Penny's Passion: April 2016

Friday, April 29, 2016

Five on Friday - April 29, 2016

How can it be Friday already?!?  Holy, moly this week has flown by!  I can't believe it's already been a week since I was getting ready for my friends to visit.  Still thinking about how much fun last weekend was.  

Before I start the fun for this weekend, let me share with you my five for this week.

1.  Hello, My Name is Doris
Eric and I had a date night mid-week and saw Hello, My Name is Doris.  Loved it!  We hadn't really heard a lot about this flick, but the show time was in the time range we were looking for, so that's how it got picked.  Sally Field is the leading lady and she had one heck of a performance.  She plays Doris who is a quirky women who finds her life unsettled after the death of her mother.  If you haven't seen it, you should add it to your list.

2.  Mother's Day
Speaking of movies going on the watch list, I'm adding Mother's Day to mine.  This movie opens today and has a multitude of famous actors.  Rotten Tomatoes describes it like this, "Mother's Day is the latest star studded ensemble comedy from director Garry Marshall ("Pretty Woman," "Valentine's Day"). Bringing together Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson and Julia Roberts along with Jason Sudeikis, it's a celebration of mothers everywhere. This big-hearted comedy invites us all to enjoy the laughter, tears and love as three generations come together in the week leading up to Mother's Day."  

3.  SlowMelt Popsicles
If you have little ones (or just like to eat your popsicles slowly), you are going to want to hear about these babies!  Popsicles that melt slow.  I remember the days when the warm summer sun melted the popsicle in my little guys hands much faster than he could eat it.  These slow melt pops give kiddos a chance to get more in their mouths than drips on the ground (or carpet, or couch, you get the picture).  Stock up now before the warm weather is here to stay.

If you saw my post from yesterday, you got a peek at these shoes.  I love them so much I wanted to make them one of my five for this week.  They are available in many collegiate and MLB patterns.  My favorite is the St. Louis Cardinal ones and I've added them to my shoe collection.  Love them!  Is your favorite team available?  You know you need a pair! Click HERE to check them out!
5.  Just a thought....

Now let's get this weekend started!  Have a fabulous Friday.  Got plans for the weekend?  I'm going to the St. Louis Vintage Fair then on to a bachelorette party on Saturday.  On Sunday I'm getting ready for a little gender reveal party I'm having at my house on Monday night.  Fun times ahead!  See you back here on Monday for the recap.

Linking up with:
High Five for Friday
5 on Friday 
The Triplet Farm
Why Girls Are Weird
Ins and Outs
This post contained affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase.  Thanks!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday!  So glad you popped in to visit me and Vanessa from X-tremely V!

So today I'm thinking out loud about Mother's Day.  It's coming guys -- at freight train speed.  We're looking at it being 10 days away.  Have you picked out your Mother's Day gift yet?  Well, today I have some ideas for you.

Check out these shoes from Row One.  If your mom is a sports fan, these would make a great addition to her shoe rack.  They come in oodles of teams, both collegiate and MLB.  (They would also be adorable for your graduate too if you're looking for a graduation gift.)  I just added a Cardinal pair to my closet and can't wait to bust them out for the next game I go to.  Love them!

I love giving (and getting) gift cards, but I like to have a little something to go with them.  Here's a few ideas you could put together.

Every mom I know loves massages.  If you're giving a spa gift card, you might want to pair it with one of these amazing lavender eye pillows.  I had one of these in each of the goody bags for my friends weekend and everyone LOVED them!  You can get a set of four for a magnificent price.  Then you could have one for you and three other people on your gift-giving list.

Is your mom a movie fan?  Gift cards to your local theater are wonderful -- especially if you plan an outing with the recipient.  Movie gift cards could be paired with a book for a movie that is coming out soon.  Here are a few books that the movie will be hitting the screen in 2016. (If you want to purchase the book, just click on the title below the book.)

Movie coming out June 3

Movie coming out October 7

Movie coming out October 14

Looking for a nice subscription to give?  I would highly recommend Birchbox.  Depending on the subscription length you select, this gift just keeps on giving.  It's like getting a gift once a month for however long you pick.  I know I look forward to getting mine each month and can't wait to try the goodies inside.

Are you all set for Mother's Day?  Do you have a gift you love to give?  

Now it's your turn - join me and Vanessa at X-tremely V by linking up your favorite post(s) from the week.  We love hearing from you!

Enjoy more Thoughts for Thursday at

Monday, April 25, 2016

Weekending - April 22, 2016

Oh my goodness -- was this weekend fun!  I hosted a friends weekend at my house and I truly wish it never had to end.  The festivities began on Friday when my friends Mary, Nick and TW arrived around noon.  The rest of the crew would be rolling into town a bit later.  We loaded up in my car and headed out - the fun begun!

We headed to Sugaree Baking Co. to pick up the quiche I ordered for brunch on Sunday.  I've blogged about this find before HERE.  Love this place!  I ordered the roasted cauliflower and sweet red pepper quiche.  It was hard to wait until Sunday to dip into it!  Picture below when I get to Sunday.

After our stop at Sugaree, we needed some body fuel so decided to pop in Twisted Ranch for a quick lunch before heading to the St. Louis Premium Outlets.  My closet has a few more items and my shoe rack is a bit more crowded.  Thank goodness there were great deals and my purchases didn't completely drain my wallet.

The rest of our weekend crew was rolling into town in the evening and we were all meeting up at Modesto's.  This group has been visiting Modesto's almost every time we get together in St. Louis.  It's a great place for friends to gather, try a wide variety of small bites and have a cocktail.  We shared several tapas plates and a couple pitches of sangria.  Perfect beginning to our weekend!

No friends weekend is complete without some fun goody bags!  I know I've said it 3948349 many times before, but I just L-O-V-E my Silhouette Cameo.  This little baby die cut the names for me and all I had to do was spray glue and stick on the bags I picked up at Michael's.   Adorable if I must say so myself.

 I loaded the bags up with several spa goodies, including a Namaste yoga eye pillow.  They are scented with lavender and can be heated or cooled for your eye soothing enjoyment.  Not for just after yoga!  You will be seeing these later on my Mother's Day Gift Idea post.

Saturday we woke to a beautiful sunny day!  The weather in St. Louis could not have been more perfect this weekend.  We kicked off the morning with a mimosa bar and breads.  The print was found on Etsy and I'm hoping to use it many times!

The first stop of the day was Fezziwig's for a cooking demonstration.  While we sipped on a nice glass of wine, Ellen, the shop owner, demonstrated cooking an entire meal with lemon flavors.  We loved watching her whip up lunch and learned so many little cooking tips along the way.  The food was superb!  Great culinary experience!  If this is your thing, you should check out their website and book an experience of your own. 

After our cooking demonstration, we browsed around the shop and found some items that had to go home with us.  Then it was on to the Anheuser Busch Brewery for a tour.  Even though I've lived in St. Louis for years, it was only the second time I've done the tour.  Have you ever done a brewery tour?  The one we did was free and quite interesting.

The beer was very clear (that's what the tour guide said).  Honestly, I'm not a beer fan but this very fresh brew did slide down quite well.  

Seeing the Clydesdales was definitely a highlight!

We ventured over to Maplewood to do some more retail therapy before our dinner reservations at Peacemaker.  Seafood anyone?

The evening was finished off with watching the sad, sad lose of the St. Louis Blues and playing some cards.

Sunday morning we enjoyed the quiche that was picked up on Friday.  The mouthwatering all-butter crust was filled with savory roasted cauliflower and flavorful sweet red roasted peppers with cheddar and Swiss cheese added in.  OMG -- yes it was GOOD!  We sat around my dining room table chatting about books, recipes, and TV shows.  Just what all friends should do on Sunday mornings!  Heck, it would be a great thing to do ANY morning.  Or afternoon.  Or evening.

Everyone headed home early in the afternoon.  As my friends pulled away, a feeling of gratitude swept over me.  I'm so humbled to have great friends in my life.  I'm not going to lie, I also felt a little sad to see everyone go.  The weekend had been so enjoyable I just hated that it had to end so soon.

The rest of the afternoon, Eric and I worked on our little garden.  By little, I mean little.  We have a small patch of dirt off our patio that we use for our plot of land where we plant our tomatoes and herbs.  There's something about fresh tomatoes in the summer that I just love.  Add a little mozzarella and fresh basil - YUM!  I'm counting the days until that can happen.

Now's it's Monday and off to work.  So sad this weekend is behind us and already looking forward to the next time we can all be together!  

Check out what others were up to this weekend.
Bella and the City
The Quinntessential Mommy
How To Get Organized At Home
Over the Moon

This post contained affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase.  Thanks!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Five on Friday - April 22, 2016

Hello Friday!  I'm so ready for this weekend ~ friends are on their way to my house and an epic weekend is just a few shorts hours away.  We have an action packed couple of days planned and I can't wait to get this weekend started!  With some luck, I believe the weather is even going to help us out by delivering a couple beautiful spring days.  Before I head out, here's my five ~

1.  Purple Rain
In honor of Prince, I think I'll be serving a batch of Purple Rain drinks this weekend.  So sad to lose this musical icon at such a young age.  He was on my concert bucket list and I'm sorry I won't have the opportunity to see him perform in person.  Raspberry Beret is one of my favorite songs.  What was your favorite Prince song?

2.  Catastrophe
This adult Amazon original series is very clever.  I'm hooked.  I binge watched the entire first season in one sitting and am on to season 2.  Have you seen it?  Here's the description from Amazon:  "Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan write and star in this R-rated comedy about a one-week stand between a Boston ad exec and a London schoolteacher that leads to an accidental pregnancy. When Rob moves to the UK to help figure things out, cultures clash and hormones flare as these two realize they don't know the first thing about each other."  You need Amazon Prime to have access.  Not a Prime member?  No worries ~ Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial by clicking on these blue words.  
Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney in Catastrophe (2015)

3.  National Picnic Day
Guess what tomorrow is?  National Picnic Day!  Who doesn't love a picnic?!?  The weather is supposed to be great in our area all weekend.  Perfect for packing up a cute little picnic and heading outside.  Even when it's raining, it's still fun to spread a blanket in the living room and pop a squat right there on the floor.  What a fun thing to do with the kids!  Check out these adorable reuseable outdoor utensil set from Pampered Chef.  They are on sale right now for $2 for a set of 6.   Great deal!  Click HERE to purchase.   
               Outdoor Utensil Set (set of 6)
Add the utensils to this collapsible cooler tote and you should be ready to go!  Love the monogram on this bag!

4.  Quaker Breakfast Flats
I'm going to be on the lookout for these babies. Getting out of the house in the morning is sometimes a challenge and Quaker's breakfast flats looks like something I would love to grab for a quick breakfast. They come in three tasty flavors: Banana Honey Nut, Cranberry Almond and Golden Raisin Cinnamon. Quaker Breakfast Flats are under 200 calories -- perfect since I'm trying to cut down on my calorie intake. Added bonuses ~ they are a good source of fiber AND have no artificial flavors or added colors.
5.  I remember these days....

Have a fantastic weekend!  Get out there and do something fun.  No time like the present to start enjoying life!  See you on Monday!

Linking up with:
High Five for Friday
5 on Friday 
The Triplet Farm
Why Girls Are Weird
Ins and Outs
This post contained affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase.  Thanks!

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - April 21, 2016

Hey guys!  Thanks for stopping by Thinking Out Loud Thursday!  So glad you joined me and Vanessa at X-tremely V!

I'm having one of those weeks where you can't wait for the weekend to get here, but need an extra day to get everything done you need to do.  You know the ones.  I have friends coming in this weekend and CAN.NOT.WAIT for them to get here.  They are coming from Kansas, Wisconsin and the other side of Missouri and I'm so excited to host this group of friends at my house.  So today I'm thinking out loud about friends!

Friends do magical things to your life.  Or I guess I should say the right friends do magical things to your life.  I've been blessed with some very right friends.  They lift me up.  They inspire me.  They have my back no matter what.  

You'll know the people that feed your soul...because you'll feel good after spending time with them...:

True friends are the ones you can spill your guts out to and know your friendship won't waver.  They'll listen and they will love you anyway.  My best friends are those that open their heart and trust you with their most deepest feelings and thoughts.  And you can open up fully to them right back.

                      20 Quotes That Show What Friendship Truly Means - Thanks for everything :):

I lost a great friend in January to cancer.  I think it makes me appreciate my friends here on earth a bit more.  It also makes forgiving a bit easier to do because you just never know when someone could be pulled to heaven.  Forgive.  Remember to look at the big picture.  Treasure every single moment you have with the people who matter most in your life.  

                       When a friend does something wrong, don't forget all the things they did right. Friendship quotes on

So that's what I'm thinking out loud about today.  Do you have great friends in your life? I hope you do.  There's nothing better that great friends!

 Now it's your turn - join me and Vanessa at X-tremely V by linking up your favorite post(s) from the week.  We love hearing from you!

Enjoy more Thoughts for Thursday at

Friday, April 15, 2016

Five on Friday - April 15, 2016

Today is Friday ~ I have to keep reminding myself of that because this week has absolutely flown by.  How about for you?  Did the week fly by for you too?  Baseball arrived in St. Louis this week and the St. Louis Blues hockey team had a playoff game on Wednesday that didn't end until around 11:30 pm.  Thank goodness the Blues won or I would have been really upset for staying up that late!

Tonight we'll be watching the second game of the hockey playoffs, but before that goes down let's check out my five for this week ~

1.  Cosmo Creations
Have you seen these?  I'm headed to Bed, Bath and Beyond this weekend to grab a bag or two.  This popcorn is hull-less and kernel-less.  Perfect for the recipe I saw on Pampered Teacher this week for Easy Caramel Popcorn Balls.  Another plus is it is peanut-free so no need to worry if your kiddos friends are allergic.  There are six flavors to choose from:  Spicy Sriracha, Cheddar, Sea Salt, Coconut Crunch, Caramel Apple and Salted Caramel.  Bottom line -- bring on the Cosmo Creations!  Snacking will be good this weekend.

2.  Tax Day

Submitted your taxes yet?  Most year's this would be the deadline day, but this year we're getting a bit of a break.  Due to the Washington D.C. Emancipation Day holiday being observed on April 15 instead of April 16, Tax Day is on the Monday, April 18.  So you have all weekend long to finish up.  What a deal!  Hooray for Washington D.C. holidays!

3.  Sam's Club

One of my favorite places to roam around and stock up on all the things I can't live without is Sam's.  We are fortunate enough to have a Sam's very near our house.  I don't know if that's a good thing or a curse.  We are literally in that store 3 or 4 times a week!  If you want to roam around a Sam's near you and need a membership, click HERE to get a $10 e-gift card when you sign up.  What a deal!

4.  Real Simple
I love (like truly L-O-V-E) magazines.  One of my all time favorites is Real Simple.  It's one of those that when you hold it in your hands it just feels good.  You know the type.  Well, right now it's on sale from Amazon for $5.00 for 12 issues.  That's not a typo.  Five bucks for twelve months of helpful hints, recipes, product reviews and so much more.  Shoot, that's less than a single coffee at Starbucks.  Click HERE to grab a subscription of your very own.

5.  Ever Have This Feeling...
Trick yourself into going for a run by simply putting on your workout gear and heading out for a brisk walk. | 25 Super Smart Hacks To Make Running Suck Less:

Happy weekend everyone!  I'm looking forward to watching the Blues and meeting with a bride I'm working with.  Sherri and I are getting together on Saturday for pedicures.  Great weekend ahead!  Stop back by on Monday to check out all the fun times that went down.

Linking up with:
High Five for Friday
5 on Friday 
The Triplet Farm
Why Girls Are Weird
Ins and Outs
This post contained affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase.  Thanks!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - Opening Day Edition

Monday was a very special day in St. Louis -- it was the Cardinal's home opener!  The city goes crazy for the home opener and you can feel the energy and excitement in the air.  Fountains are dyed red, roads are closed for vendors and the city is a buzz.  Cardinal Nation is alive and ready to cheer on their favorite baseball team.

Opening day was a little rough for me this year.  Under the excitement, I was deeply missing my friend Jane.  Jane, who died of cancer in January, LOVED opening day.  As a matter of fact, Jane had been going to opening day for as long as I could remember.  We had so many pictures of us outside the stadium with the look of hope in our eyes for another year of the Cardinals going to the World Series.  We would banter back and forth throughout the game via text and most of time have lengthy conversations after the game about the highlights.  By highlights I mean we would talk about who was sitting where and who was going to be our favorite players that year.

Even though Jane wasn't at the game physically on Monday, she showed up in spirit right before the game began.  You see, St. Louis woke up Monday morning to heavy rain and cloud cover.  The rain was persistent through the morning and the 3:15 start time looked like it could be in jeopardy.  But just after noon, the clouds cleared and the sun made it's appearance.  Thanks, Jane, for sending us sunshine.  And a huge win over the Milwaukee Brewers!  Jane I know you were up in heaven, wearing your Cardinals jersey, looking down on us and enjoying the game.  Thanks for the help on Monday.

It was a blessing that Ian got to join me this year.  He totally understood how I was feeling and helped me through the moments when I just couldn't hold back my tears.  Plus it was such a wonderful mom/son day!  I've found that getting the opportunity to spend the day with your adult child is even more special than when they were little.  Maybe it's just the fact that it doesn't happen as often.  Or maybe it's because now that I'm older I appreciate things more.  Whatever it is, the day will go down as one of my favorites with him and I am so grateful his scheduled allowed him to go.

If you've never been to an opening day in St. Louis, you don't know what you're missing.  It's a standing tradition for the Anheuser Busch Clydesdales to make an appearance.  They parade around the outfield and the crowd goes wild.  Every year I take 19894838 lots of pictures of them.  My grandchildren someday will probably wonder why their crazy grandma felt the need to take so many pictures of this team of horses.  Here are just a few of the ones I took this year ~

It's also a tradition to have all the Hall of Fame Cardinal players announced.  This year was so special because our beloved favorite Lou Brock had part of his leg amputated in October and was there to throw out the first pitch.  

The current players parade in around the outfield in individual trucks and are announced at home plate.  We do love our players!

It's always a great day when you bring home a win - and that's what we did on opening day.  I'm excited that we have the season ahead of us and can't wait to enjoy this national pastime in the coming months.  

So that's what I'm thinking out loud about today.  What's your favorite sports team?  Now it's your turn - join me and Vanessa at X-tremely V by linking up your favorite post(s) from the week.  We love hearing from you!

Enjoy more Thoughts for Thursday at