Penny's Passion: July 2017

Monday, July 31, 2017

Weekending - July 28, 2017

The last weekend in July could not have had better weather in the St. Louis area and I spent as much time as possible outside enjoying it.

Friday night Eric and I decided to catch a movie.  We both had Dunkirk on our list of movies we wanted to see so that's the one we chose.  I really wanted to like it, but it just fell short for both of us.  Did you see it?  What were your thoughts?  I'd like to hear from someone who loved it to see if there was something I missed.  For me the movie was just all over the place and I didn't develop an emotional tie with any of the characters.

Image result for dunkirk movie

We grabbed a bite to eat at Peel afterward.  That place never disappoints!  Their wood burning ovens turn out a tasty pie every single time.

On Saturday morning, I was going to sit outside for a bit and read.  A bit turned into all morning and part of the afternoon.  Eric joined me on our back patio and we discussed vacation tour options and soaked up the gorgeous weather.  I also made a huge dent in the book I was currently reading - A Paris Apartment.  This novel was thoroughly entertaining and I would highly recommend it.

By mid afternoon, we had to quickly get ready for the evening.  We were playing Harry Potter trivia at Global Brew with Kayla, Ian, Kayla's sister and her husband.  Eric and I were the worst couple of players there and contributed absolutely zero correct answers.  Kayla was pretty much on her own - and did amazing for not having a lot of backup to help.  I can attest to the fact that the butterbeer cocktail was good.

My contribution to the evening were the flatbreads I brought.   I'll be sharing the recipe for the Maple Bacon and Onion one tomorrow.

Eric and I were both excited for Sunday to get here.  We were going out on our friend's sailboat.  Neither of us had sailed before and were anxious to give it a try.

Eric was officially the captain for a bit.  The lake was beautiful and the wind perfect for a couple novice sailors.

We scooted on home at noon so Eric could go to work.  I enjoyed the rest of the afternoon by finishing A Paris Apartment.  It was truly one of those books you hated to see end and left me imaging what was happening in the characters lives.

As it so often does, Monday came way too fast and I'm already counting the days to our next weekend.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Five on Friday - July 28, 2017

Yay for Friday!  Who else is ready for a weekend?  This week has flown by and since I was out of town last weekend, my to-do list for the next few days is all kinds of full.  But I'm still pretty excited to have a few days off work to get stuff done.

Want to see my five for this week?  Here you go ~

1.  Eclipse Glasses
On the off chance you haven't heard, the total eclipse is coming August 21.  You don't want to miss seeing this event.  Do you have your glasses ready?  There are tons of fake glasses out there, so make sure you pick up proper ones.  Look for glasses that are ISO 12312-2 certified.  I have mine - do you have yours?  If you want these, please click HERE.

2.  Total Eclipse Chart
Speaking of the total eclipse, wondering when the peak is going to be in your area?  Check out THIS WEBSITE, add your zip code and BAM! you will know exactly when to be ready for this monumental event.

3.  Ozark
Eric and I have been watching the new Netflix series Ozark.  We are hooked!  Hooked like staying up late every night this week to watch an episode.  Are you watching it too?  It reminds me a lot of Breaking Bad.  Jason Bateman stars and directs this newbie and I can see some awards in his future.

Image result for ozark netflix poster

4.  Smoky Bacon Cheddar Cheese
Look what Kraft has - smoky bacon cheddar cheese!  I'm on the lookout for this the next trip to the grocery store.  I'm imagining a big slice of this on cheeseburgers.  Yum!  Or using it to make grilled cheese.  The shredded version would be great on salads.  The possibilities are endless!
5.  Do you feel this way sometimes?
Have a wonderful weekend!  The weather in our area is sounding fantastic and I'm hoping to be able to spend a little time outside.  We're doing a Harry Potter trivia thing on Saturday night with Kayla and Ian, which should be interesting because I've not even seen all the Harry Potter movies.  Thank goodness Kayla is a true Harry Potter fan so she can carry our table!  I'll fill you in on that adventure next week.

Linking up with:
Simply Sweet Home
High Five for Friday
5 on Friday
Oh My Heartsie Girl
This post contained affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase.  Thanks!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Friday Favorites - July 28, 2017

Happy Friday!  Glad you popped in today.  Check out the fabulous features today!  I'm featuring a recipe for strawberry soup.  Nothing cools down a hot day like a nice cold soup!

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Penny at Penny's Passion - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
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2017 Summer Bucket List - One Month Progress Report

Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday.  About a month ago, I posted my summer bucket list.  Today I'm thinking about loud about how I'm doing one month later ~

Make donations to a summer lunch program
Last week I blogged about a summer lunch program we are having at our church.  If you missed it, you can catch it HERE.  We would like to drop off a donation each Sunday we attend church.
I haven't made a donation every single time I've gone to church, but I have a few times.  What a great program!  Hope we do this again in future years.  
Get emails under control
Holy cow -- guess how many messages I have accumulated between my work and personal email accounts - 19,475.  Not kidding.  That's about 19,000 too many!  I'm going to make a true effort to knock that number down significantly.
Currently I'm sitting at 16,431.  I wouldn't say that is under control, but I'm heading in the right direction.  
Read a few good books
Here's a few on my list ~
Camino Island: A Novel by [Grisham, John]
Click HERE to purchase

Into the Water: A Novel by [Hawkins, Paula]
Click HERE to purchase

Lilac Girls: A Novel by [Kelly, Martha Hall]
Click HERE to purchase
Do you have any good books you would like to suggest I add to this list?  
Okay - I'm listening to Camino Island on Audible and am loving it!  I'm also reading The Paris Apartment which I'm loving.  Definitely hoping to get in some reading time on my flight to and from Paris next month.  
Decorate for 4th of July
Since we've moved into this house (which has been many years now), I've wanted to hang flag banners on the front porch for the 4th of July.  This year I really, REALLY am going to try to make that happen!

Click HERE to purchase
Excited to say that this one got a big check mark by it.  I ordered the above mentioned banners and adore the way they looked on my porch.
The inside of the house also got fancied up for the Fourth of July.  I bought a few pieces and mixed them in with some of my old tried and true ones.  

These USA blocks were one of the first projects I blogged about (HERE).  I cringed when I saw the pictures in this old post!   

Work on our French
Eric and I are getting pretty excited about our trip to Paris in August!  Ian and Kayla gave me some tapes to learn French for Mother's Day and we have been listening and learning a little each week.  I don't expect to be speaking fluent French by the time we leave, but I am hoping to know how to ask how much that dress is and be able to order a bottle of wine by the time we land in the city of lights.
Excusez-moi, comprenez-vous l'anglais?  = Excuse me, do you understand English?  I have some great tapes and have been practicing to and from work most days.  I'm still very hopeful that the Frenchmen will take pity on me and just speak English!
Drop a few pounds
Wish me luck on this one!  I love food and hate exercise - not a great combo. 
Haven't lost a single ounce.  Enough said.
Add items to my Etsy page
I've had an Etsy page for quite a while now, but haven't really worked on adding any items.  Hopefully this summer will change that!  One of the items I'd like to add is fabric banners.  They are so fun to make!

Nope.  Hasn't happened yet.  I have a bucket full of ideas, just need to actually make the project and get it listed.  You'll be the first to know when this one is done!
Learn more about my new camera
This new DSLR camera owner really needs to spend some time figuring out exactly how her new camera operates.  I've figured out how to aim and shoot, but that's about it. 
I've been experimenting and having lots of fun with my new camera.  I did sell my old one, so no turning back now.  Honestly I have no regrets buying it at all.  
Get together with my friends in KC
Who doesn't love a girls weekend?!? 
Check this one off the list.  Last weekend was our girls weekend in KC and although it was extremely hot, we had a blast.  As a matter of fact, we have already set the date for our next one and I get to host it at my house.  Can't wait!
Go to an outdoor concert
We have a fantastic venue for watching concerts under the stars.  It's one of my most favorite things to do in the summer.
Check this one off the list too!  We had a wonderful night to sit under the stars for the Eve 6, Sister Hazel and 3 Doors Down concert at Fair St. Louis.  We also popped a squat at the Missouri Botanical Gardens to hear Big Mike Aguirre and the Blu City All Stars.  Hopefully more outdoor concerts to come.
Glad we have a bit of summer still left because, as you can see, I still have some things to do!  How are you coming on your summer bucket list?

So that's what I'm thinking out loud about today?  What's on your mind?  Link up and share.

Enjoy more Thoughts for Thursday at:

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Very Late Weekending Post

It's Wednesday evening and I'm just getting around to filling you in on my trip to Kansas City last weekend.  Shame on me!  Even though it's late, I couldn't let this fabulous weekend go unblogged.

Friday I left work mid-afternoon to high tail it my friend Linda's house in Lee's Summit.  We had reservations Friday evening at a speak easy, The W, and I didn't want to be late.   Our group of six arrived at 6-1/2 3rd Street (address is very Harry Potterish) and were buzzed in after verifying our secret password.

The hand crafted drinks were nothing short of fabulous.  Several of the libations were "smoked" under a bell jar.  I wish I would have gotten a picture of that, but you'll just have to visit in person to see that action.

We exited The W out the back door and headed to our next stop for dinner.  Third Street Social is located just down the street and was the perfect walking distance.  We were famished and everything on the menu looked so good we decided to just order a bunch of stuff and share.  What a great idea that turned out to be!!

Saturday morning we were all able to sleep in a bit and one by one gathered in the kitchen as people woke up.  Linda made two fabulous quiches to start our day.  I really need to share these recipes with you!

I had put together goody bags for everyone.  Oh, and I learned a new word last week for these little treats - surcee (an unexpected gift).  I love the word and I love giving unexpected gifts!!  Pretty sure everyone loved their surcee too!

When we were all ready to face the day, we headed to The Exit Room.  We had an hour to find the lost treasure of the famous dead adventurer and archeologist, Clive Plitger.  Before you ask -  No, we didn't get out.  We would probably still be in there if the dude behind the camera hadn't given us 843743847 clues.  It was my first experience at an escape room and, I'll be honest, it was a lot different than I thought it would be.  I thought you would get a clue that would lead you to another clue and they would go in order.  In reality, this room had many clues in no certain order at all.  Have you done one of these things before?  What did you think?

We were all in need of a snack, so we popped in The Whistle Stop for some lunch and then on to an ice cream store  for dessert.

A bridal party caught our eye and we might have stalked them for a bit while they took pictures.

Saturday was a hot one in Kansas City -- like heat index of 112 degrees hot.  Our next adventure was an outdoor food event.  The Foodie Chick Event planners had been smart in moving their outdoor event starting time from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm to help alleviate being outside in the hottest part of the day.  But folks, it was HOT!  We had barely stepped out of the car and were dripping with sweat.  Everyone was game for sticking it out though (one of the MANY reasons I love this group of girls).

We tried food samples, wine and beer from many area establishments.  If the weather had been a bit cooler, I'm sure were would have tried many more but it was just too hot to eat or drink a lot.  After a couple hours, we were ready for some air conditioning so we headed to a movie theater to see The Big Sick.

If The Big Sick isn't on your list of movies to see, I highly recommend you add it!  This movie was great.  Here's the Critics Consensus from Rotten Tomatoes and I couldn't agree with it more, "Funny, heartfelt, and intelligent, The Big Sick uses its appealing leads and cross-cultural themes to prove the standard romcom formula still has some fresh angles left to explore."

Sunday was a laid back day.  We went out for breakfast, played cards, and enjoyed each others company.

The group started breaking up in the afternoon, but I wasn't really ready to head home yet.  Linda and I decided to go see another movie, Girls Trip.  This movie had us in stitches from beginning to end.  However, if you are easily offended at cursing or some nudity it is definitely not a movie for you!  It earned every bit of it's R-rating.

I began my four-hour drive home around 7:00 pm. I got home after my bedtime and have been playing catch up ever since.  Nothing like getting the most out of the weekend!  Hence, why it's Wednesday night and I'm just now getting my weekending post done.  No regrets though!  It was a wonderful weekend and I'm already excited for our next girls weekend we are planning in February!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Five on Friday - July 21, 2017

Happy Friday!  I'm downright giddy to get this weekend started!  We have girls weekend in Kansas City and I can't wait to hit the town with my friends.  Before I get on the road, let me share my five for this week ~

1.  National Junk Food Day
It's one of my favorite days - National Junk Food Day!  Give me some salty snacks and I am one happy camper.  Ahhhh, junk food - you know, the stuff that is high in fats, sugars, salt and calories and contain very little nutritional value. I might grab some good ole' junk food to snack on for my drive to KC today.  What's your junk food guilty pleasure?  #NationalJunkFoodDayNational Junk Food Day July 21

2.  Lay's "Do Us A Flavor" Contest
Speaking of junk food, it's that time of year again -- the time has come to vote for this year's finalists in the "do us a flavor" annual Lay's contest. The three finalists are: Fried Green Tomato, Everything Bagel and Crispy Taco. Voting starts on Monday, July 24 and goes through Sunday, October 8 through or with the hashtag #SweepstakesEntry and your choice of #VoteFriedGreenTomato, #VoteEverythingBagel or #VoteCrispyTaco. The winner is going to get $1 million!! I'm most excited about trying the Fried Green Tomato. What flavor are you craving?

3.  Luggage Bag Bungees
Have you seen these Luggage Bag Bungees?  If you are anything like me, I pile my carry on bag on top of my suitcase and try to maneuver through the airport.  My carry on is usually teetering precariously atop my other bag, sometimes toppling over causing us to stop in the middle of the walkway.  I can feel the other traveler's eye rolls as they try to dodge my luggage laying all over the place.  In an effort to alleviate that stress, I'm going to give these bungees a try.   A package of two is under $20.  Want some?  Click HERE.

4.  Dunkirk
Dunkirk opens today and it's definitely on my list of movies I want to see.  Here is Movie Insiders summary, "Miraculous evacuation of Allied soldiers from Belgium, Britain and France, who were cut off and surrounded by the German army from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk, France, between May 27- June 04, 1940, during Battle of France in Word War II."  This fact-based story is getting rave reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.

5.  Party animal.....

Damn dog ruined it for all the other  smoking and drinking, skateboarding dogs.

Hope your weekend is full of fun!  Hey - if you happen to be in Target and want a Starbuck's handcrafted tea beverage to cool you down, they are 1/2 off through Monday with the Cartwheel's deal.  

We have an action-packed weekend planned in Kansas City.  One of things we're doing is going to the Foodie Chick Event on Saturday night.  Well, that is, we're going if we find our way out of the Escape Room we're going to Saturday afternoon.  Can't wait!!  See you next week.

Linking up with:
Simply Sweet Home
High Five for Friday
5 on Friday
Oh My Heartsie Girl
This post contained affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase.  Thanks!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Friday Favorites - July 21, 2017

Welcome to the weekend!  I can't wait to try my feature today - Mini Bacon Ranch Cheese Balls from Honey and Birch.  They will make an excellent appetizer for parties!  Enjoy all the features today and don't forget to check out 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, July 19, 2017

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - July 20, 2017

Hey there!  Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday!  Glad you stopped by -- feel free to link up below and share what you are thinking out loud about today.

First let me just say that I'm so sad I didn't publish a weekending post on Monday (or Tuesday or Wednesday).  Eric and I had a great anniversary weekend and enjoyed going out for dinner a couple of times and seeing All Shook Up at the Muny.  It was definitely a blog-worthy weekend - just ran out of time to put in down in writing!

Some of the highlights were getting these beautiful roses for our anniversary.  Thanks Eric!!

It was so fun running into a friend I haven't seen in a long time at the Muny!  It was great seeing you Gail!

Now on to what I'm thinking out loud about today ~ the evening we experienced at Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant this week.  Do you have a Cooper's Hawk near you?  We have been wine club members for almost a year and love it!  Ian and Kayla are members also and it's fun to meet them at the restaurant to experience our monthly wine tasting that's included in our membership.  This week was the first time we participated in one of the monthly themed dinners and that's what I'm thinking out loud about today.

Cooper's Hawk offers themed dinners once a month with a set menu and wine paired with each course.  We had tried to go to the dinner in June, but it was sold out by the time we requested reservations.  So we immediately made reservations for July's Sip of Summer dinner and waited patiently for the date to arrive.

As the group of guests filtered into the private dining room, we were served a glass of red sangria and given our table assignments.  The chef described our first course and the evening began ~

The Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta was paired with a Riesling.  The bruschetta was magnificent!  The bread crunchy, the tomatoes fresh and the balsamic glaze was the perfect finish.

Next we moved to the second course - Zesty Summer Tomato and Watermelon Gazpacho.  I have to admit, even though I knew the gazpacho was cold, every time I brought the spoon to my mouth I felt the need to blow on it.  Do you enjoy gazpacho in the summer?

This course was paired with your choice of Chardonnay or Rose.  My pick:

By this point of the evening we had made friends with everyone at our table and realized we actually knew some of the same people.  Small world!

The main course was "Fall Off The Bone" BBQ Ribs and Grilled Artisanal Sausage, accompanied by Mexican Street Corn, Smashed Potato Salad, and Summer Slaw.  Yes, those ribs were as good as they look and definitely fell off the bone!

The pairing for this course was Cooper Hawk's Cabernet Zinfandel - one of my favorites.

In between courses, the group of guests played a little game.  We had to put in order the top 5 most popular vacation spots in the USA.  I honestly don't know what the correct answers were, but the hostess did say no one got them all correct.

I, however, was the best guesser and won!!  Needless to say, I was thrilled to take home the prize bottle of wine.

Even though we were stuffed, when the Farmer's Market Peach and Berry Lemon Pound Cake was placed in front of us, we HAD to try it!

It was paired with Ice Wine.  Ice Wine is a bit on the sweet side for me, but did go nicely with the pound cake and makes a great dessert wine.

The evening was truly delightful and if there's a Cooper's Hawk near you I would highly recommend giving one of these dinners a try.

If you are in the St. Louis area and stop by the Cooper's Hawk at 1146 Town and Country Crossing Drive, ask for our favorite server Karly.  She's wonderful and will make your experience at Cooper's Hawk even better!

By the way, I'm not being compensated for this post.  Just wanted to share our experience in case you would like to try something like this too.  :)

Now it's your turn.  What are you thinking out loud about today?

Enjoy more Thoughts for Thursday at: