The Break Room No. 19
Pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee, get cozy, and let’s take a well-deserved break and catch up about February 2021.
My Recent Buys
- If you follow me on Instagram, then you might have caught me scrubbing our showers and bathtubs with my new favorite cleaning gadget. It’s called RotoScrub and you attach it to the end of your drill so the drill does the work for you! I hate scrubbing showers and this cleaning tool has been a gamechanger.
- The weather has been horrible here in Chicago (so cold, so snowy, so windy) and my skin hates me. I needed a thicker nighttime moisturizer and ended up getting this one. I slather it on each night as the last step in my skincare routine and it’s the hydration my skin needs. Oh, and I also put this lip mask on too. Spring, please get here soon!
- I’ll be sharing more about our new king-sized mattress next week on the blog, but I wanted to share the bedding we ended up getting. After combing through all of your suggestions, I ended up buying most of the main bedding essentials from Boll & Branch. You can find them all linked here. I still need to figure out pillows, but right now I am feeling like we are in a good place! You can use code CASEY20 for 20% off at Boll & Branch this weekend.
Favorites from Black-Owned Businesses
Instead of Finn’s favorites, I wanted to highlight some of my fave products from Black-owned businesses in honor of Black History Month.
- My SIL gave me a little care package after I had Rory, and it included this whipped shea butter, which is divine. It works on any dry skin patch and I’ve been slathering it on my hands and the tip of my nose lately because of our dry winter.
- I recently read Oona Out of Order, at the urging of my sister, and wow, it did not disappoint. I highly recommend buying your books from Chicago’s only Black woman-owned bookstore, Semicolon.
- I’m a candle lover and I’ve recently become obsessed with candles from 228 Grant Street Candle Co. Each month, they have a candle of the month, with all proceeds going to a specific charity. (This month’s donations supported social justice causes and community activists.) Right now, I’m burning this one and I love it.
- Have you heard of the online marketplace Goodee? It showcases minority artisans from around the world and everything is ethically made and transparently sourced. They have sooooo much cool stuff. (Just check out their bestsellers page here.)
- I’m a big fan of the Black designer, Albie Buabeng, and I’m so excited about her new Skillshare class. It’s called “Reversible Design” and as a long-time renter, Albie shares all of her best tips to decorate while getting your rental deposit back. Genius.
Live with Cindu Thomas-George
For the past year or so, I’ve been doing my best to learn how I can be an ally to the BIPOC community and how I can help to amplify those voices here on the blog. I have some great BIPOC “Reader OMG!” home tours coming to the blog soon and one of them will be the home of Cindu Thomas-George. She is an Indian-American woman with a gorgeous home here in Chicago.
When I was setting up the home tour feature with Cindu, I learned that she is a diversity and equity trainer. We had some great conversations over the phone about how I can make this community more inclusive for my followers. I asked if she wanted to do an Instagram Live, to share some of her expertise, and she agreed!
Today, you can tune in at 1:30 pm (Central Time) to our conversation on Instagram. We’ll be chatting about the term “BIPOC” and discussing ways to continue supporting the Black community long after Black History Month is over. I’m really looking forward to the conversation and I’ll be sure to save it if you can’t tune in live.
The Click List
- Carmeon’s tween room makeover is so freakin’ cool. Also, did you see she is going to be on HGTV? I cannot wait!
- I loved Kim & Scott’s round-up of inclusive books for kids. I am planning a similar post in the future as I work on curating Rory’s library a bit more.
- A cozy & collected home tour.
- I learned so much from Deema’s post about art. Be sure to scroll through all of her photos.
Finn Family Updates – February 2021
For the first time in five years, we didn’t partake in Frugal February, which has been an annual tradition of spending no extra money during February. Many of the tips and tricks that we have used in past Februarys, like staying home, not dining out, and making our own coffee, are things we’ve been doing for an entire year now as we’ve stayed home. But if you’re interested in how it works, you can check out this blog post from last year’s Frugal February fun.
One thing that we’ve been working on as a couple, is making more time for each other. We don’t feel safe going out on normal dates to restaurants, so we’ve been forced to get creative. I ended up buying this book with lots of fun date ideas. So far, we’ve done two of them and it was a blast.
For one, we made ramen, watched Lady and the Tramp, and recreated the pasta scene! For the other, we each created a scavenger hunt around our house, with complex clues and a prize at the end. I feel like we used to have lots of creative dates like this, back in the day, but things had gotten, well, a little stale. This has definitely been a unique way to get that spirit back, even as new parents.
As for projects, the bedroom is coming together nicely, although I am in a holding pattern waiting for some items to arrive. The sconces were supposed to be here at the beginning of the month but they were delayed until next week. And the nightstands, which I ordered from a local company, called MegMade, won’t arrive until early April. In the meantime, we’re enjoying the gorgeous ceiling, the new blue walls, and our big comfy bed. (More on that coming to the blog next week!)
The weather has been so ridiculous here in Chicago, with the most snow I’ve seen in a long long time. We’ve had multiple snowstorms and it’s just piled so high out there. We’ve endured feet upon feet of snow, not to mention, the temperatures have been frigid. I feel bad because Rory hasn’t spent much time at all outdoors, but she doesn’t seem to mind. I’ll look forward to warmer days ahead when we can head to the park and go on long walks around the neighborhood.
As for Rory, she turned 10 months old and is turning into a “kid.” We always say she is so busy and she doesn’t want to sit still, unless it’s sitting in one of our laps to read book after book. She crawls everywhere, pulls up on everything, and is up and down all day long. She is also quite the chatterbox, saying over a dozen words, and pointing at everything to have me name it for her. She is one curious little girl and it is fun seeing her little personality blossom.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed that March comes with a nice thaw here in Chicago and we can finally get some time outdoors with Rory girl…
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.