Ask Casey – My Trip to San Miguel de Allende, Favorite Landscape Lighting, & More


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

Ask Casey - my trip to san miguel de allende

If you want to check out previous “Ask Casey” posts, you’ll find them all right here.

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.

Our Family Setup

Ellis and Rory playing

I have a toddler daughter and just found out we’re expecting a baby boy! Would love to know how you like having one of each, what the dynamic is like with Rory and Ellis, and especially what it’s been like having an older girl and a younger boy. I feel like I don’t know a lot of families with this combo and while every family is different, I’d love to hear more about your perspective!

First of all, congratulations! It’s funny because once I found out I was pregnant again (which, if you remember, was the biggest shock of our lives), I knew deep inside that it was a boy. When we got our genetic test results back I was not at all surprised to find that Ellis was a boy.

We absolutely love our family dynamic, with Rory as the older sister and Ellis as the younger brother. It’s been a complete joy for us. Of course, we were going to be thrilled with our family no matter the sex of each child, but it worked out wonderfully. Finn has an older sister and I think it made him the man he is today – sensitive, caring, and empathetic. I hope that Ellis will be the same.

The kids are still so young that they’ve only just started playing together a bit more. Rory is always the one in charge and Ellis is happy to go along with whatever she wants to do. He adores her and she likes doting on him. She also likes to play a parenting role for him. She will “discipline” him when he throws something and she likes to tell him how we do things around here. It’s pretty hilarious.

Personally, I’m also a tad happy that we have a child of each sex, just because it limits the number of people asking if we will have another baby. I hate when you have two of the same sex and people automatically assume that you should “go for one more”. If Ellis was a girl, I’m sure I would be inundated with questions asking if we would try for a boy. Let’s just all agree to stop putting that pressure on moms and families, alright? And to answer the question for any inquiring minds out there, we are very happy with our family of four! Finn got a vasectomy, so we consider our family complete!

Laser Hair Removal

Enjoying our time in Cabo

Can you share details about the laser hair removal process you did?

I have done six sessions of laser hair removal on my bikini area at SpaDerma, here in Chicago. I purchased a holiday deal and it was about $300, total. I found that it didn’t hurt that bad and it’s incredibly quick! I was in and out in about 5-10 minutes, tops. I went every six weeks, six times in a row, and I’d say I have about a 70% reduction in hair. I think I need about three more sessions to fully eliminate it. If you get bad bumps, I would definitely recommend it! It’s much easier than shaving or waxing.

Baby Led Weaning

Our experience with baby led weaning
Rory in 2020

Can you share more about Ellis’ baby led weaning experience and what he is eating now?

At around six months of age, Ellis went straight to baby-led weaning. If you’re unfamiliar with BLW, this blog post dives into all of the details. In short, instead of giving them baby food, you give them regular food, with some modifications, so they can hold onto it and chew it. We are huge fans of BLW and both of our kids are great eaters because of it. If you do go that route for feeding, I would definitely recommend checking out the resources that I share in this blog post. It’s important to have confidence when starting and know the difference between gagging and choking to keep your baby safe.

I also think baby led weaning really helped Ellis’ fine motor skills. Picking up tiny pieces of food and feeding himself did wonders for his fine motor skills. He is now 16 months old and easily eats with a spoon and fork. It’s very impressive!

As for what we feed the kids, they eat what we eat! Ellis’ pieces are cut a bit smaller than Rory’s, but for the most part, he eats just about everything. Pizza, pasta, waffles, burgers, fries, salmon, broccoli… Our kids love it all!

Landscape Lighting

Solar lights

Do you have tips or products you would recommend for DIY landscape/home uplighting?

We had our landcaper hardwire the lights in our backyard during our renovation, so I don’t have any tips for that. But, I always recommend the solar lights that we have on our fence posts and they’re one of the most popular DIY Playbook products of all time! These are the exact ones we use, in the warm white color, and I use this outdoor mounting tape to attach them. Ours have been up for almost four years now and they all still work perfectly. Since they’re solar-powered, we don’t have to change batteries or anything.

We also have these solar spotlights in our front yard to light up our front window box at night. They work really well! I think if you’re going for an easy DIY with landscape lighting, solar is the way to go!

My Trip To San Miguel de Allende

Your recent trip to Mexico looked amazing! Can you tell us more about your trip to San Miguel de Allende?

My sister, the flight attendant and world traveler, visited San Miguel de Allende a few times over the past few years and fell in love with the city. To celebrate her 40th birthday, she decided to rent a house for the entire month of January! Over that time period, she had multiple groups of friends and family come to stay and visit.

I visited with my oldest brother, Harry, for a long weekend in January. My mom was there, too, and she stayed for about two weeks. Getting to San Miguel de Allende isn’t easy. We flew to Houston, then Leon, and then drove 1.5 hours to the city. But, once you arrive, it’s so worth the day of travel! The city is colorful, magical, and filled with cobblestone streets that wind up and down the mountain. It was founded by the Spanish, so it has a European feel. I can see why my sister wanted to stay here for an entire month. It’s a fantastic place to explore.

My trip to San Miguel de Allende

I will say that I’m happy the kids didn’t make the trek. Those hills and cobblestone streets make using a stroller nearly impossible! I do think Finn would have loved it, though, so I hope the two of us can return someday soon!

Our Family Name

Our temporary home office setup

I am curious about your family name. You post things as Casey Finn and the Finn family but then your husband’s first name is Finn, so is his full name Finn Finn? Or is the last name Finn just a name for the blog? Or do you have different last names? I haven’t been reading this blog very long so perhaps you have talked about this before. And I’m not asking you to reveal your real name if this is just the name you use for privacy or for the blog, I’m really just curious.

I had to include this question because it made me laugh out loud. As most of you know, my name is Casey Finn (yep, that’s my real name) and my husband’s name is Michael Finn. He has just always gone by Finn. I’ve even added this info to my “About” page, since I get it so often!

Growing up in the 90s, we were surrounded by lots and lots of Michaels, so from a young age, everyone just called him “Finn.” We went to a high school with 4,000 kids and our group of friends probably had a half dozen Mikes in it. Heck, there were even quite a few Caseys! Because of that, many kids from our school went by their last names. Because I met Finn in high school, I called him “Finn” from the start of our relationship and it has just stuck now for the past 19 years. Sorry to disappoint, but we don’t have any real names to reveal. Ha!

Submit Your Questions!

Have a question for me? Submit it using the form below.

Casey


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

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.