Penny's Passion

Monday, June 26, 2017

Weekending - June 23, 2017

Oh my goodness -- we had the most fabulous weather the last few days in St. Louis!  It made for a wonderful weekend.  Here's how ours went down ~

Friday night I finished up a few decorations for the baby shower I was helping with.  Let me just say that my husband, Eric, is a rock star.  He was my assistant for the evening and we got done in half the time it would have taken me to do it by myself.  We worked on the wreath to welcome the guests, a raffle basket and gift banner and also food signs.




We did take a small break to watch the sunset.  Guys - my pictures just doesn't do it justice.  The sky was absolutely beautiful.


Saturday morning we got up bright and early to head to my hometown to do a little babysitting with my niece and nephew.  It was a fun way to spend the morning!  Their big brother had surgery last week and is still in the hospital.  Please say a little prayer that his recovery is speedy and he's back home soon.


The weather was perfect for playing outside, so I put down the camera and we headed to the park.  I swear these little guys change so much week to week.  Love spending time with them!

In the afternoon we drove home and got a few house chores checked off the list.  The garden was in desperate need of weeding (I might have took a little nap in the lounge chair while Eric did the weeding).  Our neighbor popped over and mentioned there was going to be fireworks at the park and we just couldn't let that pass us by without checking it out.  They were great!  Forty minutes of bombs bursting in air all choreographed to music.    Gotta love a good fireworks show!


Sunday morning I headed over to the shower venue to help set up.  Little Baby Cora is going to be welcomed with so much love!!  Check out some of the pics from the venue ~





The baby shower guests were treated to a sundae bar and many decedent dessert kabobs.





The tables were adorned with succulents for each guest to take home as a favor.  They added just the right touch sitting around the centerpieces.



 As soon as the decorating was finished, I rushed to a cooking demonstration class Tracy, Carol and Sherri and I had signed up for at Fezziwig's.  The class was held in the carriage house behind their store front and I truly felt like we could have been on some Food Network show.


The chef created three different kinds of flat breads as we looked on with our mouths watering.  For good measure, she also whipped up a couple different vinaigrette salad dressings.  So hoping I can replicate this at home!


When the class was complete and our wine glasses were empty, we headed over to Tracy's back porch to do a little catching up.  Tracy's FAVORITE holiday is summer solstice and she presented us with some pretty exciting gifts to celebrate it.  The wrapped package is going to be one of my five this Friday so you'll have to check back in to see what it is.


Sunday evening brought us another fantastic sunset.  It was the perfect way to end the weekend!



Friday, June 23, 2017

Five on Friday - June 23, 2017

Hello Friday!  Three cheers for the weekend!  Summer weekends are the best and I'm so looking forward to starting this one.  Want to see my five for this week?  Here you go ~

1.  Coffee Nut M&Ms
Are you or someone you know a coffee lover?  Bet they would love this M&M flavor!  They've been around for about a year and I'm just now learning about them.  Where have I been?!?  Have you tried them?  "Coffee Nut M&Ms are made with coffee flavored roasted peanuts, coated in real milk chocolate and surrounded by a colorful candy shell."  If your store doesn't carry them, they are available on Amazon (HERE).
2.  Liter Sale at Beauty Brands
It's shampoo stock up time at Beauty Brands!  They are having their annual liter sale and, man, can you get a great deal on shampoo.  Pop in a store near you and grab some.  Oh, by the way, if you get their flyer there is a $3.50 coupon on the back.  Clip it or print one HERE.  Take it in with you and use it on the liter sale items.  What a deal!!

$13.99 Liters

3.  Corkcicle Wine Canteen
The summer heat is upon us and this baby is the perfect vessel to tote your beverage to areas like the pool that do not allow glass.  I'm planning to go listen to a concert in a park that doesn't allow glass containers and guess what I'm putting in it - WINE!  It keeps your cold drink cold for 25 hours and hot for 12.  It has a leakproof cap so you don't have to worry about spillage.  They come in a ton of cool colors.  Click HERE to check it out.
4. Acure Travel Pack
Ever since I received a sample of Acure's day cream in one of my Birchboxes, I've been absolutely hooked on Acure's products.  I was so excited to run across this travel pack on Amazon!  Acure products use plant and food based natural and organic ingredients and pure essential oils.  You won't find any gluten, animal testing, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, petroleum silicone, synthetic fragrances, harmful preservatives or artificial flavors in any of their products.  And these are the perfect size for your carry on luggage.  What some?  Click HERE.

5.  Don't lie....


Now go have a fabulous weekend!  I'm going to be finishing up some decorations for a baby shower and then enjoying a girls afternoon out on Sunday.  The weather is supposed to be wonderful, so I'm hoping to soak up some vitamin D too.  See you next week!

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

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Friday Favorites - June 23, 2017

Happy Friday!  Hope you enjoy all the features today.  If you read my 2017 Summer Bucket List (HERE), you know that one of my items was to decorate for 4th of July.  Well, my feature today from The Scrap Shoppe Blog is going to help me do just that!  Check it out below.

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Thinking Out Loud Thursday - June 22, 2017

Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday!  Hope you link up below and share what you're thinking out loud about today.

Before I get into today's thoughts, I want to thank everyone for their comments yesterday.  I posted my summer bucket list and loved hearing your inputs, suggestions and comments.  If you missed my list, you can catch it HERE.

When I was putting my bucket list together, I put a lot of thought into each item and tried to figure out how I was going to make each one happen.  Today I'm thinking out loud about one of the items on my bucket list - Reading a few good books.

Here are the books I mentioned yesterday that are definitely on my summer reading list ~

Camino Island: A Novel by [Grisham, John]
Click HERE to purchase

Into the Water: A Novel by [Hawkins, Paula]
Click HERE to purchase

Lilac Girls: A Novel by [Kelly, Martha Hall]
Click HERE to purchase

Let me just say, I love to read books!  We have carved out a couple places in our home that are perfect for getting cozy with a good book in hand.  Unfortunately, for varies reasons, I don't take as much time as I'd like to actually sit down and read.  Pair that with the fact that I'm a fairly slow reader and it keeps my "Books I've Read" list pretty small.  Which made me start thinking how I could take in more books this summer.  I'm hoping the answer is with Audible by Amazon.

A few months ago, I downloaded Hands Free Life - 9 Habits for Overcoming Distraction, Living Better and Loving More and listened to it each morning when I was getting ready for work.  It was the perfect way to multitask while curling my hair and putting on makeup.  I don't know why I didn't get Audible immediately after that and keep listening to books!  But it's not too late - I'm going to get it straight away!

Now I'm thinking of all the other times in my day listening to a book would be a perfect way to absorb some of the items on my TBR list.  I could be listening while taking a walk, cleaning the house, or working in the yard.  With Audible, I'm feeling like I'm going to nail my "reading a few good books" bucket list item!

Interested in trying it yourself?  Click HERE and download 2 free audiobooks to see if you like it.  Do you already have it?  When do you listen to books?

So that's what I'm thinking out loud about today.  What's on your mind?  Link up and share!



Enjoy more Thoughts for Thursday at:
This is How We Roll
This post contained affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase.  Thanks!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

2017 Summer Bucket List

Happy first day of summer!  I'm joining a great group of  bloggers today sharing our summer bucket lists.  The days go by so fast, so I need to keep this list front and center to stay focused on getting it accomplished!  For me, if I actual write something down, I'm a whole lot more likely to get it done.  So here I am, not only writing it down but sharing it with you in hopes I will be even more accountable for accomplishing these summer goals!

Make donations to a summer lunch program
Last week I blogged about a summer lunch program we are having at our church.  If you missed it, you can catch it HERE.  We would like to drop off a donation each Sunday we attend church.

Get emails under control
Holy cow -- guess how many messages I have accumulated between my work and personal email accounts - 19,475.  Not kidding.  That's about 19,000 too many!  I'm going to make a true effort to knock that number down significantly.

Read a few good books
Here's a few on my list ~

Camino Island: A Novel by [Grisham, John]
Click HERE to purchase

Into the Water: A Novel by [Hawkins, Paula]
Click HERE to purchase

Lilac Girls: A Novel by [Kelly, Martha Hall]
Click HERE to purchase
Do you have any good books you would like to suggest I add to this list?  

Decorate for 4th of July
Since we've moved into this house (which has been many years now), I've wanted to hang flag banners on the front porch for the 4th of July.  This year I really, REALLY am going to try to make that happen!

Click HERE to purchase
Work on our French
Eric and I are getting pretty excited about our trip to Paris in August!  Ian and Kayla gave me some tapes to learn French for Mother's Day and we have been listening and learning a little each week.  I don't expect to be speaking fluent French by the time we leave, but I am hoping to know how to ask how much that dress is and be able to order a bottle of wine by the time we land in the city of lights.

Drop a few pounds
Wish me luck on this one!  I love food and hate exercise - not a great combo.

Add items to my Etsy page
I've had an Etsy page for quite a while now, but haven't really worked on adding any items.  Hopefully this summer will change that!  One of the items I'd like to add is fabric banners.  They are so fun to make!



Learn more about my new camera
This new DSLR camera owner really needs to spend some time figuring out exactly how her new camera operates.  I've figured out how to aim and shoot, but that's about it.

Get together with my friends in KC
Who doesn't love a girls weekend?!?

Go to an outdoor concert
We have a fantastic venue for watching concerts under the stars.  It's one of my most favorite things to do in the summer.

So that's my top 10 bucket list items for this summer.  What's on your summer bucket list?  Feel free to link up below and share your ideas.  Don't forget to check out the other links too!

An InLinkz Link-up

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Weekending - Father's Day 2017

Did everyone have a great Father's Day weekend?  We started celebrating on Friday and carried on into Saturday!

Friday I took a day of vacation so Eric and I could spent the day on an adventure with my parents.  We picked them up in the morning and headed to Arrow Rock, Missouri (population 56).  I had literally passed the exit off highway 70 hundreds of times and had never even glanced over in Arrow Rock's direction.  I never knew what I'd been missing - what a quaint little town!  From their website, "The entire village of Arrow Rock has been designated a National Historic Landmark recognizing its association with Westward Expansion, the Santa Fe Trail and artist George Caleb Bingham."

We spent a couple hours meandering in and out of the shops along Main Street, then did a driving tour of the state park.





For our next stop, we headed to Les Bourgeois Winery in Rocheport, MO.  This winery sits just off Interstate 70 midway between St. Louis and Kansas City.


Tours are typically given on the weekends, but I had called ahead to schedule one for us.  It was fun seeing exactly how the grapes turned into wine and was then bottled.  Well worth the $5 tour fee.





My friend Linda happened to be driving back to Kansas City from a speaking engagement so she was able to pull off the highway and join us for the afternoon.

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When the tour was complete, we headed to the tasting room for samples.  We chose two of our favorites and ventured to the A-Frame.  There we enjoyed a picnic I had packed for us and the views of the Missouri River.  What a great way to spend the afternoon!


We said our goodbyes to Linda and headed East to get to our next stop which was a balloon glow in Fulton, Missouri.  Eight balloons were unloaded and assembled as we looked on.



As the sun went down, the balloons began to glow and light up the evening.  The weather could not have been better!  It was truly a wonderful way to celebrate Father's Day with my dad.



Saturday we met up with Kayla and Ian to celebrate Father's Day for Eric.  We had decided to do a movie and dinner.  Wonder Woman was showing in 3D at the perfect time so that's the movie we watched.  Thumbs up from all of us.  The message at the end is perfect!



We ate dinner at Porter's Steakhouse.  Porter's is known for their pepperloin steaks and we hadn't had them in years.
Image result for porter's steakhouse in collinsville illinois pepperlion
Sunday after church Eric had to get to work and I had some things to get done around the house.  I did, however, make time to finish reading The Dry.  Guys, I could not put it down!  So today I'm operating on very little sleep, but staying up to finish the book was so worth it!  If you are looking for a great summer read, check it out HERE.

The Dry: A Novel by [Harper, Jane]


I'll be sharing a recipe later this week that you won't want to miss - Garlic Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower!  Hope to see you soon!