinterest for inspiration, read reviews, and then buy samples to see them in my own space. Then, I make a choice and don’t look back!
Favorite Faux Greenery
What is the best place to get affordable faux greenery for decor?
I get faux greenery from all over the place! These eucalyptus stems from Target are good, as are these from Pottery Barn. I also get small faux plants from Ikea and HomeGoods, and branches from Michaels. I’m planning to buy this olive tree for the new house (not necessarily affordable, but better than buying a real tree that I will kill. Ha ha!).
How expensive is IVF? Is it covered by insurance?
IVF is ridiculously expensive, but we are lucky that we have insurance coverage. Illinois is one of a few states that mandates coverage and we are so blessed that our treatments are covered. We do have to meet our out-of-pocket and deductible for the year before it kicks in (but we’ve pretty much done that by February 1st during the last two years), and we have to pay extra for PGS testing of embryos (about $7,000), storing our embryos, and additional fertility tests. So it does add up, but not nearly as much as women in other states. I have a friend who lives in Missouri who went through IVF and she has paid over $35,000. It’s absolutely ridiculous that it isn’t covered everywhere and I hope that changes so everyone has a chance at the family they desperately want.
Submit your Questions!
I’d love to hear from you. Submit a question using the form below and I’ll try to tackle it in next month’s post.
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.