Penny's Passion: July 2015

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Five on Friday - July 31, 2015

Oh my goodness -- today is the last day of July.  Where has the summer gone!!  August is coming tomorrow so if you have things to get done in July, you better stay focused today and get them done.

I'm busy preparing for a baby shower I'm hosting on Sunday.  So excited to visit my home town and celebrate the upcoming arrival of my new nephew.  You better believe I'll be sharing some of the details next week on the blog, but until then here's my five for this week.

1.  Big Blue Bath Bomb by LUSH
A friend of mine has been busy taking care of her mom lately so I dropped one of these off for her this week.  The description caught my attention:  "Clear your mind with a relaxing seaweed soak.  Sail away - For days when you need a relaxing escape from the world.  Good for your skin:  Filled with the finest, nutritious ingredients from the sea.  Sea what?  When the seaweed soaks in the hot water, it becomes skin softening and soothing."  Sounds like just what she needs!  Do you know anyone that could use one of these?
To purchase, click HERE
2.  Downtown Restaurant Week
St. Louis's Downtown Restaurant Week is next week - August 3-9.  Great opportunity to try some new dining places!  We tried two places last year and are hoping to try a couple more next week.  The deal is you get 3 courses for $25.  This year is the 11th year and 24 destinations are participating.  Last year's event attracted over 15,000 diners, so make reservations early to secure your table for this fabulous food experience.

3.  National Girlfriends Day
Get ready to reach out to your gal pals because tomorrow is National Girlfriends Day.  Let's face it, there's just a special bond between women who are true friends.  I'm blessed to have several very special friends and I can't even imagine what my life would look like without them.  Love you guys and happy girlfriends day!  Let's get together sometime soon.

4.  Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation
Your mission, should you choose to accept it -- see Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation.  It's opening this weekend and the reviews I've seen have been pretty good.  Watch Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) pull out all the stops to save the world.  This movie will be competing at the box office with Vacation, which also opens this weekend.  Which one do you think will gross the most millions?

5.  Just a thought....

Have a great weekend everyone!  Enjoy some summer before it disappears.  Hope you come back on Monday to see the highlights from the baby shower I'm hosting on Sunday.  

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - Remembering Leslie

Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday!  So glad you stopped by!  If you're a blogger, I hope you link up below.  I'd love to get to know you.
X-tremely V

Today I'm thinking out loud about blogging.  My blog has been around for just over a year.  I started blogging as an outlet for my creative side.  You see, my only son had just gotten married and my husband works inconsistent, odd hours.  That left me by myself a lot and I felt like I needed something to keep me a little grounded.  With the encouragement of my friends, Penny's Passion was born.  

My first post was very short and sweet (you can see it HERE).  Now, 220 posts later I still can remember the little jolt of energy that went through me that very first time I hit the publish button.

I was a reader of blogs before I started one myself.  One of the blogs I loved to read was A Blonde Ambition, written by 30-year-old Leslie Sisti.  Leslie's writing style was very conversational and I immediately fell in love with her.  She blogged about her wedding, then the arrival of her daughter Caroline, followed by the arrival (just this last December) of her second daughter Ainsley.  She would alert you to great sale items at Nordstrom's and even share a recipe now and again.  

On Monday Leslie went to meet Jesus.  Her last post was on July 17.  You see, Leslie had a heart condition that she would mention occasionally and in her last post she was on her way to Cleveland Clinic for "a new lease on life".    Unfortunately, there were other plans in store.

When things like this happen, doesn't it make you reflect heavily on your own life?  There really is no time to waste.  We need to be out there living every second we are given.  Please keep Leslie's family in your thoughts and prayers.  Leslie -- you will be missed.

Now it's your turn -- what are you thinking out loud about today?  Link up to Thinking Out Loud Thursday with me and Vanessa at X-tremely Vanessa . The rules are simple.  Link back to me and Vanessa in your post and add your favorite post(s) below.  Super easy!  Tell all your friends to link up too.  The more the merrier.  We'd love for you to follow us too!  #ThinkingOutLoudThursdays

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Attention to Detail

Happy hump day! I'm still trying to rebound from last weekend and the big wedding I worked on. If you missed my post with the summary, you can see it HERE.  Since I just can't stop thinking about the wedding, I want to share some of the details with you.

You've heard me say it before -- I LOVE WEDDINGS!  People don't really have to ask me to help them with their wedding.  I typically beg them to please let me help in some way.  With that being said, I'm looking for my next wedding so if you are looking for an assistant, please send me a message.  It was my lucky day when my friend, Debbie, ask me to help with the union of her daughter, Suzy, and her handsome guy, Jordan.  They were a true joy to work with from start to finish.

As I said in my weekending post, this was the most touching wedding I have ever attend.  The nuptials were full of meaningful moments that will be hard to forget.  While the bride was being escorted to her awaiting groom by her father, her sister Julie (who served as Suzy's maid of honor) sang La Vie En Rose.  Tear jerker!!  Julie has a voice that sounds like an angel singing to you straight from heaven.

The Bride Suzy with her sister and Maid of Honor Julie
 Suzy's brother, Dan, performed the ceremony.  He weaved stories of Suzy and Jordan into the joining of these two people in such a vivid way that even if you were a complete stranger, you would leave feeling like you had known them since the time they were born.  Kudos to you Dan.  Fabulous job!

Now for those details I was telling you about.  When I first meet with a bride, I always ask her what she wants the feel of her wedding to be.  Suzy wanted light and fun.  She gravitated towards a pattern she found on Etsy in a design by Inviting Moments of birds and we took it from there.  Our theme of bird cages and hearts was born!

The cake was created by Bebe Liz Gourmet Desserts.  The taste of the cake matched it's amazing appearance.  Highly recommend this St. Louis baker.

Here's some other highlights on the special touches.  Many guests stopped by the About Us table to see the pictures of the couple and look through the scrapbook of their dating life.

A traditional guest book was used for guests to note their attendance.  I made a sign to place by the book to make the location of the guest book more noticeable.  In the silver basket are activity books and a box of crayons for the littlest of guests to have something to do occupy them.

Signage is so important for a wedding.  You want to let your guests have the information they need to feel comfortable.  We made these signs in PowerPoint and let Minuteman Press blow them up to the size we needed.  The mounting on foam board was easy for us to do ourselves.

It's a long standing tradition in Suzy's family for there to be cookies made family members.  They were beautiful and oh so tasty.  

Yellow garland in the shape of hearts and flowers was scattered throughout the decorations.  I had a lot of fun making this with my friend Jane.  

Two professionals every wedding needs is a great florist and a creative photographer.  We were blessed with both at this wedding!  The florist was my good friend, Carol of Carol Genteman Floral Design.  She was so busy putting everything together that I neglected to snap a picture of her at the wedding, but this is one from my archives.

It was a pleasure to work with Elias of Elias Popa Photography.  He flew in from Manhattan, New York to capture the wedding on film.  I want to move to New York and be his assistant!!  So fun to work with!  I can not wait to see his view of the wedding through his pictures.

And what great wedding doesn't have a fabulous exit.  The joyful floating bubbles were the perfect ending to a perfect day.

Let's see what others are up to this Wednesday.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Weekending - Suzy Married Jordan

Oh my -- where do I begin telling you about this weekend!  It was the wedding weekend I had been working towards for the last couple of months.  Suzy married Jordan in the most heartfelt ceremony I have ever witnessed.  But let me start with the bridal luncheon held on Thursday.

We met at La Patisserie Chouquette for high tea.  Suzy gave each of her bridemaids their gifts - a strand of pearls with matching earrings and a bracelet from 3Strands.  I really need to fill you in more on 3Strands.  Suzy did a mission trip to Cambodia to work with this organization which fights sex trafficking around the world.  With the sale of every 3Strands handmade bracelet and gift box, money is raised to help empower, teach and employ young women who have been rescued from sex trafficking.   The bracelets were a marvelous way to bring Suzy's mission work into her wedding.

Cambodia sex trafficking

Debbie, Suzy's mom, had Chouquette make a special coconut cake with mango/passionfruit buttercream frosting for Suzy.  Talk about melt in your mouth delicious!!  It was perfectly decorated to match the birdcage theme and purple color of the wedding.

Friday was wedding prep day.  Thank goodness for my friend Carol who did all the florals.  She worked her magic and turned the wedding venue into a gorgeous masterpiece.

Eric and I had a wonderful time at the rehearsal dinner getting to know both families better and relaxing after getting the church ready for Suzy and Jordan's big day.

Saturday began early.  Hair and makeup began at 6:30 am!  Everyone was in great spirits and excited to be sharing in the couples wedding day.  Small mishap - one of the bridesmaid's father ran to Starbucks to get coffees and the barista heard "Brian" instead of "Bride".  Good thing Suzy has a great sense of humor -- she thought it was hilarious.

Mid morning we loaded up to head for the first look and pictures on Main Street in St. Charles.  The clouds were lurking, but we were all hopeful that we could get the pictures in before, or even if, it actually rained.

Doesn't first look pictures make you cry?!?  This one sure got me.  This couple is in love.  Like, REALLY in love.  And every time they looked at each other there's no denying their love for each other.

It rained a tad bit, but we had the wedding party tucked under the gazebo so no harm was done.  The rain did allow us this cute photo op with the ring bearer and flower girl!

Wedding picture taking is hard work so we had to refuel our adorable little flower girl with some ice cream.  Luckily, no spills on her fancy white dress.

Then it was on to the church for the ceremony.  Oh, the ceremony!  Suzy's sister, Julie sang La Vie En Rose while Suzy was being escorted down the aisle by her father to her awaiting groom.  Dan, the bride's brother, officiated the ceremony.  He brought such a personal touch to the ceremony that at times had every guest in tears and laughter.  So, so special.  I can't wait to see the video just so I can relive the union of these two again.

Debbie and Julie - Mom and sister to the bride
I have tons of detail pictures to share with you and I'll be doing that on Wednesday.  Can't wait to show you all the little touches we had!

Sunday was spent relaxing.  I mean like laying in bed until noon relaxing.  When flipping channels the movie Crazy, Stupid, Love caught my attention and I was transfixed.  Laid right there in bed and watched it.  If you have never seen this 2011 romantic comedy starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore and Emma Stone, I highly recommend you get it on your to watch list.  (I might have actually watched it again Sunday night.)

romantic comedy

Welcome Monday.  I'm having a little get together to watch the Bachelorette finale tonight.  Shawn or Nick - Nick or Shawn.  Who will get to take Kaitlyn home for a couple weeks keeps?!?  Then the rest of the week I'm working on a shower I'll be hosting on Sunday.  Fun week ahead!!  Stay tuned for all the recaps.

Check out what others were up to this weekend.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Five on Friday - July 24, 2015

Happy Friday!!  Today's going to be a busy one for me -- my friend, Carol,  and I are decorating for a wedding and reception today.  Carol will be doing most of the decorating and I'll be doing whatever she tells me to do.  I love days like this -- we've had a vision of what this wedding is going to look like for months and have been working towards it.  Today we get to see it all come together!  Before I head out to make one bride's dream wedding become a reality, here's my five for this week.

1.  Emergency Bridal Bag
Every bride should have an emergency kit.  This is the one I put together for Suzy (this week's bride) and I will be delivering it to her today.  Inside is (hopefully) everything she would need should a mishap occur.  A few of the items tucked in the bag are a mini sewing kit, lint brush, mints, bottle of water, washcloth, cotton swaps, mirror, tissues, Tylenol, and personal fan,   This could also make an awesome shower gift.  What's the worse wedding mishap you've heard of?  I want to be prepared for anything that comes our way!

2.  Lights, Camera, Lashes!
I've fallen in love with a new mascara by Tarte - Lights, Camera, Lashes!  I'm telling you, this magical stuff definitely makes my eye lashes look longer and fuller.  Tarte says it's a 4-in-1 (lengthening, curling, volumizing and conditioning) plus it's dermatologist - and clinically - proven to increase the appearance of lash volume.  I believe them.  If you're in the market to try a new mascara, I can't recommend this one enough!

Click HERE to purchase
3.  Body Deodorant Towelettes
You know when you've been outside and it's like 100 degrees and you get kind of sweaty?!?  Well, these little babies are the answer to stinky pits.  I love having these in my purse and if you're out and about and need to freshen up a bit, just whip one of these out and wipe yourself off.  Great way to stay feeling fresh on those hot, humid days.

Crystal Body Deodorant Towelettes-Unscented Box Crystal Body Deodorant 24 pc Pac
Click HERE to purchase

4.  Personal Air Conditioner
Speaking of hot, humid days -- I just purchased a couple of these to use this weekend during the wedding pictures.  The plan is to head to a local outdoor area for pictures and the forecast is saying it's going to be 91 degrees.  Just a bit toasty!  I don't want the bride to get overheated in her beautiful wedding dress, so my plan is to blast her with these mini air conditioners.  Eric and I have tested them at home and, sure enough, the air is pretty frigid coming out of these little gadget.  For $11 I thought they would be a decent investment.  I'm also thinking ahead and planning on taking them with me on my upcoming float trip.  Who says you have to be hot outside?
Available HERE
5.  Something I've been thinking about...

Have a great weekend!  I'll be back on Monday with all the wedding happenings.  Please cross your fingers that it doesn't rain on Saturday for the outdoors wedding pictures!  Oh -- and if you haven't entered the giveaway I'm participating in, check out THIS POST to get entered.  $200 is up for grabs and it could be yours!

Linking up with:
Simply Sweet Home
High Five for Friday
5 on Friday 
The Jenny Evolution
The New Mrs. Adventures
Blonde Ambition

This post contained affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase.  Thanks!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - July 23, 2015

Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday!  So glad you stopped by!
X-tremely V

I'm so excited today because I'm off work until Monday!!  Woot Woot!!!  Good thing too because we traded our Friday night Muny tickets to Into the Woods for Wednesday and we stayed out pretty late for a work night.

Today I'm definitely thinking out loud about our upcoming weekend and the wedding I've been helping put together.  We are barely over the euphoric wedding joy we had last weekend and now we get to experience the bliss all over again!

These couple vacation days are going to be filled with wedding activities for my friend Debbie's daughter, Suzy.  Today is the bridal luncheon at one of my favorite spots - La Patisserie Chouquette!  I've blogged about this fantastic eatery HERE and HERE.  I feel so honored to be included in this special gathering of family and friends.

The happy couple, Suzy and Jordan, have been a joy to work with over the last few months.  I can honestly say I have not seen one bridezilla moment.  (Hope I didn't just jinx us!)  Just look how adorable they are ~

I can't wait to show you all the details we've been assembling and tell you how the wedding turned out.  Hopefully I'll get two thumbs up from the bride and groom!

Now the fun part -- link up to Thinking Out Loud Thursday with me and Vanessa at X-tremely Vanessa . The rules are simple.  Link back to me and Vanessa in your post and add your favorite post(s) below.  Super easy!  Tell all your friends to link up too.  The more the merrier.  We'd love for you to follow us too!  #ThinkingOutLoudThursdays

Enjoy more Thoughts for Thursday at