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.

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.

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 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.

My Friday Favorites 05.22.15


On TV –  This is an obvious one this week as we said good bye to some of the best characters TV has ever seen. Mad Men’s last episode truly was the end of an era. Highlights included the the three “person to person” phone calls Don made to the most significant women in his life Sally, Betty, and Peggy (note: not Megan.) Next, Pete’s goodbye scene to Peggy with just enough awkward banter mixed with silent pauses, a cactus exchange, and no mention of the baby (rightly so.) Roger writing his son with Joan into his will and telling her he is marrying someone he met “through Megan Draper.”  The snapshot of Sally washing dishes while Betty smoked a cigarette at the table was a full circle moment for the entire series and made me want a Sally Draper spin-off even more than ever.  Of course, the image that will certainly become iconic in television history is the sly, almost devilish smile that crossed Don’s face as he meditated on the hillside and envisioned one of the most popular ad campaigns ever to exist.

Jon Hamm as Don Draper - Mad Men _ Season 7, Episode 14 - Photo Credit: Courtesy of AMCFor the Home – I’ve been looking for ways to update my entryway and hall closet to make the space more functional. Real Simple’s 5 Ways to Fake a Mudroom has some great ideas. 


For Dessert – The weather is getting warmer and I always want to get ice cream! Check out these tips from Weight Watchers so you are making smart decisions when choosing your delicious cold treats. Sorbet is the way to go with Points Value Plus of 2 vs Custard (my favorite) which is 6 Points Value Plus.

wwmag_frozen treats

On the Sales Rack – These colorful aqua, yellow and green crates are on sale this weekend at The Land of the Nod. They match My Color-Coded Classroom perfectly and I can’t wait to use them to help my end of the year organization process.


For the Classroom – Speaking of end of the year organization in your classroom – check out Ten Things to Think About as You Pack Up Your Classroom from Scholastic.

On the Bookshelf –  Just in time to make your summer reading list: Oyster Books’s list of The 100 Best Books of the Decade So Far 

Oyster Books_100 best books so far

On Instagram – Country Living just took your summer camp fire up a notch!


Happy Friday everyone, have a great long weekend!  Leave me a comment and let me know what your Friday Favorites are this week. (I bet if you comment on this post you have a REALLY good chance of winning the comment contest!)  Thanks for reading!

My Friday Favorites 03.27.15

 FF pink green brown
Tick, tock, just a few more hours until the weekend, and for me Spring Break!
Let’s jump right in and talk about all the things I am loving this week.

On TV – #DidHeCheat Shonda Rhimes has gone back to the basics with Grey’s Anatomy for the past few weeks. I know what some of you are saying – you still watch that show?  Yes I do! And if you loved it when it first started, you would like the direction it is going in now. Interesting cases about patients we care about. Lots of action in the on-call rooms (Owen and Amelia!?  Even though I am not happy that Amelia and James from Private Practice didn’t last, I am happy that Owen can finally kiss someone without hot grate steam all over him.) Hanging out in the back hallway on the gurneys talking about Izzy, George, and when Callie was straight!  When Meredith called Derrick and another woman answered her phone, she kept asking “Who is this?” And the only answer she could come up with is the same answer Addison Montgomery came up with when she met Meredith in the Season 1 finale.


“You must be the woman sleeping with my husband.”

greysanatomy_meetaddisonThat brings us to last night’s episode. Did he or didn’t he? I guess it doesn’t matter what we think, just what Meredith thinks. It also didn’t take Hunt long to show his short temper to Amelia (helloooo this isn’t Cristina, take it down a notch. And did anyone else forget he lives in the trailer?)  My final thought: Alex Karev is still my favorite!

On the Page –  Real Simple Magazine is celebrating 15 years.  The subscriber cover for April 2015 is a celebration of years of Real Simple. So many of these covers I remember keeping for months just because I loved the way they looked!  The single lemon on the Back to Basic Cleaning issue, The No Cost Makeover with the apple green wall, Organize Your Life with the turquoise and orange boxes, How to Save Money all Year Long with the granny smith apples  – all of these lasted on my desk for inspiration for months after they came in the mail.  I have subscribed to this magazine for many years and it is always one that I renew, without even a question.  


On the Computer- This article has shown up on my Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn feeds recently.  The Costs of Parenting: Stay Home or Return to Work? A Personal and Professional Decision With Financial Implications. This is a conversation I have had with many friends lately. Is there a way to balance work and home so I am happy with what I am doing in both places?  Am I making enough money to even justify having a job outside of the home, or is my paycheck going to childcare?This article gives the hard facts (dollar signs) of what it costs to raise a child and how it will effect your paycheck.  I also love that they chose a man for the picture. Warning: Contents of the article may be slightly depressing. Click carefully. 

Costs of Parenting

In the Kitchen- I have been eating a lot of roasted butternut squash lately (I know it is a fall veggie, but I buy it organic frozen to enjoy all year.) I searched the web to find some recipes with my new favorite go-to ingredient. I found Fusilli with Mushrooms and Roasted Butternut Squash from Primavera Kitchen. Looks great doesn’t it?  Not only does it have butternut squash AND pasta (yum) but it has my other must-haves when reading a recipe -the words EASY and DELICIOUS!


On my Pinterest Boards-  I started following this board on Pinterest this week – Post-Its.  The pin I like most on this board led me to this blog Five Ways We Love to Use Post-It Notes from Eighteen25.

post-it notes from eighteen25

On My Wish List-  How great would these lime green office accessories by Poppin look on my desk? Their tagline is work happy.  I would if I had all these supplies!

lime green desk supplies by poppin

On my Twitter Feed- @theorderexpert Brighten up your office with this collection of decorative file folders!

Decorative Folders from the order expert

What are some of the things you are loving this week? Leave me a comment and let me know what made your Friday Favorites list. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.

Summertime Binder for Barbeque Recipes

This whole idea started when I was flipping through All You magazine and saw this article entitled How to be a Great Griller.  I decided to pull it out for my sister who we visit for 4th of July.  She has always been the griller in our family.  As each summer issue hit my mailbox, there were more and more recipes for the grill.  I decided to put together a whole binder for my sister (even though she usually makes fun of my crafty ways. Obviously this is not the sister who makes the handmade bags.)  I collected up any article I found on backyard barbeques, summertime cocktails, and inventive ways to make burger and dogs.  Here are some pages:

How to be a Great Griller

Burgers and Hot Dogs

drinks to pair with burgers

grilling tips and dessertsas you can see – I also got a pedicure for this trip!

grilling donuts

Summer Sides

Summer Cocktails

For the cover of the binder, I affixed backyard BBQ type stickers to a piece of yellow gingham craft paper and used glue dots to keep it in place under the plastic cover.

summer grill binder

All of the articles are from Real Simple, Martha Stewart Living, All You, Better Homes and Gardens, and Cooking Light.

Do you have any favorite barbeque recipes? Leave me a comment and let me know.  Thanks to my sister and her family for another great 4th of July weekend!

Organizing Ideas from Magazines and More!

I had a stack of magazines just piling up in my apartment.  I finally went through them all this weekend!  It was nice to relax on the couch with my coffee while Olivia was napping and flip through all my favorites – Real Simple, Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes and Gardens, All You. I had about three issues of each to read.  For years I would keep magazines just piled up sky high because there was something I really liked in each one.  An inspiration.  An idea.  A really great article.  Now I have a system in place that helps me organize all the things I love in magazines, without becoming surrounded by piles as tall as our ceiling.

Here are my stacks of magazines, plus the folders that will eventually hold all the clippings.

organizing inspirations you find in magazines

organize the ideas and inspirations you get from magazines

Categories I use when cutting things out of magazines are: Recipes, Gift Ideas, Party Inspirations, Craft Projects (I have two of these – they get filled up pretty quickly!), and whatever Holiday is being covered in the magazines – so for these issues it was Valentine’s Day.

organize your ideas in folders

I also have a Cards to Frame folder.  When someone gives me a greeting card that I love – I frame it!  Here are the two that are in the folder to be framed.  Both are for Olivia! (Thanks Lauren and Genvieve!)

greeting cards to be framed

In both Living by Martha Stewart and Real Simple, each issue has recipe cards.  I always pull them out and put them in my recipe folder.  Later I may weed through them and discard one that I may never make.  Sometime I laminate them and give them as a gift with one of the ingredients.  It’s a great holiday or hostess gift.  Recipes I want to try stay in the folder until I figure out where they will be permanently cataloged.  In a cookbook, a specific holiday binder, etc.

Recipes from Magazines

Party Inspirations may migrate to a specific party folder one day.  Craft Projects include clipping about projects I want to try one day and also materials for upcoming projects.

I keep the folders in a clear plastic desk organizer from The Container Store.

Desk Organization - where to file things you clip from magazines

Desk Organization

It felt good to go through all of the magazines that had been piling up!  I can now recycle them.  I always drop them off to my hair stylist.  Do you read paper magazines still? Or have you moved to all digital and pin to Pinterest?  I do that, too. I get some subscriptions to my I-Pad now, but I still love getting paper magazines in the mail. I can’t help it!  How do you organize ideas and inspirations you get from magazines?  I’d love to hear about your systems!

Thank you for stopping by and reading.  Have a great day!