Ask Us Anything No. 9

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. 9

You Ask, We Answer! – Ask us Anything No. 9

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

Casey’s Eye Makeup

Casey and Finn in Quebec City

Casey, your eye makeup has looked fierce on Insta Stories. What product do you use?Eye makeup routine

It’s funny because I’ve actually been getting lots of questions like this on Insta Stories. I suppose because I’m putting my face on there all the time now. Plus, I’ve started wearing eyeshadow and eyeliner during the day (whereas I used to only wear mascara).

I will say, I have big eyes and really big eyelids. Whenever I get my makeup done, the makeup artist always comments on how there is so much real estate on my lid to cover with various shadows. Ha!Naked eyeshadow palette

I do like to play around with my eye makeup to make this feature a bit more prominent (since I’m sorely lacking in the lip department. Wish I had some bigger ones!). I use this eyeshadow palette and change up the colors I use depending on if it’s daytime or nighttime. I then add this liquid eyeliner on the top (my favorite by far!) and this pencil on the bottom.Sephora mascara review

As for mascara, I’ve been trying out a few different ones lately. I got this one from Beautycounter and honestly didn’t love it. Instead, I’ve been using this mascara and it’s pretty great. But still shopping around for a go-to mascara (let me know if you have any you absolutely love!). I’m lucky to have long eyelashes, and I always curl them with an eyelash curler before I add mascara.

A few of you guys have requested an eye makeup tutorial. so maybe one of these days I’ll share a video of it on Insta Stories along with a full blog post!

Babyproofing Home

baby proof home

Bridget, how do you balance out and compromise design vs. creating a ‘safe’ environment for Ben? (i.e. sharp edges of the marble coffee table, reachable picture frames over the couch etc.)

That’s a great question and definitely one I’m still learning to navigate! Obviously, Ben’s safety is far more important than the style in our home, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t try to find solutions that keep Ben safe while camouflaging with our home decor.

I think I was able to do that when it came to childproofing our kitchen cabinets and again when we recently decided to childproof our marble coffee table. I actually have a whole post coming soon about childproofing our coffee table because it was a lesson I learned almost too late! But like I said, I’m still learning the ropes so if you guys have any products you love, I’m all ears!!

Displaying Ugly GiftsDisplaying gifts

How do you politely deal with hideous gifts? Do you take them out when the person visits?

Casey: This question made me laugh out loud. The struggle is real! Years ago, I probably would have held onto the gift out of fear that I would hurt someone’s feelings. Today, I understand the importance of only keeping items that I truly love and cherish in my home. Having items I don’t like in my home brings me anxiety from having to store it and look at it. So if I receive something I don’t love, I’m always incredibly gracious and write a thank you note about how thoughtful it is. I then return it or donate it and that’s that. Is this a bit harsh? Yes. But I’m guessing most guests aren’t going to scour your home looking for that one item they gave you that one time. Do what makes you happy and your home happy!

Bridget: Yea, this is tough! I actually don’t receive a lot of gifts for our home so I don’t run into this problem too often. But when I do, I assess whether or not it’s sentimental. If it has sentimental value but isn’t necessarily my style, I’ll save it. But I’m also lucky that I have a little more storage space in my house than Casey’s condo. If it’s more of a generic item that just doesn’t fit my style, I’ll usually return or donate it as Casey mentioned. I compare it to getting an outfit that isn’t my size or style. I’m sure the giver would rather see their money spent on something you love and will use, rather than something that will sit in your closet forever. Maybe? Hopefully?

Apple Watch

How we use our apple watches

How do you ladies make the most out of your Apple Watches? I just received one as a gift as well and feel like I am not using it to its full potential.Charging my apple watch

Casey: I feel the exact same way! I’m sure there are lots of features I could be using, but I’m not! My favorite thing about my Apple watch is that it receives text messages. I can keep my phone plugged in and away from me, and then just check my watch to see if I need to stop working and get back to that person right away. I feel like I’m on my phone less because of this…which is great!Using the breathe app on the apple watch

I definitely use the workout component of the watch, along with tracking when to stand up. I love those capabilities. I also use the Breathe app. It reminds you to take a minute every few hours for some deep breathing and it even vibrates on your wrist to prompt you how deeply to inhale. It’s relaxing and a great reminder.

Bridget: I’m in this camp too! Ironically, I’m awful when it comes to all things technology so I pretty much only use my Apple watch for messaging capabilities and movement reminders/trackers. I wish I used it for more too!! I do like that I can get message updates right to my wrist, especially being at work in a classroom. I don’t always have time to check my phone throughout the day, but feel comfortable knowing that if something happened regarding Ben and someone needed to get a hold of me, they would be able to do so quickly.

Motherhood Insight

What motherhood is really like

Bridget, is there anything that surprised you about pregnancy/getting ready to have a baby that you wish you would have known beforehand? What is some of the nitty-gritty stuff that no one ever tells you?

I don’t think anything anyone can tell you will ever prepare you, especially because everyone’s experience is SO different!! For me, the physical recovery of my body was shocking, intense, and way more than I expected. Throw in there a lot of emotions, lack of sleep, and a newborn baby to tend to 24/7 and whoah! But for others who didn’t have the same labor experience as me, this may not be much of an issue.

Everyone’s experience is just so different so it’s hard to prepare! My best advice would be that everything (and anything!!) you feel before, during, and after is SO normal. Give yourself grace when it comes to recovery, breastfeeding, body image, emotions, time management… everything!! You just brought a little miracle into this world, and the least you (and your body!!) deserve is a lot of grace.

Adding Pets to Our Families

Would you ladies ever consider adding pets to your households? 

Casey: Yes! In fact, Finn and I have actively been chatting about adding a dog to our household. We think it would bring us a lot of joy, especially as we wait to expand our family with a baby. We have decided to hold out until we move though. Because showing our condo with a pet does seem a little tricky. Hopefully sometime this summer a little guy will be added to the Finn fam!

Bridget: No, probably not. Although I know how much people love their pets, I just don’t think it’s in the cards for us. I’ll never say never, but if I’m being super honest, it’s not looking good!

Thanks for submitting these amazing questions! Always fun to hear what you guys are interested in when it comes to the blog and our lives.


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.