Penny's Passion

Friday, April 16, 2021

Five on Friday - April 16, 2021

 Happy Friday friends!  This is truly a happy one over here because I have a friend visiting for the weekend for the first time in over a year!  We are going to be hanging out and enjoying each other's company all weekend long.  I took a vacation day today so we can start the fun immediately.  Before I turn the computer off for the weekend, let me share my five with you ~

I've had a hard time sitting down to read lately, so I've been consuming books by listening to them.  It was a bit of a challenge for me in the beginning.  My mind would wander and I'd have to rewind.  But somewhere along the line, my brain has figured it out and I am so enjoying listening to great books!  One of my favorites was Becoming by Michelle Obama.  She narrated it herself and it was a joy to listen to.  Currently, I'm just finishing Dirt by Mary Marantz.  If you'd like to try Audible, sign up for their 30-day free trial.  

We've been tidying up our garage lately and these heavy-duty wraps look like something we need!  One pack contains 6 wraps.  Each wrap will hold up to 50 pounds.  I'm thinking these would be perfect for our garden hoses, electrical extension cords, ropes - the possibilities are endless!  They are also weatherproof, so you can use them indoors or out.  

Eric got our patio lights hung this week and I'm anxiously waiting for the weather to be a little warmer in the evening so we can sit outside and enjoy their glow.  There is just something about these patio lights that transforms any area into a magical space.  They happen to be on sale right now at Amazon so grab some for yourself!  Click HERE to get yours.

4.  Dairy Queen's New Blizzard Flavors
Have you been by your local Dairy Queen lately?  There are six new Blizzard flavors waiting for you.  They are ~
Girl Scout Thin Mints: Your favorite cookie pieces are blended with refreshing mint paired with DQ’s signature soft-serve for a cool treat that’s perfect to beat the heat. This one is a DQ store exclusive!
Raspberry Fudge Bliss: The classic tang of raspberry combined with chocolate chunks and fudge pieces we can’t wait to nibble on this summer.
Frosted Animal Cookie: Our favorite nostalgic childhood treat is back with a hearty scoop of vanilla soft serve, animal cookie pieces and pink confetti frosting.
Nestle Drumstick with Peanuts: Another childhood favorite gets the DQ treatment with crispy, chocolate-covered Drumstick waffle cone pieces and chopped peanuts blended with soft serve.
Cotton Candy: An ice-creamy twist on the popular fair food with pink and blue sprinkles hidden throughout layers of that trademark soft serve.
Brownie Batter: This flavor is perfect for chocolate lovers, with soft serve blended with brownie batter and fudgy brownie dough pieces.

They all sound so delicious!  I don't know which one I want to try first.

5.  Speaking of ice cream...

Have a wonderful weekend!  Pop back in next week to hear about my weekend with my friend and a few other fun things.  

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Friday Favorites Linky Party - April 16, 2021


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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Working Our Way To Normal

Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday where I share something that's on my mind and invite you to link up and do the same.

As of a couple weeks ago, Eric and I are fully vaccinated.  We literally have talked for the last year about all the things we can't wait to do again and one of those things was spending time with our niece and nephews.  Last weekend we had an opportunity to hug those little ones and I'm still thinking today about how euphoric it was! 

When we pulled up to my parents' house and the kids came running towards our car, I thought my heart was going to burst!  Life is slowly getting back to normal.

 I'm not going to lie, every time I see a Facebook post with a grandparent hugging their grandchildren for the first time again during this pandemic, I cry.  Every.Single.Time.  It's not that I didn't appreciate the things we sometimes took for granted, but now I definitely have a new appreciation.  One that is deeper because I now know what it's like to not see those little faces in person.

This weekend we're having a vaccinated friend visit for the weekend and we are giddy with excitement!  I'm sure the happy tears will be flowing when we see each other for the first time in person in over a year! 

What are you looking forward to doing when it's safe for you?  There are so many things on our list - going to theaters, concerts, out to dinner just to name a few.  And we'll be doing all of them with a new appreciation!

Now it's your turn - what are you thinking out loud about today?  Link up and share!

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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop - April 14, 2021

 Come and join the Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop! #linkyparty #wwbloghop

Welcome to the Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop!  We appreciate you stopping by each week and participating in the blog hop.  Before we start our main event, let's take a look at our features from last week's party.  

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My Favorite Farmhouse Spring Decor

What's In My Cart Spring Fashion

Editor's Pick
Quick & Easy 5 Minute Topiary

And, now, let's get this party started! We would love it if you would invite your followers to join us. When you do, remember to use the hashtag #WWBlogHop! 












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Friday, April 9, 2021

Five on Friday - April 9, 2021

Happy Friday!  Ready for five fun things?  Let's go ~

1.  Dolly Parton Ice Cream
As if Dolly Parton couldn't be any more fabulous, she's gone and done it again!  She's teamed up with Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams to create her very own ice cream flavor!  Strawberry Pretzel Pie is available to order or pick up in their stores.  This creation, according to the brand, is "sweet and salty, with timeless appeal, deep American roots, and makes you feel good."  Get some and you'll find layers of crunchy pretzel streusel, rich cream-cheese ice cream, and a red-hot strawberry sauce.  The best part is the proceeds from the sales of the new dessert will benefit Dolly's Imagination Library.  Grab some today!

2.  Taylor Swift - Fearless
Taylor Swift's newest CD is out today!  This re-release of her original CD 13 years ago includes 26 songs, 6 of which are new from the vault.  Can't wait to listen to this!  Here's the review - "Fearless was an album full of magic and curiosity, the bliss and devastation of youth. It was the diary of the adventures and explorations of a teenage girl who was learning tiny lessons with every new crack in the facade of the fairytale ending she'd been shown in the movies. I'm thrilled to tell you that my new version of Fearless is done and will be with you soon. It's called Fearless (Taylor's Version) and it includes 26 songs."

Looking for your next good read?  Check out Good Company!  It was released this week and is sure to be a hit.
Flora Mancini has been happily married for more than twenty years. But everything she thought she knew about herself, her marriage, and her relationship with her best friend, Margot, is upended when she stumbles upon an envelope containing her husband’s wedding ring—the one he claimed he lost one summer when their daughter, Ruby, was five.

Flora and Julian struggled for years, scraping together just enough acting work to raise Ruby in Manhattan and keep Julian’s small theater company—Good Company—afloat. A move to Los Angeles brought their first real career successes, a chance to breathe easier, and a reunion with Margot, now a bona fide television star. But has their new life been built on lies? What happened that summer all those years ago? And what happens now?

With Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s signature tenderness, humor, and insight, Good Company tells a bighearted story of the lifelong relationships that both wound and heal us.

4.  Hemingway
Have you seen the new PBS series on Hemingway?  "Ken Burns and Lynn Novick explore the life and work of the legendary writer and his enduring influence on literature and culture."  We've started watching this three-part, six-hour series and I can't wait to see more this weekend.  What a guy.

5.  Did you know.....

Okay guys - have a great weekend.  We're going to watch the hockey game with our son and daughter-in-law on Saturday and go see my parents on Sunday.  Fun times ahead!  There's also a to-do list that we'll be tackling.  Not so fun.  Hope to see you back next week to hear all about it.  

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Friday Favorites Linky Party - April 9, 2021

Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:

Jerri at Simply Sweet Home - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Lisa at Condo Blues - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Amy at A Day of Small Things - Pin

Penny at Penny's Passion - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Jennifer at Busy Being Jennifer - Twitter | FB | Pin | Inst

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 7, 2021

March Amazon Purchases

The Amazon truck dropped off some real treasures at our house in March!  That's what I'm thinking out loud about today.  Let me share a few of them with you ~

Remember how we helped our son celebrate his 30th birthday with 30 gifts for him?  Well, bacon and salt are two of his favorite things so this 3-pack bacon-flavored salt sampler was a perfect gift for him!  The flavors are cheddar, peppered, and hickory.  Perfect for veggies, meat, and popcorn.

My makeup brushes are a whole lot cleaner thanks to these silicone makeup brush cleaner mats.  The suction cups on the bottom help hold the mat in place while you clean any of your makeup brushes.  

I used these cocktail picks for cute little kabobs with a single blueberry and a few grapes.  Immediately I started dreaming of all the things I can "kabob".  The package comes with 250 picks.  I have a feeling I'll be blowing through all 250 of this pack quickly!

Our pantry is looking much more put together with our containers proudly displaying these labels stating just what the contents of the containers are.  There are 157 labels in the pack and so far I haven't found a single thing I don't have a label for.  

This toy was given to a little one on Easter and it was a huge success.  The toddler recipient loved holding the carrots in his cute little hands and fitting them into the proper-sized hole.  I love developmental toys that are fun to play with!

In March, I purchased three books.  Two were Kindle versions and one on Audible.  

I finished reading When No One is Watching:  A Thriller.  It was definitely a different type of book from the ones I typically read.  It was a book club selection.  Here's the summary ~
Rear Window meets Get Out in this gripping thriller from a critically acclaimed and New York Times Notable author, in which the gentrification of a Brooklyn neighborhood takes on a sinister new meaning…

Sydney Green is Brooklyn born and raised, but her beloved neighborhood seems to change every time she blinks. Condos are sprouting like weeds, FOR SALE signs are popping up overnight, and the neighbors she’s known all her life are disappearing. To hold onto her community’s past and present, Sydney channels her frustration into a walking tour and finds an unlikely and unwanted assistant in one of the new arrivals to the block—her neighbor Theo.

But Sydney and Theo’s deep dive into history quickly becomes a dizzying descent into paranoia and fear. Their neighbors may not have moved to the suburbs after all, and the push to revitalize the community may be more deadly than advertised.

When does coincidence become conspiracy? Where do people go when gentrification pushes them out? Can Sydney and Theo trust each other—or themselves—long enough to find out before they too disappear?

Dirt is beautifully written and I'm almost finished listening to it.  The author, Mary Marantz, is the narrator and her voice shares her story.  
Dirt is a story about the places where we start. From a single-wide trailer in the mountains of rural West Virginia to the halls of Yale Law School, Mary Marantz's story is one of remembering our roots while turning our faces to the sky. From growing up in that trailer, where it rained just as hard inside as out and the smell of mildew hung thick in the air, Mary has known what it is to feel broken and disqualified because of the muddy scars leaving smudged fingerprints across our lives. Generations of her family lived and logged in those hauntingly treacherous woods, risking life and limb just to barely scrape by. And yet that very struggle became the redemption song God used to write a life she never dreamed of.

Mixed with warmth, wit, and the bittersweet, sometimes achingly heartbreaking places we go when we dig in instead of give up, Dirt is a story of healing. With gut-wrenching honesty and hard-won wisdom, Mary shares her story for anyone who has ever walked into the world and felt like their scars were still on display, showing that you are braver, better, and more empathetic for what you have survived. Because God does his best work in the muddy, messy, and broken--if we'll only learn to dig in.

Sunflower Sisters:  A Novel (Woolsey-Ferriday) was a book I had been waiting for since I'd gone to an author event where Martha Hall Kelly talked about her books Lilac Girls and Lost Roses.  She teased that a third book would be coming and it's finally here!
Georgeanna “Georgey” Woolsey isn’t meant for the world of lavish parties and the demure attitudes of women of her stature. So when war ignites the nation, Georgey follows her passion for nursing during a time when doctors considered women on the battlefront a bother. In proving them wrong, she and her sister Eliza venture from New York to Washington, D.C., to Gettysburg and witness the unparalleled horrors of slavery as they become involved in the war effort.

In the South, Jemma is enslaved on the Peeler Plantation in Maryland, where she lives with her mother and father. Her sister, Patience, is enslaved on the plantation next door, and both live in fear of LeBaron, an abusive overseer who tracks their every move. When Jemma is sold by the cruel plantation mistress Anne-May at the same time the Union army comes through, she sees a chance to finally escape—but only by abandoning the family she loves.

Anne-May is left behind to run Peeler Plantation when her husband joins the Union army and her cherished brother enlists with the Confederates. In charge of the household, she uses the opportunity to follow her own ambitions and is drawn into a secret Southern network of spies, finally exposing herself to the fate she deserves.

Inspired by true accounts, Sunflower Sisters provides a vivid, detailed look at the Civil War experience, from the barbaric and inhumane plantations, to a war-torn New York City, to the horrors of the battlefield. It’s a sweeping story of women caught in a country on the brink of collapse, in a society grappling with nationalism and unthinkable racial cruelty, a story still so relevant today.

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

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