My Friday Favorites 02.05.16

FF apples grn

Here are all the things I am loving this week!

On TV – My daughter and I watched Project Runway, Jr. together this season. This week was the finale and the final four designers showed at New York Fashion Week! So much talent in these teenagers even Kelly Osbourne and Christian Siriano were blown away every episode. My first pick didn’t win, but my second favorite did (no spoilers! Didn’t watch? Check out the whole season on demand.) I’m not sure how I feel about “Junior” reality shows, it is a lot of pressure to put on kids. What I appreciate about this show is that the judges got that; they were human when they critiqued the contestants and even cried when they let them go. Fav moment of the finale -the Tim Gunn group hug!

Project Runway Junior finalists Samantha Maya Zachary Peytie Kelly Osbourne Christian Siriano


picture from Reality Blurred


On the Page –  This is the time of year that we have hand sanitizers hanging from every backpack and tucked into every purse. As a teacher who also has a child in preschool, the worst is waking up in the morning with a sore throat and the looming reality that a cold or flu is coming on. Read Good Housekeeping’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Cold & Flu Dodgers from their January 2016 issue. The article isn’t online but here is one that gives some good tips, too: Your Cold and Flu Survival Guide from A to Z. It’s also The Makeover Issue – with a little dog on the front barking – “Just Paint It!”

cold and flu remedies

On the Web – This article from Salon will make any daughter laugh and cry – You really are becoming your mother: The science that confirms your greatest hopes and fears

You really are becoming your mother: The science that confirms your greatest hopes and fears

Mom and Maureen


Me and my mom at my cousin Trish’s wedding 35 years ago! (Yes, I did stalk your Facebook for an anniversary pic to verify number of years!)


In the Kitchen   All I can say about this is OMG.  Tagalong Pound Cake from You Wash…I Dry. 

Tagalong Pound Cake

On InstagramThere is a fun Valentine’s Day contest happening on Instragram. Tagging your Vaentine’s Day crafts and decor with the hashtag #CraftyCupid.  Here is my favorite this week from The Rusty Nest. Anything with a Queen of Hearts playing card gets a like- heart from me! 

The Rusty Nest

Here is my attempt at participating in the #CratyCupid contest:

my crafty cupid

For my Parenting Toolbox – This article isn’t about what to do for the kids – it’s about what to do for YOURSELF… so just as important in the Parenting Toolbox in my opinion! 23 Ways to Treat Yo’ self Without Buying or Eating Anything from Yes and Yes #1, 4, 5, 6! What are your favs on this list?


Happy Weekend! Hope it is relaxing and productive. Leave me a comment and let me know what your Friday Favorites are. Thanks for reading.

Helpful Hump-day Hints – Makeup Organization

Today’s Helpful Hump-day Hint will hopefully help you with organizing your makeup.


I love my Orla Kiely by Target makeup bag. It’s the perfect size to throw in a purse. It’s not too bulky, but can still hold all of the essentials. When I don’t carry it with me, it stays in a bin in my bathroom. This bin also contains a sea of lipsticks, lip glosses, application brushes, and every other bit of makeup I own.


This needed an organizational system badly! Makeup I wear everyday, I put in the makeup bag. I know exactly where it is AND if I need to take the bag with me, the essentials are already in there. I was shopping at Michael’s, for nothing in particular, (WARNING – never do that – you should have seen my cart on the way out!!) and I saw the whole Cre8ated Space Organizational Line was 50% off. They are desk and office organizers but just use your imagination a little bit and you can use this stuff anywhere.

makeup organization

The pencil cup holds the brushes and tweezers hang on the side. I will never gain back any of the lost time I have spent pushing all of that makeup around looking for those tweezers. The plastic jar holds all lipsticks and lip glosses. Every time I see a picture on Pinterest or Instagram of glass jars holding makeup on beautifully organized vanities, I’m the first to push the “like” heart or re-pin. But unless you are committed to buying everything in matching bottles or the same color tubes, it can start looking junky pretty fast. (I have the same philosophy about open shelves in the kitchen, who wants to look at our plastic Minions cups? Joanna and Chip Gaines’ kids must drink from milkglass sippy cups!) This combines the best of both worlds. It’s jar-like, but tinted a darker color so you don’t know how mismatched the contents are. Growing up my big sisters had a glass cookie jar on their vanity filled with Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers. I loved sneaking in there to use them. I can still smell the delicious flavors. It made me feel so grown up sitting at the mirror, using their root beer flavored lip smackers. This new set up reminds me of that jar!


All organized! No more wasting time digging around. Much better right? Happy Hump-day, the weekend is almost here. Try organizing one small thing like this today and let me know how it made your life better.


My Friday Favorites 01.29.16

FF pink green brownwho votes for me changing this to Weekend Winners since I can’t seem to post on time?!?

On TV – I used this past week’s snowstorm to catch up on my DVR! I am still loving the #OneChicago shows. I thought adding Chicago Med to my lineup was going to be too much – but of course they cross all the characters over so I got sucked right in!


On the Page – I have a stack of January and February magazines sitting on my bedside table to read this weekend! Better Homes and Gardens February issue has a great article, Finding Your Calling, about starting your own business and doing what you love. The exact article isn’t online, but you can find a lot of it right here: Entrepreneur.   

bhg entrepreneur

On the Web – Pinterest Announces the Hottest Home Trends of 2016 from Pop Sugar I love the idea of not seeing any electrical cords around the house, I’m into graphic throw pillows (from The Vault Files,) and we can thank Joanna Gaines for the obsession with white all over the house. What do you think of these Pinterest trend predictions? 


For my Next Home Project  This week we are starting our master bedroom closet renovation. We are making our two small closets into one large functional one! I have been scouring the internet for ideas of what kind of closet organizer I want inside. I’ve been spending a lot of time on The Container Store’s Elfa Design Center. Goals: no more shoes everywhere in my room and a way to store ALL of my handbags so they are easily accessible! 


On InstagramThis little treasure is mine!! I purchased it during an IG sale – only to find out that Olivia’s #1 babysitter, Lauren, already bought it for me! If you love vintage treasures for your home, you must check out one of my favorite vendors In With the Old Goods both on IG and her Etsy shop. (And if you want to start living a healthy lifestyle check out Lauren, too!)


On my Playlist- I know I am probably late to this game, but I have found and love The Mixtape Radio station on my iPhone. I play it in the morning while getting ready for work to jump start my day. It’s like I am stepping back in time to a school dance!

mix tape

For my Parenting Toolbox – In my house right now it is all about selecting a kindergarten for our daughter. The applications, the school visits, the interviews – I asked my husband this week – is she applying to college? What are we looking for? A school she will like to go to everyday and develop a love of learning. These articles really hit home with me this week. I found both articles in the Parent section of The Washington Post, the first was originally posted on Role Reboot: No, my kindergartner won’t be doing that homework assignment and Kindergarten the new first grade? It’s actually worse than that.

Real Simple Daily Thought– preach JLo!!


Happy Weekend! Hope it is relaxing and productive. Leave me a comment and let me know what your Friday Favorites are. Thanks for reading.

My Friday Favorites 01.08.16


I was going to just start My Friday Favorites as if I have been blogging all along, but I will acknowledge that I have not written My Color-Coded Life for six months. I have gone through these spells before and I am back ready to share all the organizing, remodeling, rearranging, and TV watching I have been doing!

On TV – The best new show I’m watching is Quantico. The show follows the newest FBI recruits as they train at the Academy. There is a simultaneous story being told that shows that once this class becomes actual agents, one is accused of a terrorist attack on Grand Central Station. You end up watching for clues in both storylines.


On the Page – HGTV January / February Magazine new year, new decorating possibilities, this issue is full of ideas.  DIY Wall Art Projects, Lots of Style on a Little Budget, and my personal favorite -Style with What You Already Have (I really don’t need more stuff!!) The only bad thing, waiting until March until the next issue. 


For the Parenting Toolbox – I’m always searching for books with strong girls and women to read to my daughter.  A Cup of Jo posted this blog with a great list 18 Children’s Books with Female Characters. I have only read six of these – so off to Barnes and Nobles with our Christmas gift cards we shall go! 


For my Next Home Project   I’ve tackled the linen closet and our front hall closet. Now it’s time for a total redo of our bedroom closet. Of course I’m doing a lot of research including Essential Organizing Products for Closets. Color-Coded hangers??! Yes, please! 


On InstagramOne of my favorite crafters on Instagram is damaskloveHer DIY projects are incredible, but the main reason I hit the red “like” heart on almost every one of her posts is because the colors are always so beautiful! Exhibit A, check out this door! 


On the To-Do List– Last year you followed my along on my New Year’s resolutions journey.  For the most past (at least half the year, I didn’t do so bad!) I have joined a 90/100 Challenge to start this year. It means to give 100% towards your goals for 90 days.  The tag line is Results not Resolutions and I kind of like the sound of that. Here is what I am giving 100% to for the next 90 days:


see? blogging once a week is one of my goals!

Real Simple Daily Thought


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Happy New Year! Happy Friday! Hope you have a great weekend. Leave me a comment and let me know what your Friday Favorites are. Thanks for reading.

My Friday Favorites 07.17.15


On TV – I watch Suits on USA which started back up this summer. The commercials for Mr. Robot got me to try it out. This show examines today’s world and how every single detail about someone can be found on the internet, while the individuals who are capable of obtaining this information are conflicted with themselves and the companies they work for. One of the best shows on TV right now!


On the Page – On my vacation last week, I took the time to catch up on some back issues of my favorite magazines including Martha Stewart Living’s May 2015 issue. I was excited to see a shop called Dancing Dog Antiques highlighted and when I looked at a map, it was only a half hour from my vacation location! All set to stop on the way home, I was disappointed to find out it is only open on weekends. Now I know for next time and will make it part of the plan from the start!


For the Parenting Toolbox- I am constantly conflicted about how much time I should or should not let my daughter use technology. This was a great read and it reminds me I shouldn’t be looking up from my phone, to tell her to put her iPad away.  How to Cut Children’s Screen Time? Say No to Yourself First by Jane E. Brody from the Well Blog of New York Times.

How to Cut Children's Screen Time_NYTimes

For Family Night– now that we have all turned off our screens, what should we do? Here is a great list of board games for every age group. Best Educational Board Games from Mrs. Karle’s Sight and Sound Reading


In the Cocktail Glass- In the July issue of Better Homes and Gardens, the Cooking Channel’s host of Simple Delicioso, Ingrid Hoffman, described her favorite beer. I immediately went out and bought the ingredients and enjoyed a few of these poolside! Directions – salt rim of a glass, pour a beer over a scoop of lemon sorbet (I used Corona, we also tried Summer Shandy,) and add a shot of tequila. This article wasn’t online yet and while searching for another link to include here I found: Cooks with Cocktails and their recipe for a Bull Dog Margarita or Beergarita. Then I proceeded to click through their website for another 20 minutes!


On Instagram – Thanks Weight Watchers for reminding me that portion size is the key to success!


On the To-Do List- This week in Philadelphia, The Oval reopens for the summer season. A great place for the kids to play outside after visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Arts Splash program and come 5pm (2pm on Saturdays,) the beer garden opens!

Opening Day at The Oval Fairmount Parks Conservancy July 16, 2015

Opening Day at The Oval
Fairmount Parks Conservancy
July 16, 2015

Real Simple Daily Thought

Real Simple Daily Thought

Happy Friday! Hope you have a great weekend. Leave me a comment and let me know what your Friday Favorites are. Thanks for reading.

New Year’s Resolutions – 6 Month Check-In


I can’t believe it, but it is already July. Time for my six month check-in on my New Year’s resolutions (or maybe more appropriately called – The Months When It All Fell Apart!) Click over first to my 4 month check-in and my 2 month check-in so you are all caught up.

Are you back?  Ok – let’s see how I’m doing. I am all for being accountable – so even though these were not the best months for sticking to my resolutions – I am still writing this post.


Weight Watchers Update: I’m still on the WW program, currently in week 27. I switched from the weight loss program to the maintain program after losing a total of 22 pounds. (Full disclosure: I did gain 1 pound one week.) I continued to meal prep every Sunday throughout the school year. Now I have more time to cook each day. I am still eating a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and chicken. But, I am eating more ice cream and drinking more wine! I’m trying to remember my portions and not to over indulge when allowing for a treat.


Coffee Update: This one has really gone down hill for me!  At the end of the school year I was buying a second cup of coffee a few times a week. I am still brewing a pot at home each morning, but pretty regularly, I pour more than one cup. Here I am enjoying a second cup while reading Amy Poehler’s hilarious “Yes, Please.”


Exercise:  Do you really even need to ask?? I’m still not exercising. Insert sad emoji face here.

Once a teacher, always a teacher, so I will grade myself.

For my first resolution of BE HEALTHY, I am giving myself a:


Date Night Updates: My husband and I have not gone on any more date nights since my last update. We are hoping to plan a few this summer!  

Quality Family Time Updates:  We are still eating as a family at dinner time and now that Olivia and I are done school, at lunch time, too. Warmer weather always allows for more together time outside and we have been taking advantage of that to the fullest.  

“Me” Time Updates: I am sleeping in a little more now (No need to get up at 4:30am when I don’t need to go to work!) I am still getting up 45 minutes of “me” time at some point throughout the day, whether in the evenings or when Olivia goes to camp in the morning.  


Remember the big stack of books from the 2 month check-in?  I have started three different books from my list and have not finished any of them!  BUT, since starting “the life changing magic of tidying up,” I have gotten rid of 8 bags of trash, 10 donations bags and an additional 6 bags to go to my school in the fall!!


“My Life, Unplugged” Update:  This one is a draw for the past two months. In May, I was constantly on my laptop, finishing grades, transferring all my data off my work computer before I had to turn it in for the summer, and all of the million end of the year teacher things one needs to do. Once summer started though, I have been totally unplugged. Off the computer, off my phone, and not even that much TV (minus binge watching Orange is the New Black.)  


For my second resolution of BUILD RELATIONSHIPS, I am giving myself a:

So, not my strongest showing at a resolution check-in!

Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions?  How are you doing on the six month check-in? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Next follow up will be on September 1st.  Have a great day and thanks for reading.

My Friday Favorites 06.19.15

FF pink green brown

On TV – Many people have been glued to Netflix for the past week binge watching Season 3 of Orange is the New Black, myself included. A lot was packed into the thirteen episode season including the sale of the prison, more backstories, a baby, a new intriguing inmate, trouble for Sophia, and Piper’s new business. The only disappointment? Waiting another year for more episodes.

orange-is-the-new-black_season 3

On the Page – Real Simple July 2015  Just looking at the cover with that ice cream cone makes you want to open the magazine! It also includes great recipes and tips – all the reasons you love Real Simple. 

Real Simple_July 2015

On the Computer – Here is a great blog I recently found through twitter: Party Bluprints. Check out some great 4th of July Party ideas

cranberry_lemonade_bar_from Party Bluprints

In the Kitchen- Check out this delicious recipe that will be perfect on a hot day at the pool: Watermelon Granita from Lemon Stripes 

Watermelon-Granita_ from Lemon Stripes

On the To-Do List – In the Philadelphia area? We saw this play this week and our whole family loved it! This is the last weekend of performances so get your tickets fast! Arden Theatre Company’s The Jungle Book 


For the Fathers- Need gift ideas?  Check out Godiva, Sports Illustrated, and Crate and Barrel

Happy Father's Day


Happy Friday! Hope you have a great weekend and Father’s Day. For everyone who finished school this week, happy summer!  Leave me a comment and let me know what your Friday Favorites are. Thanks for reading.

My Friday Favorites 06.05.15

My Friday Favorites

On TV –  I’ve been re-watching Season 2 of Orange is the New Black in preparation for Season 3 which will be released on Netflix on June 12. Good news, Larry, Jason Biggs’ character will not be in this upcoming season, but bad news, neither will Pablo Schreiber’s Officer Mendez character. Other summer shows starting in June: The Astronaut Wives on June 18, Season 5 of Suits on June 24. Check out Esquire Magazine’s  TV Shows Premiering Summer 2015 That You Should Watch


In the Kitchen-  Through Pinterest, I found this Roasted Asparagus recipe from She Wears Many HatsThe only switch I made to the recipe was grilling the asparagus on the outdoor grill inside of roasting in the oven. It was delicious! Here are pictures of my attempts of this recipe.  


prepped and marinating

unnamedafter grilling

For more of my favorite green recipes check out my Pinterest Board:
Veggies and Salads 

On the To-Do List – 57 Free Things to do With Kids In Philly Summer 2015Summer vacation is about to start. Print this and start checking your adventures off. 

For the Parenting ToolboxNo, Your Kid May Not Have a Snack by Amanda Kolson Hurley in The Chicago Tribune. A great read about the sometimes obsessive compulsive thing called parenthood. 

No Your Kid May Not Have a Snack

On Instagram – One of  Essie’s summer colors – Mojito Madness featured on TargetStyle.


On the Bookshelf – After a lot of buzz these past few weeks, I bought the life changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo.  Can’t wait to read it cover to cover.

the life changing magic of tidying up

For the Teacher – End of the school year is here and there are a lot of ways to thank your child’s teacher. Thanks to Sweet Metel Moments for these “One Smart Cookie” notecards. We printed them out, glued them to gift bags, and included Milano cookies for my daughter’s teachers. I found this idea from a great roundup post of Teacher Appreciation Ideas from Baby to Boomer.


Hope you had a fabulous week. Leave me a comment and let me know what your Friday Favorites are. Thanks for reading.

Helpful Hump-Day Hints – Buying Toy Collections

HHH gingham

Some of you with a good eye saw there was something else in my purse that I didn’t describe in this week’s Practical Packing post. That’s because I was saving it for now. Today’s Helpful Hump-Day Hint will help you remember what toys your kids already have when you are out trying to buy gifts. In today’s toy world everything is all about collecting. Gone are the days of one doll or character. No! They have a brother or a sister or a cousin or evil step-mother or fancy dragon – and you must buy them all! Or, they are exactly the same but just in every color of the rainbow. Plus the extra outfits, castle, and car!  Sometimes I can barely remember what my daughter likes playing with these days, let alone what’s already in her Toys R Us, I mean, her room.


Under the Altoids box is something I always keep in my purse now. I buy gifts for Christmas and birthdays all year long.  If it’s on sale, I buy it and store it away until the gift giving day arrives. I found myself never knowing what items my daughter already had in whatever series she was collecting. The last time she received a My Little Pony, I had this idea when opening the package.


I asked my daughter to line up the My Little Ponies she has. She loved this. Next, I cut off the top of the wrapping and checked off all the ponies she already owns. Lastly, I tucked this into my purse.


Now when I’m at the store and I see one of these on sale, I pull out this little card to see what ponies she has and which ones she doesn’t. I wonder if Santa does this? Do you have any tricks or hints on how to keep track of toys? Leave me a comment and let me know. Thanks for reading!

Practical Packing Part 3 – The Purse

This is the third installment of the Practical Packing Series, to catch up you can read the previous posts here.

Today we are going to talk about your purse. Just to clarify, your everyday, going to work, really big purse. I think the key to carrying around “everything you own” is to compartmentalize with smaller bags within your big purse. Here is a look into mine. There is enough room for my laptop, but you can see there are several smaller bags inside, too.


Here are all the contents emptied out. Taking these pictures felt a little bit like US Weekly magazine’s celebrity What’s in Your Bag? articles, except my lipgloss is $5 not $95. Besides my laptop, I always have a notebook, my wallet, my second wallet (more on that later,) my charger / accessories bag, and a reusable shopping bag. The two side pockets hold deodorant and my work ID and key card that let me into the building.


The lemon case is my primary wallet.  I keep my essential credit cards, license, and cash in it.  It also has room for my phone. The side not shown of the lemon wallet case is a see through window for when you do put your phone inside. I also keep my mother’s St. Francis’ mass card here. When I need to stop somewhere to shop, the big purse with the computer goes in the trunk and I just grab this smaller wallet. I can carry it right on my wrist. There is a matching reusable bag folded in a pouch I can grab too if I am just picking up a few things.


My wallet used to be so weighed down with store specific rewards cards. I used to carry the smaller versions on my keychain, but it made my keys very bulky and it started driving me crazy. Now I use this secondary wallet that contains non-everyday wallet items. This includes store rewards cards, pool ID badge, and my daughter’s ABC club card at our food coop, Weaver’s Way.  If she shows her card she gets one free apple, banana, or carrot. She loves it and so do I!


The charger / accessories bag contains iPhone and iPad chargers, earphones, Tide-to-Go pen, glasses, lip gloss, my favorite pen, and Altoids or gum.


Wondering where I keep my keys? I can’t stand when keys fall to the bottom of a bag and you have to stand around digging through all of your belongings to find them. I have a crown hook I attached to my keys.


The hook attaches to the side of your purse and you will never have to hunt for your keys again. may-9912

Disclaimer: I used to always throw my makeup bag into my purse everyday. Then I realized…I don’t touch up my makeup EVER during the work day. Besides the lip gloss I keep in the charger / accessory bag – what you see is what you get throughout the work day! Only exception is if I know I’m going out after work, I will toss my makeup bag into my big bag. Here is my Orla Kiely makeup bag. I LOVE her designs, so much in fact, that my family got my sister the entire Orla Kiely yoga line from Target for her upcoming big 5-0 birthday this week. Shout out to my sister Diane!


Practical Packing Part 4 will be all about kids’ backpacks.

Leave a comment and let me know how you pack your purse. Is there something you always feel you have to carry around all day, but then never use? What are the three things you will not leave the house without? Thanks for stopping by and reading.