Penny's Passion

Friday, December 7, 2018

Five on Friday - December 7, 2018

It's Friday!  Who else is ready for the weekend?  I'm excited to have a few days to spend at home finishing up some holiday chores.  Before I get started on my to-do list, here's my five for this week ~

1.  Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
Today is the 77th anniversary of the day that changed so many family's lives forever - the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  On that day in 1941, more than 3,500 Americans lost their lives or were wounded.  Let's take a moment to reflect on the lives lost that day and thank our service men and women committed today to keep us safe.

Pearl-Harbor-Remembrance-Day-December-7

2.  Ben is Back
Julia Roberts has a new film out in limited release today called Ben is Back.  I've seen the previews and it immediately went on my list of movies to see.  Hoping it opens in my area soon!  Here's the synopsis from Fandango ~
19 year-old Ben Burns (Lucas Hedges) unexpectedly returns home to his family's suburban home on Christmas Eve morning. Ben’s mother, Holly (Julia Roberts), is relieved and welcoming but wary of her son staying clean. Over a turbulent 24 hours, new truths are revealed, and a mother's undying love for her son is tested as she does everything in her power to keep him safe. Ben is Back also stars Courtney B. Vance (The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) and Kathryn Newton.
Image result for ben is back movie poster

3.  Cocktail Courier
Still looking for a gift idea for those "people who have everything" on your list?  I might just have the answer for you!  I was reading my Midwest Living magazine the other night and came across the Cocktail Courier.  The Cocktail Courier will ship a round of craft cocktails anywhere in the US.  The box includes a master mixologist's recipe, plus every ingredient you'll need, from base liquor to fresh citrus garnish.  Packages start at $29.99.  Check them out at cocktailcourier.com.  Use the code midwestmag for 15% off.


4.  RapidX X5 Car Charger
Here's one of Oprah's favorite things and it looks pretty cool.  Keep this in your car and you'll be able to charge 5 devices in record speed.  It works with vehicle outlets and cigarette lighters.  You'll never have to worry about arriving at your destination and not having any bars on your phone again!  Need one (or two)?  Click HERE to check it out.  

5.  We might need a cleaning service....
Image may contain: text that says '| HATE having a messy house. Not enough to actually clean it. it. but enough to give it a really disgusted stare from my seat on the couch.'

Have a great weekend!  We're going to see the Ambassadors of Harmony perform their holiday show tomorrow night at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.  That should give our Christmas spirit a boost!  Speaking of Christmas spirit - don't forget about the Christmas Photo Challenge happening on Instagram.  Join the fun and hashtag your photo with #2018ChristmasMoments.  



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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Friday Favorites Linky Party - December 7, 2018

Happy Friday!  Are you planning to do a holiday craft or do some baking this weekend?  If so, our features today might be just what you're looking for!  Enjoy!

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Thinking Out Loud Thursday - December 6, 2018

Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday!  And happy St. Nicholas Day!  Did your kiddos put their shoes out last night and find a treat in them this morning?  It was a fun tradition we did in our house for years.

Today I'm thinking about some of the fun things my son found in his shoes on St. Nick's Day and also in his stocking on Christmas morning back in the day.  I'm not going to lie, I miss having a little one around.  So I'll live vicariously through my friends that still have kids at home and offer these suggestions.

Decks of cards were the perfect size to slip in stockings.  They are also great to have around and play with your kids.  Grandmas out there -- a deck of cards doesn't take up a lot of space to store and are great to have on hand when the grand kids stop by.  Some favorites are ~

  • Race in a head-to-head competition with Blink , the lightning-fast card game!
  • Using sharp eyes and fast hands, 2 players try to match the shape, count, or color on their cards to either one of two discard piles
  • Play all the cards from your draw pile to win the game!
  • Colorfully designed cards have large symbols that range from moons to triangles to stars, making it easy for anyone to play. Watch as your reflexes and response time improves round after round
  • Includes 60 symbol cards and instructions
Skip-Bo is the ultimate sequencing card game
  • Players use skill and strategy to create sequencing stacks of cards in ascending order (2, 3, 4, and so on)
  • Be the first player to get rid of your stock pile!
  • The Skip-Bo ‘Wild’ cards add extra twists to keep the game interesting and help you beat your opponents
  • Includes 162 cards and instructions

I loved having a few hands-on activities around the house.  When the weather is too bad to go outside and run off some energy, hands-on activities can help everyone in the house stay sane.

Growing Dinasaurs

  • JUST ADD WATER AND WATCH THEM GROW. Fun little water growing dinosaurs grow up to 600% of their original size when you put them in water.
  • A GREAT VARIETY OF DINOSAURS. Water growing toys come assorted among the species of dinosaur: from triceratops to tyrannosaurs. Perfect for party favors and gifts.
  • THE BEST GIFT CHOICE FOR KIDS. If you want to give a little joy to your child, expanding foam animals (grow water dinosaurs) will be a perfect idea. Our new expanding water animals are very bright and attractive, resilient and pleasant to the touch.
  • NON-TOXIC MATERIALS. The polymer, or hydrpgel, is similar to the non-toxic chemical used in baby nappies. So dont overlook the educational value of our water growing toys for kids.
  • WATER PLAY FUN. Create a long lost underwater land with these water growing dinosaurs! Place your expandable water toys in a glass, bath or in a scenic aquarium! Watch the grow water toys become of a “T-Rex” size at your next jurassic-themed party.


Who doesn't love a little dot to dot challenge.  This book of 50 puzzles would definitely keep the kids occupied for a while!




An activity that takes a little patience is crystals.  Seems like we always had some crystals growing in the windowsill!  These look fun ~
  • Get started immediately with this Kit that includes everything to grow beautiful crystals that glow in the dark.
  • Learn about crystal formation with this fun and luminous chemistry experiment.
  • Use under adult supervision only for safe crystal growing.
  • This Kit is recommended for ages 10 and up

Hope these ideas help you fill the stockings at your house.  Now I need to start thinking about some items to fill adult kids stockings!

What are you thinking out loud about today?  Link up and share!


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop - December 5, 2018

Welcome to our party!

We are so glad you are here. It is such a beautiful time of year, isn't it? And you all have been making such great crafts, decorations and holiday recipes...we can hardly wait to see what you have for us this week! First, let's take a look at our features. Last week we had so many awesome posts shared.Here are the ones you visited the most ...

Most Viewed

egg nog truffles
Egg Nog Truffles - Wondermom Wannabe

Gifts For Women - Rain on a Tin Roof
   

Very Popular

Introverts at parties
Enjoying Parties As An Introvert - This Mainline Life
 
Felt ornaments #crafts
 

Editor's Picks

Clam Chowder by Lou Lou Girls
Perfect Clam Chowder - Lou Lou Girls
 
 Now let's get this party started!
Blog hop - Wonderful Wednesday
 
This week please follow our co-hosts on Pinterest...
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Weekending - November 30, 2018

Weekends just go by too fast!  This past one was action packed with lots of highlights so here goes ~

Friday night was our work holiday party at the St. Louis Zoo.  Huge success!  The St. Louis Zoo has a fabulous light display called Wild Lights and before our party began, we had the opportunity to roam around the zoo admiring the lights while sipping on hot chocolate.  Thank goodness the weather cooperated and it was pleasant to be outside.




Saturday morning we were up and ready to take a road trip to Nashville with our friends, Debbie and Larry.  How much does a person with really bad packing skills need for one overnight trip?  This much:


We drove straight to a hot chicken place, Prince's Hot Chicken Shack, I had read about in Reese Witherspoon's book Whiskey in a Teacup.  (Side note -- I LOVED Reese's book by the way.  My friend, Linda, gifted it to me for my birthday and I read the whole thing in less that two days!  If you are like a copy, click HERE)  Now, back to the chicken - Reese really knew what she was talking about.  The chicken was GOOD!


The location we visited was on Ewing in a strip mall.  Now this place is not fancy.  As a matter of fact, there was what appeared to be a bullet hole in the window next to where we sat.  Their flavors are plain, mild, medium, hot, xhot, xxhot and xxxhot.  Eric and I went with the mild because we are wimps.  Debbie and Larry were brave and went with hot.  Everyone loved their choices!  Our mild selection had a tad bit of heat and the hot made sweat appear on our friends brows.

From there, we checked into our home-away-from-home for the night - Renaissance Nashville Hotel.  This hotel is located within walking distance of Broadway and all the main attractions downtown.  As an added bonus, they have a car service that will take you anywhere in a 3-mile radius of the hotel. We loved our room which came with a great view of the city.


They had the cutest little camper-turned-coffee bar in the lobby!


I'm not going to lie, one thing that I always look for in a hotel are the amenities.  The Renaissance did not let me down with their Aveda Rosemary Mint selections!


We changed clothes and got ready for our night out.  First up was the Opry at the Ryman.  The Ryman had been on our list of things we wanted to do in Nashville for a while and Saturday night we were doing it!  I'll be honest, I didn't know a single person on the playbill.  Eric was excited to see Tracy Lawrence (who I thought was a girl - it's not).  We had bought tickets fairly last minute and we were in the very last row upstairs.  Turns out, those are great seats!  The venue is small, so no matter where your seats are you're not far from the stage.  All the seats are church pews, except that last row.  We had individual, padded chairs.  No sore bottoms for us!  If I were to go back (and I hope to someday), I would intentionally buy those seats again.


After the show, we had reservations at Husk.  When we were in Charleston a few years ago, we had tried to get in the Husk restaurant there and couldn't get a reservation.  I had been wanting to try it ever since.  We had the complimentary car service from the Renaissance pick us up at the Ryman and deliver us to Husk.  It did not disappoint!


The rule at Husk is "if it doesn't come from the South, it's not coming through the door".  We started with the pimento cheese and I followed that up with shrimp and grits.  YUM!



When dinner was complete, we headed back to Broadway to check out the honky tonks.  We landed at Rippy's and grooved in the music for a bit.

Sunday morning we slept and then went to Another Broken Egg Cafe for breakfast.  Luckily, we used the NoWait app that allowed us to be in line before actually showing up to the restaurant.  We snacked on biscuit beignets before our food arrived.  Appetizers for breakfast - yes, please!



With full bellies, we meandered our way back over to Broadway to see what music was spilling out of the honky tonks.  No matter what type of music you're in to, it's a pretty good bet you will be able to find it somewhere on Broadway!


We weren't quite ready to head home yet, so we decided to visit the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.  Oh my gosh -- these wax figures are so darn real looking!  Besides seeing the figures and getting a perspective of the celebrity's size, you could read an interesting blurb about each one also.  We got our tickets off Groupon and saved about half the price.


Monday morning came quick - too quick!  It was such a fun weekend with friends and the best part is we made memories to last a lifetime.  Those, in my book, are the best!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Mini Christmas Bucket List - 2018

Upcoming Holiday Cheer

It's officially the month of Christmas and today I'm linking up with Leslie from Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After to share our holiday bucket list.  Since I'm a list maker by nature, I won't share everything on my bucket list, but I'll highlight a few of the ones I feel are more important.


Ring Bells for the Salvation Army
I've done this for years and it's such a rewarding experience!  Years ago, it was such an eye opener how people react to bell ringers.  Most of the time people try to scamper past you, pretending you're not there.  Since my first experience with that, I've learned to at least say Merry Christmas to the ringer even if I'm not dropping some change in their buckets.  So I'm challenging you this year to do the same.  

Enjoy Making Cookies with Friends
My friends in Kansas City have a cookie day every year and I have yet to make it.  This year I'm hoping to break that cycle and show up!

Have a Gathering at Our House
Entertaining is a true passion of mine and what a better time to have people over to our house than when it's all decorated!  

Make Fruitcakes for My Dad
My dad is one of the rare people who love a good fruitcake.  For years, when my son, Ian, was little we would make Grandpa's fruitcakes together.  He would stand on a chair next me and we would work chopping the nuts and mixing the batter.  Since he's grown up and left the house, making fruitcakes has been kind of hit or miss.  Well, this year I hope to make it a hit!  Even though I don't have my son here to help, my dad still loves fruitcakes so I want to make some for him.

Mail Christmas Cards
This is a process I make way harder than it should be.  First, I literally think about the picture on the card all year long.  We tried to get pictures when we were on vacation in Cancun, Rome and Indiana.  Just this morning I put Eric through a 45 minutes photo shoot that was truly painful.  I need to just pick a picture already and get the darn cards ordered!!  And just about the time I think I have a good picture I start second guessing myself about even doing a card with a picture of Eric and me.  Is it weird for two grown adults to do a picture card?  I love getting picture cards - but does anybody really care to see pictures of us?  See, I make this way harder than it should be.

What's on your Christmas Bucket List?  'Tis the season so let's get cracking!

Friday, November 30, 2018

Five on Friday - November 30, 2018

Hey there!  Can you believe it's the last day of November?!?  This month (much like the entire year) has seemed to fly by.  With Thanksgiving behind us, I'm moving full force ahead planning and preparing for Christmas.  My friend Carol popped in yesterday and transformed our home into a magical Christmas scene.  It's one of my favorite days of the year when she's been to my house to decorate.  I walk in the door after work and it's like the magic of Christmas arrived!  I'll be sharing all our decorations on the Home Tour link up party being held on December 12.


Now, for the real reason of today's post - Five on Friday!  Here's my five for this week ~

Every year I like to add a Christmas CD (or twenty) to our collection.  This year it's going to be Eric Clapton's Happy Xmas.  Can you believe that this is his first Christmas CD!  This 14 song collection has a cool groove to it - the perfect kind of music to be playing in the background during a party.  One of the songs, For the Love of Christmas, was written by Clapton myself.  Need it for your collection?  Click HERE to check it out. 

Happy Xmas

2.  Zollipops - The Clean Teeth Pops
Parents - you no longer have to worry when you hand your kiddo a sucker.  That is, if you're handing them a Zollipop!  These babies actually clean teeth!  Here's the description from Amazon, "Zollipops work naturally with our bodies to help reduce the acidity and balance the pH in our mouths. By reducing acidity, we can help take away the power from those little cavity monsters! Teeth can re-mineralize faster, making them stronger and harder. In fact, many people have shared that after enjoying one of our treats, their teeth feel smooth and clean again."  Wonder how many stockings Santa will be leaving a pack of Zollipops in.  If you need some, click HERE.
3.  Starbuck's Juniper Latte
Did you notice something new on the Starbuck's menu yesterday?  They've add a Juniper Latte to their list of holiday lineup.  Inside the Juniper Latte is Starbucks signature espresso and steamed milk with juniper-flavored syrup.  In case you're wondering what juniper tastes like, it's the evergreen tree or shrub that is used to flavor gin.  To top off the new Juniper Latte is creamy foam and a sprinkle of pine-citrus sugar.  It streams Merry Christmas!


4.  Spa Pack
This time of year, there's always a list of girlfriends or teachers or daycare workers you would like to give a little something to without breaking the bank.  Amazon has the below items in bulk - bath bombs, facial masks and nail files.  You could put one each in a cute bag for just under $3.00 each.  Such a cute gift that doesn't break the bank!

LifeAround2Angels Bath Bombs Gift Set 12 USA made Fizzies, Shea & Coco Butter Dry Skin Moisturize, Perfect for Bubble & Spa Bath. Handmade Birthday Mothers day Gifts idea For Her/Him, wife, girlfriend
Click HERE to purchase
DERMAL Collagen Essence Full Face Facial Mask Sheet, 16 Combo Pack B
Click HERE to purchase
BMC 24 Pack Mini Matchbook Nail FIles - Women's Grooming Travel Size 180 Grit Emery Boards in Bulk, Great for Party Favors, Small Gifts, Stocking Stuffers - Includes 4 Cute Designs: Love Is... Set
Click HERE to purchase
5.  Don't we all have a little bit of Grinch in us?

And I dont feel like the Grinch at all  funny...

Have a great weekend!  Eric and I have a fun one in store.  Tonight is my work holiday party and then tomorrow morning bright and early we're headed to Nashville to help my friend Debbie celebrate her birthday.  See you next week!

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