Happy Hour No. 23

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 about our July 2018!


  • I’ve had bad eyes my entire life and wore contacts and glasses since junior high. That is until a few years ago when I got LASIK eye surgery. It was life-changing and I’m so happy I did it. In fact, I wish I would have done it sooner. However, I recently purchased some eyeglasses. And no…they’re not just for style (even though they’re incredibly cute!). They’re actually glasses with digital screen protection to block the blue light from my computer and phone. Since I’m on my devices constantly, I figured this was a good step for eye health. And they’re cute too! I got the style Daphne in tortoise, but they have so many options to choose from!
  • Is it weird that I’m eager to tell you about the new trash can we got? I think this is making me sound pretty lame. Ha! Our building recently added recycling and I was so happy to get a new trash can that would keep our trash and recycling separate. This one is sleek and looks nice in our kitchen.
  • I’ve been on a bandana kick lately, mostly wearing them around my head when donning a ponytail. Finn stole mine one day for an Insta Story poll to see if he could pull of the “tied around the neck” look like Antoni from Queer Eye. In the end, he said he felt like a dog wearing a bandana after a haircut (hahahahaha), so I don’t think he’ll be stealing my bandanas anymore. But I did buy one from J.Crew Factory and love it. Perfect size!
  • I also got a few more items from J. Crew Factory…including this cute top, this scalloped camisole (size up if you have a larger chest), and this t-shirt (which I need to buy in every color).


  • Like Casey, I also snagged a pair of glasses with digital screen protection, mine are called “HepburnOn the beach in lake geneva, WI
  • I technically didn’t buy this suit this month, but I have to let you know how much I LOVE it after wearing it on repeat this month. It’s great quality, does a good job sucking it all in, and it’s only $23!! Plus, you can wear the sleeves two different ways.
  • On the way up to Lake Geneva, we hit up the outlets and I scored this dress on extra clearance! It’s comfy and I think it’ll be perfect for work.
  • If you follow along on InstaStories, you know I’ve made A LOT of progress on the patio!! I scored these chairs, these chairs, and this table all on CLEARANCE! I also found a black and white striped umbrella for under $50 thanks to readers reaching out with recs! I’m putting the finishing touches on this week, then my plan is to shoot it and have a full reveal ready for the blog on Monday. #fingerscrossed
  • Oh, speaking of the patio, Matt bought this contraption to repel the mosquitoes out there. It had really good reviews on Amazon and so far we think it’s working pretty well.Ben's sleep progression
  • We started sleep training for Ben. He graduated from his sleepsuit to this sleep sack and is officially sleeping through the night. (Cue all the confetti!!)

Link Love

Casey Updates

At the start of July, we headed to a friend’s lake house in Michigan. It was refreshing to unplug for a couple days and just spend quality time with friends. There’s just something about sitting around a campfire, making s’mores, and being together that is sooooo summery to me!

I saw a couple shows this month. Bridget & I had a girls’ night out on the town for dinner and The Cher Show. I wasn’t super familiar with Cher, but holy smokes…what an amazing woman! The show goes through her entire life and the songs and costumes are incredible. We had an awesome time and highly recommend it.

I also joined all of the ladies in my family to go see the show Waitress. I love going to musicals, and this one was outstanding! The storyline and music were incredible. Both great shows if you’re looking for summer entertainment.

We also had some visitors last weekend. Finn’s mom and sister came up from Houston to hang out with us for a few days. It makes me so happy when our guest room is used to host people we love.

We had lots of great dinners, cocktails, and laughs. And we even did an architectural boat tour (my favorite touristy thing to do. Highly recommend it for anyone visiting Chicago!). It can be tough having family far away, but weekends together are always extra special.

Bridget Updates

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE summer?! Haha, I’m sure I’ve said it once or twice here on the blog, but just in case you missed it — I LOVE everything about summer vacation. I have to pinch myself every day because having time off from my 9-5 job to blog, spend time with my favorite people and enjoy the sunshine is amazing.

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin for the summer

My family kicked off the month with a week in Lake Geneva, WI to celebrate the 4th of July together. It’s always great being together, but having a whole week to live the “lake life” in such a gorgeous place was pretty phenomenal. My aunt and uncle have a house in LG and very generously offered it to us for two weeks this month. Best. Weeks. Ever!

Ben on the beach with Monica & Andy

It was Ben’s first official “vacation” and his first time in the water. It was so fun having him up there with his cousin Owen and lots of built-in babysitters to swoop him up and spoil him with lots of extra attention.

matkovich family for the fourth of July

O'Connor Family for the fourth of July 2018

And of course, we couldn’t get the crew together without snapping a photo. We try to take a few family photos each year. Truth be told, it’s not always easy to corral everyone and snap a photo that everyone loves, but it’s so worth it!Matkovich Family Wedding with Baby tuxedo

And last but certainly not least, Matt’s only brother got married this month and both Matt and I stood up in the wedding. Plus, Ben got to come to the mass and sneak in some of the photos. I mean, can you even with this baby tuxedo?! I didn’t get to get ready with him because I was in the bridal party, so when I saw him at the church, my heart exploded. It was such a gorgeous day, we were so grateful to be included.

patio progress with Lowe's

And when we weren’t at the lake or prepping for the wedding, chances are you could find me knee-deep in patio prep! Like I mentioned above, the reveal is SO close and I cannot wait. We’ve been spending more and more time out there and I’m so in love. This landscaping project has been quite the whirlwind this summer, but man the transformation is more than I could have ever imagined. For that, the craziness has been well, well worth it.


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.