Happy Hour No. 18

To us, Happy Hour is a time to sit back, relax, and catch up with friends. It’s a time to chat about everything and anything, and that’s exactly what we bring to DIY Playbook’s monthly Happy Hour.

These monthly posts are a chance to catch up with friends and bring just a little extra happy to your day. So grab your coffee (or champagne) and let’s catch up!


  • Because it’s Frugal February I don’t have much to talk about in terms of things I’ve bought. But, just because we’re not spending money doesn’t mean I haven’t had my eye on a few things…
  • I got a big rip in my winter coat (wah wah) and I want to buy a new one in the coming months. I’m hoping there will be some sales now that winter is almost over (okay, is it ever really over here in Chicago?!). I want a big puffer one that goes about mid-thigh, with a hood. The Canada Goose & North Face ones are soooo expensive, but I’m wondering if it’s a worthy investment? Any insight as I shop for one? I hope to find one that will last me years and years…
  • Right before Frugal February began, I picked up these snow boots and they have been a lifesaver this month. We got hit with over a foot of snow mid-February and I’ve been wearing these ugg boots on repeat. I love that they don’t look like a traditional huge snow boot (they have waterproof leather!) so I can wear them with jeans and look somewhat put together. Plus, my foot stays completely dry in these with no snow and slush getting through!
  • I’ve been drinking a lot of spearmint tea lately…it’s my afternoon treat around here. I’m slowly trying to get into new habits as I navigate my new world working from home. Tea is definitely an afternoon pick-me-up after a long day of taking pictures, writing posts, and doing behind-the-scenes blog work. I stock up on this particular kind from Amazon.


  • I feel like I haven’t bought any clothes in SO long and now that the baby is here, I’m excited to add just a few staples pieces to my wardrobe. Honestly, I want to buy all kinds of new clothes but I’m waiting until I feel a bit more like myself before focusing on a few new spring staples. I can tell getting my body back is going to be a loooonggggg process, but I’m trying to choose items that will work in the meantime.
  • I splurged on this pullover. It’s super cozy and perfect for looking “somewhat put together” when visitors stop by.
  • Casey has sworn by this tie front blouse since the day she bought it and I finally caved and bought one in gray! Now I can see why she’s so in love with hers!! It’s “blousy” enough that I think I’ll get lots and lots of use out of it throughout the spring.
  • Speaking of post-baby body… I bought this belly band. I just starting wearing it so I’ll definitely keep you updated on how it works (and how I like it). My doctor said my abs have separated quite a bit because of the baby, so I’m hoping this will help expedite the process a tad. Maybe that’s wishful thinking but a girl can hope, right?

Link Love

  • Our friends Kim & Scott welcomed a perfect baby girl into their family. And look at her gorgeous nursery…so sweet! 
  • Now that the baby is here, my plan is to create a Family Yearbook each year. We use my mom’s Instagram photos to make her a book each year since she joined Instagram and it’s SUCH a fun way to look back at the year’s highlights. Does anyone else do this?! If so, I’d love to hear your recommendations! I really appreciated this updated post about it and will definitely be looking back at it when the time comes to print my own!
  • We’ve always loved this budget-friendly art idea and this detailed tutorial on how to DIY this look was super helpful.
  • Love this simple tutorial on “3 Fool-Proof Ways to Style Your Bed”
  • How to Be Happy. Yes!
  • 12 signs you’re an interiors addict. We’re both guilty of alllll of these!
  • Emily Henderson continues to impress us with her ability to discuss social issues in a fair, authentic, and “non-judgey” way. Her post on gun ownership is a must read.

Casey Updates

I feel like you guys are up to speed on my month since I just wrote our Frugal February update. Finn & I have had some really fun weekends in (especially when we did our Olympic date night!). Other than that fun night, we’ve spent time at home cooking creative meals and making cocktails using alcohol on our bar cart!

By far the biggest highlight of my month was meeting Baby Mac. Benjamin is absolute perfection and I am one proud “Aunt Casey!” Seeing my best friend become a mother has been a surreal experience and I am so proud of Bridget. It’s also so awesome to see Matt become a dad…Finn and I keep saying it was a role that Matt was born to play! We are planning to visit the new Matkovich family plenty over the coming weeks as they adjust to life as a family of 3.

Bridget Updates

Obviously, the highlight of our month was meeting Ben! He’s been here for a little over a week and I still can’t believe he’s ours… to keep! Like everyone warned us, there’s just nothing like meeting your little one for the first time. And now that I’m on the “other side” of that experience, I could not agree more. Trying to articulate the emotions I’ve felt over this past week is impossible, but if I had to sum it up in one word I would say Matt and I are feeling beyond blessed. We continue to say how lucky we feel for this miracle of ours.

But don’t be fooled by all the warm and fuzzies or the cute photos. We are so in love and beyond grateful but that’s not to be confused with perfection. As I found out this past week (and continue to find out), there are a whole lot of post-pregnancy “surprises” that I had NO IDEA about. Holy moly did I quickly learn that recovering from labor is not very glamorous and definitely not what I had anticipated. The struggle is REAL. My admiration for all of you mommas out there has grown exponentially this past week — you are truly amazing.

cuddle and kind stuffed animals

From the very start of my motherhood journey, I want to be as real as possible with you guys. I would hate for others to look at the pretty pictures on our blog or social media and think, “wow, isn’t she perfect?!”. Not even close. There’s been lots of pain, lots of emotions, and lots of unexpected surprises. BUT, at the end of the day… it’s been worth every single minute. And even amidst the stretch marks, extra weight, unexplained tears, and Depends underwear, I feel like the luckiest lady in the world. Thank you for being a part of our journey so far, I’m so grateful to have such an amazing and supportive community in all of you.


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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