COLOR YOUR LIFE – Guest Blogger Cheryl Sternman Rule

Congrats to Carol Smith, winner of Friday’s COLOR YOUR LIFE kit! Carol, you will receive an email from us shortly. Thank you everyone for your comments, we are sending $100 to Teal Toes!

Welcome to COLOR YOUR LIFE – Guest Blogger week! We have invited 5 vibrant contributors to the YOLO Colorhouse blog to write about how color inspires the creative work they do and beautifies the world we live in. Today’s guest blogger: Cheryl Sternman Rule from 5 Second Rule.

Comment on Cheryl’s blog for your chance to win a COLOR YOUR LIFE Kit – 1 gal of YOLO Colorhouse paint, set of YOLO Colorhouse fan decks, and a 100% organic cotton canvas YOLO tote. Your comment also counts as a $1 donation to Cheryl’s non-profit of choice, Teal Toes – an organization that promotes awareness of ovarian cancer.

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Photo Credit - Paulette Phlipot

Cheryl is the voice behind the popular food blog 5 Second Rule. Her first cookbook, RIPE: A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables, a collaboration with food photographer Paulette Phlipot, launches March 27, 2012 but is available for preorder online NOW!

I’m a writer, clean and simple. That’s what I’ve been for years, and it’s the identity that’s easiest for me to wear. It’s the sweatshirt I toss on in the morning, the soft pajamas I wear at night. No frills, no bows, nothing to catch, snag, or distract. Just a writer. Easy.

But a few years ago, I found myself drawn more and more to color. I painted my kitchen orange, and my bedroom bright yellow. Each morning when I open my eyes, I see the sun before I twist open the shades.

Eventually, I started playing with color in my cooking, too, making a point to think about food not only in terms of flavor, texture, temperature, and ease of prep (I’m an unfussy cook), but in terms of visual punch. I also began collaborating with food photographer Paulette Phlipot on a color-drenched cookbook. The result, Ripe: A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables (Running Press) launches everywhere on March 27. If you click that link, you’ll learn all about the role color plays in the book.

Photo Credit - Paulette Phlipot


Color influences my blog 5 Second Rule, too. 5 Second Rule is an aesthetically subdued place. I avoid cutesy design and ornate fonts and let the text and images speak for themselves. And while my use of color is restrained, it definitely adds dimension. I recently paired diced potatoes with bright green avocado and yellow egg, and this simple, completely straightforward dish has been circulated more widely online than any of my other photos. I’m convinced it’s because of those bursts of yellow and green.

Photo Credit - Cheryl Sternman Rule


Color can draw attention to an ingredient, a dish, or even a cause. Teal Toes, a non-profit that promotes awareness of ovarian cancer, is a perfect example of how color works for good. Teal Toes encourages the use of teal nail polish to spotlight this devastating disease, a disease that took my mother and has affected my life, though I myself have not suffered from it. Click over to learn more.


Thank you, YOLO Colorhouse, for featuring my work, and for donating $1 per comment below to Teal Toes. Long live color, in our homes, in our cooking, and in our lives at large. Let me know how color inspires your daily life in the comments below — each comment counts as a $1 donation Teal Toes (up to $100), and enters you to win a COLOR YOUR LIFE kit!

- Cheryl Sternman Rule

For more inspiring images from Cheryl Sternman Rule, visit our COLOR YOUR LIFE Pinterest board!

COLOR YOUR LIFE Kit: 1 gal of YOLO Colorhouse paint, set of YOLO Colorhouse fan decks, and a 100% organic cotton canvas YOLO tote

This entry was posted in Art, Color, Garden, Green Living, Home Decor and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

92 Responses to COLOR YOUR LIFE – Guest Blogger Cheryl Sternman Rule

  1. Marla Lewis says:

    Beautiful article!

  2. Carey says:

    I want ALL the colors!!!

  3. Teri Porterfield says:

    I love the article and I want all the colors too.

  4. Betti Kaste says:

    I want all of those colors too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Rosalina Rodriguez says:

    The color of a beautiful sunset in my favorite beach inspires me everyday.

  6. Heather Giuli says:

    Nice Article. Colors do enrich our lives!

  7. Sarah says:

    Love Cheryl’s blog and her new cookbook Ripe, which is full of color.

  8. Jennifer says:

    Teal Toes!

  9. Diane Riche says:

    Great article. And a special thanks for your donation to Teal Toes – an amazing organization raising ovarian cancer awareness!

  10. Kimberlee Johnson says:

    Beautiful bright colors set the tone for my day! I love them all!

  11. Maggie Taylor says:

    There’s an old Japanese proverb I once heard, “The eyes eat first.”

  12. Jenny says:

    Beautiful photos and thanks for supporting Teal Toes!

  13. Laura Bunte says:

    Thanks for mentioning Teal Toes, it’s a favorite organization of mine too!

  14. mia south says:

    Teal is one of my favorite colors!

  15. cheryl says:

    I love how Yolo matched the colors in their collection to the colors in the photos I provided. I wish they would come color-coordinate my entire house. (Not to mention my wardrobe.)

    Thanks for the opportunity to participate.

  16. Sarah Meyer says:

    Thanks for your article and for being an advocate for womens health!

  17. Heather Scozzarella says:

    Great article and so pleased that the bonus is money for Teal Toes!!

  18. Margy says:

    As a redhead, I was introduced to the concept of color early on, whether I liked it or not. Now I embrace it. Great post, and I’m so glad that you’re supporting the fabulous Teal Toes.

  19. Julia Lammert says:

    Fantastic piece! Love, love,love colors, especially those of nature, and TEAL. I too see the sunshine before I open the blinds in the morning!

  20. Marcia Fitzmaurice says:

    Interesting to think about thepalette of the foods of the northern countries “pale” excuse pun!(lut fisk, turnip soup, blancmange) when compared to the vivid offerings of warmer climes pizza from Napoli, a paella valenciana, tandoori chicken. I, too, favor the in-your-face paint colors and know they absolutely necessary to my mental and physical well-being – - my dining room has been RED for 35 years. When I changed it to a bland off-white, at the suggestion of our realtor during an attempt to sell the home, I was totally discombobulated –Felt executive function was gone! Two weeks later I painted it red again -powers and mood restored!

  21. Elisa says:

    So glad to read this on a grey and dreary day — I appreciate the color added to my day and to my cooking! Can’t wait to cook from Ripe.


  22. Kerry Moose says:

    Picturing a bright yellow field full of sunflowers and bare TEAL TOES running beside it. So glad Teal Toes is the chosen benefactor.

  23. Megan says:

    Cheryl – you rock!!

  24. Joan says:

    Love the colors on the cover of your book – Thanks so much for your support of TEAL TOES – a great color and a great organization!!

  25. Gabe Gonzalez says:

    Great article about how color can change your life from the moment you wake up. Never heard of Yolo before but am glad to learn of it.

  26. tricia says:


  27. Janet Hess says:

    Great color inspiration! Bright, soft, warm and comfortable.You make color sound like it has healing powers. Thanks!

  28. Barbara Cooper says:

    Thank you for supporting teal toes! I really enjoy your blog!

  29. bill gray says:

    color! color! everywhere. it brightens our lives. home, food, clothes, nature. great images of your prepared food, with the contrasting food colors & the black backgrounds, window sill, stone counter top, & fencing. keep up the great work.

  30. Kelley Gronda says:

    Color inspires many emotions and moods: joy, imagination and determination to include a few. Teal specifically reminds me of strength, empowerment and hope. Thank you for the article and thank you for supporting such an important cause!

  31. Donna Newman says:

    Thank you for helping to raise awareness of ovarian cancer!

  32. Gayle Russell says:

    My mother and I shared turquoise (essentially, teal) as our December birthday gemstone. Mom died of ovarian cancer at age 79 in 2007. I later learned that teal, a favorite color that I use in quilting, is the ribbon color for ovarian cancer. Sometimes things come full circle! Thanks Cheryl Sternman Rule for bringing attention to ovarian cancer in general and Teal Toes in particular, and thank-you Yolo Colorhouse for your generous contribution to Teal Toes!

  33. JoAnn says:

    On an overcast day, your blog on color is a welcome respite. Teal is a vibrant color; thanks for using it to highlight ovarian cancer awareness!

  34. Tamara says:


  35. Ellen says:

    Colors make all the difference. I love this.

  36. Debbie Friez says:

    I’ve been trying to think more about the color of the food I’m cooking, too! I really like some of your thoughts. And, I always want to support Teal Toes!

  37. Mary Page says:

    Great Article!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thanks for donating to Teal Toes!

  38. cheryl bialka says:

    I LOVE COLOR TOO!!! As a graphic designer I am drawn daily to so many colors either out my window as I am driving to work, on the internet where I spend most of the day, and even the foods we eat each day. I am truly inspire by the book and all the colors…. thanks for more inspiration and teal toes sounds wonderful. Keep up the fantastic work.

  39. B Platz says:

    Thanks for supporting the ovca cause!!

  40. Sue Trapper says:

    It is amazing how the different colors of the rainbow influence all different areas and phases of our life.
    Thank you for choosing Teal Toes to benefit from this and to honor your mother.

  41. LB Justice says:

    Thank you for supporting the OVCA. I’m a 6 yr. survivor.

  42. Mary says:

    Love teal and Teal Toes!!

  43. tjford says:

    good job!

  44. Dee Shoemaker says:

    All my life I’ve been drawn to the color green, I simply love it. When I was in the hospital with ovarian cancer, my friends all brought me green plants and that was 36 years ago in July. Now I’m facing losing my eye sight and colors are more important to me than ever. I especially love sunflowers and purple lavender, lilacs, blouses, nail polish, anything with color. I have been drawing colorful birds, blue jays, cardinals, gold finches. Green will always be my first choice but my eyes want to see more.

  45. Heidi says:

    Beautiful article and gorgeous colors!

  46. April says:

    oooh, food in color! This was inspiring as I have been trying to get more color (mostly in the forms of veggies) into our diets. Right now oranges are big in our house but I’m looking forward to the soon-to-be tender early asparagus shoots.

  47. penny trams says:

    Always nice to be reminded of the colors out there, everywhere.
    Thanks, penny

  48. Kim Emory says:

    I LOVE Teal and the ladies who wear it!!!! Thanks!!!

  49. Susan Condon says:

    Great article! I can’t imagine a world without color. Teal is my favorite and I love that it is the symbolic color used to raise awareness of Ovarian Cancer symptoms.

  50. Karen says:

    Thank you for supporting the color teal!

  51. Carrie Paige says:

    I love to have a variety of colors of food on my plate. I’m learning to use a bigger variety of colors in my wardrobe. I’m currently looking for a house to purchase, so soon I hope to be wondering what colors to put on my walls! Thank you for your generosity to Teal Toes!

  52. Juliana Van Cleve says:

    Lovely article. Great cause.

  53. lucy says:

    This is a great article – inspirational reminder of the importance of Color on mood and joy!!! . I had orange kitchen walls for years and I never tired of it -

  54. Jenny says:

    Thanks for supporting Teal Toes!

  55. Ian Rule says:

    In addition to stopping to smell the roses, take time to appreciate our colorful world. The colors are out there if you look. Take cars as an example. We’re breaking out of black, white, dark blue.. to a wide range of stunning colors. Some are more enchanting than others, but hooray for them all!

  56. Colin says:

    why don’t we all wear clothes with vibrant colors? I’m tired of the blues and greys and blacks that everyone wears now a days. Maybe I should move to Hawaii so I can wear vibrant Hawaiian shirts every day. Life is too short for boring, drab colors.

  57. Elijah Schulman says:

    Yay mom!!!!!
    (my mom is the founder of teal toes)

  58. Jessica Woods says:

    What a great read and Idea, I must say Teal would be my favorite colour as I am an Ovarian Cancer fighter, I had very little support when diagnosed so with the help of my Sister in law (lives 32 hours ) drive from me, we together started and on line group Teancious Teal Support which also led to the Tenacious Teal Private support Group, this is where we totally support each other good and bad, We have just lost a precious member this week. The youngest recorded in Australia is just 4 years old. Teal as a colour is bold and beautiful but as a disease Teal is sneaky and not so obvious. I am so passionate about Teal that my hair when it grew back has and will always have a splash of teal through it :)

  59. Jo Winchester says:

    Enjoyed the article. Love color. I’m a one-year ovarian cancer survivor. Love Teal Toes!

  60. Liane says:


    Thanks for the reminder that our world doesn’t have to be beige. I haven’t gotten as daring as an orange kitchen, but I am getting more comfortable with more color in my world. Thanks also for your generous gesture to Teal Toes.

  61. Aimee Pemberton says:

    Go Teal! Nice article!

  62. Aimee Pemberton says:

    Nicely done. Go Teal!

  63. Evelyne says:

    I love all these colors and truly believe in how they affect your mind, spirit, and mood.
    Thank you for sharing them with us and for being a Teal Toes supporter.

  64. Ann French says:

    Thank you, Cheryl and Yolo. Teal Toes is a great organization and as a survivor my toe color of choice is always teal (although periwinkle is the color that makes me weak in the knees).

  65. Waverly says:

    Wonderful article. Go Teal Toes!

  66. Briana Beckham says:

    When the day is gray and raining and all of the sudden the sun comes out and brightens everything up, you realize how much you NEED that pop of color in your life!!! Thanks for reminding us:)

  67. Andrea says:

    Very interesting!

  68. Terre says:

    Love your article on colors and will be looking for your cookbook! Thanks for supporting Teal Toes and doing your part to raise awareness. Just made a quilt in teal for a lady, its a soothing color I love to use; and plan to paint my guest room with it.

  69. Cheryl says:

    I love the color of a bright blue sky in the spring. It is most beautiful with white clouds. This makes for wonderful addition to my day.

  70. Kathy says:

    Just painted my kitchen bright yellow to honor my mom who always had one and who died from ovarian cancer. I am nearly 3 years NED now. I plan on painting one wall of my bedroom teal next week. I wear teal every day.

  71. Kayti says:

    I wear Teal in memory of my grandmother and in honor of my mom every day! It’s now my signature color and ppl at work say they can’t wear teal without thinking of me. :)

  72. Jo Ann Stoddard says:

    Good luck

  73. Sharon Rex says:

    I have teal/blue hair to create awareness for ovarian cancer. I have had blue hair ever since I was bald from chemo a little over 7 years ago. I was in an early stage of ovc. Had 2 surgeries, 6 mos. of chemo, and so far no reoccurances, that I know of. I am truly grateful you have done this lovely article, and set up donations for ovc research.I thank you for my teal sisters, the loved ones and families of both for this wonderful deed. God Bless You!!!!!

  74. Juanita Woods says:

    <3 it !!

  75. Sheila says:

    Love Teal Toes and the work you do! I am a 3 year Ovarian Cancer survivor and realize the importance of getting the word out about the symptoms of ovarian cancer. Keep up the great work.

  76. Robyn says:

    deliciously colorful!

  77. says:

    I love color and have secretly traveled with a color wheel to make great color decisions for everything from home design to food styling. Love “Ripe” and love color!

  78. Carol Smith says:

    The color teal became part of my life on September 1,2007 the day after my beautiful niece was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I was on the internet trying to learn all I could. It was the first time I had heard September was OC Awareness month in the USA and teal was the ribbon color. She fought hard but her battle was brief and she died just 6 days after her 26th birthday on Oct. 20th 2008. In 2009 I joined facebook and found Teal Toes. My toes are teal for Rachel and to support the cause. I enjoyed the article and personally have had health issues that urged me to change my diet. I found the simpler and fresher I eat the more colorful my plate gets and the better I feel! Getting ready to do some remodeling/redecorating in the house so will be checking out the YOLO paint! Never heard of it and it sounds great!

  79. Andrew Coven says:

    Cheryl, great post and a fantastic topic worth more discussion. Some culinary artists specifically play with the color palette of dishes (for instance, adding radish to a garlic mashed potatoes dish to serve it up with a lavender look)–and I find that can often backfire tremendously. I’m reminded of a time my mother used the cuisanart to shred a bnc of lettuce…for a Chinese chicken salad. Which tasted fine but had an unexpected, unsavory texture that made it inedible. I suspect more folks should apply a discerning eye not just to flavors, but to textures–of whic, color is an important component. Would love your thoughts.

  80. Gayle F. Adams says:

    I agree with Colin, I’ve always felt great wearing bright, vivid colors. Red, orange, & hot pink are my favorite shades of color for my lips, cheeks & clothes. I save TEAL for my toes & accessories :) I just need to expand my horizon & bring more color into my home. Thanks for your support of Teal Toes.

  81. Heather says:

    my toes are forever teal. My mom and her sister are both fighting this disease. Thankyou for donating to this cause and for coloring our world. We have to be loud about it, Teal there is a cure cause no one fights alone! God Bless.

  82. Kay says:

    Great colors and great cause!

  83. Susanne Tetzlaff says:

    I loved this refreshing perspective on life/the world! thanks for sharing this.

  84. Mary Lou says:

    Thanks for sharing this – we’re moving and I have an entire house to paint – a wonderful blank canvas to be filled with color! My kitchen is definitely going to be orange… can’t wait!

  85. Samantha Hanby says:

    So glad to discover your blog via Teal Toes! I look forward to following your post on enriching our lives with spectrums colors.

  86. Monique Jarrell says:

    Just found this site as I was visiting Teal I think it is a good thing that you all are doing this. I am going in for surgery next Tuesday May 22nd, 2012. Please pray for me. My doctor thinks it is Ovarian Cancer and he will be doing a Total Hysterectomy with removal of both ovaries and tubes. I pray that he gets all the cancer and that it is a low stage carcinoma with better survival chances, but one day at a time!

  87. Dieter Birk says:

    I hope Monique’s surgery went well. My wife goes in for “debulking” on August 22, 2012. She had chemotherapy first to shrink the metastasized tumour away from other organs. She is stage IIIc, or IV – won’t know until surgery. For those not informed, “debulking” is called the Mother of All Surgery”(MOAS). Learn the early symptoms and share the knowledge. Wear teal.

  88. Linda Brandel says:

    any awareness we can put out there for ovarian cancer, the silent killer, is so helpful……love Teal toes, the writer of this article and this site for featuring it. Love & understanding comes in many forms, this being one of them…thank you for featuring this article. Linda

  89. Alicia says:

    teal has become my color of choice due to the silent killer as well. It has taken so much from those I love. Thank you for choosing teal and tealtoes to promote awareness. visit to see our t-shirt selection. We are a non-profit and sell the shirts to raise awareness here locally in SC. We now have 3 choices, we have grown and are making a difference and saving lives. Just wanted to say thank you for all you do. God Bless.

  90. Crystal says:

    Great blog! Like music, color can do wonders for us all.

  91. Aimee Cowan says:

    Teal is a color for everybody. Not too feminine for men, flattering to all skin tones, it can be worn all year and look right. I wore it long before I knew I had ovarian cancer. My favorite color, pink, just makes me feel happy, and it goes well with teal. I am constantly looking for ways to use it inside and outside my home, and will make every opportunity to use it to raise awareness. Pink has the whole world thinking about breast cancer, and I am a bit jealous. I want to make a wall hanging for the infusion room where I get treatment, and plan to use a pink background with a teal ribbon featured. The border will be bands of ribbons in all of the cancer colors. I am not artistic so it might take me awhile. With a little luck, cancer won’t interfere.

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