Ask Us Anything No. 8

Last 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. 8 DIY Playbook

You Ask, We Answer! – Ask us Anything No. 8

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

Blog ProfitsHow we share blog profits

Since Casey is full-time on the blog, are profits split 50/50?
Casey: When we started the blog, we didn’t make any money for quite some time. And when we did start to make a little bit of cash (like $2 a month!), we immediately opened a business bank account. It’s confusing when 2 people are running a business, and it can become messy for personal and business finances to overlap. We wanted to make things easier on ourselves from the start, and keep things streamlined come tax time (more tips on how we do that in this blog post).How we split money blogging
Any money that the blog makes goes directly into that playbook account and for 5 years, neither of us ever took a salary from the blog. Instead, we had that account grow and grow and we use it for project expenses, necessary blog purchases, work travel, and more. When I went full-time, we all sat down to discuss how things would work with payroll. I now take a full-time salary out each month and Bridget takes a part-time one. All other money stays in our business account.


Leaving Baby at Home

Leaving baby at home
Bridget, have you left Ben overnight yet? I have a kid the same age and find it hard to leave. 
Bridget: I left Ben overnight twice– once for my sister-in-law’s bachelorette party and once for a speaking engagement where I stayed over at Casey’s house.Leaving baby overnight for first time
Of course, I would prefer not to be away from Ben, but I also realize that sometimes I will have to. So during these couple times, I try to be in the present as much as possible and enjoy myself doing whatever called me to be away from him. It’s not productive for me to waste time at these events sulking or worrying because that’s not going to bring me home to Ben faster. Instead, I choose to live in the moment and enjoy myself while I’m there… while also realizing how lucky I am to have a support system that allows this to happen. Matt and both of our families are amazing and so supportive. Knowing that Ben is in great hands spending quality time with them while I’m gone makes me happy too.


Our NeighborhoodsLiving in Lagrange, IL

What neighborhood do you each live in? 
Casey: I live in Ukrainian Village in Chicago. As you guys know from this post, we are looking to move this year and hope to stay in the Ukrainian Village/Wicker Park/Bucktown areas. You can read more about why I love living in the city in this post.Casey's favorite spots in Chicago
Bridget: I live in LaGrange, a southwestern suburb of Chicago. My commute to work or back to where Casey and I grew up (and where my parents still live) is about 15 minutes away. We love it!

Favorite Anti-Aging ProductsOur favorite anti-aging skincare products

What anti-aging products are you each using?
Casey: Now that I’m in my 30’s I’m reaaaaallly feeling the aging thing happening. Is it just me or did I somehow age a decade in the last year? Holy smokes. Because of this, I’ve really gotten into skincare and anti-aging products. But it is definitely overwhelming and I still have so much to learn.Choosing anti-aging products that are clean
As I discussed in this clean skincare post, I’ve been trying to upgrade all of my products to cleaner versions. However, I do also want them to be effective. Right now, I’d say about 60% of my products are totally clean. Here’s what I use everyday…Finding clean skincare products
I use this eye cream, this retinol (the holy grail of anti-aging), and this serum. I also just started using this cleanser and it’s great (and green)! This inexpensive night cream does the trick for me and when I’m feeling really fancy, I use this night oil (Finn now uses it too and he is obsessed). Plus, you can’t forget a good sunscreen for daytime!Skincare products for anti-aging
I’d say the best thing I do for my skin and anti-aging is getting a facial every quarter. I also use this face mask and this exfoliating scrub weekly.
bridget's face washing routineBridget: I’m actually the WORST when it comes to all things skincare. I made a serious effort to get more educated and consciously try new, healthier products last year (you guys were so supportive and helpful!). But honestly, I’ve completely fallen off the wagon because I’m just not making it the same priority as I did then.Starting a skincare routine
I don’t know why, but the entire industry completely overwhelms me. Paired with the fact that I don’t have a huge interest in it, I feel stuck and therefore have chosen not to do anything (not a good idea but #realtalk). AND to top it all off… I know this is just an excuse but now that I’m pregnant, I try and use as little “product” on my body as possible. I really need to get my butt in gear, especially since Casey will have this gorgeous flawless skin when she’s 90 and I’ll be standing next to her with wrinkles down to the floor. HELP!!

Christmas GiftsWhat we each got for Christmas

What did you guys get for Christmas?!

Casey: I got these boots, this workout top, an apple watch, and this blanket!

Bridget: I got this book, this heated blanket, these flats, and this sweater!

Ben’s Toyskeeping toys hidden in a family room

Bridget, where do you hide all of Ben’s toys?

You guys know we are trying to keep our life/home with a baby as simple and clutter-free as possible. This does mean we are very aware of what items we bring into our home and keep the toys to a minimum. Ben has three small wicker baskets of toys. We keep one in the family room, one in the basement, and one in his bedroom. We take out the mini basket of toys wherever we are playing and Ben tinkers with those toys. But to be perfectly honest, Ben is far more interested in everything but his toys.

The boy is on the move so he’d rather be crawling, pulling himself up, and exploring over playing with his toys. But we still pull out the little basket and let him play. Whenever we are done, we simply put the few toys back in the basket and put it away.

I know this is probably not realistic foreverrrr, but we’re going to stick to this method as long as we can!

Travel Bucket ListA trip to Quebec City

Casey, your trip to Quebec City looked AH-MAZING! What other places are on each of your travel bucket lists?!

Casey: As you guys know, I’m a huuuuuge champagne lover. I don’t consider myself to be a “fancy” person, but this is my drink of choice no matter the occasion. For that reason, I’d love to visit the south of France and visit the champagne region. Plus, Finn has never been to Paris and I’d love us to head there too!

Iceland travelBridget: Such a fun question! With a busy eleven-month old and a baby on the way, traveling has been far from my radar BUT this question was the perfect excuse to do a little daydreaming. Probably number one on my travel wishlist right now is going to see Lake Louise and Banff, Alberta. Matt and I have had our eyes on this location for a while and whenever we get the chance, we’d love to go! On a smaller scale, I know Matt wants to see New Orleans and we’d love to explore more of the quaint coastal towns on the east coast (like we did on our honeymoon). Europe is on our “someday” travel bucket list, but for now, the thought of traveling abroad seems reaaaallly far off.

House Hunting

Casey, How’s the house hunt going? How do you actively “look” for places? My husband and I are scouring listings and would love to hear how you navigate this overwhelming process!

The inventory is pretty low right now, so we haven’t seen many properties that are ideal for us just yet. The holidays and January are a slow time, so we’re confident things will pick up as spring approaches. The good news is we aren’t in any rush, so we can truly just wait for the best property to come along. Our realtor sends us listings every day via email and we can mark which ones (if any) we’re interested in. But I do also scour Redfin for fun because I loooove looking at properties (even if they are out of my price range. haha. Sorry Finn).


If you have any questions for our next post, submit them using the form below.

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.

your home playbook sidebar