My Friday Favorites 07.29.16

On TV – I just discovered OWN’s new drama Greenleaf. I caught up on demand and watched live this week. The Greenleaf family runs the Calvary megachurch in Memphis. This drama is filled with scandal, deceit, cover-ups, and family secrets. In the latest episode, Grace got the evidence she needed against Uncle Mac, the verdict in the Officer Daniel Nelson case was revealed, and tragedy struck again in response. This week’s episode started with a disclaimer that it was filmed in January and it understood the topic of crimes committed by and against the police were even more relevant today.
On the Page – Better Homes and Gardens August issue takes a look into a home that’s created great work and display spaces, new recipes for green beans, beautiful hydrangeas, and how to pack a throwback 1956 picnic.

On the Web – I could not stop laughing as I scrolled through Glamour’s article, 20 TV Shows to Watch on Netflix When You’re Feeling Stressed. Parks and Recreation, Gilmore Girls (returning in November!) Grey’s Anatomy… the Riggins GIFs!! Anything on HGTV – I know there have been times when I click on HGTV and go about my business in the house as if I flipped on a radio. My only addition to this list would be One Tree Hill. What would you add to this list?


In the Garden – I’m very proud of myself this summer. I decided to cut my spending money on fresh herbs and try to grow some myself. I have the absolute opposite of a green thumb so this was a daring experiment. I picked spearmint, basil and cilantro. The basil and spearmint have taken off! I have fresh basil in my salads and fresh mint in my water everyday! The cilantro…. hasn’t done as well. I need to research that one a little more. Since I’ve had 2/3 success, I think I should try a few more so I can completely stop spending money on herbs. I found this chart from Country Living and I’m printing it and hanging it on my fridge! At first I thought there were no cilantro tips, until I took a closer look, and saw it says to look at coriander. 


In your Coffee Mug – I love coffee. I love ice coffee. I love cinnamon. I love that Starbucks is sharing this recipe so I can make this at home and not spend $5. 


On Instagram – So, I’m switching schools next year and teaching a grade I haven’t taught in 20 years! (yay and gulp!) I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to organize my classroom library. I first saw this pic on @teacherspayteachers (one of my favorite websites.) It inspires me and gives me so many ideas! The photo is originally from @kindercraze, so of course I had to check her page out and you should, too!



What things are you loving this week? And how do you keep your fresh cilantro alive?!? Leave me a comment and let me know! Have a great weekend. 

My Friday Favorites 07.22.16

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 – Judges Cuts are all done on America’s Got Talent and the live shows start next week. But this week I’m picking one of my favorite summer shows – Suits. Season 6 begins with Mike going to prison and Jessica, Louis and Harvey doing everything in their power to keep PSL in business.  Harvey came through like he always does – but this time it cost him something very personal.

On the Page – I just got Real Simple‘s August issue in the mail and I couldn’t wait to read it cover to cover! “How to use paint to transform just about anything” is RIGHT up my alley (look at my past outdoor makeovers using mainly spray paint to transform old furniture here and here.)


On the Web – Lately I’ve been enjoying reading Crazy Organized tips for how to keep everything neat, organized and together. I love her Paper Organization Series and her Fast Fix Friday posts.


For My Classroom – I went into Walmart for beach chairs for my vacation – and came out with 30 notebooks from the back-to-school aisle. Even though I was cursing that the school supply aisles were already in full force – I could not help but scoop up these adorable math notebooks for my daily “Solve-It” problems. Next I need to make cute name labels for everyone!


On Instagram – Loving the That Color Coding System Though post on ‘s IG account.  Click through to the great blog post on her color-coding systems.  Of course I heart all of this!


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

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.

Patio Makeover

After showing pictures of my mother-in-law’s successful porch design to my friend, she asked for my help getting her patio set up. Her needs: place to grill and to eat, a spot to relax, an area for the kids to play and a fun, bright design that would make her forget she rented her shore house out for the summer! She also asked for different storage areas for the excess stuff that accumulates each day. Here are some before pictures:

before ab patio

before couch

before table

She is not in love with these pillow cushions – but did not want to spend money on new ones so she wanted to work around these colors.

blue cushion

orange cushion

Off to Home Depot and Michael’s we went! We debated paint colors and bought a few fun decorative pieces, then we returned to her home and got to work! (I also momentarily lost my phone in the paint aisle which caused some minor panic attacks but it was all good in the end…)

Are you ready for the big reveal???  Drumroll…..

after ab 2

after ab 1

after couch

after chairs

after 3

Plastic storage tubs corral toys together, but can also be used to stash drinks and ice when having guests over.


table centerpiece

Buying ribbon and tying it around mason jars you have lying around the house is an easy and inexpensive way to make colors cohesive in your design

bins for kids

A storage box for each kid

grill prep table

Grill prep table – we took this from her house and gave it a fresh coat of paint

A few days later she sent me another after shot … she had continued painting (see the blue storage bins near the sliding glass door) and moved the furniture around some. I told her if she is anything like me, she would rearrange the furniture 15 more times throughout the summer!

after _ after a day

Price tag:
Home Depot: $70 (with paint left over)
Michael’s: $60
Total: $130

I hope that Annmarie and her family enjoy this patio all summer long!

Are you interested in a patio or porch design? Contact me through direct message on Instagram at @colorcodelife.


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 04.08.16

I’m two days late with my favorites this week! Between catching up on all my TVs shows on the DVR and watching / celebrating Villanova basketball win the National Championship – I didn’t have time to write this post! But, I still loved some things this week – so here we go…

On TV –  Funnyman Cyrus is back with some one-liners that made him the loveable/hatable character we all obsessed over in Season 1. But other people made some big mistakes on Scandal this week…Abby, Vice-President Nichols and Olivia, who may have thrown away her white hat forever. 

On the Page – HGTV Magazine‘s May issue is full of all my favorite things – tips, tricks and COLOR! Check out the Pop of Color article that shows how to decorate using twelve different vibrant colors like hot pink, yellow, and lime. The article isn’t online yet, but here are other ideas from HGTV about using pops of color.

shop for a pop of color

On the Web – Kids Birthday Party Planning on a Budget from Sunshine and HurricanesThis is the time of year when I start thinking about my daughter’s June birthday. I’ve done the over-the-top party stuff and have kept it simple by asking a few kids to the movies. Here are some good tips on how to not break the bank – which at the end of the birth-day – is totally unnecessary!

On InstagramLoving these pink lockers and vintage map from cameo_gypsy. I’m thinking I need some lockers in my new laundry room!

cameo gypsy


On the Scoreboard –  My alma mater, the Villanova Wildcats, won the NCAA National Championship by defeating North Carolina with a buzzer beating three pointer! Congratulations to Kris Jenkins for hitting the winning shot, the rest of the team, and Coach Wright for an amazing season. V for Villanova, V for Victory.

Here is me with two of my college roomies – partying like it’s 1993!

mo and di _nova champions

winning at the buzzer!

mo and ab_villanova parade

Championship Parade in Philadelphia

Hope you are having a fabulous weekend. What are you loving this week? Leave me a comment and let me know what you are reading, watching, and pinning! 

Color-Code for April Showers

Today’s let’s chat about how color-coding doesn’t have to always be about filing and cleaning and organizing… it can also be to brighten your day! Tomorrow is April which means the rainy weather is going to start up. But as the old saying goes, if we get through it – it brings May flowers and spring time.

Here’s how color-coding can brighten up your rainy days:

Buy a fun and colorful umbrella to match your already sunny, bright rain coat!

rain coat 2rain coat 3 umbrella

To complete the look, you must get a pair of hot pink wellies!

rain coat wellies 2

rain coat wellies

What happens when you find ANOTHER umbrella that matches your raincoat?

My CCL_blue and yellow rain gear

My CCL_blue umbrella

You get it, of course, because it also matches your bag!

My CCL umbrella and bag

Let the kids pick out bright color-coded rain gear, too!

My CCL kids rain gear

My CCL olivia umbrella

olivia rain 2

olivia rain

What cheerful colors do you like to wear in rainy weather? Do you have a favorite coat, umbrella, or pair of wellies? Start there and create your ensemble. It will make leaving the house in the rain more fun! Leave me a comment and tell me all about your color-coded outfits.

Have a great day…this weekend is almost here!