Penny's Passion: 2018

Friday, January 19, 2018

Five on Friday - January 19, 2018

Let's hear it for Friday!  Eric has the day off today so I decided to take a vacation day to enjoy it with him.  Aren't three day weekends just the best!! 

Before we get this weekend started, here's my five for this week ~

1.  Frankie and Grace Season 4 Released
I'm so excited that today Season 4 of Frankie and Grace releases!  There's a new character being added this season - Lisa Kudrow.  She was one of my favorites from the Friends days and she joins Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as Grace's quirky nail lady.  Apparently there's a baby on the way too!  It's going to take every fiber of my being to not plop down on the couch and binge watch this entire season!

2.  National Popcorn Day
Let's celebrate National Popcorn Day today!  Popcorn is seriously one of my favorite foods and I have been known to pop a bag in the microwave and have it for breakfast.  My friend Debbie turned me on to making kettle corn in my Whirley Pop.  Popcorn is also my favorite snack at the movie theater.  We always have to pop in Garrett's Popcorn anytime we're in Chicago too because that popcorn is just too good to pass up.  What's your favorite kind? 

National Popcorn Day - January 19

3.  12 Strong
12 Strong opens today and from the previews I've seen looks like a pretty interesting movie.  Here's the storyline from Movie Insider:  12 Strong is set in the harrowing days following 9/11 when a U.S. Special Forces team, led by their new Captain, Mitch Nelson (Hemsworth), is chosen to be the first U.S. troops sent into Afghanistan for an extremely dangerous mission. There, in the rugged mountains, they must convince Northern Alliance General Dostum (Negahban) to join forces with them to fight their common adversary: the Taliban and their Al Qaeda allies. In addition to overcoming mutual distrust and a vast cultural divide, the Americans—accustomed to state-of-the-art warfare—must adopt the rudimentary tactics of the Afghani horse soldiers. But despite their uneasy bond, the new allies face overwhelming odds: outnumbered and outgunned by a ruthless enemy that does not take prisoners.

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4.  Katie Couric = Winter Olympics
Did you hear the news - Katie Couric is coming back to NBC to co-host the 2018 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony!  She'll be joining Mike Tirico in PyeongChang, South Korea.  And I'm so excited about the Winter Olympics!  The Opening Ceremony will air on Friday, February 9 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time.  It will also be streaming for the first time on the NBC Sports app and  Go USA!!

5.  Cheetah...
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Have a great weekend!  I'm going to be hanging close to home this weekend.  If all the stars align, I'm going to get out our Valentine's decorations.  We FINALLY have our Christmas decorations down (thanks mostly to Eric) and I'm anxious to decorate for the next holiday.  See you next week!

Linking up with:
The Blended Blog
This post contained affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase.  Thanks

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Friday Favorites - January 19, 2018

Hello!  Hope everyone is staying warm and toasty.  What's better than staying cuddled on the couch and reading blog posts?!?  Enjoy the features and the links today!

Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:
Jerri at Simply Sweet Home - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Maisy at Becoming Alice - FB | G+ | Pin
Sheree at Stage Presents - Twitter | FB | Pin | Inst | Inst
Lisa at Condo Blues - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Penny at Penny's Passion - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Kelly at Under a Texas Sky - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL
If you are featured this week, be sure and grab a featured button for your blog!
You can show your love for this week's favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!
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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - January 18, 2018

Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday!  This week has been a blur of activity and it's hard to believe we're at Thursday already.  I'm still thinking about what fun I had last weekend and that's what I'm thinking out loud about today.

Friday I took off work and headed to Kansas City.  The predicted weather had been sounding fairly ominous for Thursday night, but thankfully come Friday morning it wasn't as bad as the forecasters thought.  I got an early start on the day, stopped at my parents for lunch and arrived at my friend Linda's house in plenty of time for us to go see a movie.

Linda and I had both been excited to see the movie Lady Bird.  Have you seen it?  It had been getting such great reviews.  For me, it just wasn't all that.  I liked it, but definitely didn't LOVE it the way I had thought I would.  

When we got home, we started watching the series Divorce on HBO.  Loved it!  Let's just say that by the time I left on Sunday, season one was successfully watched.

Saturday was the main reason I made the trip to Kansas City.  I met with a couple in the morning about helping with their wedding later in 2018.  The meeting went great and I'm excited to be helping them make their wedding dreams come true.  You know you'll be hearing more about this as their date gets closer!

Then it was time to celebrate my friend Jodie's big 4-0 birthday.  Her husband, Patrick, had orchestrated an entire day of activities - all of them a surprise to Jodie.   The group assembled was Jodie's close friends from high school, college, and family.  Patrick - job well done!  The day was perfect! 

One thing that helped add to the fun of the day was Patrick had arranged a limo service to take us from place to place.  Everyone could kick back and have a great time without the worry of having to drive.  Carey Limousine Service had the perfect coach and driver for us.  If you ever have the need to use them, I highly recommend asking for Joe Boschert be your driver.  He was professional, fun and the perfect fit for our group.

Jodie's brother, John, had even traveled into town as a special surprise.

We started at Pinstripes where we had some pretty competitive games of Bocce ball.  The measuring tape had to be brought out more than once.  

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Then it was on to Amigoni Urban Winery for a wine tasting before going to dinner.  Amigoni's is a great gathering spot.  They even had a few board games you could enjoy while sipping on your wine.

Then we were off to dinner at Garozzo's Italian Restaurant where the portions of pasta were huge and the wine continued to flow.  Look at this birthday girl -- no way does she look 40!

With very full bellies, we loaded up in the limo after dinner and headed to The Green Lady Lounge to listen to some jazz.  We were lucky enough to snag a table in the basement and enjoy the music.  Great place!

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The night continued on to John's Big Deck.  Nothing like a little dancing to cap off a wonderful evening.  Jody definitely ushered in this decade of her life in style and I'm so grateful I was able to be a part of it!  You can see why I'm still thinking about it!

What are you thinking out loud about today?  Link up and share!  I'd love to hear from you.

Enjoy more Thoughts for Thursday at:

Dear Jane

My dear friend Jane,

Today marks two years since I sat in church and got the chilling phone call from your sister letting me know you had joined the angels in heaven that morning.  Two years.  In a way it seems like only yesterday and in other ways it seems a lifetime ago.

Through your death, you taught me so much about living.  I no longer take for granted that there will always be a tomorrow.  I feel a sense of urgency to look at my bucket list and get things checked off.  Far too many people wait around their whole lives to do even the simplest of things and then suddenly it's too late.  I've learned to seize the moments and make things happen.  Thank you for that. 

Thank you, too, for all the memories we shared together.  The road trips, baseball games and concerts.  It's hard for me to realize that there will be no more pictures of us laughing and being silly, but makes me treasure the ones we have even more. 

Your family donated a bench in your honor to be placed at work.  Debbie and I have enjoyed wine while sitting there listening to Bon Jovi.  The deer and turkey roam by it adding to the tranquil atmosphere of it's location.  Today there's a thin layer of snow on the seat -- so appropriate since snow was one of your favorite things.

I wish I had told you how much your friendship meant to me while you were here on earth with us.  Yet another lesson you have taught me -- tell people how much you appreciate them.  As my pastor reminds us frequently, you are fine - no, better than fine, you are GREAT - in heaven.  It's just us left here on earth that are sad you're not here too.  I imagine you among the angels holding your dog Molly with your sister Jill by your side smiling down on us.  Probably with an occasional eye roll! 

You are thought of daily and we miss you Jane.  Until we meet again...

Friday, January 12, 2018

Five on Friday - January 12, 2018

Happy Friday!  Glad you stopped by to see my five for this week.  So with no further ado, here you go ~

1.  Daily Wisdom for Women - 2018 Devotional Collection
I love starting my day by reading a devotional before my feet even hit the floor.  For the last several years, my go-to has been the Daily Wisdom for Women collection.  Each day features a powerful devotional reading and a prayer.  They are short, quick reads that leaves a message that will resonate with you throughout the day.  Such great food for the soul!!  It's on sale right now at Amazon for only $9.99 for the Kindle version or $10.83 for an imitation leather one.  Trust me - it will be the best $10 you spend all year!  Click HERE to check it out.
2.  The Commuter
I'm such a sucker for Liam Neeson movies.  He has a new one releasing today - The Commuter.  It looks very suspenseful!!  Here's the recap from Movie Insider, "In this action-packed thriller, Liam Neeson plays an insurance salesman, Michael, on his daily commute home, which quickly becomes anything but routine. After being contacted by a mysterious stranger, Michael is forced to uncover the identity of a hidden passenger on his train before the last stop. As he works against the clock to solve the puzzle, he realizes a deadly plan is unfolding and is unwittingly caught up in a criminal conspiracy. One that carries life and death stakes, for himself and his fellow passengers."

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3.  National Kiss a Ginger Day
If there's a red head in your life, today's the day to smack a big kiss on them because it's Kiss a Ginger Day.  If you could pick any red head to kiss, who would you pick?  Mine would definitely be Ed Sheeran.  Yes -- definitely Ed.

Kiss a Ginger Day - January 12

4.  Arla Cream Cheese Spread
Last week at the grocery store I grabbed a tub of this Arla Herbs & Spices Cream Cheese Spread and took it to work to have on my morning bagel.  OMG -- it's fabulous.  They describe it as, "Herbs & Spices Cream Cheese brings a tasty burst of flavor to the classic cream cheese experience. The natural blend of onions, paprika, dill and garlic are the perfect complement to a whole-wheat bagel or crackers for a savory breakfast, wholesome snack or naturally delicious lunch."  I describe it as YUM!
                              Herbs & Spices

5.  Christmas present notice...

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Hope your weekend is wonderful!  I'm headed to Kansas City to celebrate a friend's birthday and meet with a couple to potentially work on their wedding.  Talking wedding and partying with friends - sounds like the perfect day to me!!  Hope the weather allows all that to happen!  I'll be back next week to fill you in on the details.

Side note -- thanks to everyone who linked up on Thinking Out Loud Thursday!  I'm excited to see some new faces linking up and hope to see even more this Thursday.

Linking up with:
The Blended Blog
This post contained affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase.  Thanks

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Friday Favorites - January 12, 2018

We've made it to Friday!  It really felt like the holidays were over this week.  Now if only all my Christmas decorations were put away! 

We have some fabulous features for you today.  Check them out!

Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:
Jerri at Simply Sweet Home - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Maisy at Becoming Alice - FB | G+ | Pin
Sheree at Stage Presents - Twitter | FB | Pin | Inst | Inst
Lisa at Condo Blues - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Penny at Penny's Passion - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Kelly at Under a Texas Sky - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL
If you are featured this week, be sure and grab a featured button for your blog!
You can show your love for this week's favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!
And if you love all of this week's favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week's linky party!

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - January 11, 2018

Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday!  Hope you join the fun by linking your post below and sharing what you are thinking out loud about today.

It's been fun seeing everyone's goals, resolutions and word of the year for 2018.  Did you make any resolutions?  Have you broken them yet?!?

I for one just love a new year!  It's like a fresh new start, a clean slate.  And I love some good motivational quotes too!  That's what I'm thinking out loud about today.  Let me share some of my favorites ~

Motivational Copper Wall art / You will be exactly as happy as
Quotes Of The Day - 14 Pics

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LARGE A3 Copper Foil Print Kindness is free by PeppaPennyPrints
What are some quotes that keep you motivated?  

Now it's your turn.  Link up and share what you're thinking out loud about!

Enjoy more Thoughts for Thursday at:

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

10 on the 10th - Random Facts About Me

Today I'm joining the fun over at Perfectly Port Family for 10 on the 10th Link-Up.  This month we're talking about 10 Random Facts About You.  So let me share 10 things about yours truly ~

I love taking pictures.  Like, really LOVE taking pictures.  Just ask my family and friends.  Last year I finally got the camera of my dreams (HERE).  Now I really want to figure out all the bells and whistles and take my pictures to the next level.

I’m not a fan of water, coffee or beer – three of the most common things to drink.  I wish I liked them and I’ve tried to like them, but I just don’t. 

If I’m channel surfing and come across Pretty Woman, the search for something to watch is over.  I’ll stop changing channels immediately and watch the rest of this movie.

One of my favorite TV shows is Married at First Site.  It’s like getting a free counseling session with each episode

If I won the lottery, Eric and I would surprise our son and daughter-in-law with a trip to Italy and our nieces and nephews with a trip to Disney World.  I would love to share those experiences with them!  Oh, and I would also buy a million pairs of shoes!

If a recipe calls for whisking or zesting, it makes me feel like a true cook. 

We currently have no pets in our house.  We lost our golden retriever, Daisy, about three years ago.  Even though we miss her dearly, we are just not home enough to justify getting a new dog.  There are moments when I miss her so much!

One of my favorite things is coming home and having the bed made.  I honestly hardly ever make it myself because most of the time Eric doesn’t start work as early as I do, so he’s still in bed when I’m leaving.  When I walk in the bedroom and he’s made the bed, it really does make me have a warm and fuzzy feeling.

One of my dreams is to attend a live taping of either Ellen or The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. 

Receiving a heart-felt thank you for doing something special for someone melts my heart.  I’m not going to lie, half the time I do special things just to receive the praise at the end.  Is that bad?!? 

Monday, January 8, 2018

January's TBB Asks - Monday, January 8

Today I'm joining a great group of bloggers over at The Blended Blog to answer the January TBB Asks questions.  It's such a fun way to get to know other bloggers!  I also find that while reflecting on my answers, I learn a little bit about myself at the same time.  So let's get started ~

1.  Resolutions or No Resolutions?
I'm definitely a resolutions girl.  Each new year I have a long list of things I want to focus on.  Some of them actually make it through to December!  

2.  Love snow or no snow?
I have a love / hate relationship with snow.  I absolutely HATE having to drive to and from work in the snow.  Snow can turn my normal 40 minute commute into hours.  But if it's a weekend that I can sit in my cozy house and look out the window at huge flakes floating to the ground I'm all about it.

3.  Name a New Place you want to go this year.
Italy.  Definitely Italy!  Eric and I are saving our change and hopefully will be able to book a trip there this summer.  

4.  Would you rather have a new hair cut or hair color?
Man, I would love a new hair cut.  But I have to be honest, it seems no matter how my stylist cuts my hair I always gravitate back to the same way of fixing it.  

5.  Name one special thing you want to do for yourself this year.
I really want to start eating more healthy.  Each week I stock our refrigerator with fruits and vegetables, and each week I throw most of it away.  Bad on so many levels!  This year I'm going to put more effort into actually using the good food I buy instead of tossing it out.

6.  Least favorite thing about January?
The days are so short!  Most of the time I leave for work in the dark and I come home in the dark.  

7.  Most favorite thing about January?
Fresh starts!  The new year is such a great time to start new things.  It's like hitting the reset button.  All things are possible!

8.  When do you take down your Holiday decorations?
Ugh.  This is a task I absolutely hate.  My goal is always to take them down the first weekend in January.  Then I spend the next few days missing them.  

9.  Do you diet in January?
Absolutely.  Me and the other 753485478 people that have resolved to lose weight starting in January.  Hopefully this year will show some results.

10.  What area of your home do you want to organize the most?
My pantry!  One of the main reasons we purchased our current home is because I fell in love with the pantry.  Unfortunately, it falls prey to stuff being dumped in there.  I need to spend some serious time getting it in order.  It's amazing the feeling I have when I step in there after it's all clean and organized.  

11.  Favorite Winter Comfort Food.
There are tons of comfort foods that I love, but one of my favorites is Loaded Potato Soup.  My recipe is HERE.  It's quick and easy to make and really warms you up on cold winter days. 

12.  Favorite Guilty Pleasure?
Hands down - Binge watching a new TV series.  I love setting aside a day and just watching the heck out of a show.  

Thanks TBB for providing the questions and I can't wait to learn more about other bloggers!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Five on Friday - January 5, 2018

Happy Friday! Wowza - I'm so grateful this was a short work week!  Getting back into the groove was a real challenge.  But so far 2018 is off to a wonderful start and I'm excited to share my five with you today.  So here goes ~

1.  National Whip Cream Day
Not only is today a special day because it's my friend Linda's birthday, it is also National Whipped Cream Day.  That's right - top off that dessert with some creamy white delight in celebration today.  If you want to go the extra mile and make homemade whipped cream, it's really pretty simple.  All you need is 1 cup of heavy cream, 1 tablespoon of powered sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.  Put the heavy cream in a bowl and whip it until stiff peaks are about to form.  Then add in your vanilla and sugar and beat until those peaks are stiff.  Heck, no need to waste calories on the dessert - just eat the whipped cream straight out of the bowl!

2.  Molly's Game
Molly's Game is based on the true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who ran the world's most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons. Her players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans and finally, unbeknownst to her, the Russian mob. Her only ally was her criminal defense lawyer Charlie Jaffey, who learned that there was much more to Molly than the tabloids led us to believe.  Definitely on my list of movies I want to see.

3.  The Bucket List:  1000 Adventures Big & Small
Have you evaluated your bucket list recently?  Before you do, you might want to check out this book of 1000 adventures big and small.  Even if some of them aren't your cup of tea, it would still be fun just to know these things exist!  Here's how Amazon summarizes:
We all have things we’d like to do—one day—but work, family, school, money, and responsibilities get in the way. This invaluable guide to fun, fantastic, and life-affirming activities features an eclectic range of ideas such as self-improvement, sports-related endeavors, natural wonders, cultural experiences, culinary delights, and more. From glassblowing in the Czech Republic to swimming with dolphins in New Zealand, The Bucket List is the perfect gift for the passionate traveler—an around-the-world, continent-by-continent listing of beaches, museums, monuments, islands, inns, restaurants, mountains, and more.
Each activity is location-specific and as geographically unique as bird-watching in Kenya or driving through clouds in Sri Lanka, as well as other to-dos that can be done anywhere, such as sketching a sunset behind an architectural monument. In addition to classic outdoor pursuits, the book contains advice on how to achieve some of the most popular goals for people of all ages: direct a movie, learn to play an instrument, make pottery, protect an endangered species, name a star, try a new cuisine, or learn a new language. Whether you are more active or laid-back, serious-minded or lighthearted, you are bound to discover new, stimulating activities.
Click HERE to check it out.

4.  Golden Globes - Sunday, January 7
The award season is upon us!  Sunday will mark the kick off of the 2018 season with the 75th Golden Globe Awards.  Seth Meyers will host and actors and actresses are planning to wear black to protest sexual harassment in the entertainment industry.  Although I feel I'm behind on seeing some of the movies, I'm still a bit excited to see who wins what.  Are you an awards show watcher?

5.  Confession....
The best thing about
winter is that your
winter coat hides the
fact that you're not
wearing a bra to Target.

Hope you have a great weekend and are able to stay warm!  I have girls night tonight and on Sunday we're meeting friends for lunch.  I might even start taking down my Christmas decorations.  Do you still have yours up??  Hope I'm not the last person to put theirs away!  See you back here next week!

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

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Friday Favorites - January 5, 2018

Welcome to 2018's first Friday Favorites!  Things are back to normal and we're excited to have Jerri back in action.  Enjoy!

Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:
Jerri at Simply Sweet Home - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Maisy at Becoming Alice - FB | G+ | Pin
Sheree at Stage Presents - Twitter | FB | Pin | Inst | Inst
Lisa at Condo Blues - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Penny at Penny's Passion - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Kelly at Under a Texas Sky - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL
If you are featured this week, be sure and grab a featured button for your blog!
You can show your love for this week's favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!
And if you love all of this week's favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week's linky party!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - January 4, 2018

Welcome to a new year and the first Thinking Out Loud Thursday of 2018!  Yesterday was my first day back to work since the Friday before Christmas, so it was a bit of an adjustment hearing the alarm go off and knowing that I had to get up and moving at a much brisker pace than I had in a while!!

First -- Happy New Year!!  This is my first post of 2018 and I'm excited to share tons of fun things with you during the next 12 months.  Hope you follow along.

I'm still relishing what a great break it was and that's what I'm thinking out loud about today!  As with every year, I look forward to spending the week between Christmas and New Year's at home.  My to do list grows long and rarely (or quite possibly never) does it get done.  And I'm okay with that.

This year on break, besides having a wonderful Christmas with my family, I ~
~ Read four books
~ Went to three movies
~ Got two rather large donation collections together
~ Deep cleaned our laundry room
~ Enjoyed the heck out of New Year's with friends in Kansas City
The books were a great winter escape.  Erin Hilderbrand's Winter Trilogy of Winter Street, Winter Stroll, Winter Storms and Winter Solstice were easy reads, but really kept me wanting to find out more about the characters.  If you haven't read them, I would recommend adding them to your want to read list!

I went to three movies - Father Figure, Pitch Perfect 3 and Darkest Hour.  Thanks to my Movie Pass, going to movies is so economical!  For $10 a month, you can go to one movie a day.   By the way, none of the movies I saw were brilliant.  Pitch Perfect did make me laugh out loud several times.  If you've seen the previews for Father Figures, you've seen all the funny parts.  The Darkest Hour was not my favorite.  The run time is only 2 hour, but I swear it felt like 10.  I might have even slept for a few of those minutes too.

New Year's was a blast at my friend Janet's house!  She's my friend Linda's sister and is the baby of their family of nine.  I've been hanging out with that family since before Janet was born!!  Our party of twenty-three rocked the Party in your PJs theme.

There was food (SOOOO much food) and games.  We learned a new game, Splendor, that I immediately came home and purchased.  It made me add Have More Game Nights to my 2018 goals.

At any given time, there were various games happening that you could drop in on.

At midnight we rang in the New Year with a toast and confetti.

So even though the items like clean the basement, delete old emails, and throw away expired coupons didn't get crossed off the list, having a great time and enjoying the people around me did.  That's definitely the best kind of break in my eyes.

Now I'm ready to face 2018 with excitement and enthusiasm.  Let's rock this year!!  

What are you thinking out loud about today?  Link up and share.  I'd love to hear from you!

Enjoy more Thoughts for Thursday at: