Penny's Passion: October 2015

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Five on Friday - October 30, 2015

Happy Halloween weekend!  Friday is here and I'm so looking forward to the weekend!  Don't you love it when Halloween happens on a weekend.  The kids will have all day Sunday to recover and they'll have an extra hour to do it.  Which brings me to my five for this week.....

1.  Standard Time Begins
Don't forget to set your clocks back one hour on Saturday night.  Which means we have an extra hour this weekend!!  Woo Hoo!!  What are you going to be doing with your extra hour?  Last year I got a message (time well spent).  I really don't know what I'm going to do this year.  Hmmmm... I need to give this some serious thought.

turning the clocks back

2.  Madrina's Roasted Coffee and Milk
I have a confession:  I'm not a coffee fan.  But this summer we were at Fair St. Louis and they were handing out chilled samples of this Madrina's Roasted Coffee and Milk.  I was very thirsty so I took one.  And loved it!!  With the sample came a coupon for a free can, which I recently found at the bottom of my purse.  Long story short, I got the free sample and STILL loved it the second time around.  It's made with brewed coffee, reduced fat milk, cane sugar and natural flavors.  This just might become my new coffee drink.
Vanilla Madrinas Coffee
3.  BioRepublic Green Tea Detox Facial Mask
One of these facial masks appeared in my last Birchbox and I gave it a whirl last weekend.  LOVED IT!  Here's the description from Birchbox:  Gone are the days of attacking our blemishes with harsh chemicals and scrubs.  These days, we prefer to kill 'em with kindness.  These spa-worthy sheet masks are infused with natural green tea extract and plant collagen to give skin a boost of healing antioxidants while removing excess sebum (the oily residue that clogs pores).  With smooth, nourished skin like this, we're never fighting dirty again.  I couldn't have said it better myself!  Highly recommend these!
facial mask
4.  National Knock Knock Joke Day
Almost everyone knows that October 31 is Halloween, but how many people know that it's also National Knock Knock Joke Day?!?  Did you have a favorite knock, knock joke when you were growing up?  If you don't know any good knock knock jokes to tell, here's a couple I'll let you borrow:
Knock, knock.  Who's there?  Olive.  Olive who?  Olive you!
Knock, knock.  Who's there?  Lettuce.  Lettuce who?  Lettuce in it's cold out here.
Knock, knock.  Who's there?  Ben!  Ben who?  Ben waiting for Halloween all year!

5.  Burnt
Bradley Cooper's new movie hits the theaters today.  It's not getting very good reviews, but it's still on my list of movies I would like to see.  I mean, look at him.  So cute!  I can easily spend 100 minutes just swooning over my bud Brad.  Do you plan on seeing it?

                                  Bradley Cooper

Hope you have a very fun and safe weekend!  I will be joining a very dear friend of mine to celebrate her mother's life.  Her mom passed away earlier this month and her friends and family will be gathering on Saturday to celebrate her on what would have been her 70th birthday.  Sunday is up for grabs so stop back by on Monday to see what I did.

Linking up with:
High Five for Friday
5 on Friday 
The Jenny Evolution
The Evolution of Mom
Why Girls Are Weird
Blogger Love
This post contained affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase.  Thanks!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Thinking Out Loud About Halloween

Well, here we are just a few days before Halloween so guess what I'm thinking out loud about today.  You guessed it, HALLOWEEN!!  This year I participated in a Swapoween hosted by Chaotic Goddess with some other blogger friends.  I was paired with Joann Woolley over at Mommy's Slice of the Pie.  Check out the cool Halloween items Joann packed in my box:

Thanks so much Joann!  You made our Halloween a little more special this year.

Back to what's going on in our house - Eric and I put together the mantle this year.  While we were working on it, I was all tense because I just wasn't liking the way it was coming together.  Thankfully, Eric kept tweaking things until a smile came across my face.  I'm so lucky that he likes to see me happy!!  Here's the final product.

 We added a few accents on each side of the fireplace.  

This year I whipped up a cloth banner to add to the mantle.  When we attend the St. Louis Vintage Market (which I blogged about HERE), every other booth had this cool fabric banner in random fabrics.  I knew I wanted one for my mantle so before I lost my urge, I bought the fabric and constructed this baby.  It honestly was so easy and I love the way it turned out.

Every year Eric transforms our ficus tree into a spooky structure of skeletons and spiders.  His creation this year did not disappoint.

I picked up this great owl after Halloween last year at Pier 1 and I couldn't wait to plop him on my coffee table this year.  Something tells me he'll be popping up for many Halloweens to come.

So that's what I'm thinking about today.  Now for the fun part -- time for you to link up one of your favorite posts.  Please join me and Vanessa at X-tremely V in sharing what you're thinking out loud about today.        

Enjoy more Thoughts for Thursday at

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Weekending - October 23, 2015

It seems as though every Friday I leave work with a list of things to get accomplished over the weekend and every Sunday night I'm looking at my list with not a ton of things crossed off.  I need to start writing the fun things on the list so it looks like I get more done!  This weekend was one of those that lots of fun happened and not so much work.

When I left work on Friday, I headed straight to Target to pick up some Halloween candy.  We were going to my home town on Saturday and I wanted to put together special treats for my nephews.  I had already grabbed a few fun items.  They came together pretty quick -- one thing checked off my list!

Halloween Treat Bags

Saturday morning Eric and I got up and headed out for my home town.  I'm helping with a baby shower in December and we were going to work on finalizing some of the details.  The mother-to-be selected a design from Rustic Avenue Designs off Etsy.  Just look how adorable they are!  Can't wait to work with these beauties!

Deer Oh Deer - Baby Shower Invitation - Printable

After the meeting on the shower, I visited my brother's house to soak up some time with my nephews.  Could they be any cuter?!?

If you read my Five on Friday blog (HERE), you saw that The Arch in St. Louis was celebrating its' 50th birthday.  Since watching fireworks is one of my absolute favorite things, Saturday night we knew where we wanted to be.

Before the fireworks, we grabbed a quick dinner at our favorite downtown pizza place, Pi Pizzeria.  Love their deep dish pie!  Just look at the goodness ~

St. Louis Pizza

With full bellies, we walked the short distance to the Arch to watch the show in the sky.  Great fireworks!  So glad we were able to see them.

St. Louis fireworks, St.Louis Arch

Sunday Eric had to work starting in the afternoon, so we spent some time together in the morning visiting a store on O'fallon called Fezziwigs.  This store is brimming with gourmet foods, flavored olive oils, wines and teas.  So many great things in one place!  They also offer cooking classes and wine tastings.  I hope to attend one of their events soon.

We had chowed down a pretty big breakfast, so we opted for an ice cream lunch.  It was a beautiful day to sit outside and enjoy our treats.

Eric left for work and I settled down for a bit with a new book I'm reading.  My daughter-in-law, Kayla, had recommended The Canterbury Sisters.  I can hardly put it down it's so good!  Highly recommend it!

Great books to read

I read until the last minute that I could and then met my friend Debbie and some of her family for some pre-concert dinner at Rosalita's Cantina.  Late Friday afternoon I had gotten tickets to see Stevie Wonder!  Stevie Wonder!!  He's been on my bucket list to see for years and as of Sunday night I got to check it off the list.  

Stevie Wonder concert in St. Louis

And that's a wrap up of my weekend!  Even though it's WAY past my bedtime right now, I'm going to sign off here and pick up my book again.  I'm telling you, I can not put it down!  I have a feeling it's going to be pretty hard rolling out of bed when the alarm goes off tomorrow morning!

Check out what others were up to this weekend.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Five on Friday - October 23, 2015

Oh my goodness, what a week!  I can always tell when I'm out of town for a whole weekend because the following week is a tad crazy.  Well, I'm glad to be putting this crazy week behind me and walking into the weekend!   Being gone last weekend was so worth it though.  I'll have this weekend to get back on track.  Before the weekend starts, let me share my five for this week with you.

1.  Acura TLX
We finally broke down and decided on getting a car.  After very little looking (because car shopping is just not my thing), we decided on a 2015 Acura TLX.  Love, love, love it!!  They are having a ginormous sale on the 2015's right now, so if you're in the market now's the time to buy.  Not only did I fall in love with the car, but also the dealership and sales person.  It was honestly the best customer service we've have had in years ever!  Frank Leta Acura knows how to treat their customers.   I'm not always the easiest person to please and they far exceeded my expectations!  If you stop by, talk to Kyle Greer and tell him Penny sent you.  I don't think you'll be disappointed!


2.  Jumpers for Goalposts
You know from this post my love for Ed Sheeran -- well imagine my excitement when the email saying this came across screen:
Fathom Events and ScreenLive are thrilled to bring the incredible concert documentary, Ed Sheeran: Jumpers for Goalposts, to the big screen nationwide for a special four-day event on October 22, 24, 25, and 26.

Captured live from London, Ed Sheeran: Jumpers for Goalposts gives audiences an exclusive look at the man behind the guitar and will feature red carpet footage from Odeon Leicester Square and a recorded-live-30-minute performance from Ed.

Don't let this opportunity slip away. Get your tickets for this larger-than-life event now! Find a theater near you. 

Yea, I'll be getting my tickets!! 

Ed Sheeran movie

3.  National Bologna Day
Guess what tomorrow is - National Bologna Day!  This may sound gross to some of you, but one of my favorite things is a fried bologna sandwich.  Think I know what we're having for lunch tomorrow.  
                National Bologna Day - October 24

4.  Happy Birthday St. Louis Arch
We have a great big beautiful monument in St. Louis and she turns 50 this year.  This Saturday, October 24, everyone is invited to celebrate this anniversary all day at Kiener Plaza in downtown St. Louis.  You can enjoy food and drinks vendors, children's activities, and live music throughout the day.  The best part, in my opinion, is the giant fireworks display showcasing the Arch in the evening.  Can't wait to see the display in the sky!!  If you're in the area, come join the fun!  Check out all the anniversary celebrations at GATEWAYARCH.COM/50

St. Louis Arch

5.  This is so me....


Have a fantastic weekend!  I'm going to run down to my home town on Saturday to start planning a baby shower and that means I get to see my nephews.  Yay!!  Can't wait to wrap my arms around those little guys!  Check back on Monday for a total recap.

Linking up with:
High Five for Friday
5 on Friday 
The Jenny Evolution
The New Mrs. Adventure
The Evolution of Mom
Why Girls Are Weird
This post contained affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase.  Thanks!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - October 21, 2015

Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday!  Vanessa at X-tremely V and I are so happy you stopped by.  Hope you link up below and share with us what you're thinking out loud about today.

Today I have a lot going on in my head, so I'm going to spill it right here in blog land.

Don't freak out when I say this, but did you realize that we only have nine weeks until Christmas!?!  I'm so hopeful that this will be the year I'm not wrapping gifts until 2:00 am Christmas Eve, fighting all the other crazies at the grocery store five minutes before they close and just grabbing a gift card at my 24-hour Walgreen's because I have no clue what to get someone.

Now, don't get me wrong -- I'm not one that's putting up my Christmas decorations as the trick-or-treaters are ringing the door bell.  I wait until after Thanksgiving is over before busting out any trees.  But there are a few things I like to have covered before we pack away the turkey and bring out Santa.  One of them is my shopping list.  One of the things I hate the most is checking the delivery schedule every minute day to see exactly where my order is on the route to my house.  I think sometimes Eric would rather just get in the car and meet the UPS driver in the middle of Kansas than have me ranting and raving about why a package shipped from California to my door has to take an entire 24 hours.

My helpful hint to you (and to myself) is to sit down right now and think about what you need to order that will take some time being delivered.  Taking the time to do it right now can save you so much stress in December when you already have more than enough to do.  Take this LIBRARY EMBOSSER.  The lead time on this gem is about 20 days.  I've been wanting to buy it for a couple people on my list for years, but have never gotten it ordered in time.  Not this year baby!  They are ordered and on their way to my house.  (Hopefully I won't loose them before wrapping time gets here!)


Let's face it -- anything personalized should be ordered early.  Early is coming pretty quick --  like in the next couple weeks.

Planning on travelling on an airplane over Christmas?  Get those tickets bought!   A 2013 study showed the cheapest time to purchase tickets was 54 days before take off.  That's now guys!  Plus if you don't plan ahead you are running a real risk of the flights you need being completely sold out.  Need a heads up on when a sale starts?  Sign up for CheapAir FareTracker alerts.  It would be a real drag to pay hundreds more than you needed to on airline tickets.  Several of the sites I visited mentioned that Tuesday mornings are the best time to check fares.  

5 Free Christmas Chalkboard Printables to Deck your Halls! by @nestofposies:

Now is also a great time to check out your address book.  Someone move this year?  Met some new friends you want on your Christmas card list?  Now is a great time to get those addresses finalized.  I hate it when I sit down to write out my cards and I'm missing an address.  It's so hard for me to get back to sending it once I've moved on to something else.  Get that address now before the rush of the holiday season sucks you up!  I've taken a sabbatical from sending Christmas cards the last few years.  I'm thinking this year might be the year to start again.  One of my favorite things is going to the mailbox and seeing cards inside.  I need to return the favor.  I usually make my own -- better get on that now too!!

Okay, enough of this thinking about Christmas!  Switching back to Halloween costumes and what side dishes I'm having on Thanksgiving.  Speaking of Halloween, I'm going to show off some of my decorations soon.  Love the way the mantle turned out this year!

What are you thinking out loud about today?  We would love for you to link up and let us know!

Enjoy more Thoughts for Thursday at

Monday, October 19, 2015

No Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Way back when I was in high school, most of the girls (and occasionally a guy) would take Home Economics.  When the unit on cooking arrived, one of the first things they had us make were these no bake peanut butter oatmeal cookies.  From experience, they probably didn't want us turning on the ovens and actually sticking our hands in them until we had a bit of experience.

Being the proud homemaker I was becoming, I made these at home soon after my dry run of producing them at school.  They turned out to be one of my grandfather's favorites.  Hard telling if he really loved them as much as he said he did or if he just liked seeing the proud look on my face each time I presented him with a plate full.  Long after I was out of high school, married and moved away, I still made these for him every Christmas.  To this day, I can't pass this recipe in my stained up cookbook without thinking of him.

So today I'm sharing the recipe with you.  It's super simple to make and pretty quick too.  Maybe if you have kids around, you can have them help you whip up a batch and start your very own family memories.

Here's What You Need

1 stick of butter
2 cups of sugar
3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats

Here's What You Do
Put the butter, sugar, cocoa and milk in a saucepan.  Heat, stirring occasionally, until it begins to boil.  Let boil for a minute.

Remove from heat and add in peanut butter and vanilla.  Stir until the peanut butter is melted.

Pour in the oats and stir.

Spoon onto a parchment covered pan and let cool completely.  I usually pop the pan in the frig for a bit until the cookies are set.

This recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies.  Store them in an airtight container and they should be fine for a couple weeks (if they haven't all been eaten).


Handmade Tuesday's with Kristen