Penny's Passion: October 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Five on Friday - October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!  It's great when Halloween falls on Friday -- the kids don't have to get up for school the next day and it seems like the whole evening can be more laid back and fun.  And we get an extra hour this weekend -- how fun is that!

Here's this week's Five on Friday.

1.  Renee Zellweger
I'd like to make a catty comment -- what the heck happened to Renee Zellweger?!?!  I thought she was so cute before plastic surgery she started "taking care of herself".  Seriously, eat some Twinkies chick and start looking like your old self.  I seriously would not even recognize her.  Hey -- maybe the real Renee has been kidnapped and this really isn't even her!!

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2.  Birthday Celebration Trip
Eric and I both have birthdays in November so we decided to take a little trip to celebrate this year. After much discussion, we are headed to Charleston, South Carolina!  Neither of us have been there before and we are looking forward to exploring the city.  We decided to stay at The French Quarter Inn at Market Square (love staying at great hotels!).  Any recommendations on things to do or places to eat while we are there?
French Quarter Inn in Historic Charleston, S.C.
Photo courtesy of The French Quarter Inn
3.  Saturday Night Live
If you like Prince, you won't want to miss Saturday Night Live tomorrow night.  Prince will be on the show as the musical guest -- his first on the show since 2006.  Apparently (via a statement by Rolling Stone), Prince will perform one, uninterrupted "eight-minute long jam session".  He has a new solo album out called ART OFFICIAL AGE and a debut album from his band 3rdEyeGirl, PLECTRUMELECTRUM.  The show's host will be Chris Rock.  Good times!


4.  Just for Halloween.

5. Standard Time
Just a reminder - this is the weekend to turn your clock back.  It's a free hour, folks -- enjoy it!  Do something  you always say you don't have time to do.  I'm thinking about using that hour to take a real, live bath.  You know, where you light some candles, sit in the tub, have some cool music playing in the background and sip a glass of wine.  Or I'll catch up on laundry.  It's a toss up.  What are you going to do?
Be safe and have a great Halloween!  See you back here next week.

Linking up with:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

2014 Scarf Swap

One Saturday morning when I was blog hopping, I ran across Chelsea's The Perfect Catch blog.  She happen to be hosting a scarf swap and I thought it sounded so cool.  With my love for scarves AND my desire to make blog friends how could I go wrong!

Link Up

I was paired with Syvlia at Boo's Basket.  We emailed each other and quickly found out we had a love for sports in common.  She's a huge Texas Longhorn fan, so choosing a scarf for her was super easy!

Texas Longhorns Women's Infinity Scarf

She recognized right away my passion for the Cardinals and sent me this fabulous red plaid scarf.  I love it!!

I wore it this weekend (even though it was 80 degrees) to the Apple Butter Festival and I'm sure it will be worn a lot this fall/winter.

Thanks, Chelsea, for hosting this fun swap!  Sylvia -- you picked the perfect scarf for me and I've enjoyed getting to know you.  Thank you so much!!

See the other scarf swap postings here:  The Perfect Catch.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Weekending -- The One Before Halloween

Boy -- this was an action packed weekend and it was a blast!  The weather played right into our hands with temperatures in the high 70s/low 80s.  It was so nice to have the sun out -- especially considering it's the end of October and you could walk around in short sleeves.

We kicked off the weekend Friday night by seeing the play Dirty Dancing.  Now, I usually love a good musical.  This one honestly was a bit disappointing.  Don't get me wrong, I loved hearing the songs from the original movie and scenes that made me reminisce how cool I thought Patrick Swayze was.  But something was just lackluster.  Despite the performance, we still walked away at the end of the night with fun memories.  Anyone else seen it?  What are your thoughts?

Saturday Eric and I decided to grab some lunch at Wasabi Sushi Bar.  This place has the freshest sushi around and we love eating there.  They have locations in downtown St. Louis, Edwardsville and Fairview Heights.

We swung by the site of the new Home Goods store just to see if they might be open early, but no such luck.  I had to wait until Sunday for the doors to be unlocked.  So excited to finally have one of these stores close to me!!

Saturday night Sherri, Tracy and I headed to the Central West End for their Halloween party -- and a party it was!  We stopped by The Tap House to start the evening.  This place has about 480 different beers from at least 25 different countries on hand.  Even someone like me who doesn't care for beer was able to find one I liked!

They have an amazing costume contest with the winner taking home $1,000.  It was fun to see so much creativity on the costume department.  We ran into some pretty cool get ups.  
Travelocity Guy was there.
And so was Uncle Eddie

On Sunday, Eric and I headed to Kimmswick, Missouri for their annual Apple Butter Festival.  And so did about a million other people.  It was CROWDED!!  We didn't stay very long.  The highlight was the drive down and back.  The fall leaves were beautiful and seeing them made the trip worthwhile.

We ended the night with having Ian and Kayla over for dinner.  I love seeing these two!  Dinner was fun.  I finally tried the crack potatoes recipe I had been seeing everywhere.  If you haven't tried these yet, you're really missing something.  They are G-O-O-D!  I'll be sharing the recipe for the salad later this week.

It's hard to believe that this is the last week in October.  When I walked in Walmart today I noticed their sign saying there are only 60 days until Christmas.  Really?!?!  Hope you are able to make the most of your week and enjoy the last week of the month.

Check out the below blogs to see what they were up to this weekend.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Five on Friday - October 24, 2014

Hello everyone! Shout out for the weekend -- I'm so ready!  In case you didn't hear, today is quite the national holiday - National Bologna Day.  My grandpa Bud LOVED bologna.  I have many fond memories of sitting at his kitchen table for lunch and dining on the best fried bologna sandwiches made by my grandma.  Thinking of you today, Grandpa.

Now on to this week's Five on Friday.

1.  Giving Away Some Cash
I'm participating in a cash giveaway with some great bloggers -- please enter to win!

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2.  Walmart Savings Catcher App
Have you guys been seeing stuff on this Walmart Savings Catcher App?  I downloaded it this week, but haven't officially used it yet.  The story goes you download the app, scan your receipt and if the price is lower at any other store in your area, the difference is placed on an ecard for you to use at Walmart.  This ecard can be printed or you can take your phone in.  Sounds pretty nifty.  I'm anxious to give it a try.  With holiday shopping approaching, it could save some time going to difference stores to get the lowest price.

3.  Roses by Leila Meacham
This is a great book!  I started reading it last weekend and am dying to finish.  Here's the Amazon synopsis:  Spanning the 20th century, the story of Roses takes place in a small East Texas town against the backdrop of the powerful timber and cotton industries, industries controlled by the scions of the town's founding families. Cotton tycoon Mary Toliver and timber magnate Percy Warwick should have married but unwisely did not, and now must deal with the deceit, secrets, and tragedies of their choice and the loss of what might have been--not just for themselves but for their children, and children's children. With expert, unabashed, big-canvas storytelling, Roses covers a hundred years, three generations of Texans and the explosive combination of passion for work and longing for love.

4.  How to Get Away with Murder
Anyone else hooked on this show?  We hadn't been watching or taping it, but we'd heard the buzz about how good it was so decided to watch an episode -- then another, and another, and another.  Before I knew it I had binge-watched to the point where we are current.  OH. MY. GOODNESS -- love this show!

5.  Good Advice..

I'm hoping to catch some "fallness" this weekend by being outside with the beautiful colors.  We also need to get ready for the trick-or-treaters that will be showing up at our door next Friday.  Have a wonderful weekend and I hope to see you back here next week.

Linking up with:

Thoughts for Thursday - Erma Bombeck Style

I love Erma Bombeck.  In case you've never heard of her, she was an American humorist who was quite the hit for her newspaper column that spoke to suburban home life from the mid-1960s until the late 1990s.  The column was like her own little blog before computers.

Erma Bombeck

My top goal this year was to start living my life more intentionally.  I don't want days (or weeks) to slip by and not be able to even remember anything I had gotten accomplished.  It sounds so cliche -- but the time we have here on this earth really is short and we should all try to make the most of it.

So, I want to share this little poem by Erma Bombeck.  I try to get it out at least once a year and dust it off.  Even if you do just one thing on her list for one day, I believe it will make your life a little bit better.  Enjoy!

(written after she found out she was dying from cancer).

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner." There would have been more "I love you's" More "I'm sorry's."

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute...look at it and really see it ... live it and never give it back.STOP SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF!!!

Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what
Instead, let's cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us.

Enjoy more Thoughts for Thursday at

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Giveaway! Who Wants Cash?

Not much is more exciting than group giveaway day.
 $125 up for grabs?

I am thrilled to introduce you all to some great blogs,
which are all worth following...
regardless of the opportunity to win some huge moola.  

Check out each site below and then get entered to win.

And should you want to join in on next months group giveaway, click HERE to check out your options.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Halloweening at Our House

Halloween is becoming big business -- In 2013 a study by the National Retail Federation said Americans would spend nearly $6.9 billion (that's BILLION with a "b") on Halloween costumes, decorations and candy!  Wow -- somebody's doing some serious Halloweening!!

With Halloween creeping up on us, I decided this weekend I better get in gear!  I started putting the decorations on the mantle and had a mild panic attack.  The picture was in my mind, but my hands weren't making the vision become a reality.  So what do you do when you need help -- call a friend, of course!  Tracy is on my speed dial and luckily she was available to meet me at At Home Saturday afternoon.  I made a small contribution to the $6.9 billion, but I didn't break the bank.

You have already seen my fabulous wreath my friend, Carol, made in this post -- but it's so worth showing again.  Carol is so very talented! I always love her creations.  Yes, she does sell her masterpieces.  If you want information on how to reach her, send me a message.

Look how cute the little witch is in the center.
Now on to the mantle reveal:

The room is finished off by our decorated tree (done by Eric) and the tray on the coffee table.  

Love the witch's legs.

These little guys have been around forever.  I love the way they accent our shelf.

Linking up for the Holiday Link-Up.  Can't wait to check out my other blogger friends posts to get some creative ideas for the rest of the house.  

Holiday Linkup

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Weekending -- Football Happiness

Oh my goodness -- what a weekend!  My plans for the weekend took a sudden turn last week when the Cardinals ended up loosing all three games in California.  I really thought we'd be sitting at a game in St. Louis on Saturday night.  And I really thought we'd be celebrating going to the World Series again by Sunday -- but that just wasn't meant to be.  So other plans were made and a great weekend was had anyway.

Friday night the girls headed to Carol's for dinner before going to the first ever Edwardsville Art Show.  Carol has transformed her backyard into this wonderful enchanted garden.  The garden was the perfect place to munch on Carol's pretzel encrusted chicken bites, chili in cornbread bowls and cheeseburger macaroni balls.  Also for sipping her Pomegranate Sangria.  YUM!  As the sun began to set, the firepit provided the perfect lighting to sit and catch up with each other.  We eventually walked up to the art show.  None of us made a purchase, but walking around looking at the artists' wares was a good time.

Tracy had surprised us with Halloween treats on Friday night.  How fun is this!  One of the items in the bag was Sahale Cashews Glazed Nuts with Pomegranate and Vanilla.  Have you tried them?  Tracy picked them up at World Market and they are definitely on my shopping list the next time I go there.  DELISH!

Another item Tracy gave us was a decadent pastry from our favorite bakery, La Patisserie Chouquette.  This specialty croissant, The Darkness, was layers of rich chocolate wonderfulness.  Saturday morning I sat in one of my favorite reading spots, enjoyed my breakfast and read a great book.  Does life really get any better?

I had a mild panic attack Saturday afternoon when I was trying to put together my Halloween mantle and called Tracy for help.  Like the great friend that she is, she immediately met me at At Home and helped me out.  Pictures of the final product will be coming on Tuesday for the holiday linkup on Katie Elizabeth's blog.

Saturday night, Eric and I had a date night.  We went to this little restaurant in Freeburg, Illinois called Valentines.  It's not fancy, but you can consistently get a great steak at a very reasonable price.

Magic happened on Sunday when the Rams managed to get their first home win of the season.  I had the great time going to the game with Tracy.  We each have season tickets at opposite ends of the dome and neither of us had anyone to go to the game with this week.  Tracy had the great idea that we ditch two tickets and use the other two to go with each other -- GREAT DECISION!  We had a blast!  Go Rams!

The great weekend is over and on with the week.  I'm hoping for a productive week transitioning my winter clothes in and my summer clothes out of my closet.  I'd love to donate a bunch of items I haven't worn in forever -- we'll see how that goes!  

Check out the below blogs to see what they were up to this weekend.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Five on Friday - October 17, 2014

Oh my goodness -- I'm ready for a weekend!!  As I sit here putting this post together, the Cardinals are playing the Giants.  Win and they are coming home to play more baseball and we will be here to greet them.  Lose, they will be coming back to pack up for the winter and we will be here to greet them.  St. Louis is a baseball town and we'll still love our Cardinals (but it sure would be nice if they win!).

Here's this week's Five on Friday.

1. TV Food Maps App
Can't wait to use this beauty!  We love to check out Food TV locations when travelling and this free app will allow you to search by location, what's near you, shows.  It will suggest places or you can plan a road trip.  When the establishment comes up, it tells you what show(s) it was featured on, the address, how far you are away, description and reviews.  Cool stuff!  Thanks Eric Lemmons for showing me this one.

2.  Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuit Mix
Anyone else tried these?  We are in love with this mix!  It's super easy to make and the taste matches the ones from the real Red Lobster.  Just add grated cheddar, water and butter.  We get a big box at Sam's.  One pouch make 10 biscuits.

3.  The Judge
Good movie -- go see it!  Take tissues.


4.  Two Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins
The whole world has gone pumpkin crazy this month.  You can't get away from it.  So, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  I was quite skeptical when I saw this two ingredient idea, but believe it or not it's really good.  Mix together one box spice cake mix and 1 can of pumpkin. Plop into 12 muffin cups and bake in a 350 degree F over for 20-25 minutes.  Done.  If you wanted to get creative, you could add in some chocolate chips or nuts.

                                                2 Ingredient Pumpkin Cookies...a can of pumpkin and spice cake mix!!

5.  Quote
Sometimes don't you really want to say this....
                                       Pinterest #Humor - Share The #Funny @ | Funny Pictures & Funny #Quotes

Have a great weekend everyone!  The sun is supposed to be out here and I can't wait to see it.  I'm off with the girls tonight to an art show.  Hope to pick up some Christmas gifts.  Wish me luck.  :) 

Linking up with:

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What Came In The Mail

I had a rough day at work on Tuesday.  I had been out late Monday night attending the Rams game and on Tuesday I was just looking forward to leaving work on time and heading home.  Eric was working a late shift and I knew I could run a few errands on the way home and then prop myself in a comfortable position and stay there uninterrupted.  When, at 4:45 pm my boss called from out of town and needed something -- something I knew would take me hours.  I was bummed!

I finished work around 7:45 pm and headed home.  On my way, I called my friend, Linda, to complain tell her about my day.  I was disappointed that my evening had taken an unexpected turn and my errands would have to stay on my to-do list.

The day needed to be turned around so I decided a little White Castle was in order.  Have you ever had their loaded french fries?  Couple that with a little fish sandwich and my train wreck evening started getting back on the rails.

And then, the magic happened.....I got the mail.

Just look at it -- not one, but TWO magazines.  A Crate and Barrel coupon.  And my Fall Walmart beauty box.  Oh, and not a single bill.  Come on, how could this not put a smile on my face.

Check out what's inside:

Do you see the full-size Covergirl lipstick in the fabulous color of vintage wine?!?  The thing on the end is a sample of Couture by Juicy Couture.  Yes, please.  Also included is Olay Regenerist micro-sculpting cream, clinical strength Secret,  sample of Clear Scalp and Hair shampoo and conditioner, and Revitalift Triple Power Deep-Acting Moisturizer,   Guess how much -- I'll tell you.  $5.  Yes, $5!

Here's how it works.  Sign up and take their little quiz so they know what to send you.  Each new season they will send you different products to refresh your beauty cabinet.  It's just that simple.  This little box made my day!  

Enjoy more Thoughts for Thursday at

Monday, October 13, 2014

Weekending - First Games of the NLCS

This weekend was met with so much excitement -- we had not one, but TWO Cardinal games to go to!  Well, Saturday's game was a total bust.  I love almost all Cardinal fans, I really do.  But Saturday night I swear every cray cray Cardinal fan was sitting around me.  It probably didn't help that we were loosing and I wasn't in the most people tolerate mood.  Let me recap.  To my right was a guy that could majorly benefit from some anger management classes.  He actually had bought an extra seat so when things went poorly he could punch it and hit it with his hat.  Not joking.  Then we have the couple sitting directly in front of us.  He tried to explain to his date (for 3 whole innings) why he was bringing another girl with him to the game on Sunday night.  Dude, she's never going to be okay with you bringing another date to the game!!!  Stop trying to justify it!!  And chick, by saying "Are you kidding me right now?" over and over is probably not going to convince him to ditch his Sunday night date and take you instead.  Then we have the lady behind me that constantly was tapping the back of my seat with her foot and throwing peanut shells on my back.  Pair all that with the way the Cardinals were playing and you can understand why I made Eric take me for ice cream after the game.  Still love the Cardinals by the way.


Sunday I woke up ready and excited for Game 2.  Come on Birds, make this one count!    I prepared myself by staying calm all day reading the Nicholas Sparks book The Best of Me.  I read the whole book this weekend.  Time well spent.  It was a typical Nicholas Sparks book, but I still loved it and it made me cry and gasp a few times.  The movie is coming out October 17.  Movie anyone?
Sunday night was game time.  It was a home run derby for the Cardinals.  Final score - 5-4.  Walk off home run by Kolton Wong.  Home runs also by Matt Carpenter, Matt Adams and Oscar Taveras.  Way to go Cardinals!!!  Oh, and by the way, our tickets were in another section so I didn't get to see date #2 of the dude sitting in front of us on Saturday night.  

Good news from the other side of the state -- the Royals are up 2 game to none against the Orioles.  I-70 Series maybe?!?!

So basically, Cardinals baseball was my weekend.  I did no cooking, no errands, nada.  Monday night is Rams football.  Rams players -- please show up and give us a good game.

See you guys later this week.  Have a good one.

Check out the below blogs to see what they were up to this weekend.