Penny's Passion

Friday, December 15, 2017

Five on Friday - December 15, 2017

Hey there!  Welcome to Five on Friday.  Are you as glad it's Friday as I am?!?  We have big plans for the weekend, so before I turn my attention to that let me share my five for today ~

1.  Free Shipping Day
Still have tons of online shopping to do but hate those shipping charges?  Well, today just might be your lucky day!!  It's free shipping day!  Tons of stores like JCPenney, Target, Macy's, Old Navy, the list going on and on, are offering to ship your order free today.  For a complete list of companies celebrating Free Shipping Day, chick HERE.   Happy shopping!

Free Shipping Day - Changes Annually

2.  Exploding Kittens
Looking for a new game to play over the holidays?  This one is getting some pretty crazy good reviews.  Here's the description from Amazon, "In this highly-strategic, kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette, players draw cards until someone draws an Exploding Kitten, at which point they explode, they are dead, and they are out of the game -- unless that player has a Defuse card, which can defuse the Kitten using things like laser pointers, belly rubs, and catnip sandwiches. All of the other cards in the deck are used to move, mitigate, or avoid the Exploding Kittens."  Click HERE to get yours.



3.  Mini Portable Cool Mist Humidifier
Okay - this one is so cool that it gets two pictures.  Now that the temperature has dropped, have you noticed how dry the air is?  This little baby will take care of that problem!  You can use it at home, in the office or in your car.  Yes - your car!  It is the perfect size to take with you.  It also has a 7 color changing nightlight, but can be set to stay on one single color if that's your thing.  How perfect would this be in someone's stocking?!?  Click HERE to purchase.


4.  2018 You are a Bad Ass Calendar
Looking for some daily inspiration in 2018?  This funny calendar may be just want you need.  It dispenses feisty inspiration and advice to cultivate awesomeness and encourages you to embrace what you love about yourself, change what you don't love, and create the kind of life that celebrates your greatness.  It's HERE if you want one.


5.  Eat your fruit.....

Image may contain: food

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.  I'm loading up my family in a rented 15-passenger van tomorrow night and we are heading to a few Christmas light displays in the St. Louis area.  I'm so darn excited!  We are trying a new place - Magic of Lights at Gateway Motorsports Park - and also some tried and true places - Way of Lights at Our Lady of the Snows and Anheuser-Busch Brewery Lights.  Wish me luck.  Then on Sunday we're hosting a little get together before a Tribute to the Trans Siberian Orchestra concert at our church.  So much fun packed into the next couple days!!  Stop back by on Monday and see how it went. 

Linking up with:
Simply Sweet Home
High Five for Friday
5 on Friday
The Blended Blog
This post contained affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase.  Thanks

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Friday Favorites - December 15, 2017

Here we are -- just 10 days away from Christmas.  Are you ready?  Don't fret if you're not, you can get a lot done in 10 days!!  Hopefully some of the features today will help you with your holiday baking!

Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:
Jerri at Simply Sweet Home - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Maisy at Becoming Alice - FB | G+ | Pin
Sheree at Stage Presents - Twitter | FB | Pin | Inst | Inst
Lisa at Condo Blues - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Penny at Penny's Passion - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Kelly at Under a Texas Sky - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL
If you are featured this week, be sure and grab a featured button for your blog!
You can show your love for this week's favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!
And if you love all of this week's favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week's linky party!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - Show Me Your Christmas Trees

Happy Thursday!  I'm so excited for this link up because today I'm teaming up with Terri from Our Good Life to co-host Show Me Your Christmas Tree.  I hope you enjoy our trees and visit those who link up also.
I want to start with a disclaimer.  I love, love, LOVE Christmas trees in our house.  As a matter of fact, we have five full size trees scattered in every room we spend an ounce of time in.  What I don't really care for is actually decorating them myself.  So each year my friend, Carol, and her elves pop in when Eric and I are at work and transforms our house into a holiday wonderland.  The day she decorates is one of my most favorite days to come home from work and see what she's done.  Now, with no further ado, let me present our 2017 trees ~

Let's start in the kitchen.  We move out our wine rack and put a kitchen-themed tree right by the table.  It's in plan sight while I'm cooking and honestly, it makes me smile every time I'm preparing dinner.



The tree in the library is a tall, skinny model.  I just love sitting in their on a weekend morning and seeing the lights on this tree light up the room.




 The tree in our family room stands tall and strong in the corner by the fireplace.  A few years ago we switched the feel of this tree to a woodland theme.  We just love all the little critters perched about.




Our family room tree is also the background for many family photos.


We also have a tree in our dining room.  It certainly adds a warm holiday feeling to dinners we host around the dining room table.



Last, but not least, is the tree in our master bedroom.  Putting a tree in our bedroom was one of the best decisions I've ever made.  It is home to our personal ornaments such as the one celebrating our first year as a married couple, Ian's birth and other favorites.



It's so peaceful to lay in bed reading with just the glow from this tree's lights on.


Now it's your turn -- link up and show us your trees!

Let's Make Parmesan Chicken

If you've ever been to my house for dinner, the chances are pretty strong that you've had this Parmesan Chicken dish.  Not only is it easy to make, but it can be prepared several hours ahead of time and refrigerated until you are ready to pop it in the oven.  This makes it the perfect entree to serve dinner guests because you don't have to be preparing it when your guests arrive.

A version of this recipe was given to me by a friend years ago and over time I've only slightly modified it.  The original recipe called for a 3 pound frying chicken.  Ummmm, I'm not cutting up a chicken so I substituted in chicken breasts.

Here's What You Need

1 cup crushed herb-seasoned stuffing mix (I use Pepperidge Farm)
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup butter
1 large crushed clove of garlic
6 chicken breasts*

*I left the chicken out of the picture because raw chicken just doesn't photograph very well.

Here's What You Do
 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Mix crumbs, cheese and parsley together in a small bowl.  Depending on the size of your chicken breasts, I sometimes double this just because I prefer the crust on the chicken to be pretty thick.


Melt the butter in a skillet and add in the garlic.  You don't need the butter to be super hot, just melted.  Adding the garlic while the butter is melting will allow the flavors to blend.


Dip the chicken in butter/garlic.  Roll in the crumbs and place in a baking dish.


Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture and butter over the chicken.

Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.  The internal temperature of the chicken should be at least 165 degrees.


You and your guests are going to LOVE this recipe!  We usually serve it with brown rice and roasted asparagus.  Add a little salad and you are good to go! 


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Christmas Ornament Exchange Reveal

This year I participated in an ornament exchange hosted by Johannah who blogs over at The Sirois Family.  Johannah and I became blog friends back in September when I participated in a mug exchange and was paired with her.  When she posted that she would be hosting an ornament exchange, I quickly jumped on the band wagon.

When the pairing for this exchange arrived in my mailbox, I might have let out a little squeal of joy when I saw my match.  I was exchanging ornaments with Shelly from The Queen in Between and she's been a blogger I've followed for quite some time.


The package arrived and the box was so pretty I almost hated to open it.  But the lid was quickly off and check out what was inside ~



So much good stuff!!  For starters, the card actually made me laugh out loud!  Shelly not only sent me an ornament, but lots of extras too!

But let's just chat about the ornament for a second - GORGEOUS!  This Li Bien one is available from Pier 1 and I love it!!  One side has the date on it so I'll always be able to remember when it joined our ornament collection. 



Shelly -- you really nailed your package to me and I appreciate the effort you took putting it together in this very busy season.  Thanks to Johannah, too, for hosting such a fun exchange.

If you would like to see the package I sent to Shelly, you can check it out HERE

Do you do an ornament exchange?  I love adding a few every year and this new one is perfect!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Weekending - December 8, 2017

Happy Monday!  This weekend was so fun and I'm missing it already.  We had an action-packed few days.  Here's a recap ~

Friday night was spent doing a little prep for the weekend, but mostly watching The Crown.  We watch the first two episodes and I have to say that I'm hoping the next ones are a bit more exciting.  Don't get me wrong, the first two were good - but not GREAT in my opinion.  Looking forward to seeing a few more before making my final judgement of the season.

Saturday was B-U-S-Y and I loved it!  To some people, a day packed with activity every minute might seem horrible.  But I'm just not that person.  We started bright and early waiting in line at the new Nothing Bundt Cake store in Fairview Heights.  The first 50 people in line got a free bundtlet each month for a year.  Eric was a great sport about waiting in line with me in the freezing cold temperature.  #whyIlovemyhusband


The owner was so kind to pass out certificates to not 50, but 70 people who were in line.  Thank goodness he did because I was number 60 and Eric was number 61!  I'll be letting you know which bundt flavor we choose throughout the year.


If you haven't stopped by the Nothing Bundt Cake store at 5915 N. Illinois Street in Fairview Heights, you are really missing something.  Besides the cakes being wonderful, they have adorable little gifts.  Worth a drop in.




As soon as we had our free bundtlet for a year cards in our hands, we high tailed it to my home town to see our nephew, Kayden, play in his dribbling optional basketball game.  Watching these little guys play was so much fun.  They really gave it their all!



His brothers and sister were there to cheer him on.  All in all, he had quite the cheering section!



After a quick lunch with the family, we headed back home to get ready for dinner with Kayla and Ian.  We made reservations at the hot spot Olive and Oak a month ago and I was so excited to finally be trying this restaurant.  It did not disappoint!



Sunday was another fun-filled day.  Before Eric had to head off to work, we were able to enjoy going to church together.  In the afternoon I was hosting my first (of what I hope becomes many) cookie making day with my daughter-in-law Kayla, her sister and her mom. 


I had whipped up a personalized hot pad mitt full of goodies for each of the girls.  I'm telling you, my love for my Silhouette continues to grow as I explore more and more projects it can do for me.  I die cut their names from heat transfer vinyl and just used my iron to stick them on the mitts.  So cute!!


We managed to make six different types of cookies in the afternoon and each of them had a nice little box of goodies to take home. 


In the evening I switched gears from making cookies to making Grinch hats.  My friend, Tracy, and her niece Kaitlyn came over to lend a hand with this project.  Kaitlyn's dance troop will be sporting these as part of their costume in their dance recital.  Again with the help of my Silhouette, I cut little Grinch faces and heat pressed them onto stocking hats.  So simple!


After a weekend full of fun, it was great to crawl into bed under the glow of the Christmas tree we have in our bedroom.  Putting a tree in this space was one of the best decisions I've ever made!  It sure makes closing out the day calm and peaceful!


Hope you had a great weekend.  Don't forget on Thursday we showing off our trees with a link up party.  Pop in and show us yours!