Penny's Passion

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Good Friends Warm the Heart

Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday!  Today I'm reminiscing of the fun I had a couple weekends ago.  Eric and I flew in from Vegas late on Saturday night and I had friends coming in for a few days starting Sunday morning.  Normally after a late-night arrival home, I would have wanted to linger in bed the following morning.  But not this time!  I knew my friends would be arriving around noon and that was motivation enough to hop out of bed and get rolling.


The three friends visiting are all sorority sisters of mine.  Linda and I went to high school together and have been friends since the sixth grade.  We both choose to attend the same college and was interested in joining a sorority.  While we were going through rush, we decided that we would make individual decisions about which sorority to join.  As it turned out, we picked the same one and was thrilled because of it!  The other two ladies visiting were our pledge moms, Donna and Terri.  We've known each other for (dare I say how long!) thirty-eight years!  Our closeness over that time has ebbed and flowed, but every time we're together it's like no time has passed at all.

Soon after my friends arrived, we loaded up in the car and headed to one of my favorite diners - The Fountain on Locust.  You've heard me mention this restaurant before, but it's worth mentioning again.  They have boozy ice cream drinks that are OH.SO.GOOD!


Another thing I can't get enough of is their dill pickle soup.  I know, you're thinking really, dill pickle soup?  Yes.  Dill pickle soup.  It's fabulous!  And all three of my friends agreed.


Even if your meal fills you up, there's just enough room for their famous world's smallest hot fudge sundae!  


After our late lunch, we went to the National Blues Museum, located downtown on Washington Avenue.  The museum has an intimate listening room where they host their Soulful Sunday concerts.  This particular week The Kingdom Blues were performing.  So good!



We ventured back home and spent the rest of the night playing board games and catching up.  There's nothing quite like a great day out with friends to feed your soul!

Monday was spent lounging around the house and, of course, playing more board games.  Those two days were filled with deep conversations, lots of belly laughs and all kinds of fun.  Friends are truly priceless and I'm so very lucky to have these women in my life.

Just in case you're wondering, our sorority is Alpha Xi Delta.  Joining the sorority was one of the best decisions I made during my college years.  Friendships were formed that are precious to me and that's worth everything.


Now it's your turn - what's on your mind today?  Link up and share!

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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop - February 26, 2020

Welcome!

Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop

Our hosts just want to say THANK YOU to all those who contributed to last week's party and WELCOME to all the new bloggers who have joined our weekly blog hop. Please invite your blog friends and social network to join us.
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Thursday, February 20, 2020

Friday Favorites Linky Party - February 21, 2020

Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:
Jerri at Simply Sweet Home - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Lisa at Condo Blues - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
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Five on Friday - February 21, 2020

Happy Friday!  This weekend came fast - and I'm not complaining about it!  I missed last Friday's Five because we were out of town.  If you missed reading about our trip, you can get the recap HERE.  Meanwhile, here's my five for this week ~

1.  The Call of the Wild
Opening today is Harrison Ford's latest film, The Call of the Wild.  It's rated PG, so it should be a good family flick.  Regal Cinemas is offering the My Way Matinee which is a sensory-friendly screening that features lower sounds and brighter lights.  Check their website to find movie times near you.  We've seen the previews for this film and they look pretty adorable.  Here's the synopsis from Fandango ~
Adapted from the beloved literary classic, THE CALL OF THE WILD vividly brings to the screen the story of Buck, a big-hearted dog whose blissful domestic life is turned upside down when he is suddenly uprooted from his California home and transplanted to the exotic wilds of the Alaskan Yukon during the Gold Rush of the 1890s. As the newest rookie on a mail delivery dog sled team--and later its leader--Buck experiences the adventure of a lifetime, ultimately finding his true place in the world and becoming his own master.

2.  Cookie Pop Popcorn
Sam's comes through again on the snacking scene.  They have exclusive rights to popcorn covered in Oreo cookie crumbles, drizzled with Oreo cookie cream and all covered with melted chocolate.  Talk about salty-sweet heaven!  A bag of this goodness will be going in my cart on my next trip to Sam's.  Have you tried it yet?


We didn't have under cabinet lighting at our house - that is until we got these wireless puck lights!  My friend Sherri introduced me to them and immediately after I left her house I placed an order for some.  They come in a 6-pack and literally can be installed in 10 minutes.  Everything you need to get these babies up and running comes with the order (batteries and mounting tape).   They even have a selectable dimmer so you can choose how bright you want them to be!  Love them!


Melanie Shankle's new book, On The Bright Side, releases on Tuesday, February 25 and I'm pretty excited to get it in my hands.  Maybe it's the lack of warm, sunny weather, but this time of year I need a little pep talk to keep my spirits high.  I'm thinking this book might be just what I need.  She says, "It's all about friendship, love, life and being true to who God created you to be.".  Here's the summary from Amazon ~
Big Mama blog founder and New York Times bestselling author Melanie Shankle helps us sort through our questions about being true to ourselves in a world gone crazy and what matters the most in the end.
These days, so many voices tell us what to do, what to think, and what kind of parent or friend or spouse to be that it's easy to feel overwhelmed and defeated. Somewhere in the midst of online arguments and crazy politics and the ups and downs of life, we've lost sight of the gifts that are all around us: kindness, love, mercy, and joy.
In On the Bright Side, Melanie Shankle reminds us of the unchanging principles we can count on in a changing world. These are lessons that Melanie has learned along the way about how to find all the joy that life has to offer - and why encouragement is never something to keep to ourselves. Exploring topics such as dealing with comparisons, when life doesn't turn out like we expected, and how to find your people, Melanie invites us to lead with love in all areas of our lives.
This delightful memoir highlights the joys of life told in Melanie's down to earth, relatable, and totally enjoyable style. On the Bright Side is a how-to guide to knowing - and living - what matters most.

                          On the Bright Side: Stories about Friendship, Love, and Being True to Yourself by [Shankle, Melanie]

5.  Just trying to help....

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!  I'll be finishing the book we're reading for book club Monday night (nothing like waiting until the last minute!) and going to see the St. Louis Battlehawks in their very first home game!  Having football back in St. Louis is making me pretty darn excited!  Hope you pop in next week to read all about it.

Linking up with:

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

What Happens in Vegas....

It's Thursday so I'm here with another edition of Thinking Out Loud Thursday.  The past week has been so much fun I just can't stop thinking about it so I'm going to give you a little recap ~

Last Wednesday Eric and I headed to the airport for a flight to Vegas to meet up with our son and daughter-in-law for an outing to see our favorite hockey team, the St. Louis Blues.  They were playing the Vegas Golden Knights and we had heard Vegas was a great place to catch a game.  It was so nice of the Blues to come to the airport and see us off.  :)



We flew in a day before the game to ensure we would be there in plenty of time for the game.  Our first night we went to one of my favorite restaurants in Vegas - Giada.  We dined on the best pasta!  If you're in Vegas, get yourself a reservation and enjoy!


After dinner, we caught the late showing of Cirque Du Soleil's Love.  This exhilarating show had it all - Beatles music, acrobatics, beautiful costumes.  There was so much going on it was hard to take it all in.  If you're looking at seats for this show, there really isn't a bad one in the house.  


The next day Eric and I took in the sites and sounds of the Strip.  One of our favorite places to wander around in is the Bellagio Hotel.  The Bellagio Gardens, located just off the lobby, was decorated for the Year of the Rat.  So beautiful!




While we were wandering around the Strip, Ian and Kayla were doing something a little more adventurous.  They had decided to go sky diving!




The Blues team had a real scare at the game before coming to Las Vegas.  One of our key players, Jay Bouwmeester, had a cardiac event during the game and had to be hospitalized.  That game had been stopped and we were relieved to know he was going to be okay and the game in Vegas was going to be played.  Vegas was very empathic to our feelings.


We lost the game in overtime but still had a blast watching the game and all the entertainment that went with it inside the stadium.  Nothing like a little gelato to drown our sorrows.


The next day was Valentine's Day.  Ian and Kayla were off again on an adventure of kayaking.  Eric and I decided to have a lazy morning at the hotel.   He went to Starbucks for coffee and I laid in bed and read the morning away.  When we did get moving, we hit the Strip to play some slots (cha-ching!) and hang with the M&M guys.



We all met up for dinner at Stack at the Mirage.  It was enough food to classify it as a feast!


After dinner, we walked across the street to Linq for the Mat Franco show.  Does that name sound familiar?  He won America's Got Talent a few years back.  His show was the BEST!  We would definitely see him again.  His tricks were amazing and he was funny.  Great way to spend the evening.


On Saturday we were headed home, but before we left town we Ubered to In and Out Burger for a little lunch.  It was our first time, but it won't be our last!


We got home in the wee hours of Sunday morning and I had three friends arriving in the afternoon for a couple days of fun.  I'll have to fill you in on their visit soon because it was undeniably blogworthy!  

Now it's your turn - what are you thinking out loud about today?  Link up and share!



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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop - February 19, 2020

Welcome!

Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop

Our hosts just want to say THANK YOU to all those who contributed to last week's party and WELCOME to all the new bloggers who have joined our weekly blog hop. Please invite your blog friends and social network to join us.
Don't forget to use this hashtag #wwbloghop when sharing our party!
Let's get this party started!!

Top Viewed


Very Popular








Editors Choice



Thanks to our co-hosts who share our party on their blogs every week ♥ Please follow them and share our party, too?
Be sure to grab our Specially Featured button if your post was featured this week to show off on your blog or sidebar!
Featured Button
Please TWEET our party
  • Add as many of your family-friendly posts as you would like to. No Etsy shops, adult sites or blog parties, please.
  • Visit others. Let them know you stopped by!
  • If you are NEW to Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop, let us know in the comments so that we can follow you back. ♥ Help us find your posts – tell us the title.
  • NOTE: party entries appear in REVERSE. i.e. the most recent entry goes to the top! That way all of our guests will have a really good chance to be seen no matter when they arrive.
  • Thanks! ♥
So, now, let’s get this party started!

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Monday, February 17, 2020

Let's Make Snickers Fudge

I'm so excited to be joining a group of bloggers friends today sharing something sweet in our Labor of Love Recipe Swap. If you're coming from Marilyn's blog, thanks for stopping by.

I dug deep into my archives to re-share a recipe for Snicker's Fudge. If you've been a really long time reader, you might remember this recipe from years ago. Rather you're seeing it for the first time or remembering it from before, it's definitely worth checking out! Here's my original post from 2015~

Recently at my church, there was a new book club formed. Our first official meeting was last week and one of the members, Judi, volunteered to bring a snack. What she presented to us was this magnificent Snickers Fudge. I'm telling you what, I would show up at any meeting if this stuff was going to be there! It is just that good. No, it's not good -- it's GREAT!


I promptly came home and pulled up Pinterest, typed in snickers fudge and found just what I was looking for.  The recipe I followed came from Six Sisters' Stuff and it was G-O-O-D!  The directions below are taken straight from their website.

Now, don't let the ingredients intimidate you.  There are four layers and each layer has it's own ingredients and directions.  But you can do it!  Overall, it's not that hard and you will be so pleased with the outcome.  Totally worth the extra effort.

Here's What You Need
First Layer:
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Second Layer:
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1-1/2 cups marshmallow creme
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup salted peanuts, chopped

Third Layer:
14 oz. bag caramels, unwrapped 
1/4 cup evaporated milk

Fourth Layer:
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Here's What You Do
1.  Spray a 9" x 13" glass pan with cooking spray and set aside.

2.  FIRST LAYER:  In a small bowl, combine chocolate chips and peanut butter.  Heat in the microwave in 30 seconds and stir.  You may need to microwave one more time (I had to).  Pour in an even layer into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Place pan in freezer.


3.  SECOND LAYER:  In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Stir in the sugar and evaporated milk and bring to a boil.  Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately stir in marshmallow creme, peanut butter and vanilla. Add peanuts and stir until incorporated.  Pour mixture over the chocolate layer from the freezer and spread evenly.  Place back in freezer.


4.  THIRD LAYER:  Add the caramels and evaporated milk to a small saucepan.  Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until caramel is melted and smooth (apparently you could do this in the microwave, but I did my stovetop).  Remove pan from freezer and pour caramel over the second layer.  Place back in freezer.


5.  FOURTH LAYER:  In a small bowl, combine chocolate chips and peanut butter.  Repeat microwaving intervals used for the first layer.  Stir until creamy and pour in an even layer onto the top.

6.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and cut into squares when ready to serve (they are super-rich, so cut them small!).  Keep refrigerated.


So, a helpful hint - Before you start making the recipe, make sure you have a flat spot in your freezer to put the 9" x 13" pan.  You don't want your fudge to be all crooked!


Also, when I want to make my cuts uniform, I lay a rule across the pan and make little tick marks.  Do this on both top and bottom, horizontally and vertically.  Then you just have to connect the marks with your knife to have nice, even squares.


This is the treat I've taken to both work and family functions and it's always quick to disappear.  I bet it would be a hit at your functions too!

I hope you will hop over to Anne's blog, The Cajun Couple, to see what she's sharing today.  Here's a complete list of everyone participating in the swap today ~
Laura Bambrick  http://www.idodeclaire.com/
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