My Friday Favorites 06.24.16

Happy Friday! I hope today is the start of a great weekend for you and yours.
Here are the things I am loving this week!

On TV – Netflix released season 4 of Orange is the New Black a week ago. Last year, I binged watched through the weekend finishing season 3 in 48 hours. I vowed to make the show last a little longer this time and I stretched it until Wednesday. This season was by far the most heartbreaking yet. Unfair judicial and prison systems, racism, corporate greed, privilege, religion and mental illness were just a few of the timely topics unearthed in these 13 episodes. No spoilers here.

On the Page – Real Simple Magazine’s July 2016 issue is full of summer fun.  Great tips on how to actually relax on your vacation, gaining control of your inbox, and party tricks for your summer get-togethers. Of course, the “Ask the Organizer” section is always a fav of mine!

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On the Web – I’m a teacher and it is my first full week of summer vacation. But that doesn’t mean my brain stops thinking about the classroom. Especially this summer as I am switching grades and teaching 4th grade for the first time in 20 years! I bookmarked this article Dollar Store Dos and Don’ts for Teachers by Genia Connell on It is so easy to buy something because it is inexpensive. This article has test driven lots of Dollar Store items for you!  

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In the Kitchen -Meal prepping is something I am completely committed to during the academic year, but it always seems to fall to the side in the summer. Anna Nguyen, Philadelphia’s Healthy Kid blogger shared Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Liz Coover’s  5 Tips to get Meal Planning Into Your Family Schedule. Time to get back into a routine! I roasted summer squash and zucchini for the week and made tuna that we can grab easily to make basil wraps.

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On Instagram – This week I picked a color of the week and posted pics of my favorite apple green things!  I loved searching for other #applegreen photos and I pushed the like-heart a LOT!!  I loved, loved, loved these apple green canisters in Edita Trinkunaite’s kitchen. Check out her other amazing food pics on her IG @edita.trinkunaite

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What are you loving this week? Leave me a comment and let me know. Thanks for reading.

My Friday Favorites 06.03.16

Happy Friday! Here are all the things I’m loving this week!

On TV –  Admittedly, I am just catching up on some season finales that happened over the past few weeks. Dick Wolf – WHAT are you doing to me?? Killing off the sons of high ranking police officers on two different shows, Chicago PD and SVU?

…and I CANNOT get over ABC cancelling Nashville.  I read the reports but didn’t want to believe it. Until the season finale became the series finale. Now we will never know the fate of Juliette’s plane. Unless another network picks it up – please!! #BringBackNashville

On the Web – Country Living’s 50 Ideas that will Beautify Your Yard (Without Breaking the Bank) So many adorable ideas to spruce up any backyard space. Love this hopscotch board made with colorful pavers from Happiness is Homemade. 

This hopscotch board—made out of pavers—works double-time as a game for kids (or adults!) and a fun way to add a pop of bright color to your lawn. 
Get the tutorial at Happiness is Homemade.

For the Piggy Bank – The end of the school year is a time when I look back to see what I’ve saved for the year, evaluate if it’s time to up retirement contributions, and figure out what are the priorities we should be saving for next year. Read Money magazine’s The Five Most Important Years of Your Financial Life for tips on what you should be saving at certain ages. It’s time for me to “Turn Up the Volume!”


On the To-Do List – I love my city in the summer! This is an exciting month here in Philadelphia. Check out the Top Things To Do in Philadelphia In June 2016 From Art Festivals, Outdoor Movies, and Night Markets, to Center City Sips and Beer Gardens – there is something for everyone!

Night Market
On Instagram – Look at this apple green pillow! I NEED this on my patio! Check out more cheery and colorful pictures by _mabellevie_

apple green pillow_instagram

Hope you have a great Friday and that it’s a start to an amazing weekend. What are you loving this week? Leave me a comment and let me know! Thanks for reading. 

Porch Makeover for My Mother-in-Law

For Mother’s Day, I told my mother-in-law I would like to set-up and design her porch. I knew she would like a place of her own to sit, relax, drink her tea and not be bothered by anyone!

This is what I had to work with:

The floor of the porch looks like this:

floor rhodie

She had this furniture in her garage:

couch rhoidechair rhodietable rhodie

And she bought these pillows:

pillows rhodie

With this information – I got to work!

It took me (and my husband who helped paint) one day to design and set up the porch. She was home while we were painting out back, but she left for a little while and I was able to set everything up so she could get the “big reveal” moment. (minus a huge Fixer Upper style before photo!)

finished porch

I shopped mainly in her own house. Everyone has extra stuff that accumulates in our homes. Before going out and buying something new – walk thru your home and see what you can re-purpose! (Color-coded tip – start picking like color items, then try them out in the design and edit as necessary.)

chair close up

couch close up

table close up

I collected up old plastic flower pots, tins, and bins she had around her home and painted them all one color (my signature apple green – which I can work into ANY design!)


She had this perfectly matching maroon picnic basket in her dining room. The tin was from an Edible Arrangements gift. The F is magnetic (from Michael’s) and stuck right to the tin making this an easy monogram project.

picnic 2

I made this wreath as her Mother’s Day gift which I new I would incorporate into the final look.


House numbers on a basket that we attached next to the door.

house numbers

View from the street:

street view

Price tag:
Home Depot: $36
Michael’s: $57
Target: $8
Total: $101

I hope this area will become her HAPPY PLACE!

happy place edit





My Friday Favorites 03.06.15

FF pink green brown
Happy Friday!  Here is my weekly round-up of my favorites for this week.  Enjoy!

On TV –  I have finally caught up on a lot of shows. Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Chicago Fire & PD, SVU and How to Get Away with Murder (the ending did surprise me! My husband and I thought it was Bonnie for sure.) Still on our DVR: Empire and Suits. My pick this week is a show that I started on Netflix this summer and am now watching the current (last?) season live. Hart of Dixie. Although they have been through hook-ups, break-ups, and other boyfriends and girlfriends, this week Zoe and Wade reminded us of why we fell in love with them in the first place.  Zoe asks Wade to stop flirting with every woman he comes across and we get to see these two characters at their funniest.

Hart of Dixie Zoe and Wade

On the Page –  HGTV Magazine March 2015. Kitchen items to organize your whole house, such as a lazy susan for your nail polish, muffin tins to keep small craft items, or latte bowls for desk accessories (I have a orange chevron bowl on my desk at work for paper clips.)  Fun decorating tips, Flea Market Flips, and my favorite the High / Low List (perfect for those who like the look of expensive things, but don’t want to break the bank.) I’m reading this issue cover to cover. 


On the Computer- I found this great post about how to organize your reusable bags. I am so tired of my bags being stuffed into one another, piled up, and creating a general eye sore in my kitchen, the trunk of my car and even my classroom. Project Organize your ENTIRE LIFE How to Store Reusable Bags from Modern Parents Messy Kids is just the motivation I needed to organize this messy area of my life.

Storing Reusable Bags from Modern Parent Messy Kidspicture from Modern Parents Messy Kids 

On my Pinterest Boards-  I’ve been trying to decide how to display these map magnets. I know I want them in our master bedroom since we have a map theme going on in that room.

map magnets

Off to Pinterest I went! I found this pin on the board Frugal Living: Dollar Store and liked the idea of displaying them on trays.  The pin led me first to Mod Podge Rocks which led me to the origin of the magnetic trays on Simplicity in the South.  I then circled back around and followed all of Simplicity in the South’s boards on Pinterest! DIY, Maps, House Makeovers, Organization – it seemed to make a lot of sense to follow her! 

Magnetic Map Trays
picture from Simplicity in the South 

In the Kitchen – I had a craving for fish tacos this week and I experimented to figure out how to satisfy the taste I was looking for while still sticking to my Weight Watchers Plan. I came up with two options.

First – 1 flour tortilla, grilled tilapia (half of a medium size piece), shredded cabbage, 1 tablespoon of corn & chile salsa from Trader Joe’s, yellow and orange peppers (tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted.) Weight Watcher PointsPlus = 5 

Second – 1 flour tortilla, grilled tilapia (half of a medium size piece), shredded cabbage, 1/8 of an avocado, 1/8 cup of black beans, 2 tablespoons of Cilantro Lime Sauce (see recipe below.) Weight Watcher PointsPlus = 7

Cilantro Lime Sauce from Cocina Marie – delicious!  I divided the amount of mayo in half and added more greek yogurt to bring WW point value down. In addition to the tacos, I have used it as salad dressing and as dip with chips.

Cilantro Lime Sauce by Cocina Marie

picture from Cocina Marie 

On My Wish List –  I first noticed this great skirt on Jillian Harris’s instagram, which led me to PartySkirts by SKOT. Of course, I was drawn to this bright green hue. Skirts come in three lengths: full, lady length, or short and in a variety of bold colors such as red apple, teacher’s pet purple, and my favorite below, “highlighter.”

PartySkirts by SKOT

On My Facebook Newsfeed- Look what color Better Homes and Gardens says is a soothing color to paint your bedroom. I guess my knack for decorating and color palettes started all the way back when I was 5, when I picked out my first color to paint my childhood bedroom.

bhg_apple bedroom

In My Scrapbook- I am wishing for spring, but the weather is set on staying with winter for now.  Here is one of my favorite pictures of me and my mom.  She would have been 81 yesterday. 

mom_maureen _ pgt

Hope your week was fabulous.  What are you loving this week? Leave me a comment and let me know what you are cooking, reading and pinning.  Have a great weekend, and thanks for reading!