Ask Us Anything No. 7

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. 7 DIY Playbook

You Ask, We Answer! – Ask us Anything No. 7

We’ve gotten awesome feedback on this series, so we’re so excited to check in with this post every month or so.

Folding SweatersHow to fold sweaters properly

Question about sweaters. I have such a hard time storing them! I have a bunch in a drawer, but they don’t stay nice and folded and end up wrinkly. I don’t want to hang them because they’re too soft and delicate. Any tips?

This is such a good question, especially with the cooler months quickly approaching. We’re no experts, but we each fold our sweaters instead of hanging them. Hanging can stretch out the shoulders and necklines and is usually pretty tough on the garment. We try to keep them stacked as neatly as possible, but they can easily get a bit messy. We’ve heard great things about the Marie Kondo roll (as shown in this video), where you roll and stack the garments. Plus, it takes up less space in your drawers and you can see all the pieces at once!Tips to store and organizer sweaters

If you don’t have room in your drawers and prefer to hang them, this method is a good one to follow to prevent them from stretching! We’ve never done it, but it looks like it would do the trick.

Budget Date Nights

Budget-friendly date ideas

Casey, any ideas for dates on a budget?

Finn and I have been together for 14 years now, and we’re always trying to get creative when it comes to our date nights. Dinner & drinks are our go-to date, but that can get old and it’s usually pretty pricey.

Here are some dates we’ve done in the past to spice things up, that don’t cost too much (or are free!)…

  • Food Challenge: Each make a dish and put the final product on Insta stories to a poll. Finn & I did this for brunch during Frugal February and it was so much fun.
  • Decathlon of Events: Finn and I did an Olympic themed night this year (all details in this post) and it was one of my favorite nights ever. You can make your own challenge night with games and prizes…all from the comfort of your home!
  • Walks Around your Neighborhood
  • Check out Local Events (so many awesome free activities in Chicago)
  • Theme Nights: In the past, we’ve made theme nights for date nights at home. For example, we’ve dressed up in tropical outfits, made a homemade meal of seafood, and then watched Castaway.
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Check out this post for more inexpensive ways to save money and still have fun!

College Pride

The makeover turned the dorm room into a colorful space.

Where did you each go to college?

  • Casey: University of Notre Dame
  • Bridget: Eastern Illinois University

Vegan Diet UpdatesUpdates on following a vegan diet

Bridget, do you have an update on your vegan diet? Would love to hear how you’re handling meals with the kitchen reno. 

I’d give us a B-/C+ on this month’s progress report because we’ve definitely cheated (especially on the weekends), and if I’m being perfectly honest, we lost a bit of that laser focus/motivation we started with when we set out to get healthy. Matt and I keep talking about how we need to revive that motivation, but I think not being able to use the kitchen to try new recipes is getting in the way.

BUT, we have stuck to being vegetarian (for now) and are pretty vegan during the week… it’s the weekends that kill us! Since Matt is on paternity leave, he goes to his parent’s house a couple times throughout the week and uses their kitchen to prepare healthy meals (and baby food for Ben). He typically sticks to our go-to recipes, which we’ve been eating on repeat, but it’s keeping us somewhat on track until we get our kitchen back (and hopefully a little more motivation).

I’m also planning a full blog post on how we’re living without a kitchen and the temporary setup we’ve created to get by.

Everyday MakeupWhat makeup I wear everyday

What everyday makeup do you each wear?

Casey: When it comes to my everyday look, I try to keep it super simple especially now that I work from home. There are some days where no one even sees me (besides Finn & you guys on Insta Stories), so there’s no need to go crazy with my everyday look. If I’m going out or to an event, I’ll do my eye makeup and add a few more steps to my routine. But below is my weekday look…Everyday makeup routine

I start with moisturized skin and use this SPF from Glossier. I then use NARS concealer to cover any red spots and Smashbox concealer under my eyes. I use a beauty blender to dab it all in. I have thick eyebrows, so I use my Anastasia brow wiz to groom those and then swipe on some mascara. I change up what mascara I use, but usually something inexpensive from the drugstore. Finally, I add this bronzer and swipe on chapstick. Super simple and takes me less than 10 minutes.Everyday makeup for work

Bridget: Even though I see a lot of people at my job, I typically don’t wear much makeup to work mostly because I have to be out of the house by 6:15 am. I wear this concealer under my eyes, this blush, this drugstore mascara, and a little bit of my favorite eyeliner. Like Casey’s routine, it’s super quick!

Bridget’s LayoutPony half walls in a living room and entryway

Why did Bridget keep the pony walls in her entryway? They look great…I’m just curious. 

Great question! The pony walls flanking our front door have never been my favorite, but we chose to keep them because of the original wood floor. If we picked them up, we’d have to add wood floor under them and somehow make it all match. We considered this option but ended up not going that route because we didn’t hate them that much.

Mood Board SoftwareFall home tour decor items

Did you find a good alternative to Polyvore for mood boards?

Kinda. A majority of you guys recommended using Olioboard or powerpoint. We’ve used Oliboard lately (like in the graphic above from this post) and it’s not nearly as great as Polyvore. But it gets the job done. We have yet to try powerpoint and will keep you guys updated.

Submit your QuestionsAsk us anything no. 7

You can submit your questions for next month’s “Ask us Anything” post. Just email [email protected] with the subject line “Ask us Anything”.


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.

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