Penny's Passion

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Five on Friday - May 17, 2024

Hello Friday!  I am so excited to see this weekend get here.  The last several weeks I've been on the go and, as fun as they were, I'm looking forward to having a bit slower weekend coming up.  Kicking it off with my five for this week ~

1.  Bridgerton
Season three of Bridgerton has begun!  Netflix dropped four episodes yesterday and will be delivering another four on June 13.  This season explores the love story of Colin and Penelope.  I couldn't help myself and binge-watched all four episodes already.  It's steamy!  And the costumes are fabulous!  I might just have to rewatch it again over the weekend.


2.  Krispy Kreme and Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton's doughnut debut is happening at Krispy Kreme!  The southern sweets doughnut collection is made up of Dolly Dazzler (pink icing with a butterfly), Banana Puddin' Pie, Peachy Keen and Chocolate Creme Pie.  These are being offered for a limited time and will be gone on June 16, so get them while you can!

3.  Living Proof
Bon Jovi is releasing a new single today, and I can't wait to hear it!  Living Proof is from their next album, Forever, which will be coming out on June 7.  Bon Jovi shared a snippet of the song on Instagram and it definitely has vibes of Living on a Prayer.  Jon has been through some voice issues, but apparently, he's all healed and ready to rock.  

I picked up a couple of cap-sleeve tanks from Amazon and they are remarkably good.  They are heavy enough to not be see-through and are a great length.  The cap sleeve makes it a little more fashionable than a plain t-shirt.  You also can't beat the price - just $19.99 and you can also click the box for a 25% discount.  I have a feeling I'll be wearing them on repeat all summer long!


5.  It's good to try...


Have a great weekend!  We are visiting a winery tomorrow.  I'm also hoping to power wash the patio.  It always amazes me how different the concrete looks after it's been cleaned!  See you back next week!

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Let's Make Strawberry Freezer Jam

Hello!  Thanks for stopping by Thinking Out Loud Thursday where I share something I'm thinking about and invite you to link up and do the same.  Today I'm thinking about my recent project of making strawberry freezer jam!


It's strawberry season where we live and I love going to our local orchard, Eckert's, and picking a batch of the juicy red fruit.  But this year I was a bit short on time so when I saw their sale for buy one flat, get one free I couldn't resist swinging by their store and getting the berries.  I had seen a video on Instagram from MeMe's Recipes where she made strawberry freezer jam and I was pretty sure I could easily make a batch.  By the way, if you haven't seen MeMe's Recipes on Instagram search for it.  She's a sweet little old lady who has the BEST recipes!  Turns out that in less than an hour two batches were prepared and ready to go into the freezer!  Here's how it's done ~

Here's What You Need
4 cups of strawberries (I used a quart and a half)
1 package of Sure Jell
3/4 cup water
4 cups sugar


Here's What You Do
Wash the 4 cups of strawberries and cut off the stems.  Put them in a bowl and smash them.  I used my masher / ricer, but didn't press so hard that the strawberries came up through the ricer.  I also did smash a few with my fingers.  The 4 cups of strawberries are reduced to 2 cups.

To the 2 cups of strawberries, add 4 cups of sugar and stir for 10 minutes.  Just a few minutes into the stirring, my Apple watch asked me if I wanted to record my elliptical workout!


After the strawberries are all stirred up, set aside while you do the next step.


Boil together 3/4 cup water and the Sure Jell.  While stirring, let it boil for 1 minute.


Add this to your strawberries and stir for three minutes.  After stirring for three minutes, you are ready to fill your jars.


Put the lids on the jars and let them sit on your counter for 24 hours.  After 24 hours, place them in your freezer.  That's it!  One batch makes 6 half-pint jars of jam.  I can't wait to tie a ribbon around the jar and give them away this winter!  

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

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Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop - May 15, 2024

 

Welcome to the Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop!  We are so glad that you stopped by.

Here you will find inspiration from dozens of bloggers including recipes, home DIY, gardening, decor, family fun, traveling, fitness, and so much more.

A friendly reminder to our guests that as a courtesy to the hosts, we ask that you follow every host on at least one social media channel.

If you are a blogger, then be sure to link up below. You may be our next feature! 

Before we get this party started, let’s meet the hosts and check out this week’s featured favorites.

MEET THE HOSTS
  1. Bev – ECLECTIC RED BARN | FB | IG | PINTEREST
  2. Penny – PENNY’S PASSION | FB | IG | PINTEREST
  3. Sinea – DUCKS ‘N A ROW | FB | IG | PINTEREST | TWITTER
  4. Tammy – MY LIFE ABUNDANT | FB | IG | PINTEREST | TWITTER
  5. Tara – STILETTOS AND SHIPLAP | IG | PINTEREST
  6. Denise –THISISMYEVERYBODY | FB | IG | PINTEREST | TWITTER

TOP VIEWED
EDITOR'S CHOICE
LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTED!

Please follow all hosts on AT LEAST 1 of their social channels.

Add as many family-friendly posts as you would like to. NO Etsy shops, adult sites, or blog parties please.  Visit others. Caring is sharing. Like, comment, and pin posts.

Party entries appear in REVERSE. This way your entries 
will be seen no matter when you arrive. Please TWEET our party and invite others to join.

Let’s Party! 


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Friday, May 10, 2024

Five on Friday - May 10, 2024

 Let's hear it for Friday!  I'm knee deep in wedding prep over here so I'm going to get right to my five for today ~

1.  Mother's Day
Sunday is the day to honor your mom!  Looking for a way to show your mother some love?  Here are some ideas ~
Handwritten Letter or Card: Express your love and gratitude through heartfelt words. Write a letter or card detailing what she means to you and how much you appreciate her.

Create a Memory Book: Compile photos, mementos, and notes that highlight special moments shared with your mother. This personalized gift will surely touch her heart.

Homemade Brunch or Dinner: Cook her favorite meal or treat her to a homemade brunch. Spending time together in the kitchen can be a bonding experience, and enjoying a delicious meal you've prepared adds a personal touch.

Quality Time Together: Plan a day filled with activities she enjoys, whether it's going for a nature walk, watching her favorite movie, or simply spending time talking and laughing together.

Gift of Relaxation: Treat her to a spa day, massage, or pampering session to help her unwind and feel appreciated.

Personalized Gifts: Consider personalized gifts such as custom jewelry, a photo book, or a piece of artwork that holds sentimental value.

Acts of Service: Offer to help with chores or tasks she typically handles to give her a break and show your appreciation for all she does.

Plant a Garden: If she enjoys gardening, consider planting flowers or herbs together. It's a meaningful way to create lasting memories and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Virtual Celebration: If you're unable to be together in person, organize a virtual celebration with family and friends. Plan activities like a virtual brunch or game night to make her feel loved and special.

Donate in Her Honor: Make a donation to a cause or charity that is meaningful to her. It's a thoughtful way to honor her and make a positive impact in her name.

Looking for a book to give your mom for Mother's Day?  What about the new one by Mary Kay Andrews titled Summers at The Saint?  I've read a few books by this author and find them to be great vacation reads.  With summer coming, pick this one up for your beach bag.  Here's the summary ~
Welcome to the St. Cecelia, a landmark hotel on the coast of Georgia, where traditions run deep and scandals run even deeper. . . .

Everyone refers to the St. Cecelia as “the Saint.” If you grew up coming here, you were “a Saint.” If you came from the wrong side of the river, you were “an Ain’t.” Traci Eddings was one of those outsiders whose family wasn’t rich enough or connected enough to vacation here. But she could work here. One fateful summer she did, and married the boss’s son. Now, she’s the widowed owner of the hotel, determined to see it return to its glory days, even as staff shortages and financial troubles threaten to ruin it. Plus, her greedy and unscrupulous brother-in-law wants to make sure she fails. Enlisting a motley crew of recently hired summer help—including the daughter of her estranged best friend—Traci has one summer season to turn it around. But new information about a long-ago drowning at the hotel threatens to come to light, and the tragic death of one of their own brings Traci to the brink of despair.

Traci Eddings has her back against the pink-painted wall of this beloved institution. And it will take all the wits and guts she has to see wrongs put to right, to see guilty parties put in their place, and maybe even to find a new romance along the way. Told with Mary Kay Andrew’s warmth, humor, knack for twists, and eye for delicious detail about human nature, Summers at the Saint is a beach read with depth and heart.
Look what Jif's done - they have combined chocolate and peanut butter for an extra special snack! The company is releasing a new flavor for the first time in almost 10 years.  This item should be rolling out in grocery stores soon, but if you can't wait it's available at Amazon right now.  This would be so delicious on apples or pretzels!  The snack cups are perfect for dropping into your lunch bag or putting on a dessert charcuterie board surrounded by animal crackers, apples, strawberries, pretzels, graham crackers and vanilla wafers.  I've got to get my hands on some of this!


I picked up this casual summer dress before my recent trip to Waco, Texas and boy, was that a good decision!  It traveled great (very few wrinkles) and was the perfect thing to wear during my long weekend trip.  The fabric is soft and has just the right amount of thickness.  But the best part is it has pockets!  It comes in a boatload of colors so grab one for your summer wardrobe today!  

5.  This is me...


Okay - I'm off to do more cutting and gluing to get ready for the wedding we're helping with this weekend!  Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy Mother's Day!  See you back next week.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC - Day 1

Hello, and thanks for popping in Thinking Out Loud Thursday!  I'm going to share something I'm thinking about and invite you to link up and do the same.  Today I'm sharing our adventures from our trip to Washington, DC to see the cherry blossoms!

Every spring I see people talking about the blooming cherry blossoms in Washington, DC and think to myself that someday I want to see them.  That someday came this year when Eric and I met our son and daughter-in-law in Washington, DC when the blossoms were at their peak!



Eric and I flew in on Friday morning and had the day to explore.  Our son and daughter-in-law were flying in later in the day and we were planning to have dinner together.  We had gotten a deal through Southwest on the hotel and were staying at The Ritz.  Did you know you can book hotels through Southwest and get miles?  We've done it a few times and it's been great!  

The Ritz was a short Uber ride from the airport and they had our room ready when we arrived. 
  

A little bit about the hotel - we had a great stay!  They offer you champagne upon arrival and each afternoon they have cookies in the lobby.  The cookie is based on a different president's favorite!  Our room did not have a great view of any monuments, so if you're looking for that this is not your place.  But the service was fantastic and the staff could not have been nicer.  And I loved getting all those Southwest points!  As a matter of fact, we got enough points for a free airline ticket.  Cha Ching!  


I had reached out to our state representative and her office arranged a guided tour of the Capitol.  We met her intern in the afternoon at her office and took the underground tunnel to the Capitol.  The tunnels are lined with student artwork from each state.  We spotted our home state and I had to snap a picture!


We roamed the halls and enjoyed hearing little tidbits and stories behind some of the statues.  This wasn't our first trip to the Capitol, but it was still no less captivating.  Regardless of your political views, visiting the Capitol is quite the experience.  The architecture is stunning and the history exudes a sense of significance.  


When we're visiting places like this, I always love looking up.  Sometimes the ceilings are the most beautiful!


After our tour, we headed back to the hotel to meet Ian and Kayla.  We were going to Joe's Seafood and Steakhouse.  We had done enough walking for the day to really work up an appetite!  


We tried the stone crab and steak.  It was wonderful!  Over dinner, we talked about our plans for the weekend and where we were going to go over the next few days.  Stay tuned for details from the rest of the trip!

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

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop - May 8, 2024

Welcome to the Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop!  We are so glad that you stopped by.

Here you will find inspiration from dozens of bloggers including recipes, home DIY, gardening, decor, family fun, traveling, fitness, and so much more.

A friendly reminder to our guests that as a courtesy to the hosts, we ask that you follow every host on at least one social media channel.

If you are a blogger, then be sure to link up below. You may be our next feature! 

Before we get this party started, let’s meet the hosts and check out this week’s featured favorites.

MEET THE HOSTS

  1. Bev – ECLECTIC RED BARN | FB | IG | PINTEREST
  2. Penny – PENNY’S PASSION | FB | IG | PINTEREST
  3. Sinea – DUCKS ‘N A ROW | FB | IG | PINTEREST | TWITTER
  4. Tammy – MY LIFE ABUNDANT | FB | IG | PINTEREST | TWITTER
  5. Tara – STILETTOS AND SHIPLAP | IG | PINTEREST
  6. Denise –THISISMYEVERYBODY | FB | IG | PINTEREST | TWITTER

TOP VIEWED
VERY POPULAR
EDITOR'S CHOICE
LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTED!

Please follow all hosts on AT LEAST 1 of their social channels.

Add as many family-friendly posts as you would like to. NO Etsy shops, adult sites, or blog parties please.  Visit others. Caring is sharing. Like, comment, and pin posts.

Party entries appear in REVERSE. This way your entries 
will be seen no matter when you arrive. Please TWEET our party and invite others to join.

Let’s Party! 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Five on Friday - May 3, 2024

It's Friday!  Let's get ready for the weekend!  Kicking it off with my Five on Friday ~ 

1.  Cold Stone Creamery Choco Taco
Do you remember the Choco Taco that Klondike used to make?  Then they took it away and we thought it was gone forever.  Well...Cold Stone Creamery is bringing it back!  For one week only (and the clock started ticking on Tuesday, April 30), you can indulge in this waffle ice cream taco delight.  Hurry by a Cold Stone Creamery because May 5 will be here before you know it and they will once again be gone.


2.  The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Did you read the Heather Morris novel The Tattooist of Auschwitz?  We read it for book club years ago and the story still touches my heart.  Now Peacock presents a 6-episode series based on the novel.  In case you haven't heard about the book, it's a true story where Lali Sokolov falls in love with fellow prisoner Gita at the Auschwitz concentration camp. Under constant guard from a volatile Nazi officer, they become determined to keep each other alive.  It's definitely a series I want to watch!

As a side note, I didn't realize that The Tattooist of Auschwitz is actually the first book in a three-book series.  The other two books are Cilka's Journey and Three Sisters.  I'll be adding these books to my TBR list!


It's May and that means summer is right around the corner.  Are you ready to be blowing up all those pool floats and beach balls?  And is your soccer and basketball aired up and ready?  Here's a portable air pump that is smaller than a can of soda.  I think it would be the perfect addition to throw in the beach bag so you'll be ready to inflate all the things!  

I'm a huge fan of my silk pillowcase and this week I snagged another one that's still on a lightning deal from Amazon.  Before buying my silk pillowcases, I had heard that they were better for your skin and hair.  It's true!  Gone are the days I wake up with sheet marks across my face and wild, crazy hair.  Another benefit is the silk material can help regulate body temperature, reducing sweating.  If you haven't tried them, now is your chance to get one at a great price!


5.  Just a thought...


Have a great weekend!  I'm off tomorrow morning with a friend to visit the Silos in Waco, Texas.  It's been on my bucket list for some time and I'm excited to see if it lives up to the hype!  Seeing Magnolia will be great, but doing it with my friend will make it wonderful!  We've booked a unique VRBO that I can't wait to share with you.  Pop in next week for the recap!