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 Scholastic.com. 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.

A Happy Spooky Halloween Party

We had a great time at our annual Halloween Party this past weekend.  In addition to good friends, fun times, and delicious snacks it’s always great for the kids to do a test run of their costumes!

A spooky clip-art owl was my inspiration for the party.  Here are the materials I used to make the invitations and menu cards.

halloween party invitations

 

halloween menus cards

We had a lot of fun (and healthy!) snacks.

mummy apples

 

pumpkin fruit cupsI tried to draw the pumpkin faces on the fruit cups, but I did not have the right type of black marker (or these fruit cups had a plastic that you can’t draw on.)  I printed out jack-o-lanterns instead.  I also put random googly eyes around the table on the black table cloth.

spooky cheese sticks

 

 

boo bananas

The Boo Bananas were such a hit last year, I made them again!

jack o lantern veggies and dip

 

Halloween Party table spread

and some not-so-healthy snacks, too!

Witches broom

 

halloween dessert table

and something brewing in the crock pot cauldron for adults….

hot buttered apple cider rum

Hot Buttered Rum Apple Cider

someone's in the rum!

at some point a googly eye from the cups dropped in the cider!  Someone was watching you!

halloween gift bagsNo party is complete without gift bags!

lupita the fairy dog Lupita our doggie fairy.

group shot party 2014

The whole gang! Olivia didn’t last too long in her costume!

Click here to check out our Halloween Party 2013

We also had a great time trick-or-treating last night.  Months ago, Olivia decided she wanted to be Lucinda the good witch from Sophia the First.  Here was our attempt at recreating her costume.  Special thanks to my sister and niece who sewed the skirt!

Lucinda the Good Little Witch
 We hope everyone had a fabulous Halloween.  Now starts the first day of 365 days of me saying: “Halloween is over.”

 

Back to School Brunch

Yesterday, I hosted a small Back to School Brunch for Olivia and my girlfriend’s two kids.  Fall is almost here and I hope that I can get back into some of my usual routines – one being blogging!

Besides a fun time for my friend and the kids – the best part about this party was it was completely outfitted from the dollar store!  (Except for some items left over from The Cat in the Hat party!)  I also only served food that was already in my fridge.  Affordable and fun – my favorite things!

Back to School Brunch 2014

 

 

 

Back to School Brunch 3Red and white striped wrapping paper table cloth with black poster board “chalkboard” place mats.

Back to School Brunch 2Craft supplies!

Back to School Brunch 4Every Back to School Party should also celebrate summer – and what better way than with an ice cream bar?

Are your kids back to school tomorrow?  Already started?  How did you celebrate the end of summer?  Leave me a comment and let me know.  Up next – my Fall preview for TV!!  I’ll publish this week before all the good shows start again.  Have a great Sunday and thanks for reading.

Gift Wrapping for Superheroes

Olivia attended a superhero birthday party a few weeks ago.  I knew I wanted to wrap the presents we brought to go along with their theme. It was a brother and sister who were celebrating, so we needed two gifts.   Through a quick search on Pinterest, I found the Meaningful Mama and her awesome free superhero printable. (Her whole Superhero Party is incredible!!)

superhero printables

I still had some red and white striped wrapping paper left over from our Cat in the Hat Party – and luckily it can also look very superhero-y with the right accents! After printing and cutting the printable out, I started to play around with how I would decorate the presents.

superhero_wrapping

While shopping at A.C. Moore, I stumbled upon this yellow ribbon with stars – and it just screamed Justice League to me!

superhero gift wrap

Hmmm… what to do with the remaining printable superhero words?  They were just too cute not to use.  Self-serving part of the present … in addition to the wrapping paper, we had so much candy left over from the Cat in the Hat party – why not throw in a little bag of candy with each gift?  (More on these favor bags at the end of this post!)

superhero_candybags

In order to tie the whole gift together and make it easier for my little three year old to carry the gifts, I put the presents in gift bags, used the last two words on the printable, and tied on small inexpensive superhero dolls we found at Target.

superhero bagsMy little Superhero – ready for the party!

mylittlesuperhero

Ok – so a small note about the Spritz red and white striped candy bags (purchased at Target): they might have been the best purchase of the summer!  First, I used them at our Cat in the Hat Party, then for these Superhero gifts, and once again for 4th of July!  I have two left …watch out – I will think of some way to use them!

red and white bags



A Cat in the Hat Party

We celebrated Olivia’s Third Birthday in style with a Cat in the Hat themed party.

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I made the invitations, address labels, and return address labels on my computer.

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I found blue envelopes at Staples that matched perfectly!

Cat in the Hat Party Dining Room 1

Birthday Banner.

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I used a plastic red tablecloth and then red and white striped wrapping paper for the table.

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Menu Cards

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Favor Bags

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Jello served upside down with stripes painted on with whiteout.  (I couldn’t find white washi tape anywhere!)  This idea came from one of my favorite blogs –
les petits presents – Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

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Thing 1 and Thing 2 Strawberries and Whip Cream

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Up, Up with the Goldfish crackers!

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Tomato Mozzarella Skewers

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I took illustrations from the book for the menu cards.

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A fun drink – Blue Polar Blast Hawaiian Punch, Lemonade and Pineapple chunks.  I put a chilled bottle of white wine on the side if grownups wanted to make it a cocktail!

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Olivia’s fabulous babysitter made these AMAZING cookies!!

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and cupcakes!!!!

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Happy Birthday Olivia – our amazing 3 year old!

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Check out Olivia’s First Birthday Party: Lady Bugs for our Little Bug and
her second party An Under the Sea Party .

What are some of your favorite party themes?  Leave me a comment and let me know. As always, thanks for reading!

Happy New Year – and where the heck have I been?

Where have I been?  I don’t even have a good answer! I wish I had some fabulous story like I was whisked aways for a two month journey through Europe … but I must be honest, it has been nothing like that!  Work has been busy, family life has been busy and I have been doing a lot of great projects that I SHOULD be blogging about!

Ok – here is a end of the year wrap up for My Color Coded Life!

How we spent the Holidays –Since we last chatted at Halloween, we spent a great Thanksgiving week in Atlanta.  We traveled down by train and Olivia loved it!

Olivia and Mommy on the train to Atlanta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Matching navy blue sweat suits!

 

In addition to fabulous cooking (new recipes to be shared in another post) we also visited Lego Land in Atlanta.

Olivia at Lego Land in Atlanta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My sisters and I have also been working on a compilation of all of our Thanksgiving / Fall recipes into a big family cookbook/scrapbook.  More details on this will come in another post too!

Mullin Family Cookbook Scrapbook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas was wonderful – great times with family and friends around the dinner table and Christmas trees.

Olivia's Owl tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Olivia’s Owl Tree


Olivia's Owl tree 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living Room tree

Living Room Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Color TV

 

 

 

 

 

Shows I am still watching on current TV – 
Scandal, Nashville, The Carrie Diaries, Awkward, Grey’s Anatomy, Law & Order SVU,  White Collar, Suits, Parenthood, Mad Men

Noteworthy moments – Jackson Avery on Grey’s – stop – she doesn’t deserve you! Will Lexington on Nashville – it gets better!  Olivia and Fitz on Scandal – The Vermont Years?  (I’m #TeamJake – I know that’s not popular.)

Shows I stopped DVRing and or caring about Revenge – all fall I tried to care, but I cancelled the recording on my DVR – I didn’t care who shot Emily. Once Upon a Time – I think I need to wait until this series is over and binge watch it during a summer.  I taped the whole first half of the season of Betrayal – but haven’t watched a single episode … tell me – is it worth it?

Shows I am ten years behind on and watching on Netflix – 
I just finished Southland –  love that Ryan Atwood, Lucas Scott and Ponyboy Curtis were all on one show together!
Chicago Fire is next up in my Netflix queue.  And I better get on it because Chicago PD is starting – a spinoff of both Chicago Fire and SVU.

front of house

My House Makeover –  I am ready to write posts revealing Olivia’s bedroom and our Living Room. I am waiting to take Christmas decorations down to showcase the work we did on each room.  Next up this spring and summer – turning our garage into storage and our laundry facilities and converting the basement into a Family Room.  Follow my inspirations on these projects on Pinterest : Basement Makeover and Garage / Laundry Room 

 

 

 

cards to frame

Craft Projects on the HorizonFinally getting around to framing all the different OWL cards Olivia has received.  I owe my friend Courtney a 500th Comment Contest Prize from MONTHS ago, planning a Valentine’s Tea Party for Olivia and some of her friends, and making my hubby’s Valentine’s Day present -which was suppose to be his 5th wedding anniversary present, then his Christmas present!! (I also have started a secret Pinterest board for Olivia’s third birthday already! Details and the theme reveal to come!!)

 

From My Color Coded Life’s family to yours – wishing you an excellent 2014!

Our Xm,as Card 2013 - Tiny Prints

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

card by Tiny Prints

Halloween Party!

We had a great time hosting a Halloween party for Olivia and her friends this weekend.  You know I love a good party – and I love Halloween!  It has always been one of my favorite holidays.  I hope by having fun get togethers for Halloween that Olivia will grow to love this holiday too.  She is intrigued by the thought of Halloween this year.  She is starting to get the idea, but not really sure what to make of it.  She loves asking people what are they going to be for Halloween.

Ok – let’s get to the party!

Halloween Invitations

 

Invitation Envelopes

 

Halloween return address labels I made the invitations.  I found the picture of the witch in the cauldron online and I just loved it.  The font is called CRACKED and it is perfect for Halloween.  I decorated the envelopes with stickers from A.C. Moore.  And believe it or not- they stayed on even being delivered through the mail!  (Yes – I asked people when they RSVPed!)

Halloween Menu Cards

 

Halloween Menu Cards I used the same image and font for the menu cards – which I printed on labels then affixed them to some YUM Halloween cardstock.  I attached plastic spiders with glue dots for a little something extra spooky!

Healthy Halloween Snacks: Banana Ghosts

 

Healthy Halloween Snacks: Tangerine Pumpkins

 

Healthy Halloween Snacks: Skeleton Veggies & Dip Healthy Halloween Snack Ideas I got right from Pinterest… I wanted healthy options for the kids at the party – and I found all of these creative ideas right on Pinterest.  All were incredibly easy to make – and were show stoppers at the party!  I joked with my guests that I feel that I was more creative before Pinterest!  I used to think about how to make parties creative – now I cheat and just search it or google it.  It’s like Cliff Notes! (showing my age with that reference!)

Halloween Kids Bar

 

Halloween Hot Butter Cider Bar

 

Halloween Witches' Cauldron Of BrewWe had three “bars” at the party.  A kids’ bar complete with fun plastic cups with googly eyes, orange and black striped straws and soda with Halloween bottle liners.  Martha Stewart has printables for these bottle liners that you can DIY and craft and make really cute – or you can do what I did and buy these from Party City and just peel the stickers and slap them on the bottles!   The two adult bars were a witches’ cauldron full of “brew” and a Hot Butter Cider station.

Here is my delicious recipe for Hot Buttered Cider:

I gallon apple cider, 1/3 cup brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, allspice, cloves, 1 ½ cups rum, butter, apple slice

Heat cider, rum, brown sugar and spices in a pan on the stove.  Keep warm throughout the party. Pour in a cup, add a pat of butter and a cinnamon stick.

Pumpkin Dip Pumpkin Dip served in a ceramic pumpkin bowl and a side ceramic candy corn dish.  Here is my Pumpkin Dip recipe – a yummy dessert like dip:


1 (16 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
cinnamon and nutmeg

In a large bowl, mix together instant vanilla pudding mix, pumpkin and spices. Fold in the thawed frozen whipped topping. Chill in the refrigerator. Serve with Vanilla wafers and Ginger Snap cookies. 

Halloween Centerpiece - Green Sparkle Pumpkin from Target

Green Sparkle Pumpkin Centerpiece from Target.  Olivia picked it out!  I also used pumpkin erasers to help decorate the table.

I took all of these pics before guests arrived and then was so caught up in having fun at the party – I didn’t take any pictures of all the cute kids in costume!  But we had a range of adorable outfits: Ladybug, Mouse, Pop Star, Princess Fairy, Iron Man, Rapunzel, and Minnie Mouse.   They did a fun holiday craft of painting trick-or- treat goody bags and making paper bag pumpkins and witch faces.

Halloween Treat Bag Craft

Halloween Pumpkin Craft

Halloween Party Favor BagsNo party is complete without party favor bags, with matching labels and stickers.  Gift bags included candy, Halloween stickers and bookmarks, pencils, game booklets, plastic spiders, and topped off with more candy!

Thank you to everyone who came out to Olivia’s Halloween party!  We had a great time and hope you did too!

Happy Halloween everyone!

My Friday Favorites 08.30.13

My Friday Favorites apples

 Happy Friday everyone and happy last weekend of summer.  I hope whatever plans you have for this long weekend will be relaxing and peaceful before the air starts to cool, the coffee turns pumpkin flavored, and the kids get on the school buses!

Here are all the things I am loving this week!

On TV –

  • Suits – well we knew it was going to hit the fan…we just didn’t know when.  I guess when turned out to be this week.  Yes Steven deserved it – but was it a cheap shot on Harvey’s part?  Weigh in your thoughts!

Louis and the Cat

Sidebar – has Louis gone off the deep end??

On the Computer 

getting ready for back to school from les petits presents

On the sales rack –

  • Dinnerware sets  – a collection of dinnerware sets from different stores and varied prices, from fun colorful patterns to solid colors – all on sale. 

Dinnerware Set from Caleca

 In the kitchen –

  •  Goat Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes – try these out at your Labor Day party for an original snack.  They’ll look great on your table and are easy to make. 

Goat Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes

On my Twitter Feed – 

Apple Cupcakes

Delicious Apple Cupcakes Recipe from the book Sweet Designs: Bake It, Craft It, Style It

For the kids –

Real Simple Back to School Organizing

What are some of your favorite things this week?  How are you organizing for fall? Leave me a comment and let me know.  I had a great summer and I hope you did too. As always, thanks for reading. Have a great Labor Day weekend everyone!

A Beautiful Bridal Shower

I think I have attended my last Bridal Shower!  (Except for my nieces and next generation bridal showers) So what does that mean?  Bring on the baby showers I guess!!  But if it was my last one of my generation – it was a very elegant one to end with.  My friend, Angela, who I made the Bridal Survival Kit for (read about it here:  A Bridal Survival Kit) had a beautiful bridal shower.  Her Maid of Honor and Bridesmaid did a wonderful job creating a fabulous event for her.

Here are some of the things I thought made the day extra special:

Vintage Family Wedding Photos

Vintage Family Wedding Photos

Wine for All Occasions Gift

Wine for All Occasions Gift

For example - your first fight..

For example – your first fight.. ha ha!

Beautiful Dessert Table

Beautiful Dessert Table

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Delicious Red Velvet Cupcakes – individually wrapped with lace – gorgeous!

Personalized Wine bottles

Personalized Wine bottles – with a picture of Angela and her soon-to-be-hubby!  (My friend Leigh won a bottle with her awesome shower games skills.)

Bridal Shower Dessert and Wine

Wine and Dessert. Yummy, right?

and a beautiful bride to be

and a beautiful Bride-to-Be!

Congrats Angela (and her amazing bridal party for a top-notch event), can’t wait for the wedding!

My Friday Favorites 08.09.13

My Friday Favorites

 Happy Friday everyone! I took today off from work so my weekend started last night – BUT some of you only have a few hours left! My faithful readers know I love the weekends, a chance to step away from the grind, spend time with family (or get some precious “me” time.)  I also love recapping all the things I loved about the week in my weekly blog – My Friday Favorites.  So let’s jump right in!

Here is what I am loving this week!

On TV –

  • Suits  is still the only show I am currently watching live!  This week was another good episode…WHAT is Donna getting herself into?  And is Harvey going to pull the old “even if I don’t want you, no one else can have you” routine??

Donna going on her date - Suits

Now is the time of year when you can start reading up on all your favorites shows that are currently filming to start back in the Fall.  Things that I have taken notice to:  Parenthood is moving from Tuesdays to Thursdays – this is a BOO for me .. because now it is up against Greys and Scandal … I’ll have to set the DVR.  The Carrie Diaries is moving from Mondays to Fridays – this is a YAY for me as I never, ever have plans on a Friday night so I will most definitely be able to watch this one.

On the Page – 

Before Closet shot from Real Simple

After Closet shot from Real Simple

On the Computer 

  • How to Make a Paper Chain Garland from Hank & Hunt  –  such a simple decoration to make and it looks great at any event!  I love these chains as it brings back memories of my childhood when my older sisters would make me advent calendars in December as Paper Chains. Each day I would remove one link which had a secret message inside.   Hank & Hunt is doing a 30 Days of Garland segment – so if you like making banners and garland – check them out for some new creative ideas! 

Hank & Hunt

On my Pinterest Board – again I will reference my weekly “Pins You Would Love” email. It tells me great boards to follow and pins that they think I will favorite and repin. (Even though this weekly email proves that Big Brother is watching us on the internet – I still love when it is exactly right!) Here are some boards they told me to follow (and I did.)

Buhos, owls, y corujas

Owl bag

kid’s party 

Fruit Candy Crab Cupcakes

picture originally from Cupcakes Garden 

these would have been great at Olivia’s Under the Sea party!

For the kids –

ArtSplash at the Phila Art Museum

On the sales rack –

  • Mason Jar Candles from Bath and Body Works – I know I picked these one week as a great gift idea – well – now they are on sale! Go online and buy two for only $15 and put them away until Christmas. Look, you already have two gifts bought for the holidays- don’t you feel really ahead of the game??

Heirloom Pear Mason Jar Candle

On the wish list  –

  • Index Bookends from The Container Store   aren’t these colorful desk bookends great?  Lots of room to organize all the magazines and files you are saving – plus cute tabs that you can write on with a dry-erase marker.  This way when your needs change – so can your organizational system.  LOVE!

Index Bookends from The Container Store   Index Bookends from The Container Store

So that is a list of my favorites for this week.  What are some of your favorites?  Leave me a comment and let me know what you are watching, reading, and re-pinning.  Any great sales you have found or a blog you love?  I need inspiration for some new things to favorite!

As always, thanks for reading. Have a fabulous weekend.