Although I haven't done the methylation, the decarboxylation is very difficult unless one has ethyl acetate. . . You also need stoichiometric amounts of ketone catalyst. Acetophenone is the best solvent for this reaction, it can give quantitative yields.
Methylation is easy, if you have DIPEA.
Why ethyl acetate? It boils at just 77°C, which is hotter than what it takes a simple ketone like acetone to boil, but I thought you'd need a solvent which takes more degrees than say boiling water to achieve the decarboxylation.