Penny's Passion: June 2016

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Five on Friday - July 1, 2016

Holy moly - it's finally Friday!  Happy Fourth of July weekend - three days off here I come!


I'm looking forward to having a little down time to catch up with some stuff. Before that starts, here's my five for this week ~

1. Lingerie Bra Storage Travel Organizer

I've been doing a bit of traveling lately and I found I need a bag for my lingerie.  This little tote would fit the bill quite nicely.  Let's face it, if you're going through Customs and they want to look in your suitcase, who wants their bras and underwear just hanging out for everyone to see?!?  This handy case would keep your private things private.  Click HERE to check it out.  It comes in some cute colors!
2.  National Gingersnap Day
Today is National Gingersnap Day!  Gingersnaps are actually part of my weekend plans.  You see, our local orchard has pick your own peaches this weekend and I plan to whip up a nice peach crisp with gingersnap crumble topping.  Doesn't that sound so good!  I'm using the recipe over at Sweet Peas and Saffron.  If it's as delicious as it sounds, I'll be sharing the recipe next week.

National Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day July 1

This magic makeup has become my all time favorite mascara.  It does it all -- lengthens, curls, volumizes and conditions.  And it's clinically proven to increase lash volume by 330%!!  Talk about making your lashes look longer and more full!  Want some?  Click HERE to order yours.


4.  Fourth of July Craft
Check out this cool Fourth of July craft idea by Crafty Morning.  How much fun would this be to make with the kids!  The supply list is minimal and you know how kids love to paint.  If you wanted to make it sparkle, you could even add in a bit of glitter.  Great craft idea!

fireworks-craft-using-straws

5.  Maybe next year...
Have a safe and happy holiday weekend!  I'm hoping to catch the firework extravaganza at Forest Park again this year.  Sammy Hagar is in town to perform a free show on Sunday night and I want to be there to see it!  Followed by a bit of firework action and my Fourth will be complete!  I'm also visiting a friend for a cookout and going to a wedding shower.   Fun times!!  I still want to tell you about the awesome trip me and my friend, Linda, took to Memphis so I'm hoping to wrap that post up this weekend as well.  So much to do and so little time!  :)  See you soon.

Linking up with:
5 on Friday 
The Triplet Farm
Why Girls Are Weird
Ins and Outs
This post contained affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase.  Thanks!

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - June 30, 2016

Hello everyone!  Thanks for stopping by and joining me and Vanessa from X-tremely V for Thinking Out Loud Thursday. Sorry I'm running a lot late today.  This week has been packed with life and it made blogging move back on the list of things to get done.  Hope you link up below and tell all your blogger friends to link up too!

Today I'm thinking out loud about one of my favorite movies - Gone With The Wind.  Eric, my husband, still hasn't seen it and it's been on my list of things I want us to do together for a long, long time.  It's a real time commitment to watch this 1939 romance.  The running time is just under 221 minutes (that's roughly 4 hours with potty breaks).


What started me thinking about Gone With The Wind was an article I saw about Olivia de Haviland being the last cast member to be alive and today she turns 100 years old!  She played such a dear, sweet lady called Melanie in the movie.  Always saw the good in things, kind to the core, and oh so thoughtful.  We could really use more Melanie's in the world today.


Some of my favorite quotes come from Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind.  Here's a few to ponder ~

"I can't think about that right now.  If I do, I'll go crazy.  I'll think about that tomorrow." 

"After all, tomorrow is another day!"

"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."

"Death, taxes and childbirth!  There's never any convenient time for any of them."

"Never pass up new experiences.  They enrich the mind."

There are some real lessons to be learned from Scarlett O'Hara.  She's tenacious and spunky.  Always going after what she wants.  And creative.  Remember when she pulled the drapes down to make a beautiful gown!  Every time she was faced with a setback, she forged ahead with a new plan.  That girl was something!

Have you seen this movie?  Do you love it or hate it?  There's some fairly large camps in each corner!  Regardless, a big happy birthday to Olivia de Haviland today and thanks for taking my mind back to one of my favorite movies!

Now it's your turn.  What are you thinking out loud about today?  Link up and let us know!


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

Friday, June 24, 2016

Five on Friday - June 24, 2016

Hey, hey!  It's Friday!!  I got an early start to the weekend -- my friend Linda traveled in on Wednesday night and we have been planted in front of the TV to binge watch the new season of Orange is the New Black.  We will definitely finish it before Monday morning rolls around.

Before we start our next episode, here's my five on Friday.

1.  Seche Vite
Linda turned me on to this wonderful find -- a dry fast top coat.  I've been painting my own nails for years and this top coat really makes your nails shine like they were done at the salon.  An added benefit is it extends the life of your manicure.  Polish stays in place so much longer when using Seche.  Click HERE to learn more or purchase.


Next up on my summer reading list is Noah Hawley's book Before The Fall.  I hear it is a real page turner that's hard to put down.  Here's the Amazon description:  "Noah Hawley’s new novel begins with the crash of a private plane carrying some very influential people on board. The only survivors are the young son of a media mogul and an obscure painter who, given his less than elevated status, seems like a wild card from the start. What happened on that flight? Why did the plane go down and if it was intentional, who was the target? With each chapter of Before the Fall, Hawley peels back another layer of the lives of those onboard that fatal flight meanwhile, the media speculation and accusations in the days after the crash threaten to overwhelm truth and decency. The end is surprising, even a little bit of a “huh.” moment at first, but it’s an ending that sinks in and starts the wheels turning on everything that came before it, which, to me, is the hallmark of an unforgettable story."  Named an Amazon Best Book of 2016, I can't wait to read it.  Click HERE to see more.  


3.  Independence Day Resurgence
Looking for a movie to see to escape this summer heat?  Well Independence Day Resurgence open this weekend!  Perfect timing too since July 4th is right around the corner.  Here's the official summary:  "As the Fourth of July nears, satellite engineer David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) investigates a 3,000-mile-wide mother ship that's approaching Earth. Fortunately, 20 years earlier, nations across the world started to use recovered extraterrestrial technology to develop an immense defense program. When the alien invaders attack with unprecedented force, the U.S. president, teams of scientists and brave fighter pilots spring into action to save the planet from a seemingly invincible enemy."  Sounds like a must see to me!



This bad boy arrived at my house and I don't know why I waited so long to get an exercise ball!  A few videos using an exercise ball had passed through my Facebook feed and it looked like movements I could actually do, so I decided to give it a try.  No regrets!  I can easily do a few exercises while I'm watching TV (nothing like multi-tasking) and am looking forward to seeing some results.  This particular ball came with it's own pump and for under $15, it is an excellent fitness tool.
  

5.  Are you thirsty?


My goals for this weekend are pretty fun ones ~ finish Orange Is The New Black, go to Memphis, have lots of fun and return home safely.  Linda and I are off to Memphis first thing Friday morning for some Blues and great food.  The plan is to also take in a few museums.  I'll tell you all about it next week!  Hope you have some great goals for this weekend too!  

Linking up with:
5 on Friday 
The Triplet Farm
Why Girls Are Weird
Ins and Outs
This post contained affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase.  Thanks!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - June 23, 2016

Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday!   Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you link up with me and Vanessa from X-tremely V below and share what you're thinking out loud about today.

So it's kind of a thing with me to check out the National Calendar Day website and see what celebrations are going on because, you know, every day should be a party about something!  Well, today happens to be National Hydration Day.  Appropriately placed on the calendar since here in the Midwest we are experiencing temps peaking around 100 degrees and it's pretty easy to become dehydrated.

National Hydration Day - June 23

Staying hydrated in the summer isn't always easy.  Wondering how much water you should drink in a day?  Well, according to WebMD:  "It depends on your size and weight, and also on your activity level and where you live.  In general, you should try to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day.  For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, that would be 75 to 150 ounces of water a day.  If you're living in a hot climate and exercising a lot, you'd be on the higher end of that range; if you're in a cooler climate and mostly sedentary, you'd need less."  

To be honest, I'm not a fan of water.  I know, I know - how can you NOT like water?!?  It just tastes like nothing to me.  So this year I invested in the Infusion Water Bottle from Pampered Chef.
This handy 24 ounce bottle lets you infuse your favorite fruits and vegetables for some awesome tasting water.  The measurement marks on the side help you keep track of your intake.  The shape also fits in most car's cup holders so you can take it with you when you're on the go.  It's also BPA-free and dishwasher safe.  Love it!!  Click HERE if you need one for yourself!

Check out this handy chart that gives you some great combination ideas.  The Pampered Chef Infusion Water Bottle has a cool strainer that keeps your combinations in the bottle and not going in your mouth when you drink.  

Fruit Infused Water Recipes that will get your day off to a great start!:
Courtesy of PrimeNaturalBeauty
So cheers for water today!  Drink up and stay hydrated!

So that's what I'm thinking out loud about today.  What about you?  What's on your mind?  Link up your blog post below and let us know!  See you tomorrow for my Five on Friday.



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

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Foil Pouch Pineapple Upside Down Cake

If you read my post from yesterday, you know that we went camping last weekend. Now camping might not be a big deal to some of you, but for me it is. The time before this past weekend that I camped was about 12 years ago. It's rare that Eric has two days off together in a week, so on the very rare occasion that he does, camping doesn't bubble to the top very often. This past weekend all the stars aligned and camping we went.

One of the things I love most about pitching a tent and hanging out in the woods is the food. Fixing great meals while camping has always been something my dad does -- and does very well! He has a variety of things he can make in his dutch oven that are to die for.

This past weekend I decided to fix a camp fire dessert that we have every time we camp (which is about every 12 years). It's so yummy and I honestly don't know why I don't pop this on the grill at home when we're not camping. I'd like to share the recipe with you today because I'm sure you'll like it too! And because it deserves to be fixed and enjoyed more often than every decade. Wondering what it is? It's Foil Pouch Pineapple Upside Down Cake!



Here's What You Need
Cake-style donuts
Can of Pineapple Slices (one can has 10 slices in it)
Brown Sugar
Butter
Marachino Cherries
Aluminum Foil


Here's What You Do

Tear off a piece of aluminum foil big enough to make a pouch around a donut.  Cut your donut in half and lay one half on the aluminum foil.  Put a little bit of butter and brown sugar on top of the donut.



Lay a pineapple ring on top and sprinkle a bit more brown sugar.  Drop a cherry in the middle of the pineapple ring.




Fold the aluminum foil into a pouch around the donut.  



Pop on the grill and let cook.  We put them on when we pull our entrees off the grill and let cook while we're eating.  


When you're ready for dessert, pull open the pouch and enjoy the pineapple upside down cake!  This mound of golden goodness so moist and delicious!  


I love how the pineapple gets just a bit caramelized!  This is such an easy recipe and it's my goal to make it on the grill at home the next time we are in the mood for a little something sweet.  Hope you enjoy it too!


Handmade Tuesday's with Kristen
Let's Be Friends Blog Hop with The Dwelling Tree
Eat Drink & Be Mary: Delicious Dish Tuesday
Love From The Kitchen: Tuesday's Table
The Diary of a Real Housewife
My Own Home
While I'm Waiting
Tuesday Talk
Pennies into Pearls
Simply Sweet Home
This post contained affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase.  Thanks!

Monday, June 20, 2016

What Went Down This Weekend

Hey guys!  It's Monday and I'm sitting here once again wishing I had another day of weekend.  Eric and I had a wonderful time the last few days and I just hate the fact that Monday rolled around so soon.  I swear when I was walking in the building this morning to start my real job, it felt like just a few hours since I left on Friday.  Guess that means I'm making the most of my weekends, and that's not a bad thing!  So I'm going to put this post together over my lunch time and then start dreaming about what I have going on this coming weekend.

Friday night Eric and I headed to the Muny to see The Wizard of Oz.  We have season tickets with Kayla and Ian.  So glad we get to see them on Friday nights!


This was the first production of the seven show season and it was a great one!  If you're not familiar with St. Louis, the Muny is an outdoor theater in the heart of Forest Park.  Each summer the productions take place from mid-June through mid-August.  What's really cool is at each performance there are 1,500 free (yes, FREE) seats available on a first-come basis at the back of the theater.  Gates open at 7:00 pm, but lines for the free seats sometimes start forming as early as 4:00 pm.


Saturday we were off to the camping site my mom and dad had secured for us.  I posted this picture on Facebook Saturday morning with the caption, "Apparently we need this much stuff to survive in the wilderness for 30 hours."  Yes, that's a fan.  We had a camping site with electricity so why not try to stay cool!


If you know me, you know that camping really isn't my thing.  But I have to admit, we had a great time and I would go back in a heartbeat.  We met Mom and Dad at Mark Twain Lake in the morning and got our camp site looking like home.



Ian and Kayla drove up to spend the day with us and the washer games were on!


As you can see, some of us are better than others!  Disclosure:  I was not throwing the white washers.


We had a grill full of food for lunch.  For some reason, food cooked on an open flame just seems to taste better.


For dessert, we had these little pineapple upside down cakes.  It's one of the very few "camping" recipes I know.  You could easily fix them at home on the grill, but for some reason I only seem to think of them when we go camping.  I'll be sharing the recipe tomorrow on how you can whip them up.


After Ian and Kayla headed home, we decided to take a drive around the lake and stumbled onto a little winery in Florida, Missouri.  The Florida Winery served a great Moscato and we drank it while enjoying a band called The Echos playing on the winery's patio.  Fun way to spend the afternoon!



We returned to our campsite and played cards for a bit.  As the sun began to set, we went to a location we had seen earlier in the day at Buzzard Roost to watch it dip into the lake.  I'm so glad we did because it was one of the most beautiful sunsets I had ever seen.  It was wonderful to be able to share it with Eric and my parents!



Even though the temperatures had reached in the 100's throughout the week, Saturday night in the tent we actually got a bit chilly and had to turn off our fan.  Go figure!

Sunday morning Dad fixed a breakfast to die for -- bacon, eggs, hash browns, gravy, biscuits and waffles!  It was delicious!


After we cleaned up from breakfast, we played cards for a while and then decided to call it a wrap.  I loved spending Father's Day with my dad doing something he loved to do.  We made some great memories and camping isn't so bad.  In fact, camping was great.

We got home and tried to get all the stuff unloaded.  I'm having friends over tonight to see the Chad situation unfold on The Bachelorette and I really didn't want all our camping stuff to still be sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor!

Hope you had a fantastic weekend!  Stop back by tomorrow to snag that camping pineapple upside down cake recipe.

Check out what others were up to this weekend.
Bella and the City
The Quinntessential Mommy
How To Get Organized At Home
Over the Moon

Let's Be Friends Blog Hop with The Dwelling Tree
The Diary of a Real Housewife
My Own Home
While I'm Waiting
Tuesday Talk
Pennies into Pearls
Simply Sweet Home
Life is Lovely
This post contained affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase.  Thanks!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Five on Friday - June 17, 2016

Happy Friday!  It's hard to believe that we are already 17 days into June.  This summer is going to be gone before we know it!  Eric and I are doing something this weekend we've talked about for literally years.  We are going camping!  Can't say I'm a huge fan of camping, but we're going with my parents so it will be great to spend time with them.  Ian and Kayla are joining us for the day on Saturday.  Should be a great time and a Father's Day to remember.

Before I begin loading up, here's my five for this week ~

1.  Orange Is The New Black
Season 4 debuts today!!  My friend Linda is coming next week and we are designating an entire day to binge watch the whole season in one sitting.  I'm packing a cooler full of refreshments and we are not moving our bottoms off the couch -- and I can not wait!  I've missed my friends at Litchfield Penitentiary and am looking forward to seeing just what they are up to.  Good thing I'm super busy from now until next Thursday or I might have had to sneak in an episode (or two).  But I'm going to use ALL my will power and hold off until Linda gets here.  Are you a fan?



2.  National Martini Day
Get your glasses ready because Sunday is National Martini Day!  Martinis are one of my favorite drinks.  For years now, my go-to drink has been pomegranate martinis.  My recipe is super simple.  It's 2 parts of Langers Zero Sugar Added Pomegranate Juice Cocktail and 1 part Pearl Pomegranate vodka.  Mix it up, pour it in a cute glass and you're good to go.  I might actually need some to get through our camping trip...but I digress.  Need some cute martini glasses?  Check these out HERE.  Pampered Chef has their adorable dot martini glasses on clearance.  The set of four is only $10!  These would make an adorable gift by themselves or paired with a bottle of vodka in a basket.  I'm snatching some up!  How about you?


3.  Pure McCartney
Paul McCartney is touring his way around the country this summer and we here in St. Louis are lucky enough to have him in our city for one night.  Eric and I are going with some friends and it's sure to be one of the highlights of the summer!  Last week his 4 CD collection titled Pure McCartney was released.  I really need to get this so I can brush up on my lyrics.  It would be so embarrassing to be belting out the wrong words to his songs during the concert!  Are you a McCartney fan?  His new CD collection is available HERE.

Pure McCartney [4 CD][Deluxe Edition]

4.  Blueberry Pie Oreos
I sent Eric to Target to get a few things for the camping trip and he brought home a surprise - Blueberry Pie Oreos!  Don't know how many will actually make it to the campground because we had a weak moment and opened the package.  They are good.  Enough said.


5.  Honest mistake...


Have a great Father's Day weekend everyone!  I'm so glad I have the opportunity to spend this one with my dad.  See you next week!

Linking up with:
5 on Friday 
The Triplet Farm
Why Girls Are Weird
Ins and Outs
This post contained affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase.  Thanks!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - Blog is 2!

Hello everyone!  Thanks for popping in to join me and Vanessa from X-tremely V for Thinking Out Loud Thursday. Hope you link up below and tell all your blogger friends to link up too!

So today is kind of a special day for me -- my blog turns 2 years old!  I can still remember the day I hit "publish" for the very first time and felt the spark of excitement rush through my body.

Linda, my friend you've heard me mention a ton of times, and I had just returned from a beach vacation in Gulf Shores.  We had spent hours of therapeutic conversation while laying on the beach talking about where we were mentally at this stage in our lives.  My son, Ian, had gotten married and was busy in law school. Eric, my husband, was working all kinds of crazy hours with no real set schedule.



For a planner like myself, his schedule situation was making me crazy.  Couple that with the fact that my son was extremely busy with his own life and most of my mothering skills were no longer needed (or wanted).  My head was swimming with the "what's next for me".  I had toyed with the idea of starting a blog for a while and upon my return from that vacation, I decided to just do it!  And do it I did!

Some things are like that in life -- you need to just do them.  Sitting around talking (and talking, and talking, and talking) really doesn't get you anywhere.  Taking the first step is really the hardest sometimes.  After that, you look back and wonder why you waited so long in the first place.  Do you have things like that in your life?  My advice -- do it!  Don't let fear stop you.  Step out there and give something new a try.

Soon after publishing a few posts, I knew I wanted the look of the blog to be freshened up.  I solicited the help of Ali, from Ali in Bloom, and love the design she made for me.  As a matter of fact, just this week she helped make my font a bit bigger so reading a post can be a little easier.  She also added on the side my latest pins on Pinterest and what I've shared on Instagram.

Two years later I can honestly say that I still love blogging.  Having a full time "real" job keeps me so busy at times that blogging has to move to the side, but it never leaves my mind.  I love having an outlet to share ideas and adventures with others.  Even more importantly, I love reading your comments and getting your emails.  Honestly, I'm the type of person that needs THRIVES on positive feedback.  Some days your comments are the best part of my day!

Through it all, my friends Linda and Dorothy have liked every single Facebook post I've had sharing my blog link.  EVERY.SINGLE.ONE!  Now that is great friends!  And Eric, my husband, has shared every single post mentioning my blog.  What a devoted husband!  My friend, Michelle, from Grammie Time, has commented on almost all the posts I've published.  Thanks guys!  Diligently supporting my blog is just one of the many reasons I love these guys!


There are still a million ideas I have for this little space on the internet and hope to put some of them in place before another year rolls around.  I want to thank each and every one of you for reading Penny's Passion and hope you stick around and watch the evolution that's to come.

So that's what I'm thinking out loud about today.  What about you?  What's on your mind?  Link up your blog post below and let us know!  See you tomorrow for my Five on Friday.



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

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Five on Friday - June 10, 2016

Happy Friday friends!  Are you ready for a weekend?!?  This chick seriously is.  I'm motivated to get some things done this weekend so before that feeling leaves me, I want to hop into things.  Before I get going on my to do list, here's my five for this week.

1.  Plantable Cards
I am loving these plantable cards!  This is a set of 5 cards and each are generously embedded with a mix of wildflower seeds that will grow just about anywhere.  How cool would one of these be to get in your mailbox!  It's great to get a piece of snail mail, but this is a bonus to be able to plant the card after reading it and watching someone's kind words grow into beautiful flowers.  Buy yours HERE.

Grow A Note® Hello Owl 4-pack

2.  Mad Men Auction
Were you a Mad Men fan?  Check this out -- there is an auction going on RIGHT NOW where you can bid on items like Don Draper's tool box, Pete Campbell's blue suit and Roger Sterling's sock garters - just to name a few.  There are literally hundred of items!  The lots begins closing June 13 through June 15.  Click HERE to check out all the goodies.  Let me know if you win one!


3.  National Ice Tea Day
Sip a nice, tall glass of ice tea day in celebration of National Ice Tea Day!  Guess what some participating Starbucks are doing today to celebrate ~ When you buy one iced tea on June 10, you'll get one free.  What a deal!  Starbucks has some delicious Teavana teas so stop by and grab a couple.  Not sure what to order ~ try their Mango Black Tea Lemonade.  It's the ideal balance of tart and sweet.  Snapple is also giving away a free bottle of tea.  Click HERE to get your printable coupon.


4.  Mango Coconut Ice Cream
One of the great things about my husband working at a grocery store is when a new product hits the shelves, he likes to bring it home to try.  This week Blue Bunny's new seasonal Mango Coconut Ice Cream showed up at our house.  It is coconut ice cream with a mango sorbet swirl.  YUMMO!  Highly recommend you giving it a try.


5.  I love my friends....


Have a great weekend!  I'm joining my friends tomorrow and heading to Hidden Lake Winery to celebrate my friend Tracy's birthday.  Should be a great time!  I'm also going to try my very best to get a meal plan in order for next week.  Lately that is something I haven't been doing and it makes my week so much smoothly when I do.  I'll let you know how that goes.  :)

Linking up with:
5 on Friday 
The Triplet Farm
Why Girls Are Weird
Ins and Outs
This post contained affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase.  Thanks!