A Day in the Life…

Today we are changing things up with an atypical blog post. Instead of a craft, DIY project, or home eye candy, we’re going to give you a sneak peek into our day-to-day lives. Now we realize that this may not be the most exciting post in the world, but if it helps you understand us a little more then it seems worthwhile to us. Plus, we always like reading “Day in the Life” posts from other bloggers and friends, so we figured it was finally time to dish. So let’s get this day started!

A Day in the Life of Bridget & Casey

5:24am (Bridget): My alarm goes off and it takes me a few seconds to figure out what’s going on. I pull my phone out of the charging station and hit snooze. Matt jumps out of bed and turns our bedroom lights on.

5:27am: A second alarm goes off, I hit the snooze button and slowly let my eyes adjust to the light. While Matt is already up and getting dressed in the other room, I lay there and look through my phone. Unlike Casey, I need a few snoozes before I can be vertical for the day, and I enjoy catching up on the news/emails in my bed as I’m half asleep. As I come to a little bit, I actually read through our emails, look at social media, and skim through some of my fav blogs. If I find a post that really sparks my interest, I try to make a mental note to look at it on a desktop later that day.

5:42am: Matt pops in to say… “come on, get up!”. He knows quite well it’ll probably be another few minutes before I can actually peel myself out of bed. I reply to Casey’s texts from the night before (I was already sleeping by that time) and update her on a few items I saw in our inbox knowing that she won’t see these texts until about 7:30am.

Finger comb sections to add texture.

5:50am: Matt pops in to say, “Come onnnnn… I need to get to work early!”. I reluctantly get out of bed, put Pandora on and start getting ready.


6:15am: I get to the kitchen where my amazing husband has my coffee made and waiting for me. I eat a few scoops of yogurt, try to chug a glass of water (thanks to Casey’s recommendation to drink a glass of water before my morning coffee) and put my lunch in my bag.

6:35am: Matt and I grab all of our stuff and off we go… together. Since we work at the same place, we often get to drive together, which is AWESOME and makes the ride a lot more fun.  We chat about the day ahead on the ride and make our plan for after school.

6:55am: We get to school (aka work) and each go our separate ways to start our days.

7:00am (Casey): My alarm goes off and I’m up and headed to the shower in about 2 seconds flat. I’m the kinda girl who does not hit snooze…really ever. Once I hear that alarm, I am up for good. My husband, Finn, is quite the opposite. In fact, he enjoys setting alarms way before he needs to be up because he believes the best feeling in the world is when you look at the clock and know you still have plenty of time to sleep.


7:20am: I head to the kitchen and make breakfast and a cup of coffee. I eat the same thing everyday for breakfast and I wouldn’t have it any other way. (man…this post is making me realize I lead a pretty boring life. ha!) I get out greek yogurt, throw in some berries, and then add protein powder, chia seeds, and milled flaxseed to the yogurt mix. My mom says it looks like glue. To me it’s delicious (although it may resemble glue). I typically eat my breakfast, drink my coffee, all while checking my personal email, my work email, and our blog email. I also make sure our daily post is up and looking good, and I’ll add a link to it on our fb page.

7:40am: Time to beautify. I head to the bathroom and finish getting ready. I’ll typically browse through Instagram while drying my hair, and shoot Bridget a few texts about the blog as I get ready. Fun Fact: I wear this weird black kimono when I get ready every single morning. Finn thinks I’m crazy, but I get too hot if I have real clothing on, and I have never perfected the whole towel tucked under the armpit thing. So instead I wear this until I’m ready for my work clothes.

7:41am: I’ve been at the computer in the teachers’ office room for about 45 minutes responding to emails, inputting grades, making copies, and getting all of my lessons ready for the day. I like to get in early because no one else is in the office yet, and I get can a ton done. Once about 7:40 hits, I put all of my stuff in my bag and head to the opposite side of the building for my first class. Because I teach a different class every hour, I am a “traveling teacher” and don’t have a room to call my own. School starts at 8:00am — the halls are packed (we have a school of 4,000 kids!) as I make my way across the building.

7:48am: I put the agenda on the board, greet students as they walk in, catch up with my co-teacher and chat about last-minute details before the day’s lesson. At about 7:55am I head outside of the classroom door and greet students as they walk into our class.

8:00am: The bell rings and our Economics lesson for the day starts! Economics is only a semester class, so we have a whole class of new sophomore and senior faces this semester. I miss last semester’s group, am still learning the new student’s names, but I’m excited to start fresh! My co-teacher kicks-off the lesson and we go back and forth teaching and assisting students throughout the lesson. I love the opportunity to teach with her each day and learn so much from watching her. 

bedroom8:05am: I wake Finn up and kick him out of bed, so I can make the bed. I make the bed every single day. Our room is just too messy if it’s not done, with pillows everywhere. I then pick up the kitchen, tidy up the couch, run the dishwasher, give Finn a quick kiss and head out the door. If I have time, I’ll add in some cleaning to my morning routine. Whether it’s a quick clean of the bathroom or the floors, it’s nice to take something off of our cleaning schedule for the week.

8:15am: Depending on the weather, I’ll either walk to work (about 1.8 miles) or hop on the bus. I prefer to walk if I can because it’s a beautiful way to start my day with a clear head. I’m not much of a music person. Instead I like to just hear the sounds of the city and maybe say my prayers on my walk to work.

8:45am: I get into the office and make my to-do list for the day (& make another cup of coffee). I’m lucky to have a breathtaking view right from my desk of Lake Michigan. I work in an old historic building in downtown Chicago (Tribune Tower) and it’s really neat to work in this building. As I disclosed on the blog before, I work in television as a freelance video producer. Right now, I’m producing a DIY & home improvement show called Weekend Workbench. We recently won an Emmy (woo hoo!) and right now we’re shooting season 3 of our show. The new season will start airing in late February here in Chicago, and you may see 2 familiar faces on the show (I somehow convinced Bridget to do a few segments on the show with me this year!) More details about our TV appearances coming soon…day at work-001

8:46am: There’s one minute left of class. We wrap up the lesson, allow students a little time to pack up and my co-teacher and I take this time to have some casual conversations with individual students. We try to have individual conversations with each student as much as we can; learn a little something about them outside of our Econ material. The small group I’m chatting with today updates me about their LOVE for the APP Trivia Crack (it’s seriously taking OVER the teenage population, and I do have to say, is pretty gosh darn addictive for adults too!). The bell rings and we wish the class an awesome day! My co-teacher and I have about 15 seconds to chat before students come piling in for the next class. I have to head to my next location for the next class, so my time there is limited. We chat quickly about the pros and cons of the lesson, touch base about what the plan is for tomorrow and head our separate ways until tomorrow morning!


9:00am-1:00pm: Chatting about “a day in the life” is really hard with a job like mine, because every day is so different. As a producer, I’m in charge of coming up with the show content, scheduling our video shoots, going on the shoots to tell everyone what to say/where to look/what to do, reviewing the footage, writing the scripts, and reviewing the edit of the projects and final show. From start to finish…I’m a part of the show-making process. We have 2 cameramen (who also edit the show), 1 host, and then I’m one of 2 producers for this particular show. It’s a lot smaller team than people realize, but we have a great time together. It can be very rewarding to come up with a concept for an episode…and then see it air on television a few months later.

8:55am: Bell rings, I’m in a new room with a new group of “homeroom” students and a new co-teacher. This class is a shorter class that is not an academic requirement, but more so a class to bond, get adult support, study, and socialize. I use the time to help one student with his algebra homework, then chat with another student about her debate competition this past weekend, and then help another student organize his folders for the new semester. I look up and it’s already time for the next class… and a new location.

9:30-10:25am: I pack up my bag and head across the building for my next class. I’m a special education teacher part of the day, so my next hour is a resource class and one that allows students time to catch up on academics, study, seek additional instruction, organize, etc. etc. etc. I walk in with 3 students approaching me with three different issues that need attention now. The bell rings. I get the class started, and then quickly transition into addressing each student’s need. Bathroom? – “go… quick! Next time try to use the bathroom during passing period”. Nurse? – “I’m so sorry you don’t feel well, let me write you a pass to the nurse ASAP”. Make-up Test? “Yes, I did receive that from your Geometry teacher, let me get it out of my bag. Go ahead and get your calculator and pencil out and I will get you that test. You have 30 minutes to complete this”. Once I get those 3 started, I walk around and make sure everyone else is on task. I find someone throughout my journey around the room that wants someone to quiz him in Earth & Space Science. I sit down next to him, placing my body in a way that I can monitor the whole class while working with this individual and start quizzing him. Before we know it, it’s time to pack up and we are headed off to our next class! Pack up my bag and I’m on the move again…

locker10:35am: Resource hour again… different room. I run to the washroom, see that there’s a line and realize I don’t have time to wait. I keep walking to the class in order to get there on time. The hour flies by and before we know it, I’m packing up to move classrooms again.

11:30am: I’m onto a new room and a different subject, general education Career Internship. It’s a class of all senior students who work in the community and also attend a half day of classes in high school. We are learning about taxes, as the students will be receiving their W-2’s in a few weeks. We go over a few examples and practice filling out 1040’s to prepare for an upcoming quiz. The bell rings and we stop there until tomorrow. I pack my bag and head back to the office!

12:20pm: I drop my bag at my desk, grab my sandwich and water and head to lunchroom duty. I realize that it’s 12:21 and I haven’t even checked my phone. I also realize I have to be at duty in one minute and a half and I still need to run to the restroom. I make a pit stop on my way and walk in the threshold to the lunchroom right as the bell is ringing. I have the next 22 minutes to walk around my section of the lunchroom to make sure students are eating in peace and keeping their area clean. I walk around this section while I eat my sandwich and sip my water. I chat with a few students as I pass their table and see Matt pop out of his office, which is right off of the lunchroom. We stand in my section, ask how each other’s days are going and then the bell rings. Time to go!

1:00pm: If we’re not on a shoot, I typically bring my lunch and heat it up in the microwave. Finn is the chef in our household, so I’m at his whim when it comes to what I eat for lunch. Typically he’ll make lots of staples on Sunday (grains, chicken, veggies) and then we’ll portion them out into tupperware containers for the week. Today’s menu…chicken, quinoa, and a vegetable medley. Healthy…but oh so satisfying when you’re a hungry gal.

1:06-1:22pm: I already ate my lunch during duty, so I have a few minutes to check my phone, answer any texts, and sit in silence for a few minutes. How is it almost 1:30 already?!!!

1:30-5:00pm: Like I said before, my days are quite different so it’s hard to share all of the details. If I’m in the office, then I’ll typically be doing a number of things. I’ll review footage and roughly edit it, before handing it off to the “real editor” to polish it up, add music, graphics, etc. Or I’ll write the voiceover for our host, and sit with him in the sound booth as he tracks it. Or I’ll review edited segments with our editor and have him tweak things to make it more exciting/interesting/entertaining. It can be a lot to juggle, but it’s a great fit for me, my work ethic, and my personality.

1:30-2:30pm: I can finally catch up on school emails, grade some papers from first hour, input grades, make copies, look at my lesson plans for next week to finalize copies/assessments/and anything else that needs to be done. I go check my mail and have to head out to go meet with my student’s boss. Since I teach the “work program”, I head out in the community to watch my students work, assess them, meet with their bosses and see what else we need to work on in class in order to improve these students’ professionalism. Today’s meeting is at a local ice arena.

2:30-3:15pm: I meet with the boss, chat about this student’s progress from last semester, get a glowing review and leave excited to report the good news to my student tomorrow! I get in my car and swing back to the high school to pick Matt up and head home.

Home Time

computer4:00pm: We get home! In the fall, I coach and don’t get home until dark, so it’s nice to be home early throughout the winter. I’m able to get some blog work/house work done during the week, which is amazing. Matt heads out to work out (I should be going too but make a mental excuse why I can’t and wish him well). I have some time to finally check the blog email, social media, and write a blog post. Because it’s winter, I don’t have enough natural light to take any photos. I wish I could get some photos done to post a new project I’m working on, but instead, I stick to the computer work on the blog instead. I answer a few emails (our policy is to get back to every email within 24 hours), document the DIY Playbook mail that I picked up in our mailbox, work on some upcoming posts and plan ahead. Because we both work full-time and have limited access to the blog during that time, we are forced to stay very organized and plan way ahead. I usually call both my mom and dad during this time to see how their days were. It may be weird that I’m 27 years old and still talk to both my mom and dad every single day, but hey, it’s one of my favorite times of the day! After I get off the phone with them, I shoot Casey a few texts, “Did you see this email?” “Do you mind if I respond like this?” “OMG, how nice is this comment {Screenshot}”, etc. etc.

5:00pm: I bolt out of work with desperate hopes to make a 5:30pm workout class. Since I only have about 25 minutes to get there, I hop on the red line train since it’s my quickest route to class. I’ve been going to a place called Shred415 for about 6 months now and I’m addicted. It’s interval training on the treadmill and with weights and it’s a killer workout. They opened up a location nearby last year, and I try to get into at least a couple of classes a week.

5:30-6:30pm: I sweat my butt off and contemplate quitting class a few times. Luckily I make it out alive and leave class a sweaty, scary-looking mess.

5:30-6:30pm: Matt is home from working out. He starts dinner while I organize the house, pick out my outfit for work tomorrow, and do some laundry. I am not a fan of cooking and would probably eat PB&J every night if I was in charge. So I’m thankful that Matt is whipping up dinner tonight… and every night. #heisakeeper. We sit down and eat together (no phones or TV!) and chat about what’s on tomorrow’s agenda.

7:00pm: I come home to find that Finn is already home from work. We chat about dinner plans, and he decides he’ll whip something up for us from what we have on hand in the fridge. Again, can I please reiterate how LUCKY I am to have a husband who enjoys being the cook in our household?! Seriously…he is the best, and he is a heck of a cook. While he whips up dinner, I unpack my work bag, pick out my clothing for the next day, pour a glass of wine, and head to my laptop. Sometimes I’ll give Bridget a quick call at this time to catch up about any important blog things that have happened over the course of the day. Throughout the day we divide and conquer our daily blog to-do’s…managing our inbox, responding to comments and reader emails, prepping posts, etc. Luckily, it’s been a pretty uneventful day and we’re able to keep things fairly short.

7:45pm: Finn & I eat dinner and catch up. We chat about our workdays and enjoy a little down time together. Because we’re both usually so busy at work, we don’t have a lot of time to chat during the day. So it’s nice to have this time together.


8:00pm: Dishes are clean, we are organized for tomorrow’s work day and we can finally sit down and relax. I’m not one for sitting down to watch TV, so I’ll either blog if I haven’t finished up or I’ll “putz” around the house. Once I sit to watch TV– I’m a goner. #ZZzzzzzzzzz

8:10pm: I clean up the kitchen, while Finn settles into our family room area. Once things are nice & tidy, I’ll bring my laptop over to tackle some blogging. I’ll edit pictures, proofread posts, pin a few images, and maybe Instagram something from our daily post. 

9:00pm: I put my laptop away, and put my cell phone in the bedroom. I’m trying to get better at disconnecting and backing away from the screen at night. If not, I’ll find myself constantly scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, instead of spending quality time with my husband. Getting our phones out of the room really helps with the whole “unplug for love” motto. We’ll usually watch a few shows on TV (favorites include Scandal, How I Met your Mother re-runs, Modern Family, & Seinfeld).

Fuzzy-Gray-Slippers9:00pm: Call us crazy, but Matt and I are in bed by 9:00pm. We both set our alarms, we put on the 9:00 news and the 60 minute sleep timer. Usually I’m sound asleep by 9:05 — the 5:24 wake-up call comes sooner than you think! I got to get that beauty rest in order to do it all over again tomorrow…

10:30pm: Finn tucks me into bed, turns on our sound machine (it’s seriously the best!) and kisses me goodnight. I make sure my alarm is all set and ready for 7:00am the next morning.


Blogging Time

Fridays/Weekends: Now you’re probably thinking..”ummmm..Casey, your day doesn’t feature a lot of blogging.” And you’re right. Since I’m freelance, I get to choose my work schedule. 97% of the time I work Monday through Thursday, and keep my Fridays off. That means I have all day Friday to devote to blogging. So on Fridays I’ll usually take all of my blog pictures since it’s my only uninterrupted day at home with daylight. I get to work right when Finn leaves the house and take pictures for hours. Seriously. Our home becomes a disaster zone, as I get out all of my photography equipment and style up certain areas on our space. Bridget & I try to leave Friday afternoons (when she gets out of school) open, just in case we need to have any conference calls with brands or sponsors. So Fridays really do become all day blogathons for me…and I love it. My favorite day of the week by far. I do try to do some cleaning and grocery shopping on those days, but it’s often a race against the clock before Finn gets home from work.

Blogging Time for B: I’m a lot like Casey, but my blog marathons are typically on the weekends since I have to work on Friday. I try to pick one of the days to blog/photograph and the other day to enjoy time with Matt. Like Casey, I knock-out a ton of photography so that I can write the posts throughout the week nights and be on target with our schedule. And if you haven’t noticed, we’re a little TYPE A when it comes to all things blog, so we are way ahead of schedule in order to cut down on last-minute stress of photography (and not having enough natural light). At any given moment, we are scheduled about 1-2 months in advance and have our posts DONE and scheduled to be posted automatically at least 2 weeks out. Of course life happens and we need to re-arrange our posting schedules, but for the most part we are way ahead of “real time” (which has its pros & cons). And when it comes to spring breaks, winter breaks and SUMMER breaks, you can imagine I’m in my glory photographing and working on the blog whenever I want.

So there you have it…a glimpse into our everyday lives. It’s crazy, it’s hectic, it’s busy….but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanks for following along. Until tomorrow…


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.