Penny's Passion: 2018

Saturday, April 21, 2018

2018 Spring Bucket List

It's spring - or so says the calendar.  The weather, on the other hand, isn't really reflecting spring in our area.  This week, however, might just change that.  I don't think we'll be breaking any high temperature records, but it is supposed to be in the sixties, so we'll take it.

Today I'm joining a group of blogger friends to share our spring bucket lists. This winter I've become somewhat lackadaisical in my approach to life and I'd like that to turn around this spring.  Hopefully writing out my bucket list will help get me back on track.  So here goes ~


Get More Organized
Organization has totally went out the window this winter at my house.  My craft room is even more out of control than it typically is, my nightstand is piled high with books and magazines and my kitchen cabinets - oh my - is in desperate need of some help.  And I won't even tell you how out of control my pantry is!!  I want to spend some time organizing and sprucing up around here!

Make A Hefty Donation of Unused Items
When I switch my winter clothes out for my summer ones, I want to take a hard look at every item and donate those I'm never going to wear.  Do I really, really need 50 t-shirts?  I think not.  Why I feel the need to stuff my closet and drawers with items I know deep in my heart I will never wear is beyond me.  This year I want to give up some of those drawer-crowders and free up some space.

Plant the Garden
Eric and I have a postage-size garden in our back yard and love eating fresh tomatoes and herbs from it.  For the last couple of years we haven't given the space much thought, instead just plant the same things in the same spots.  This year I want to be a bit more intentional.  There are some new herbs I want to plant and maybe try less tomatoes and add in more lettuce.

Do a Weekly To-Do List
At some point over the winter, my weekly to-do lists went away.  They need to come back!  I'm the type of person that needs to write it down or it can be totally forgotten.  Truth be told, I also love the act of crossing things off the list too.  Heck, sometimes I write stuff down that I've already done just for the joy of crossing it off the list!  Am I the only one that does that??

Spruce Up the Patio
Our little concrete pad out the back of our house is in desperate need of attention.  It houses our patio furniture, grill and fire pit.  And it's boring.  I'm going to throw myself into Pinterest and hope to find some ideas that will turn the little space into something more attractive and inviting.

Celebrate!
We have some happy occasions coming up with a graduation and retirement.  I'm looking forward to making a few decorations and enjoying celebrating these major milestones with my friends.

Start Walking More
The weather has really stopped Eric and I from taking our evening walks.  At least I want to blame it on the weather.  With warmer temps on the horizon, I hope we can resume them again.  I would also love to find a place where we could take a hike.

Read More
I've got about 47834738 books on my to be read list and I'm hoping to conquer a few of them this spring.

Just writing these down gets me a little more motivated to actually get them done!  How about you?  What's on your spring bucket list?  Link up and share!



Friday, April 20, 2018

Five on Friday - April 20, 2018

It's Friday!!  This week seemed to fly by for me.  How about you?  Still not spring weather around here, but next week looks promising.  Hopefully, my five today will warm you up ~

1.  National Park Week
I got an email this week from the National Park Foundation that I thought was well worth sharing.  Here's what it said, "This Saturday, April 21, all national park sites that normally charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone.  That’s right, all 84 million acres of historic places, cultural treasures, and the world’s most spectacular scenery will be open for free!"  How cool is that?!?  Looking for a park to visit?  Click HERE to find a beautiful park near you.

National Park Foundation Spring Poll Results

2. New Flavors of M&M's
Have you heard - M&M's have three new flavors: Crunchy Raspberry, Crunchy Espresso, and Crunchy Mint.  They are hoping you try all three and vote for your favorite by May 25th.  The winning flavor will be launched in August.  If you happen to be at the Color Run this Saturday in St. Louis, they will have a booth set up for your tasting pleasure.  Visit M&M's website to vote for your favorite.

M&M's packs

3.  I Feel Pretty
Amy Schumer's I Feel Pretty movie is opening today and it is definitely on my list to see.  Her movies are typically pretty goofy, but they make me laugh.  Here's the synopsis from Fandango, "In I FEEL PRETTY an ordinary woman who struggles with feelings of insecurity and inadequacy on a daily basis wakes from a fall believing she is suddenly the most beautiful and capable woman on the planet. With this newfound confidence she is empowered to live her life fearlessly and flawlessly, but what will happen when she realizes her appearance never changed?"


At the end of March, Giada De Laurentiis released her newest cookbook and it is definitely on my wish list.  The photos are shot on location around her native Rome.  We recently booked our vacation to Rome for this fall and I want to see all the places she talks about in her cookbook!  Am I the only crazy person that reads a cookbook like a good novel?  With the help of this cookbook, I'm sure I'll be whipping up her Italy dishes in no time.  Would someone you know like a copy?  Click HERE to purchase.


5.  Let's pretend.....

Image may contain: 1 person, meme and text

Have a wonderful weekend!  I'm going to spend Saturday catching up on a few things and Sunday with my family (except Eric because he has to work - insert sad face).  My Easter decorations are still up so getting them down should probably be high on my priority list.  Stop back by next week to see how that goes.  

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, April 19, 2018

Friday Favorites - April 20, 2018

Hello to Friday!  Enjoyed all your links last week and can't wait to see what you show us today.  Have a great weekend!

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, April 18, 2018

Is Hamilton Really That Good?

Hey there!  Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday.  This is an open forum where you can link your blog post about anything that is on your mind.

Today I'm thinking out loud about the date night Eric and I had on Tuesday.  The musical Hamilton was playing at the Fox Theater and we were in the audience!


I have to be honest, I was a little worried that I would be the one person that didn't really like it.  We have friends who have traveled to Chicago and New York for this 11 time Tony award-winning show.  Not a single person I know that has seen Hamilton has had a negative reaction.  I feared that it would be one of those things after hearing everyone rave about, my expectations would be too high and I would be let down.  Has that happened to you before?


Hamilton has been in St. Louis since April 3 and we had resisted the urge to buy tickets.  I had faithfully entered the lottery through the Hamilton app every single day to win a chance to buy $10 tickets.  Each day the message "Try Again!  Sorry you did not win." appeared on my phone.  But think how exciting it would be to win!  So worth entering every day.


On Monday I couldn't resist any longer.  There were a few seats remaining for the Tuesday night performance and I just had to see what the hype was all about.  Guys - I was not one bit disappointed.  This musical was fabulous and deserves every good comment we have heard about it!


This production was witty and fun.  Here is the synopsis from Playbill: From bastard orphan to Washington's right hand man, rebel to war hero, loving husband caught in the country's first sex scandal to Treasury head who made an untrusting world believe in the American economy, Hamilton is an exploration of a political mastermind. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Eliza Hamilton, and lifelong Hamilton friend and foe, Aaron Burr, all attend this revolutionary tale of America’s fiery past told through the sounds of the ever-changing nation we've become.

Have you seen it?  Is it coming to a city near you?  If you need someone to see it with you, let me know.  I would definitely see it again!

Now it's your turn -- what are you thinking out loud about?  Link up and share - I'd love to hear form you!


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

30 Hours in Cleveland

Last weekend my friend, Debbie, and I headed to Cleveland for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.  Months ago when we learned Bon Jovi was being inducted, we knew we had to be there to see it in person!


Our flight left St. Louis bright and early on Saturday morning.  After flying through Chicago, and having a couple delays there, our flight touched down in Cleveland early in the afternoon.  We were greeted with rain - and the rain stayed with us for the ENTIRE weekend.  Sometimes it was light.  Sometimes it was heavy.  But it was always there.

The first thing we did was do a drive by of the induction location.  Since we were unfamiliar with Cleveland, we wanted to make sure we knew where we were going and scope out a place to park.  After that was accomplished, lunch was our next priority.  We decided to pop in Wahlburgers.  Not going to lie, I voted yes on this joint because I just love Mark and Donnie.


Turns out that brother Paul cooks a pretty mean burger!  As you can tell by the amount of food we ordered, we were hungry!  Highlights were the sweet potato tots and the onion rings.  So good!


With full bellies, we headed to the hotel.  Even though we booked back in January, many of the downtown locations were already full so we chose to stay at the Tudor Arms Hotel a few miles from the event location.  On our way to the hotel, in the pouring rain, we decided to Uber it that night.  Great decision!

Red carpet started at 5:30 pm, doors opened at 6:30 pm and the event began at 7:30 pm.  We knew we didn't really want to stand out in the cold and rain for an hour, so we arrived a few minutes after 6 - just in time to see the entire Bon Jovi band arrive.  How lucky was that!  Thanks, Jon, for waiting on us to get there before you walked the red carpet.



The lines were long getting in, but we managed to snap a picture and be in our seats just as the program began. 



Jon and gang were the first of the night to be inducted.  Howard Stern gave a speech that at times was very heartwarming and other times quite funny.  Howard, like many of us were thinking, spoke to the fact that it was surprising the legendary Bon Jovi hadn't gotten in the Hall of Fame years ago.  He reminded us that with the 130 million Bon Jovi albums sold, that number was higher than the death toll from the bubonic plague, the American Civil War and atomic bomb drops.  Each band member spoke and then they entertained the crowd with some of their classics.  It was so great to see Richie Sambora playing with the band again!  



The rest of the program was anticlimactic for us after Bon Jovi left the stage, but there were some great highlights.  The Roots and Paul Shaffer played for the Nina Simone tribute.  Steven Van Zandt introduced the new category - The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Singles.  Brittany Howard from Alabama Shakes sang a special rendition of That's All to honor Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

We skipped out as the last group was being honored to head over to the after party at the House of Blues where Questlove was showing off his DJ skills.


Overall, it was an absolutely fabulous night!  One of those things that is a once in a lifetime experience.  On our way back to the hotel, our cool Uber driver pulled over so I could snap a picture of the world's largest outdoor chandelier.  I think he pulled over because he was afraid I was going to fall out the window trying to get the picture.


Sunday we had the day to explore the city a bit more.  We found our way to Little Italy for lunch at Mia Bella's and a little dessert from Presti's Bakery.




Then it was on to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum.  If you like music at all, you will love this place!  You could spend hours roaming around this 6-story building.


So many fond memories came flooding back when I saw varies displays.




They also had things honoring the new 2018 inductees.  If you look very close, you can see our reflection in this picture.



We wanted to grab a bite to eat before heading back to the airport and was anxious to try the popular Lola, a Michael Symon restaurant.  The menu is quite interesting with things like beef cheek and calves heart being some of the most popular items.


As we were leaving the restaurant, the Cavaliers game was just letting out and traffic was quite a bit heavier than we had anticipated.  That made it a little tighter on time than we anticipated to get to the airport, but we made it with a tad bit of time to spare.  Thank goodness we only had carry on luggage and were TSA pre-check approved!

Our 30 hours in Cleveland were packed with fun and worth the weekend of little sleep.  I would definitely head back to the Rock and Roll Capital of the World and do more exploring.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Five on Friday - April 13, 2018

Let's celebrate - it's Friday!  This has been a fun week.  Eric and I enjoyed dinner with friends on Monday then saw Blockers, I had dinner with my friend Debbie on Thursday and tonight we're meeting Ian and Kayla for dinner.  I also have a big weekend planned so before I wrap up the week, here's my five on Friday ~

1.  National Make Lunch Count Day
You do eat lunch at your desk everyday?  If so, you are suffering from FOLO (Fear of Lunching Out).  Well, today is the day to change that!  Celebrate National Make Lunch Count Day by grabbing a friend and heading out to lunch.  Share your experience on social media using #NationalMakeLunchCount.

National Make Lunch Count Day - April 13

2.  Lay's Poppables
Eric brought home a bag of the Lay's Poppables this week and I could have eaten the whole bag in one sitting.  They were delicious!  We tried the Sea Salt flavor.  They are also available in White Cheddar and Honey BBQ.  About 30 pieces of this crunchy goodness is only 150 calories.  Don't let their light and air texture fool you -- they are packed with flavor! 

                          

You might think I'm crazy for blogging about a planner in the middle of April, but hear me out.  This Katie Daisy planner is being released on May 15 and you can pre-order it now from Amazon.  Her stuff usually sells out so fast!  The 5" x 7" weekly planner goes from August 2018 through December 2019, making it perfect for school and academic planning.  If you're looking for an end-of-the-year gift for your kiddo's teacher, this might be your answer.  Click HERE to check it out.

$12.54 on Amazon
If you happen to miss my blog post from yesterday, I'm taking a little overnight trip to Cleveland tomorrow for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductions.  Because it's just a one-night stay, I'm determined to carry on instead of checking a bag.  If you've ever traveled with me, you know what a big deal carrying on is because I'm a bit of an overpacker.  But I digress.  These little bottles and handy clear bag is helping me downsize my liquids and making it possible for the carry on to happen.  Travel much?  Click HERE if you need this!

5.  My shopping habits.....

                       

Now let's get this weekend started! I'll be headed to Cleveland bright and early in the morning.  Can't wait to share all the details with 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, April 12, 2018

Friday Favorites - April 13, 2018

Happy Friday!  Welcome to Friday Favorites.  Hope you have fun checking out all the features today, as well as the links!

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, April 11, 2018

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - April 12, 2018

Hello friends!  Thanks for stopping by Thinking Out Loud Thursday!  Hope you link up below and share what's on your mind today.

I'm thinking ahead to the weekend today.  My friend, Debbie, and I are taking a little trip and having been planning it for months.  Wonder where we are headed?  We're going to Cleveland for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductions!!  Oh my gosh -- I get all giddy just typing it!


You see, one of our absolute favorites is being inducted and we just couldn't stand not being there.  Bon Jovi -- we're coming to celebrate with you!!  


If you've read my blog for a hot minute, you know I love Bon Jovi.  Debbie and I traveled with our friend Jane to Chicago twice to see the group and then saw them on the same tour in St. Louis.  Jane's been in heaven since 2016, but there's not a Bon Jovi moment that we don't think about her.  She'll be with us in spirit this weekend as we see Jon and company receive this awesome honor.


Last February, Debbie and I traveled to Nashville to see the This House is Not For Sale tour on a Saturday night and rushed back to St. Louis to see them on Sunday.  Yes, we're those crazy fans that just can't get enough!

Image result for bon jovi tour

You'll have to check back in next week for my weekending post.  Wouldn't it be cool if for some crazy reason we actually ran into Jon Bon Jovi out and about in Cleveland!?!  I know it's a looooonnnnngggg shot, but a girl can dream!  And that's what I'm thinking out loud about today.

I would love to hear some recommendations for great places to eat and things to do in Cleveland.  If you've been to a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony, fill me in on what to expect.

Now it's your turn.  What's on your mind?  Link up and let us know.



Enjoy more Thoughts for Thursday at:

Monday, April 9, 2018

Weekending - April 6, 2018

Monday - you are here too soon!  This weekend, even though we didn't have a lot going on, flew by.  Eric had to work Saturday and Sunday so I was pretty much on my own.  

Before I get in to want happened this weekend, I want to make you aware of something fun that is happening today at Bailey's Range in downtown St. Louis.  Today from 5 pm to 8 pm, 25% of your bill will be donated back to EarthDance to help continue to spread the good food movement in St. Louis and beyond.  If you don't have time to stop and eat, feel free to order carry-out and take some good eats home.   EarthDance is near and dear to my heart as I serve on their board.  Hope to see you at Bailey's tonight and enjoying their burgers and brews.  And don't forget to save room for dessert - their ice cream is the best!

Now - back to the weekend.  I kicked off the weekend by going to Scandal Night at my friend Jamie's house.   Six of us gathered around the TV and watched a couple episodes after dining on a delicious lasagna dinner.  After a good girls night I always walk away with lots of great ideas shared by friends.  This night was no exception.  I picked up a couple good shows to watch on Netflix.

Saturday morning I was feeling a bit creative so I whipped up some "hello" note cards and added them to my Etsy shop.  I have to say, I do love the way they turned out.  The yellow hello can be customized into the color of your choice.  These would make a great Mother's Day gift or to welcome a new neighbor.  A set of 6 is $10.  Click HERE if you have someone you would like to purchase a set for.



In the afternoon, I settled down in front of the TV and started watching one of those Netflix shows that was recommended on Friday night - Happy Valley.  Have you seen it?  Oh my goodness, I was hooked immediately!   Season 1 was almost finished by the time Eric got home from work.
                                                                                    

I put Happy Valley on hold so Eric and I could watch the St. Louis Blues hockey game.  They needed a win to advance to the playoffs.  Unfortunately, they didn't make that happen and the season is over.

Sunday after church we popped in Fezziwig's.  I needed to pick up a couple cooking things and I'd heard they had some new things on display.  Needless to say, my Mother's Day wish list got a bit longer after our trip!  One of the coolest things were these candles that bubbled water.  They were amazing!


Eric headed off to work and I spent the afternoon / evening finishing not only Season 1, but also Season 2 of Happy Valley.  Dinner consisted of popcorn and a good magazine.  Quite the relaxing day!


Hope your weekend was a good one.  We might actually be getting some spring weather towards the end of the week.  That is definitely something to look forward to!

Check out what others were up to this weekend.