My Friday Favorites 04.04.14


Owl Friday Favorites

Here are all my favorite things from the past week!

On TV -

  •  I realize I need to do a whole separate post about my thoughts on TV lately, but here is a quick snapshot. This week I still have a few Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Law and Order SVU and one Parenthood on my DVR to watch.  I finally caught up on a lot of shows – Suits, Scandal, Grey’s, Nashville, and my newest guilty pleasure and pick for this week – Lindsay on OWN network. I don’t do a lot of reality TV – I used to, then tired of it pretty quickly.  I love that Oprah believes in Lindsay – and will also give her the smack down when she needs it!  She was such a great actress (Parent Trap, Mean Girls, Georgia Rule) and has been obviously heading down the Hollywood doomed child star spiral.  Please Lindsay!  Remember Whitney! When Oprah tells you to get it together – GET IT TOGETHER!  It’s a lot of her unpacking mountains and mountains of piles of clothes and being really unaccountable for anything.  I love that her life coach is the Mom from Baby Boy.  I’m pulling for her!

Lindsay on OWNOn the Page – How to be Happier at Work (Real Simple April 2014) The majority of us spend the majority of our time at work.  Why not be happier there?  This article gives tips on how to do that.  Since it is the current issue you can’t find this one online, but here is a link to another article with similar themes.   How to Feel Happier at Work | Real Simple Feb 2014

Happy at Work | Real Simple


On my Wish List-


Lily Mini Messenger Bag from Franklin Planner Lily Mini Messenger bag from Franklin Planner Here is my journal, iPad, and the bag I carrier all my chargers around in.  Won’t they all look great in this messenger bag?

Teal Journal, iPad and charger case

On my Pinterest Boards - 

  •  I love this simple cart from IKEA used as a bar!  Photo originally from photography website.  I have experimented in different ways and different rooms over the years of where to have our “bar” live. This will be perfect for our new basement!  (Side note to my sisters – look at Mom’s everyday drinking glasses on the top shelf left!) Also our basement renovation project is still coming along!  Continue to checkout my inspirations for the room on my Basement Makeover Pinterest Board. 

IKEA cart used as a bar from

In the Kitchen -

Cranberry and Avocado Salad with Candied Spiced Almonds and Sweet White Balsamic Vinaigrette from Honest Cooking

recipe and picture originally by Chris Scheuer from The Cafe Sucre Farine blog  

Hope you had a great week. What are the things you are loving this week?  Something you bought, cooked, or watched?  Leave me a comment and let me know.  Thanks for reading!

My Friday Favorites 03.21.14

My Friday Favorites_aqua

Seriously, I need to rename this My Weekend Favorites… who cares about the alliteration.

On TV -

  • I still need to catch up on Scandal , Suits, Chicago Fire & PD, and Law & Order SVU.  But I am finally caught up on Nashville and Grey’s ( can we talk about Isaiah Washington coming back? And Ellen Pompeo saying that it is so top secret there won’t even be a table read of the episode??) My pick this week again is Parenthood. The scene with Christina and Adam driving Max back from his class strip early was so heartbreaking.  I was in tears.  I love this show!

Parenthood - Max Kristina and Adam

On the Computer -

  • Homesteading Supplies You Can Get at the Dollar Store from Little House Living  - Now that I am back to teaching full time – The Dollar Store will rotate back onto my list of store I visit often!  This posts points out things you pay much more for in other stores, but can easily get at the Dollar Store.  Stacking up on greeting cards is great.  That way you always have cards on you if you need one last minute!

On the Page -

  • Good Housekeeping (April 2014) – How to Eliminate your Paper Clutter  - Paper clutter drives me crazy!  And I admit I make little piles and then my table is overflowing with paper!  I have tried to go paperless – with bills and magazine subscriptions to my Ipad – but somehow I still have so much paper all over all the time!  This article has some great tips.  And anything that suggests Color Coding is for me!  The article is not online – but here is a link to a similar article also from Good Housekeeping. 

Color Code your Paper Clutter from Good HOusekeeping

On the Sales Rack -

  • Carter’s -  50% off everything!  In the store or online.  Olivia and I went yesterday. The clothes are already a little pricey in my opinion, so even with 50% off it’s still more than I would want to spend.  But 50% off the things on clearance – that’s a bargain!

cCarter's 50% off sale

On my Pinterest Boards - 

I know St. Patrick’s Day is over, but my Pinterest page still seem to be all green and rainbows and Pot of Golds!  I saw this on craft on Pinterest and thought it was a cute way to celebrate March 17.

St Patrick's Day Craft from

photo from: Catch My Party  

On my Twitter Feed - 

Hope you have a great Sunday and a fabulous week next week.  Anything you are loving right now?  Leave me a comment and let me know.  Thanks for reading!

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes – Family Cookbook Scrapbook – vol 3

Here is a delicious dessert recipe for Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes.  It is one of my sister’s go-to dessert recipes.  The recipe is originally from Paula Deen (not one of my favorite people, but you must give credit where credit is due.)

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake photo from food.comPhoto originally from

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes

Servings: 10


  • 1 (18 1/4 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted


  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 (16 ounce) box powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350. To make the cake: Combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Pat batter into a lightly greased 13×9-inch baking pan with hands into an even layer. Prepare filling. To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to over bake as the center should be a little gooey. Serve with fresh whipped cream or cinnamon-flavored ice cream.

photoPumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes Scrapbook page

Here is the scrapbook page I designed for this recipe. Read here to learn about our Family Cookbook ScrapbookHope you enjoy this recipe.  Thanks for reading.

Thanks for Reading!

My Color-Coded Life is 2!

Happy Anniversary to My Color-Coded Life and thank you for coming along and reading for the past two years!

Even though there have been times where I have put this blog to the side while other things in my life have taken over, I am happy I have stuck with it!  I have noticed that this is the time of year I am good about blogging, so I hope that holds true this spring too.  After all, I have a lot of projects going on that I can’t wait to share with you.

I also have some other news — after 10 years — I am going back to teaching full time this week!  I am very excited to be heading back to the classroom. I am sure at some point some classroom projects will make good blog entries – although I have always tried to keep this separate from my work life!

Hope you are enjoying the first signs of spring and thank you again for reading with me for the past two years!

Candied Sweet Potatoes with Pecan Bacon Syrup – Family Cookbook Scrapbook – vol 2

Candied Sweet Potatoes with Pecan Bacon Syrup
Recipe originally from Garden and Gun Magazine 
Serves 4-6

photo from original recipe:
Candied Sweet Potatoes with Pecan Bacon Syrup From Garden and Gun Magazine


3sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1.5 inch thick rounds
Canola oil for frying
For the syrup:
2 cups bacon, cut into small dice
2 cups pecans, chopped
2/3 cup sliced scallions ( white part primarily) plus more for garnish
2/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/3 cups maple syrup
1/4 tsp chile flakes
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp plus 2 tsp butter

Directions for sweet potatoes:
In a large pot, boil sweet potatoes until just tender. Allow slices to cool completely. Then press them between 2 pieces of parchment paper or foil, working in batches, so the slices flatten slightly and the edges spread. This can be done up to 2 days ahead of time. To finish, fill a deep skillet with an inch of canola oil and heat until shimmering. Fry sweet potatoes for about 4 minutes on each side, or until browned and crispy. Drain on paper towels, and season generously with salt.

Directions for pecan bacon syrup:
Heat skillet over medium and render bacon until almost crispy. Add pecans and scallions, and toast for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer until mixture has reduced by one – third whisk in butter just before serving.

To serve, stack sweet potatoes, top with syrup, and garnish with sliced scallions.

Photos from when I tried it:

Candied Sweet Potatoes with Pecan Bacon Syrup From Garden and Gun Magazine

Candied Sweet Potatoes with Pecan Bacon Syrup From Garden and Gun Magazine

Candied Sweet Potatoes with Pecan Bacon Syrup

Candied Sweet Potatoes with Pecan Bacon Syrup From Garden and Gun Magazine


Candied Sweet Potatoes with Pecan Bacon Syrup From Garden and Gun Magazine

Here is the scrapbook page I designed for this recipe. Read here to learn about our Family Cookbook Scrapbook.

Hope you enjoy this recipe.  Thanks for reading.

My Friday Favorites 01.31.14

My Friday Favorites_aqua

Better late than never, right?  I know it’s Sunday, but here are my favorites from last week anyway!

On TV -

  • I needed to be two days late – just to help me catch up on my DVR.  I am still not up-to-date on all my shows, but I did watch the season finale of Carrie Diaries and caught up on two weeks worth of Nashville.  But my pick this week is…. Parenthood.  Julia going home to her parents at the end = tearjerker.  Zeke and Camille are not selling that house!

Joel and Julia tell the Kids _ Parenthood

 On Demand - 

  • My husband and I started watching Chicago Fire and now we are hooked.  Once we saw Chicago PD was starting and that was a spin-off of both Fire and one of our favs, Law & Order SVU, we knew we had to get on the bandwagon.  Dick Wolf – you got us again!

Chicago Fire Season 1 Cast

On the Computer -

Whiskey Sours Forever from A Beautiful Mess

On the Page -

7 Creative Low-Cost Upgrades from This Old House magazine

On the Sales Rack -

  • Vera Bradley sale - aprons, desk organizers, napkins, paper plates, notecards – and more!

Vera Bradley napkins Vera Bradley Plates

In the kitchen -

  • Cinnamon Coffee from Better Homes and Gardens - I haver been ordering Dunkin Donuts Brown Sugar Cinnamon lattes lately so when I stumbled upon this recipe I decided to try it at home.  I swapped sugar for brown sugar and used regular milk.  

Cinnamon Coffee from Better Homes and Gardens

On my Pinterest Boards - 

  • I love this print originally from Flowers in May.  I am going to order this to hang in Olivia’s play kitchen once the basement remodeling project is done.

Today I Feel Like Baking Print from Flowers in May

Do you have any favorite things from this past week? Leave me a comment and tell me what things have caught your eye.  Decorating? Reading?  A good sale? Let me know what you are loving right now.  As always, thanks for reading.

Spinach-Feta Bake

Last year I tried a new recipe for Christmas morning Breakfast. I wrote about it here: Blueberry Maple Breakfast BakeWhat I loved most about this recipe was it was easy to prepare while I was cooking Christmas Eve dinner and it took the same amount of time for it to bake in the morning as it did for us to open our presents! This year, I had spinach, feta, cottage cheese and eggs left over from Christmas Eve dinner, so I looked online to find a similar recipe to the Blueberry Bake for the ingredients I already had.

I found this recipe at Better Homes and Garden: Spinach-Feta Bake 


  •  Nonstick cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup  chopped onion - I skipped this 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon  olive oil or cooking oil
  • 210  ounce packages  frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained
  • 1 cup  low-fat cottage cheese, drained
  • 1 cup  crumbled feta cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup  refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed - I used 4 eggs beaten, it could have used more 
  • 1 tablespoon  snipped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed - I used dried spices
  • 1/4 teaspoon  coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup  finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons  fine dry bread crumbs


1.Lightly coat a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray; set aside. In a medium saucepan cook onion and garlic in hot oil until onion is tender.

2.Stir spinach, drained cottage cheese, feta cheese, egg product, oregano, and black pepper into onion mixture. Spoon the spinach mixture into the prepared pie plate.

Spinach-Feta Bake from

I covered this with tin foil and refrigerated it until morning.

In the morning:

3.In a small bowl combine Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs; sprinkle over spinach mixture. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean. To serve, cut into wedges. Makes 6 servings.

Sinach-Feta Bake from

It turned out yummy.  Even though I usually prefer savory foods – I liked the Blueberry Maple Bake better!  ( Maybe this tasted too much like last night’s dinner. A con to using the ingredients you already have!) What does your family eat on Christmas morning?  I’m always looking for new inspirations – so leave a comment below what your go-to holiday breakfast is.  Thanks for reading!

My Friday Favorites 01/10/14


one day late!  here are all the things I am loving this week-

On TV -

  • White Collar  - Is Peter going to take the job in D.C.? Will Neal and Peter ever be the same again? Lots of “what ifs” happened in this episode – but there was no bigger question then this one: Who is this Rebecca and did she really con the original conman Neal?

White Collar Season 5 Episode 10

On the Computer -

  •  Chalk This Up As Done from Hi Sugar Plum - this great before and after piece shows a creative way to decorate a small nook in your home and give a small throw away end table a whole new look.  

Chalk This Up As Done from Hi Sugar Plum

On the Page -

  • Parents Magazine February 2014 issue – How to Un-Spoil Your Child by Denise Schipani. I don’t know about you, but I’m at the stage where I think “should I just give in to my 2 year old? Just for a little peace and quiet?” After the article was a quiz to see where you are on the spoiler scale!  The pictures below are screenshots from my tablet. The article isn’t online – but here is one with a similar theme from Redbook Maagazine / WebMD – Unspoil Your Child

Parents Magazine - Feb 2014 How to Un-Spoil Your Child

Parents Magazine - February 2014 Unspoil Your Child On the Sales Rack -

  • HGTV Magazine had an article in their Jan / Feb issue – 2014 Calendar of Sales by Kelly Tagore.  Here is what she says are on sale in January and February.

HGTV Magazine Calendar of Sales - January

HGTV Magazine Calendar of Sales - February

In the kitchen -

spicy-tortilla-soup from

On my Pinterest Boards - 

  • Check out my Basement Makeover  Pinterest board where I am collecting all the inspirations I find for our basement remodeling project.

from the Home Idea Network picture originally pinned from Home Idea Network 

In my Inbox- 

  • I feel like Martha Stewart is personally talking to me this week…the subject line of Martha Stewart Livings’ email this week was 4 Organizing Resolutions for 2014 … and the first two were: Organizing the basement and setting up a craft area!  A Pipe and Wire map of your basement – pretty genius idea, Martha! Then she posted this picture on Instagram – and titled it Color-Coded Crafting.  Ok Martha, I see we are are the same wave length in 2014! Hope that is a good sign for me!

Martha Stewart - Wire and Pipe Map for your basement

Martha Stewart Instagram - Color Coded Crafting

What are some of your favorite things from this week?  Leave me a comment and tell me what you are watching, reading, cooking, and working on around your house.  Are you following a Pinterest board you love?  Let me know!  I love comments!  Have a great weekend and thanks for reading.

Toddler Girl’s Room Reveal

If you have been reading along here at My Color Coded Life, you know we bought a home this past April.  And when we bought it we knew we had  a lot of work to do on it!  As I type this early on Saturday morning, I can hear the contractor stripping walls in the basement!  My first reveal post was our Dining Room.  Now I am ready to reveal Olivia’s bedroom.

Let’s remember where we started. Here is the picture of the room posted by the previous owners on the real estate websites:

Olivia's Bedroom - BEFOREOlivia Bedroom - BEFOREHere we are mid-project – wall paper down!

Olivia's Bedroom - Mid-project See – beautiful sunlit room, gorgeous hardwood floors – I saw the potential!

Ok – are you ready?  here we go…..

Olivia's Room - AFTER 1
The blue furniture, bookcase, bureau, and wagon all came from my childhood bedroom.  I need to redo these pieces – notice the missing knob on the bureau -but for now they work!

Olivia's Bedroom - AFTER 2

Antique trunk also came from my childhood bedroom.  It’s a great toy box. We used Behr paints – Bicycle Yellow for the walls and Hidden Meadow for the baseboards, window trim, and doors. Other colors used throughout the room are pink and blue.

Olivia's Bedroom colors For color schemes we are looking at in other rooms click on Organizing Home Decor Projects.

Olivia's Bedroom - AFTER 3An OLIVIA wagon.  I remember this wagon was originally yellow with a Dad’s Root Beer logo on it before my mom painted it blue. I want to strip it and see what it looks like underneath.  Any furniture re-doer bloggers out there have some tips for me?

Olivia's Bedroom - AFTER

Remember my Holiday Cabinet? When we moved, I decided not to bring Olivia’s changing table.  We have a twin bed in the room and we knew eventually she would be potty trained.  I moved the Holiday Cabinet to her room and use the drawer to hold her diapers and the shelves to hold her owl collection! Plus I now have a mantel and fireplace in our living room (my first mantel) so I decorate that for each holiday.  (example)

Olivia's Bedroom - AFTER

This open shelving unit from William-Sonoma used to be in my kitchen in our old apartment.  Now it holds all of Olivia’s bins. Owl bins and green plastic bins are from Target, pink basket bins are from Baby’s R Us.

Olivia's bedroom - AFTER

Green closet door with sunlight shining in from the second window. Owl purse from the Great Wall of China brought back to the States from Olivia’s cousin Lilly. Thanks Lilly!

Olivia's Bedroom - behind the door

I found this over the door hook at Burlington Coat Factory – can you believe the perfect match it was to the Meadow Green shade of paint?  No I did not paint it!  Perfect place to hang towels, out of sight behind the door.

As always, this is still a work in progress.  But an improvement – don’t you think? Olivia loves to hang out, play, and read in her room.  Things we still need to do – find light switch covers, redo blue furniture,  get rid of the rocking chair glider and ottoman (I’m still having a hard time parting with it!), replace light fixture, and apply crown molding around the ceiling. Still plenty to do! So, what do you think?  Leave me a comment and let me know.  As always, thanks for reading!

My Friday Favorites 01.03.14

Fall Owl Friday Favorites

Happy Friday everyone, the first Friday of 2014.  I hope you have recuperated from all of your holiday festivities and are sticking to any New Year’s resolutions you may have made. Here are all the things I am loving this week!

On TV -

  • Parenthood - started back last night with a new episode – one of the few shows that has returned from “winter break.”  Julie and Joel are at a standstill, I love Max and Hank’s relationship, and look who showed up at Drew’s dorm room door – sorry Natalie. (I really dislike her – you can’t pull off the Brooke Davis tricks, sorry.)

Max and Hank - Parenthood

On the Computer -

  • Basement Renovations -  we are starting out 2014 with a big project – renovating our basement into a livable space.  I found this blog when researching for tips and ideas.  Here is the start of my floor plan.

Floor Plan for Basement Project

On the Sales Rack - Christmas Wrap Sale

In the kitchen -

Baked Eggs in a Bread Bowl from ALL YOU Magazine

On my Twitter Feed - 

  • @BonJovi 31 Dec See what made made Because We Can the #1 tour of 2013 and share your favorite tour memories using #BonJoviMemories

    Here are my #BonJoviMemories for my #Thisis40 Birthday. Thanks to my girlfriends who came out to celebrate!

Bon Jovi Philadelphia

Bon Jovi Philadelphia

Bon Jovi Philadelphia

What are some of your favorite things this week? Tell me what you are watching, reading, and buying.  Thanks for reading and hope you have a great 2014!