Ask Us Anything No. 5
Earlier this year, we started a new series called, “Ask Us Anything!” We certainly get lots of design-related questions, and we’re trying our best to answer those in our Reader SOS blog post series. But we still get tons of questions about things outside of the DIY/design field. That’s when the idea for our “Ask Us Anything!” series began.
Ask Us Anything!
- Ask Us Anything No. 1 (Blogging Edition)
- Ask Us Anything No. 2
- Ask Us Anything No. 3
- Ask Us Anything No. 4
We’ve gotten awesome feedback on this series, so we’re so excited to check in with this post every month or so. Be sure to submit your questions in the comments, or send us an email at [email protected].
You Ask, We Answer!
My friend is going through infertility, but I have a one-year-old baby boy. Casey, does it ever upset you being around Bridget and her baby? Do you have tips for the friend with a baby on how best to act so that we can show our support, but not upset you with tales of our own baby? I want to be the best friend I can be to my best friend with infertility…I’d love your advice!
Casey: I must say I was so happy to receive this question on my last infertility post because I think it’s something that a lot of women might struggle with. It’s hard to know how to act “normal” around someone struggling to start a family.
First, I’d say that every woman going through this is different. I love being around Ben and my niece and nephew…it’s my squishy baby time and I love it so much. But I know for some women it’s hard to be around kids (or hear about a friend’s kids) because it’s a constant reminder about their own journey.
I will say the only thing that irks me is when moms or pregnant women complain on social media. Whether it’s about being tired/emotional/weight gain/insomnia/boobs hurting…it’s really hard for me to stomach any complaints, because I would looooooove to be in their shoes. I have so many of those symptoms already from all of the IVF drugs, yet I don’t have a baby to show for it. I get it that those crappy symptoms are a part of their pregnancy journey, but complain to your husband/doctor/mom/best friend about it instead of putting it on social media.
Bridget and Matt are always incredibly grateful about Ben in front of Finn and I and we love that about them. I’m also always so excited to hear about his milestones and updates, and I’m always asking about them. So if your friend is asking…she genuinely wants to know and is interested!
I’d say the best thing you can do to support your friend is check in on her and ask her how she is doing. Bridget always knows when I have big doctor’s appointments coming up and she constantly checks in or just shoots me a text to see how I’m doing. So just being there is the #1 thing you can do! Clearly, you’re already an amazing friend since you’re aware of her feelings. So keep on being there for her!
Bridget: I’m also so glad a reader asked Casey this. I immediately took a screenshot of the question and texted it to Casey, followed by a text that read, “I’m so eager to hear how you answer this because I often wonder the same thing”.
Before Casey’s journey, I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t know much about IVF and was a bit naive about the world of heartbreak so many couples experience because of these struggles. Not to give TMI, but Matt and I were able to get pregnant very easily and I often feel very guilty about that… especially after seeing how much Casey (and so many other women) sacrifices on an everyday basis to meet Baby Finn. My heart breaks for her, and then I question how I could possibly support her when I can’t begin to understand the hell she’s traveling through. And on top of that, I feel terrible that I’m a constant reminder of what she doesn’t have… YET.
But you can’t focus on all of that because your best friend needs YOU right now. She needs you to think of her when you can and not forget about her because you’re too busy with the baby. Carve out time to call her, text her good luck, and remind her that you’re in her corner cheering her on. Casey is always open about her doctor’s appointments and her feelings, which has taught me so much about IVF. Not that I’ll ever know what it’s like to be in her shoes, she’s done such a great job educating me so I can stay up-to-date on each step of her journey.
And because of her, I’m conscious to never complain and be extremely grateful to be a mom. When I’m doing pelvic floor therapy, when I feeling down about my “new body”, or when I’m getting up 4 times throughout the night to feed Ben, I think of Casey and tell myself, “you better not complain because you are damn lucky!”. Here I’m trying to be a good friend to her and she’s the one helping me!
Kind of a personal question, but what are your favorite undergarments? My underwear drawer can use an upgrade!
Casey: I’d say 90% of my underwear is from the brand Hanky Panky. I absolutely love their thongs (I do both original rise and low rise) because they’re comfortable and you have no visible panty lines. They are a little pricier, but they last forever and I always try to scoop some up when they’re on sale.
I’m also a devoted Natori bra fan. I have this one in black, this one in nude, and this t-shirt bra in multiple colors. And here is the strapless bra I use (it actually stays in place, which is amazing!). As for sports bras, I usually just buy inexpensive ones from Target!
Bridget: I hope my dad’s not reading today… yikes! In all honesty, though, I’m not too picky when it comes to undergarments. Usually, I find two bras that fit and rotate between those two until they are literally falling apart. Last year I splurged on two of these from the Nordstrom Anniversary sale and wore them until Baby Ben was born. Then I bought these tanks for nursing so I didn’t have to wear a bra and then eventually bought this nursing bra that I wear on repeat.
I know Bridget has been chatting a lot about skincare on the blog, but Casey…what do you use?
Casey: Now that I turned the big 3-0, I too am trying to figure out a skincare routine. I will say that the best thing I’ve done for my skin is getting regular facials. I buy packages of the “Express Facials” at Spa Derma in Lincoln Park (I go to Nicole…she is amazing!) and I go every 2-3 months. I’ve been doing this for about a year and I’ve noticed a big improvement in my skin (and so has my aesthetician).
As for products, I am a big Olay fan and use this daily moisturizer and this night cream. I’ve always used Pond’s cold cream as a makeup remover because that’s what my mom has used. For specialty products, I use this eye cream (Finn uses it too!), this retinol, this face mask, and I absolutely adore this nighttime oil. Honestly, I love playing around with different products and I’m still trying to find my favorites. Maybe I’ll do a big blog post about it all soon!
Bridget, any fun summer plans since you’re off from work?
Bridget: It’s been absolutely amazing being off work and spending time with Ben! However my plan this summer is to really establish a routine blogging from home… yet still making time for summer fun. Theoretically, Matt is off in the summer too, but he’s been super busy with his public speaking business and some summer obligations as a high school counselor so he’s actually been traveling a lot! I mention this because him being gone means I’ve been at home with Ben alone and not being able to devote as much time to the blog. BUT, he’s home now which means I’ve been able to juggle mom/work-life balance better. Plus, we’ve even been able to sneak in some fun things like trips to the zoo, events around the neighborhood, weekend getaways with my family, and we’re both standing up in a wedding next month!
Is Casey still into body pump workouts? I know she raved about them last year.
Casey: I’m sad to say that my workout routine has come to a halt. I’m not allowed to workout during my major IVF treatments (egg retrieval, embryo transfers, two-week waits, etc.), so I haven’t been going to body pump classes at all. When I am allowed to “workout”, they suggest walking and yoga. So that’s what I do when I’m feeling good. I’ve definitely noticed a drop in my stamina and strength, which makes me sad. Once I get pregnant (fingers crossed it’s someday soon) and I’m in the clear to workout, I’m eager to get back into a workout routine that features cardio, strength, and stretching.
I’d like to know Bridget’s favorite baby or mommy item that helps make her life better or easier.
Bridget: Does the crib count?! Haha jk! I borrowed an entertainment center from my sister (similar to this one) and LOVE it because Ben can stand and play while I run around and do a few things quickly. He really loves it and has gotten so much stronger standing up, twisting around, and exploring all the little gadgets. I also use a baby carrier (like this one) to be hands-free and also use this bra to be hands-free while pumping.
I would love to hear some of Bridget’s favorite nursing/pumping tops!
Bridget: I plan on doing a whole post on this topic since I’ve been getting this question a lot lately. But for now, some of my favorites include:
- These super soft tees
- This button-up romper
- This tank & this tank!
- This button-up blouse (super flowy and forgiving too)
- This blue and white striped button-down (or anything like it!)
- But when I wear a shirt that requires me to pull up my entire shirt and nurse/pump, I make sure I’m wearing this underneath and then I don’t really mind.
What’s your least favorite part of blogging? The part you put up with to do the parts you like.
In the beginning, the two of us handled every single aspect of the blog…from the finances to the web maintenance. As we’ve grown, we’ve been able to outsource some of those things that we’re not so good at. We’re so bad at technology, so if something breaks on our site…we have a web guy who can fix things. Thank God! We are also terrible at keeping track of finances, so luckily Finn handles all of our invoicing, taxes, forecasting, etc. It’s silly for us to waste our time on things that we’re never going to master, so we try to hire out whenever possible.
But, there are things that only we can do…that really aren’t our favorite. Negotiating with brands, reading contracts, and staying on top of the business side of things can be very overwhelming. We’re also trying to learn Photoshop (because our beloved Polyvore is gone!) and that has been tough. Scheduling social media and keeping all of that running smoothly is also a time-consuming process. BUT, it’s all so worth it! Because at the end of the day, our favorite part about blogging is creating fun content and connecting with our readers. So all of the tedious behind-the-scenes junk is 100% worth it to do what we love each and every day!
Submit your Questions
You can submit your questions for next month’s “Ask us Anything” post. Just email diyplayboo[email protected] with the subject line “Ask us Anything”.
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.