Ask Casey No. 3
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 my “Ask Casey” blog post series. I’ll be answering your questions every month or so here on the blog.
Ask Casey No. 3
Last time, I had Finn tackle your questions (that was a fun one!). Now we’re back to me!
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.
Do you run your blog by yourself now that Bridget is gone? It’s so much work! And any surprises working on the blog solo?
I do! It’s just me running the show around here. Finn helps out sooooo much behind-the-scenes, so I don’t want to discredit the many hours he puts into The DIY Playbook (but he does have a full-time job that he goes to every day). I did have an intern for a few months over the summer, and sadly she has gone back to school. So now, it’s just me. I’m not gonna lie, I spend pretty much all of my waking hours working on the blog and pretty much every weekend. However, I wouldn’t change it for the world! I love that I’ve created my own career for myself and this community inspires me daily.
I haven’t had too many surprises working on the blog solo and that’s probably because I was doing the blog full-time for over a year when Bridget decided to leave. So that was a good warm-up to doing it all by myself. I do miss having someone to constantly bounce ideas off of when it comes to projects and post ideas. I always chat with Finn about behind-the-scenes Playbook stuff, as well as every project. However, I never want to overwhelm him too much when he gets home from a long day at his day job!
I still chat with Bridget about project ideas and she has come over a few times to help me brainstorm, which is awesome! (Side Note: So many of you guys asked if we were still friends, and of course we are!! We talk multiple times a week and see one another about once a month. She is a busy girl back at school teaching and looking after her two boys!)
Maybe someday I’ll expand the Playbook “team”. For now, it’s just me doing the day-to-day blog work.
How do you take care of our house cleaning? It can be overwhelming!
I actually just hired a cleaning service to come every other week to clean our house from top to bottom and it’s money well spent! I didn’t mind cleaning our condo because I could get it done in about 1.5 hours (in fact, I even made a little cleaning checklist that helped keep me on task). Now, with our large house, it was eating up at least a half-day of my time. For me, my time is better spent working on my business and focusing my efforts there. I will do light cleaning in between their visits to make sure things stay looking good, but it’s nice to have the pros handle the deep cleaning. It is worth every penny for us.
Decorating Our House
Would you decorate your house differently or take your time more if you didn’t have a blog? Also, if you had unlimited funds what would you add/change to your house?
That is such a great question. In terms of the style and furniture choices I’ve made, I wouldn’t change a thing! I love the direction we’re heading in our home and I’m eager to complete more rooms. However, if I didn’t have the blog, I probably wouldn’t be moving quite as quickly. Because this is my job, it puts a fire under me to plan, get projects done, and make pretty spaces!
If I had unlimited funds, I probably would get started on the kitchen renovation sooner rather than later. It’s such a large space and I would love to make it organized, functional, and as gorgeous as possible! And Finn would love a high-end chef’s kitchen for all of his cooking! For now, we’re saving up for that so we can really make it what we want (hopefully next year!). Oh, and I would definitely give our exterior some TLC with new paint, landscaping, and pavers in our backyard. A girl can dream…
What other neighborhoods did you consider in Chicago? How far is your old place from your new place? Do you like Old Irving Park?
When house hunting, we knew we wanted to stay in the city of Chicago so we could be close to family and Finn’s work. Our goal was to stay on a train line so he could easily commute to the city. At first, we tried to stay in our neighborhood and checked out homes in the Wicker Park and Bucktown area. However, single-family homes are sooooo expensive there and still need tons of work. So that area didn’t end up being a good fit for our budget. Eventually, we expanded our search to include Avondale, Roscoe Village, Irving Park, and more! In the end, we found our sweet spot in Irving Park.
We are 6.5 miles from our old place in Wicker Park. It really depends on traffic, but I would say it is about a 15-minute drive. We’re still located in the city of Chicago, but a bit further out from downtown (a bit more northwest). We really like our new neighborhood. Our street has a mix of people…older couples who have lived there for decades, along with younger families with small kids. It’s a good variety and everyone has been super welcoming!
There aren’t quite as many restaurants and shops as our old neighborhood, but we do have a few breweries, coffee shops, a good taco joint, BBQ restaurant, and more. Honestly, we haven’t had much time to explore yet, but hopefully, as life slows down, we can really appreciate our new hood.
Any regrets or buyer’s remorse with the new house?
Not.at.all. We are thrilled with the new house. Even though we loved our condo, I have zero regrets about selling it and rarely think about it. Our future is here in this house and we are so happy that we bought it when we did. Yes, the renovation did have its low points, but we made it to the other side and we can’t wait to continue to make this house our home.
You’ve mentioned that you’re not into shopping. How do you get most of your errands done?
I’m alllll about Amazon Prime. I regularly have a new Amazon package arriving at our house every other day. From toiletries, to vitamins, to cleaning supplies…it’s our go-to for everything. Finn and I use the app “Wunderlist” to compile things we need and then we place an order a few times a week. I also go to the grocery store, but other than that, I pretty much always online shop!
If you want to check out our Amazon favorites I actually just created our Amazon storefront! I’ve got our favorite tools, home items, and more right there.
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.