Penny's Passion: January 2015

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Five on Friday - January 30, 2015

Guess what today's post is?  It's my 100th blog post!  I have to say, I've enjoyed writing each one of them.  Thanks for sticking around and it's been fun gaining some blogger friends!  I'm learning as I go and am truly enjoying the journey.

Now, back to business.  Here's my Five on Friday for this week.

1.  St. Louis Cardinals Spring Training
I booked my flight to Spring Training this week!!  So excited!!  It's been an item on my bucket list for years to go to Florida for some Cardinal spring training games and it looks like this year I'll get to move it over to the "done that" column.  Two friends from work and I are headed down in March and I couldn't be looking forward to it more.  Go Cards!!  Anybody else going?  We need some recommendations on places to stay near Jupiter.

2.  Apricot Pork Chops
On Monday, I posted about Apricot Pork Chops.  These are not only delicious, but oh so good.  They can also be made in a freezer bag ahead of time and frozen.  Makes a great gift to give a new mother, someone recuperating, housewarming -- you get the picture.  I serve them over rice.  Here's the recipe:

6 pork chops
1 (1 oz.) package dry onion soup mix
10 oz. Russian-style salad dressing
1 cup apricot preserves

1.  Preheat over to 350 degrees.
2.  Place the pork chops into a casserole dish.
3.  Mix onion soup mix, Russian dressing and apricot preserves together.
3.  Pour mixture over chops and bake uncovered for 1 hour.

Apricot Pork Chops
3.  Harney & Sons Earl Grey Imperial Tea
I have a new love for hot tea and am digging this Harney & Sons Earl Grey Imperial tea.  It's available to purchase at Barnes and Noble.  This may sound really silly, but one of the things I love about it is the precious silk tea bags!!  Makes me feel so fancy when I make a cup.  They have lots of different flavors, but I haven't ventured out to try any of them yet.  Maybe soon -- we still have some winter left and I love curling up with a book and cup of hot tea on a cold day outside.                        
4.  Alex and Ani
My friend, Tracy, gave me a skeleton key charm bangle bracelet from Alex and Ani and I love it!  The one she chose represents power, choice and liberation.  The description says to wear this bangle to help propel you toward greatness.  These are excellent gifts and they have a bangle to go with about anything you could want (sororities, sports teams, zodiac signs).  You might have seen them in Cosmopolitan, Real Simple or Lucky magazines.  If you're looking for a gift that has some meaning to it, check them out.

                                              Alex and Ani
5.  Super Bowl Humor


Enjoy your weekend!  I'm having the girls over for lunch on Saturday and Sunday is book club.  I also hope to get out my Valentine's decorations and spruce up the house a bit.  And, of course, we have the Big Game on Sunday.  We're having our son and daughter-in-law over to watch the game and enjoy the commercials and half-time show.  Hope to see you back here on Monday for the weekend recap.

Linking up with:

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Farewell Bravermans

Tonight, after 103 episodes and six seasons, we will be saying farewell to the Bravermans on Parenthood.  I'm truly sad to see them go.  We were late joining the Parenthood craze and spent some time between season 3 and 4 binge watching to catch up, but ever since then we have kept current with the help of our DVR.  Are you a fan?

Parenthood finale, Bravermans

Sometimes after you watch a series for years, you feel like the characters are actual people.  I remember when Sex and the City was having their finale show.  Of course, I had to have a party to commemorate the event with my friends.  Ian was thirteen at the time and we were going someplace in the car together.  I was daydreaming about how I thought the show should end and let out a sigh.  Ian asked what the matter was and I said I wasn't sure I wanted Carrie to end up with Big in Sex and the City.  He gently put his hand on my arm and reminded me that it was just a TV show, not real life.  Thanks, Ian, for the reminder.

I've caught myself doing the same melancholy daydreaming about how I want the Parenthood series to finish.  Will Joel and Julia make it?  Will Max be able to mainstream into life as an adult?  What will happen to the Luncheonette?!?!

Here's some fun facts about the show:

Sarah Lauren Graham and Adam Peter Krause are dating in real life.  Gross -- brother and sister!!


Max Max Burkholder does not have Asperger's in real life.


Some posts I've seen on Reddit is predicting Crosby (Dax Shepard) will die in the finale.  Say it's not so!!  They wouldn't do that to us, would they??


Do you remember some of these quotes:

Max: I don't get why we have to raise our hands, because if we were in a real conversation you wouldn't raise your hand every time you wanted to contribute something to the conversation.

Crosby: Yeah, well I'm so sorry sweetie. I'm sorry I failed you again.
Jasmine: Well, at least you're consistent!

Kristina: I was standing next to that goddess that you hired and I started leaking.
Adam: What, breast milk?
Kristina: No, oil. Yes breast milk!

So, farewell my Parenthood friends.  Thanks for many good hours of TV time.  I have my box of tissues handy to keep me company while I watch your last visit to my family room.

Enjoy more Thoughts for Thursday at

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Let's Be Friends Blog Hop - January 27, 2015

Welcome to the Let's Be Friends Blog Hop!
A blog hop is a set time frame for current or aspiring bloggers to find new blogs and quality content. It is a great way to make new friends and find inspiration! It is also a fabulous way to promote your own blog and posts.
Dear Friends,
What a day to celebrate! This is the 102nd week of the Let's Be Friends blog hop! Thanks for joining us on this special day. Chelsee and Tiffany are extremely delighted to see the way this hop has grown and love to see your faces each week!
Join us every Tuesday at 7am (MST). This blog hop focuses on content. LINK UP YOUR FAVORITE POST from last week in this fun content-sharing blog hop! I love the idea of blog hopping, but I love the idea of reading posts and quality content on new blogs I've never been to even more. Instead of simply linking up your blog button, you are now able to link up your favorite post you recently wrote. Have a delicious recipe to share, DIY tutorial, or heartfelt post? Share it with us! All hosts and co-hosts put up some unique and fun content from the past week. Make sure to check them out. P.S.- you may still link up your blog button and blog name, but it is encouraged to link up your favorite post instead. You will get more page views and interest if you do so! Some of the most successful blog hops I have participate in focus on content rather than just exchanging follows. You never know who will become a loyal follower or pin that delicious new recipe you posted!
The BEST part of this blog hop? Each week there will be a WINNER! That's right, each week we will choose one lucky blog to feature from the previous week's hop. This hop receives thousands of page views every week, so your blog will have the chance to be center stage for free. You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win. Only those who link up a specific post are eligible to be featured! *You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win.
The last exciting change is that the co-host spots will now be available to all sponsors of The Dwelling Tree or Southern Beauty Guide. If you are interested in co-hosting the blog hop, email Tiffany or Chelsee about sponsorship opportunities and how to co-host the weekly hop!
There are a couple of great giveaways going on right now at Southern Beauty Guide and The Dwelling Tree. Go check them out! :)
Let's Be Friend's Blog Hop Guidelines
1. Link up your favorite post from your week.
2. Follow your hosts and co-hosts.
3. Grab the button and post it on your blog so we can share the love.
4. Visit 3 other blogs, comment, and follow them along!
5. Tweet about this blog hop, using #letsbefriends
6. Pin the button on pinterest so we can spread the news!
***Once a week, one blog will be chosen to be the featured blogger from the previous blog hop.
Meet your hosts:
The Dwelling Tree: Blog, Bloglovin'
Southern Beauty Guide: Blog, Bloglovin'
Meet this week's co-hosts:
PicMonkey Collage
Christine @ So Called Homemaker
***This weeks featured post from last week's hop:
running playlist-bright
Thank you all once again for continually linking up at our blog hop. It is such a fun time and I am so impressed each week with all the amazing posts. Please continue to link up an actual post instead of your blog. We want to keep reading your content and it makes it more fun to pick a winner!
Is there anything we can do differently or better? Please share in the comments!
... onto the winner!
Hello everyone! This is Tiffany this week. The post I picked this week hits close to home for me. A couple of years ago I ran my first half marathon. I trained for six months, and prior to training had never ran more than a couple of miles in my life. It was a difficult experience, but it changed my life forever to run a bit over 13 miles.
Faith just ran a half marathon and posted beautiful pictures to share with us her experience. The pics of her family rooting for her made my heart melt! It is so awesome for me to see other momma's doing adventurous things like this, and always something I want to applaud! It is not easy to run a half marathon! Her post is inspiring and beautiful, and highlights what she holds dear in her life.
She also shares a fantastic running playlist with us. Please go check her out and follow her blog. She is awesome!
Thank all of you for your amazing posts each week. I love reading all that you share!
Keep posting awesome content! You make it so fun for us to read all your posts! If you can, please link up a specific post. It makes it easier for us to come and visit!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Weekending - January 23, 2015

Weekends -- don't you just love them?!?  Mine was a little short this week because I was out of town on business until Saturday afternoon -- but come Saturday afternoon I immediately starting enjoying the time left of the weekend.

I literally walked in the door, put down my suitcase and Eric and I headed out the door to catch the matinee showing of American Sniper.  Good movie.  This movie had been on our list to see since we saw the previews before the movie was even released.  The 132 minute movie flew by and did not disappoint.  I'm anxious to see more of the Oscar best picture nominated movies to see how it compares.

Movie, Oscar Nominated Best Picture

After the movie, we did some shopping around town.  I had a Barnes and Noble gift card that was burning a hole in my pocket.  We also stopped by a new store in our area - Fresh Thyme Farmers Market.                                                


Just walking in this store made me want to start eating more healthy.  Have you been in one?  They are located in the Midwest right now and don't have a ton of stores.  The below picture was taken off the net because there were so many people in the store you could barely turn around -- literally.  Saturday afternoon was NOT the time to get in and out in a short period of time.  I'll have to go back when there's not so many people.


I'm on a quest to find some black ankle boots so we stopped in DSW.  I tried a pair on (beautiful black suede), but didn't pull the trigger on buying them.  Suede frankly scares me.  I'm not very gentle with my shoes and I could see myself ruining these pretty quick.  The search continues.

Saturday night we rented a couple Red Box movies and watched This Is Where I Leave You.  Wasn't a bad watch -- I'm glad we rented it instead of seeing it at the theater.


Sunday it looked like winter outside -- gray and rainy.  I enjoyed hanging out inside and really doing a bunch of nothing.  I watched Boyhood.  It had some interesting moments that made me do some deep thinking about things.  Interesting that they filmed this movie over 12 years.  Have you seen it?  What did you think?

                                                              Movie, Oscar Nominated Best Picture

I pulled out some apricot pork chops I had in the freezer for dinner Sunday night.  I'll be sharing the recipe later on the blog.  Just want to say -- they were really tasty!

Guess what Monday is -- Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day.  (Yes, there really is a day for everything!)  Sealed Air Corporation conducted a survey and found that popping bubble wrap for one minute relieves as much stress as a 33-minute message.  So pop some bubble wrap today and relax - literally.

Check out what others were up to this weekend.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Five on Friday - January 23, 2015

This has been a busy, busy work week for me -- but one that has been rewarding at the same time.  I have to admit, though, getting home to lay on the couch and relax is looking very good about now!  My weekending post on Monday could potentially highlight some pretty chill activities.

Let's take a look at what I'm loving this week on my Five on Friday.

1.  Skeem Roller Ball
I have two new loves going on with this one product -- the Skeem Flower Market roller ball.  Number one love -- this is my first roller ball perfume (I know, where have I been!).  This little gem fits great in my purse and when I want to refresh my scent I can just whip it out -- no fuss, no muss.  Number two love -- the scent itself.  It's a little bit jasmine and a little bit rose blossoms with a side of cedar.  You must smell this fragrance!  I might have been caught a couple times this week smelling my wrist.  Thanks, Tracy, for gifting me this new love.

roller ball, Flower Market, perfume

2.  Sensi Thermostat
Never thought I would be so impressed with my thermostat that I'd want to blog about it, but it's happened.  Our new sleek design Sensi wifi thermostat has truly impressed Eric and me so much we can't stop telling people about it.  This programmable thermostat was a breeze to install (seriously easy -- Eric did it by himself in a matter of minutes) and both of us are enjoying have an app on our phones to control the temperature in our house.  The stats say you can save up to 30% in energy costs and if last month was an indicator, I believe it.   We don't have to program the thermostat and hope our schedule doesn't change.  You can just adjust the temperature setting remotely.  So if we're at dinner and it runs longer than we thought, our furnace isn't running away at home wasting money.  We simply turn it up when we know we're on our way and -- ta da -- it's warm by the time we get there.  Interested in getting one?  You can buy one HERE.
                                     Sensi wifi thermostat, wifi thermostat, thermostat, programmable thermostat
3.  Dark Chocolate Pomegranate
Have you tried these Brookside balls of joy?!?  Oh.My.Goodness.  They are just the right amount of sweet.  I love the description Brookside has on their website about their products:  Exotic flavors artfully blend to create the ultimate chocolate experience.  Pair them with fine food and drink. Celebrate special moments every day.  Savor the sophistication.  

                                                  pomegranate flavor, Brookside

4.  National Handwriting Day
Did you know today was National Handwriting Day?  Well, January 23 has been National Handwriting Day since 1977.  This particular day has been set aside to celebrate writing on real paper with pens and pencils because it's John Hancock's birthday -- clever, don't you think.  So, in honor of National Handwriting Day, I'd like to show you some adorable note cards by one of my favorite designers Katie Daisy.  Aren't they just the cutest things?!?  I've admired her designs on Etsy for a while and was so excited to hear you can now buy some of her line at Barnes & Noble.  So come on everybody -- let's write a note to someone special in our lives.

                                          Be Filled with Joy Boxed Note Card Set of 10, Katie Daisy notecards

5.  Best Friend Humor

                        Only your best friend understands that when you say "I saw my boyfriend today" you are referring to the hot guy that has no clue you exist.

Hope you guys have a great weekend!  Monday will be here before you know it, so get out there and do something fun.  Oh, and hey -- don't forget to register to win the giveaway I'm participating in right now for a Tarte Tartelette Palette.  You are enter HERE.

Linking up with:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tartelette Giveaway!

Hello friends!!  I'm so excited to be involved in this fabulous giveaway!  Check it out -- who wouldn't want to win this great gift?!?  Please enter below -- I'll keep my fingers crossed that you win.

Tarte Giveaway, Tartelette, Giveaway, Win Tarte,

How is 2015 treating you so far? Today is giveaway day! I look forward to giveaways like this one where I can help giveaway something amazing. The Tarte Tartelette palette is simply amazing. If you love matte shadows, or makeup in general then you will absolutely love this palette. To start off the year on a good note myself and all the ladies above are giving away 2 of these palettes! Amazing right?! Make sure you enter below and check out all the amazing bloggers above.  Good luck! 

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Weekending - January 16, 2015

This weekend was epic!  After working late on Friday, I rose bright and early Saturday morning to travel across the state of Missouri to Kansas City to celebrate Haley's 21st birthday.  Even though I was in Kansas City for less that 24 hours, I wouldn't have wanted to do anything else on Saturday but enjoy the company of my good friends on that side of the state and honor Haley's special birthday.

While traveling on highway 70, I noticed several new message boards the state is displaying with safety messages.  Hats off to them for trying to get these important messages communicated.  A few of the cuter ones read:

Buckle up - Windshields hurt

Brighten up a gray day.  Turn on your headlights.

Turn signals.  The original instant message.

Haley chose Zio's as the destination for her birthday dinner.  I had never been to a Zio's before and found it quite tasty.


We had a party of 20 and with an advanced reservation, they had no problem accommodating us.  This kid-friendly restaurant was the perfect place for dinner!

It was so fun to see Haley open her present from her mom, Linda.  Haley is a huge Billy Joel fan and it was on her bucket list to see him in concert.  Well, she will soon be crossing that off her list because she is the proud recipient of Billy Joel concert tickets!!  

After dinner, the girls headed out for some singing and dancing at Howl at the Moon in the Power and Light District.  Fun times!                                  

Haley was a real sport about being called up on stage.  She's just so darn cute!!  Side note -- if you are planning a trip to Howl at the Moon with a group, it's a great idea to reserve a table.  We had excellent seats close the the stage and dance floor.  

This was definitely a fun evening that we'll be talking about for quite some time.  You know, it may seem crazy for me to drive to KC this weekend just for a few hours, but the memory of this event will be with me for a long, long time.  At the end of the day when I look back and reflect on my life, I'll be so happy I decided to be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime occurrence.  I know there was a lot of things I could have been doing if I stayed home (like getting those Christmas trees taken down), but really what's going to make your life fuller?  Yes, for me the best place to be was in Kansas City sharing this moment with my friends.  Life is full of choices -- we should really think about what is going to add value to our life and try to make those things happen.  Deciding to sit on the sideline just isn't something I want to do with my time on this earth.  Happy, happy birthday Haley!

P.S.  When I got home on Sunday, the Christmas trees FINALLY came down.  :)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Five on Friday - January 16, 2015

Hello, Friday!!  I've been waiting for you all week!  I'm off to Kansas City this weekend to help my friend Linda's daughter celebrate her 21st birthday.  Whoop!  Whoop!  It's not often I get to party with a 21-year-old so I'm bumped.  Hope I can keep up!  If you missed my 21 thoughts for her, you can catch them here and here.

Here's this week's Five on Friday.

1.  Don't Wait Until the Last Minute To Do Your Makeup
Did you guys see Hannah Storm during the Green Bay Game last weekend?  I laugh every single time I see this.  I bet she's a gem to work for.

2.    New Album
Mark Ronson's Uptown Special album launched on January 15.  This is the fourth album by this producer-songwriter-musician.  I'm in love with the song he did with Bruno Mars.  There's also collaborations from Tronbone Shorty, the Dap-Kings and Kevin Parker.

                                         Mark Ronson - Uptown Special

3.  Spicy Pretzels
The picture below looks like some ordinary pretzels, right?  Well, don't let the picture fool you!  These babies are SPICY pretzels.  With the football playoff games and parties coming up, I thought I'd share this gem of a recipe with you.  Easy to make and oh so good!

1 ½  lbs of tiny twist pretzels
1 Package Hidden Valley Ranch Mix
2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Garlic Salt
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 Cup oil

Preheat oven to 200°.  Put pretzels in a large bowl with a lid.  In a separate bowl, mix all other ingredients.  Pour mixture over pretzels.  Put the lid on the bowl and shake well for several minutes.  Dump all the pretzels on a cookie sheet (they will all be mounded on top of each other—that’s ok).  Bake for 30 minutes and then stir them up.  Bake for another 30 minutes. 


4.  AT&T Refund
If you use AT&T, you might be interested in this:

AT&T Mobility, LLC, has agreed to settle allegations that it charged mobile customers without their permission for third-party services like ringtones, wallpapers, and text message subscriptions for horoscopes, flirting tips, and celebrity gossip. Current and former AT&T customers who paid for unauthorized third-party charges after January 1, 2009 may apply for refunds.

The FTC has hired Epiq Systems to process refund requests for this case. You should not expect to receive your refund for at least 9 months.  If you have questions, call 1-877-819-9692. Claims can't be taken over the phone, but you can request a paper claim form.  Claims must be filed by May 1, 2015.  Visit to file your claim.


5.  If only we could all live by this....


Have a great weekend guys!  I'll be back on Monday to do a recap of my weekend in Kansas City celebrating Haley's birthday.  

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Thoughts on Thursday - Haley's Turning 21 v. 2

Today is Haley's 21st birthday.  Happy birthday, Haley!!  Last week I started my 21 thoughts for her and today I'd like to finish with the last 11.  In case you missed it, you can see the first 10 here.  Haley is my friend Linda's oldest daughter and I've loved her since she was born.  I can't wait to get to Kansas City this weekend to be a part of the birthday celebrations!

Advice for a 21 year old

11.  Show Empathy
Let me share a little story with you:  There was a father on a subway with 4 children.  The children were being loud, crawling over others, and generally misbehaving -- all the while, the father sat silently, not even trying to control his children.  After some time, a passenger said to the man, "Sir, can you please get your children under control".  The gentleman looked over at the passenger and as a tear slid down his face he said, "I'm so sorry.  Their mother just died and I have no idea what I'm going to do without her.  She was the love of my life and best mother these children will ever have."  You never know what's happening in other's lives.  Show empathy.

12.  Don't Panic  
There are going to be a lot of times in your life when something goes drastically wrong, you forget a meeting, your deadline gets moved up, etc., etc.  Don't panic!  No one is motivated by a blithering idiot who is running around like a chicken with their head cut off.  Stay calm, take a deep breath and work through your issue.  By staying calm, others around you will stay calm.  Win, win.

13.  Love Your Sister
Since Kelsey was a baby, she looked up to you like only a little sister can.  You can see the love in her eyes when she talks about you or is sitting next to you.  Even in those moments when it appears like she doesn't love you, you can still see that deep down she does.  God didn't bless everyone with a sister, so don't take advantage of your blessing.  And she can sing musicals with you like no one else ever could.

14.  Pick Out Your Clothes The Night Before
Just trust me on this one -- your day will be off to such a smoother start if you pick out your clothes the night before.

15.  Say You're Sorry
If you've made someone sad, mad and/or disappointed, say you're sorry.  PROFUSELY AND EMPHATICALLY SAY YOU ARE SORRY.  Don't do the "I'm sorry, but blah, blah, blah."  Just be sorry.  Period.  And then try really hard not to do the thing you did to cause the need for the I'm sorry in the first place.

16.  Dance
Don't wait until you're on the Ellen show to bust a move -- just dance anytime you feel the urge come over you (and sometimes even when you don't feel the urge).  Definitely dance when group dancing is happening.  Don't be the girl sitting quietly at a table -- get out on the dance floor and have some fun.

17.  Life Isn't Fair
Fact - as sad as it may be, sometimes life just isn't fair.  Keep your head up and get on with it.  Don't wallow around in self petty because life isn't fair.  It sometimes just isn't.  Move on.

18.  Find a Hobby
Search for a hobby that will bring you joy.  It's so nice to look forward to doing a fun project on a cold, winter day when there's nothing else to do.  If you find the right hobby, it will be one you fondly anticipate starting, feel exuberant while doing it and you're proud of it when it's finished.  Greatest feeling in the world!

19.  Give Compliments
Let's face it, who doesn't love hearing a compliment!  If you like what someone is wearing, tell them.  If you notice someone's new hair cut, tell them.  Giving out compliments is free and limitless.  Go ahead -- make someone's day by giving them a compliment.

20. Use All Your Senses
Sight.  Hearing.  Taste.  Touch.  Smell.  Enjoy them all!  Savor the taste of your food when you put it in your mouth.  Enjoy the touch of a baby's soft skin.  Listen to the sound of the ocean waves crashing to shore.  Breath in deep when the honeysuckle is in bloom.  Don't cheat yourself by not using all your senses to enjoy the beauty of life.

21.  Be Yourself 
You are a beautiful, intelligent, resilient young woman.  Learn who you are and what you want.  You have your whole life in front of you -- please make the most of it.  Don't settle -- God has big plans for you!  We can't wait to continue to see the wonderful things you do in life.

Love you Haley!

Enjoy more Thoughts for Thursday at

Let's Be Friends Blog Hop - January 13, 2015

Welcome to the Let's Be Friends Blog Hop!
A blog hop is a set time frame for current or aspiring bloggers to find new blogs and quality content. It is a great way to make new friends and find inspiration! It is also a fabulous way to promote your own blog and posts.
Dear Friends,
What a day to celebrate! This is the 100th week of the Let's Be Friends blog hop! Thanks for joining us on this special day. Chelsee and Tiffany are extremely delighted to see the way this hop has grown and love to see your faces each week!
To celebrate 100 weeks of linking up, we are giving away a $25 Starbucks gift card along with free ad space on a few blogs this week to one of you amazing bloggers. THANK YOU for helping us keep this link up going on so long- it is wonderful to see how many bloggers have connected via this small weekly event.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Weekending - January 9, 2015

Wow -- weekends go by so super fast.  I needed to get the Christmas decorations put away and that's a chore I truly dread every year.

Eric was off work on Saturday (which doesn't happen often enough) so I hated wasting our time together by doing a task neither of us really like.  So we went out and about instead.  I know, not all that responsible, but a lot more fun than staying home working on taking down the Christmas stuff.

Saturday we met our friends Sharyn, Eric and their daughter, Audrey, for lunch at PF Chang's.  We hadn't had an opportunity to exchange Christmas presents with them so Saturday was our day.  I love what they gave us - a tea sampler from Harry & David and some dip.  We gave Audrey some new covers for her cell phone.  Audrey is a fun little girl that keeps us entertained.  We just love her!

Hey, speaking of the gift we gave Audrey.  Super fun idea.  I got her some clear phone case covers and made several paper backings to go inside.  She can change out the covers to go with her mood, holiday or activity.  Super easy, fun gift that was very well received!  I'll have to show you pictures in a future post.

We did a little shopping and picked up some items I've been looking at to enhance my photos for my blog.  I see other blogs with these gorgeous photos and it makes me cringe when I think of some of mine.  Hopefully you'll be able to see an improvement in the future.  Not promising all my photos will be improved -- sometimes you just have to share a quick click from your cell phone, right?!?

Sunday morning I drank some hot tea from my new collection and soaked in one last morning reading by the Christmas tree in our bedroom.  I can not recommend enough having a tree in your bedroom.  The lights are so peaceful.  Anyone else love having a tree in their bedroom?

Favorite new ornament this year?  This sweet gem my friend, Tracy, gave me for my birthday in honor of my blog.  Funny thing about my blog -- I have friends who have been so supportive by sharing my posts on Facebook, commenting, sending me cute notes about my posts.  Then I have a group of friends who are half in.  They read sometimes, rarely comment and hardly ever bring it up to me.  The last group likes to pretend it just doesn't exist.

I saw this fact on Facebook and thought I might need it on Sunday if the weather predictions were accurate for the day.  Turns out we got rain, but not a lot of "freezing" rain so I didn't mix up a batch.  I'm definitely saving it for next time though.


I truly had every intention of getting the trees down Sunday afternoon, but I might have gotten sucked in to doing a little binge watching of Homeland.  We're not expecting company at the house this week, so no one will really realize our trees are still up.  Right???

Then Sunday night we had to watch the Golden Globes!  I just LOVE award season.  I felt a little behind this year -- there were several TV shows and movies I had not seen.  There will be some catching up to do before the Oscars!!


Now Monday is breathing down my neck.  I'm still thinking we should work two days and be off five.  This is the week leading up to Haley's 21st birthday.  If you missed my post to her on Thursday, you can read it here.  I'll be finishing up my 21 thoughts to her this Thursday.  Hope you stop in to read them.  Until then -- have a great week!

Check out what others were up to this weekend.