Car Organization

I try my hardest NOT to live out of my car, but inevitably my days and weeks get so packed with responsibilities and activities, I do find myself needing to “pack the car” on just a regular Wednesday! I decided to be proactive in what I needed to keep in the car on a consistent basis. Time to do one of my favorite things – make a list! I started jotting down all the things that would be helpful to have but NOT necessarily for me to drag around in my purse. Once I had all my ideas jotted down – I got to do another favorite thing of mine – organize bins! Off to Target I went! I found these three basic black bins in varying sizes and I knew they would work perfectly.

Largest bin lives in the trunk.
-a few purses varying in size and color – now when I have to go out directly after work I have options that do not include carrying my large laptop bag around (See my Practical Packing tips and read what I carry in my purse here.)
-flip-flops – stopping for a pedicure? nothing worse than forgetting your flip-flops!
-reusable bags – stopping for a big grocery list or one thing you need for tonight’s dinner? bags are ready to go.


Medium size bin also lives in the trunk.
-wipes and other cleaning supplies for the car
-a lint brush
-back-up supplies for the smaller front seat bin


Small size bin lives on the floor in the front seat.
-tissues, lip gloss, deodorant, feminine supplies (personal supplies that I don’t need to carry around in my purse, but I know I have extra of if I need it.)
-snacks! Don’t stop at a drive-thru for the small fries because you are starving – take a handful of almonds instead!


I also have a cardboard box (not a nice, fancy bin) in the trunk that has all emergency car supplies in case I have car trouble. During the school year, one reusable bag becomes a “school store.” When items are on sale, I buy them for my classroom (tissues, clorox wipes, dry erase markers, notebooks.) I keep them in my trunk until I need to bring them into my classroom. 

The back seat pockets are ruled by my daughter. She has both stuffed with books. She loves to read when we are in the car and every few months or so she will tell me its time to switch out some new books for the car.  (Shout out to my brother at Gemiknight Press for the Larry Gets Lost series.) 

How do you keep things organized in your car? Do you keep things in your trunk? Do you have a car organizational system that works for you? Leave a comment and let me know. Thanks for reading and happy hump-day!

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.

Put it on a Post-It!

MyCCL_Put it on a Post-it One way I keep everything organized is by using colorful Post-Its. In every aspect of your life, color-coded post-its can help you keep track of anything!

There are many different ways to use these bright note keepers, but like any good organizational system, it has to work for the person that is trying to stay organized.

Here are some ways I use post-its. Maybe there is a system here that will work for you, or can be adapted to suit your needs.

Nothing makes me happier then when I buy a bunch of new post-its. (Except maybe when I buy new post-its AND new sharpies.)  Isn’t this beautiful?

postits_MCCL1. On your wall calendar, post-its can be used for events without a confirmed date. Move the post-it around until you are ready to commit and write it on the calendar. Also you can leave leaves suggestions for your hubby for your next date night!


2. Small post-its work great on the back of gift cards to keep track of your remaining balance.

gift cards_postits_MCCL

3. Do you have a journal or another notebook for something like your blog? I use post-its in my blog journal when I sketch out what posts I am going to publish each day of the week.


4. I never sit down to read my magazines with out my color-coded post-its! I mark any pages that have pictures or articles that catch my eye. I put a second post-it on the cover letting me know what I’ve tagged – is it a paint color I liked? A recipe I should try? Or maybe something for My Friday Favorites?


5. Post-its can make cute lunch box notes for the kiddos. I like to combine them with Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Schoolbook Cookies to create a game or puzzle to solve before you eat your treat. My daughter is in preschool and sometimes I link the phrases to the themes they are working on at school. Once you spell the answers out, put the post-it clue and cookies into a ziplock bag. Prep a few on the weekends to throw in the lunchboxes.



6. The insides of our kitchen cabinets and linen closet doors are always covered with lists! When we finish an item, we put it on the shopping list. Sometimes they are color-coded by store, sometimes they are just on different bright colors to make me happy.

lists_postits_MCCL7. If I am driving home and the gas light comes on when I am very close to my house, the first thing I do when I walk in the door is put a post-it on the mirror reminding me I need to get gas the next time I leave. This mirror is on the bottom of our stairs near the front door.  I see it on the way to get my coffee in the morning and it reminds me to leave a few minutes early for work.


These are just some ways to use color-coded post-its – I am sure there are millions more!  I didn’t even go into how I use post-its in My Color-Coded Classroom! Do you use post-its for anything?  What are some of your tricks and techniques when using them? Leave a comment and tell me how post-its fit into your life!

For more ideas check out my Pinterest Board: Put it on a Post-it

Romy: And I thought of them completely by myself. I mean, all Michele did was say: “What about making them yellow?”


Image from Fashionista

My Friday Favorites 02.12.16

Friday Favorites gingham
Here are all the things I am loving this week!

On TV – TGIT is finally back! The winter break finale of Scandal seemed to land us right back to the beginning of the whole story. Many think this show is not as good as when it started. The story line has been up and down, but lately I think the show is at the top of its game. Ever since Shonda Rhimes publicly admitted she knows exactly how and when Scandal will end, I watch every episode through that lens. How is this episode a move on the chessboard to get Olivia and company to the end of their story? The shot from the finale in November with Olivia in the oval standing on the seal, I believe, was the most obvious hint so far. Olivia in the oval – and not as some sidekick First Lady. This week’s episode furthered this theory for me and added a twist. Will it be a Grant / Pope ticket? And I am not talking about Fitz here. And if it is – whose name is first? Did anyone else catch Jake say to the President TWICE while visiting him on The White House balcony – he needs to get a view like that?  Oh poor, one-dimensional Fitz telling him there was only one way to get that view. (I bet Bill Clinton never thought that…)  I think Jake knows better and wouldn’t mind being called the First Man, especially now with his other full time gig of head of the NSA.

Featured-image-Ride-Sally-RideOn the Page –  I have been very dedicated to meal prepping for the week on Sundays for a little over a year now. The benefits include eating healthier and saving time during the week. It feels great to have big check on your to-do list before your Monday morning alarm even goes off.  Real Simple’s January 2016 has a great article, Sunday Prep School, complete with tips and step by step directions minimize your time in the kitchen to maximize your time at the table with your family. The article isn’t online yet, but here is one with some more suggestions: 10 Ways to Speed Up Dinner Prep Times

real simple_sunday meal prep 1

On the Web –This one was laugh out loud funny. This is a perfect guide for Valentine’s Day gift giving for couples who might not have romance on the agenda for the weekend. 10 Realistic Dos and Don’ts For Couples with Young Kids  You can read more hilarious posts like this one on the author, Brooke Arellano’s blog Crazy Mama Drama 


On InstagramI love searching the hashtag #colorcoded because I find the best pictures and people! This week I came across- Done & Done Home Decor with this fabulously color-coded, organized, red craft supplies photo – if this didn’t get picked as one of my Friday Favs then seriously, what would? Also their motto is – We organize your life. Sign.Me.Up.

done and done home

Have a great weekend and Valentine’s Day. May you not have to clean up anything in your bed after your kids serve you breakfast with love. 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.

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.

My Friday Favorites 05.29.15

FF apples grn

On TV –  We are currently in the “in-between weeks” for TV.  I finally watched the season finales of Law and Order SVU, Chicago Fire and Chicago PD.  Detective Erin Lindsay – what, what, what are you doing?? I wish Sassy Gay Friend was her friend.  There were so many things she did in this episode that I thought was completely out of character.  I’m glad Sophia Bush struggled with it too. For her take, read her interview with The Hollywood Reporter.


On the Page – HGTV Magazine’s June issue – I was excited to see that my lime green and turquoise paper lanterns I hang on my patio made the cover of this issue!  The whole magazine is screaming summer from the color palettes, the patio and outdoor decor, the flea market flips, and the featured tiny beach houses.  


For the Home – 8 Cleaning Mistakes You’re Probably Making from Real Simple.  I’m doing 4 out of these 8 things! Time to switch up some of my cleaning routines.

cleaning counter

In the Kitchen-  10 Fruits and Vegetables You are Storing Wrong from The Washington PostApparently this is the week to expose all my mistakes!  I’m storing 5 out of 10 wrong! I was so glad to see this article this week because I am trying to get my fresh produce to last as long as possible.


On the To-Do List – In Philadelphia this weekend, The Oval is opening. On their event calendar from May 30 – June 6 is the Future Sensations touring exhibit by Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building materials company. This touring exhibition is stopping only in Shanghai, China; São Paulo, Brazil; Paris, France; and Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Future _ Sensations_Saint-Gobain

On the Bookshelf – 26 of the Hottest New Books You’ll Want to Read This Summer from PopSugarLots of favorite authors are coming out with new novels this summer, just in time to throw them in your beach bag, including Candace Bushnell, Jennifer Weiner, Jackie Collins, and Judy Blume.

26 of the Hottest New Books You'll Want to Read This Summer

Have a great weekend.  Leave me a comment and let me know what you are loving this week.  What are you watching, reading, and doing?  Thanks for reading.