Penny's Passion: September 2017

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Five on Friday - September 29, 2017

Happy Friday! Can you believe we are almost through September?!?  The temperatures have finally dipped below 90 in St. Louis and it has me excited for Fall. We've had the windows open the last two nights and I love feeling the chill in the air.

I'm also pretty excited to share my five with you today, so here goes ~

1.  National Coffee Day
For all you coffee lovers out there, Happy National Coffee Day!!  If you're looking for a free cup of joe, pop on over to Krispy Kreme.  Heck, Krispy Kreme is loving National Coffee Day so much they are celebrating the entire weekend!  From September 29 to October 1, you can score a hot coffee in any size as well as a small iced coffee (at participating locations, of course).  If you go to Starbuck, get out your wallet.  No freebies there, but they do have their new maple-pecan latte flavor available if you're looking for a twist to your coffee.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is partnering with Dunkin' Donuts in a contest to win a year's worth of free coffee.  How cool would that be!  You can enter by clicking HERE.

National Coffee Day September 29

2.  Sleeping Beauties
Stephen King's latest book hit the stands on Tuesday - Sleeping Beauties.  Here's what Goodreads has to say about it, "In this spectacular father-son collaboration, Stephen King and Owen King tell the highest of high-stakes stories: what might happen if women disappeared from the world of men?
In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place. The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied, or is she a demon who must be slain? Set in a small Appalachian town whose primary employer is a women’s prison, Sleeping Beauties is wildly provocative and gloriously absorbing."  His books are just too weird for me, but I'm sure it will be a best seller.

Sleeping Beauties: A Novel by [King, Stephen, King, Owen]
Click HERE to purchase
Now that it's officially pumpkin spice everything season, I thought I'd share this limited edition with you - Pumpkin Spice Cheerios.  Have you seen them?  I checked the availability in my area by putting my zip code in HERE and apparently Walmart has them on their shelves.  You can also get them through Amazon by clicking HERE.  These babies are made from real pumpkin puree and a "delicious blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove."  Sounds pretty good to me!

I participated in a mug exchange and received my package this week.  In case you missed my reveal, you can catch it HERE.  In my box, Johannah from over at The Sirois Family Blog sent me a package of these Lemon Honey Sticks and they are fantastic!  I've already made a dent in the package she sent and ordered more so I didn't run out.  They also come in just honey flavor and cinnamon.  So yummy!

Click HERE to purchase                                              
5.  This is so me....
Now let's get this weekend started!  Eric and I are going to dinner with Ian and Kayla tonight to wish our favorite waitress at Cooper's Hawk good luck in her new job.  We have fallen in love with her and are happy she's moving on to a position in her major, but sad we won't be seeing her at the restaurant.  Then tomorrow morning bright and early I'm headed to a girls getaway with some friends from college.  Fun times ahead!  Hope you pop in next week to hear all about it.

Linking up with:

Simply Sweet Home
High Five for Friday
5 on Friday
This post contained affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase.  Thanks!

Friday Favorites - September 29, 2017

It's Friday so time to share what you've been up to!  Can't wait to read your blogs.  Hope you enjoy the features today.  Wish I could stay home from work and try some of these recipes!

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, September 27, 2017

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - Fall Mug Exchange Review

Hello there!  Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday.  Today I'm thinking out loud about the Mug Love Exchange I just participated in and can't wait to show you the adorable new mug I'm adding to my collection.

 Let me back up and start from the beginning.  I love reading Stephanie's blog at Wife Mommy Me.  She wrote about hosting a Mug Love Exchange and I only had to think about it for a nano second before I was filling out the form to participate.  I have to say that I'm a huge fan of the exchanges!  It's fun to learn about other bloggers through their posts and shop for a few items specifically for them.

A week or so later Stephanie's email notifying my match arrived in my inbox.  I was delighted to see I was paired with Johannah over at The Sirois Family blog.  She has a beautiful family and a brand new puppy.  She's a true coffee fan and it was easy to pick up a few things I thought she would enjoy.  Here's what I sent to her ~

My box arrived and was waiting for me when I got home from work.  Don't you just love when you get home and you have a little surprise waiting for you?!?

I barely got my purse off my shoulder before I was ripping into the box.  Johannah - you hit the nail on the head when picking out my mug package!

Being a tea lover over coffee, the Rae Dunn mug had the perfect message.  She also included a tin of tea and lemon honey sticks.  Perfect combination!  I have a feeling my new tea mug will have my hands wrapped around it quite frequently.

Thanks Stephanie for organizing this fun exchange and Johannah for putting together the perfect mug exchange box for me!

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

Enjoy more Thoughts for Thursday at:

Monday, September 25, 2017

Weekending - September 22, 2017

What - the weekend is over?!?  I swear it was just Friday a blink of an eye ago!  Here's what went down around our house ~

After seeing Billy Joel on Thursday night, - which was FANTASTIC by the way - I was kind of dragging on Friday.  I met up with some girl friends Friday night for dinner and drinks at our friend Sherri's house.  She whipped up a great salad and flatbreads for us to munch on.  Isn't catching up with friends the best!  It was the perfect way to spend a relaxing Friday night.

Saturday morning Eric and I rolled out of bed, got ready and headed out for the day.  We did our Saturday morning movie thing and saw American Assassin.  Both us rated the movie a 4 out of 5.  Lots of action and kept us engaged.

After the movie, we made our way to The Shaved Duck for lunch.  It had been featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and on our list to visit for a while.  Indoor and outdoor seating is available, but since it was in the 90s we chose to sit inside.  The atmosphere was very easygoing with a guitarist playing in the background.  We ordered cornbread for an appetizer.  Eric had the pick two meat platter and I ordered the pulled pork sandwich.  Eric choose the meatloaf and burnt ends for his two meats -- the meatloaf was fantastic!  For sides, we devoured the macaroni and cheese and brussel sprouts.  All of it was great!

We decided we had a little room left for dessert and since Clementine's wasn't that far away, we added that stop before going home.  Clementine's Naughty and Nice Creamery offers regular and boozy ice cream creations.  Guys, their ice cream is SOOOOO good!

I spent the rest of Saturday crafting and loved every minute of it!  My first Etsy sale is packed and ready to ship out.

On Sunday I was really looking forward to church.  Every year at Enjoy Church they have a "At The Movies" series.  They do excerpts from a movie and tie it in to bible verses.  It's so relatable!  This week the movie was Collateral Beauty.  Now I want to watch the entire movie!  As a bonus, we get to eat popcorn in church.  If this sounds like a church service you would enjoy, please join us.  There are three more weeks in the "At The Movies" series and services are held in Alton and O'Fallon, Illinois.

The rest of the day I spent getting ready for the week ahead.  I know it's crazy, but I always feel like a rock star if I have a meal plan and my laundry done come Monday morning.  This week I'm going to be rockin' it!  Hope you are too!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Five on Friday - September 22, 2017

Happy Friday!  I've been out of town on business all week and can't believe it's already Friday.  But I would be lying if I said I wasn't delirious we have a weekend at hand!  Who doesn't love a weekend?!?

My five is a tad different than normal this week because  I haven't had a chance to research any new products to share with you, but thought I'd just share five things I loved about this past week.

1.  Sunsets
My home away from home this week was Big Cedar in Branson, Missouri.  Guys, I'm telling you, this place is so beautiful!  I wish I could have been spending my days at the pool, hiking and sitting on the porch of my room reading but unfortunately none of that happened.  It really makes me want to revisit this spot with Eric for a few days of R&R.  Back to sunsets -- I did break from work each day to take in the gorgeous sunsets.  Thought I'd share them with you ~

 2.  Front Porch
I shared my Fall decorations with you on my weekending post and am loving them more and more each time I see them.  Carol does such a great job!

The tall black planters have been so wonderful to have.  Most holidays and seasons we change them up and they have proven to be so versatile.  Interested in getting some for yourself?  Click HERE to see where we got ours.

3.  Billy Joel
Last night we went to the Billy Joel concert in St. Louis (hence, why this post is a bit late).  The concert was fabulous!  We sat in Busch Stadium, with the St. Louis Arch as a backdrop, while the 68 year old Piano Man did his thing.  It was fabulous!  After a week of unrest, I feel Billy Joel really did make us feel alright again.

4.  Etsy
I made my very first sale on Etsy this week and I'm so excited about it!  I only have a few listings, but this sale really has me motivated to dig in and get some other products listed.  And now I have a fun craft project to do over the weekend!  Yay!

5.  This is me....

          Penny's Passion: Five on Friday - May 13, 2016

Have a great weekend!  I'm hanging out with my girl friends tonight, which is just what I need after a long week.  The rest of the weekend is totally free so I see some relaxing and reading in my future.  See you soon!

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!

Friday Favorites - September 22, 2017

We've made it to Friday!! YAY!!  I've been travelling all week for business and am ready for a weekend at home.  I'll be busy checking out all your links so hope you join in the fun.

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, September 20, 2017

Fall Bucket List

Hello!  Today instead of my usual Thinking Out Loud Thursday, I'm hosting a different kind of link up.  I'm joining some other blogger friends to talk about our Fall Bucket Lists.

I'm not going to lie, it wasn't a smooth transition into Fall for me this year.  I left Summer behind kicking and screaming.  Don't get me wrong, I love Fall.  But for some reason this year I wasn't quite ready to let go of good ole' Summer.

As I sat down to do some thinking about what I wanted to put on my Fall Bucket List, I got a little more excited about the change of seasons.  So with no further ado, my Fall Bucket List ~

Enjoy A Girls Weekend with My Sorority Sisters
This is currently being planned and I'm so excited about it I can hardly stand it.  My friend Linda and I are joining two of our sorority sisters for a girls weekend later this month.  It's been years since we spent a chunk of time with these girls and it will be wonderful to catch up on each other's lives.

Visit a Winery
Eric and I are joining our son and daughter-in-law for an overnight in Hermann, Missouri to visit the wineries there in October.  We are so looking forward to having this little getaway with them!

Send Some Snail Mail
With Halloween and Thanksgiving on the horizon, it's the perfect time to make some cards and put them in the mail.  Who doesn't like getting fun stuff in the mail?  I want to be the person to put a smile on some one's face when they peek inside their mailbox.

Try a New Pumpkin Recipe
Pumpkin recipes are everywhere this time of year and we love pumpkin stuff.  What better time than Fall is try a new recipe.

Take in the Leaves Turning
I've been several places lately with beautiful landscapes and thought how amazing they would be when the leaves are turning.  I'm hoping Eric and I have the opportunity to revisit a few of them when the leaves are at their peak.

Make Apple Butter
It's been YEARS since I made homemade apple butter.  This item is really two-fold because first I want to find the long-lost recipe I once used for apple butter making.  It's in my life somewhere, I just don't know where.  Wish me luck locating it!

Attend Book Club at the Novel Neighbor
There's an  adorable little bookstore in Webster Groves, Missouri that holds an open book club every month.  They post on their website the date and book and everyone is invited to attend.  I've been  thinking about going for a while now.  This month I actually took the step of purchasing the book.  Now I just need to get it read and attend the book club!  Will I see you there?

Decorate for Halloween
This is on the list as a motivation item.  Since the Fall decorations made such a late arrival at my house, it would be so easy to skip over Halloween and move straight into Thanksgiving.  But I love my Halloween decorations, so I'm adding it to the list in hopes it motivates me to actually do it.

See Ed Sheeran in Nashville
We missed seeing our friend Ed in St. Louis because his concert was cancelled.  He'll be in Nashville in October and I'm going to be there to see him!  See you soon Ed!

Get a Jump on My Christmas Shopping
Raise your hand if you would like to get your Christmas shopping done early.  My thought is if I get the shopping done early, then I'll have more time to wrap.  Wrapping is always a last minute thing at my house and this year I'd like that to be different.  Perhaps this is the year that we'll have a stress-free Christmas season. One can always dream, right?!?

Now I'm pretty excited for Fall!  What's on your Fall bucket list?  Link up and share!  You might inspire me to add some items to my list.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Summer Bucket List - Final Review

At the beginning of summer, me and some other blogger friends did a link up to share our summer bucket lists.  This Thursday, September 21 we will be doing another link up to talk Fall Bucket Lists.  I hope you join us and link up what you're hoping to do this Fall.

In the meantime, I thought I'd give you a little rundown of how I did with my Summer Bucket List.  The first reply under the item is one month in and the italic one is my current status.

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.  
I heard from several of you that similar programs like this one exist.  What a wonderful way to help needy children in your areas.   
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.  
I have completely fallen back on this one.  Currently showing 19,267 emails.  That's just  crazy!  I guess I'm just an email hoarder. I think I'm just going to embrace it and let it go.
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.  
I finished A Paris Apartment and LOVED it.  Also read Hillbilly Elegy and could hardly put it down.  My friend Linda let me borrow The Light of Paris - Great Book!!  Three books for the summer might not seem like a lot for some of you, but for me I'll take that as a win.
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!
Our trip to Paris was a huge success even though we didn't do a lot of French speaking.  English was very well accepted and we had no trouble communicating.  Side note on this - the above was the one phrase I really thought I had down pat.  I tried it on a salesperson in a Paris book store and she didn't have a clue what I was saying.  So much for speaking French!
 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!
I have a few things on my Etsy page!  Check them out HERE!

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.  
Sadly, I've done nothing to officially learn more about my camera except take a ton of pictures and am figuring out what settings I like to use.  Really hoping to get in a class this fall or winter.  Here's the one I got (Click HERE).  Guys - I truly LOVE this camera!  My only regret is I didn't buy it sooner.
 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.
So that's my wrap up of my Summer Bucket List.  How did you fare on your summer plans?

Now it's on to think about my Fall list.  Don't forget to pop back in on Thursday to see what that looks like and add your list to the link up.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Weekending - September 15, 2017

This blog post looks a lot different than I thought it would.  Friday morning I was downright giddy about the epic weekend we had in store!  My friend Linda was coming in from Kansas City and we were headed to the U2 concert on Saturday night.  Then on Sunday night Eric and I were joining our friends Larry and Debbie for the Ed Sheehan concert.  Neither of these concerts happened.

You see, Friday morning the verdict from the Anthony Lamar Smith case was delivered and found the police officer innocent of the murder charges brought against him.  Protesting ensued, followed by agitators reeking havoc on our city causing the cancellation of many events happening in St. Louis this weekend.  It's all so sad.

As much as I love living in a country where we can feel free to express our opinions openly by protesting, I'm equally embarrassed by the individuals who take it way too far and destroy personal property and businesses.  Hence, the term "agitators" has been added to our vocabulary over the weekend.

Let me get off my soapbox and tell you what I did do this weekend ~

My friend Carol popped in my house this week and decorated it for Fall.  I had been slow to jump on the fact that Summer was winding down and Carol saved the day by working her magic at my house. Her work is always exquisite and now I'm totally embracing Fall!

Friday night Linda rolled into town just in time for us go to dinner.  We picked someplace close to my house.  Peel was our choice and it was delicious!  We enjoyed an appetizer, salad, wings and pizza before topping it off with ice cream from Dairy Queen and calling it a night.

We were up before the sun on Saturday with a single purpose on our minds - the Joya Popup Sale in the Central West End!  The first 25 people in line were going to be rewarded with a free goody bag and we were not going to miss out on that action.  You are looking at numbers 1, 2, and 3 in line right here.

After our retail therapy (and getting some GREAT deals), we headed to the theater to see Home Again with Reese Witherspoon.  Now, by this time we had learned that U2 was cancelled so my view on the movie might be reflected in my review, but all three of us agreed that this movie never really took off.  It's a cute little film that I would rate 3.5 out of 5.  You can definitely wait to see this after it comes out on video.  When you truly have nothing else to do.

Ian met us for lunch at Club Taco, where we could drown our sorrows about the concert.  But in reality, there wasn't enough alcohol in St. Louis to take away the sting of us not seeing U2!  Thanks, Club Taco, for at least having great margaritas.  Linda went with mango and I stuck with my favorite watermelon basil.

We parted ways with Ian and Kayla and decided we needed some more retail therapy.  So to the outlet malls we went!  We shopped for a bit and each now have more pairs of shoes to load into our closets.  Thank goodness we had to leave to pick up my friends Sherri and John from the airport or the shopping frenzy could have gotten ugly!

Since we were supposed to be listening to live music on Saturday night, we thought it only appropriate to still so do.  There's a winery in Belleville (The Weingarten) that had live music so we hung out there for a bit.  

Linda headed back to KC around noon on Sunday and we left the house around the same time.  My nephew, Liam, was celebrating his 2nd birthday on Sunday and we didn't want to miss his Paw Prints birthday party!

Seeing Liam and my other nephews and niece always makes things right in the world and puts a smile on my face.

The weekend was capped off with a little craft project.  A friend of mine from work said the words I love to hear - Can you please help me with something? and of course the answer was YES!!  She had done all the cutting, but needed some help putting cupcake toppers together for her daughter's 1st birthday party.  I  think they turned out pretty darn cute.

As disappointed as I was about my weekend plans totally changing, I'm even more sad for the innocent store owners who are having to replace their windows and remove the graffiti left behind by the agitators.  Please say a little prayer for them that this behavior stops and our city can recover.

Check out what others were up to this weekend.