Penny's Passion: 2018

Friday, December 28, 2018

Five on Friday - December 28, 2018

Here we are at the very last Friday of 2018!  Can you believe 2019 is only a few days away?!?  Thanks for popping in each Friday to see what five things I'm talking about.  Here's my five for this week ~

1.  National Card Playing Day
Grab some friends and sit down to an old fashion card game to celebrate National Card Playing Day today!  Playing cards has always been one of my favorite things to do.  When my son was living at home, we would play a game called Peanuts almost every day.  My family's favorite card game is something called Pitch.  What's your favorite?

National Card Playing Day - December 28

2.  Vice
We've been able to catch a couple movies over break and are hoping to still find time to see Vice.  The previews looks great!  It's based on the true story of Dick Cheney and has been nominated for the Golden Globes Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy.  (Wonder how Dick Cheney feels about it being in the "Comedy" category!)  Here's the synopsis from Fandango ~
Gov. George W. Bush of Texas picks Dick Cheney, the CEO of Halliburton Co., to be his Republican running mate in the 2000 presidential election. No stranger to politics, Cheney's impressive résumé includes stints as White House chief of staff, House Minority Whip and defense secretary. When Bush wins by a narrow margin, Cheney begins to use his newfound power to help reshape the country and the world.

3.  Air Fryer Cookbook
Did you get an Air Fryer for Christmas?  We did and I can't wait to put it to good use!  I'm waiting for Amazon to deliver this cookbook to us so I can try all kinds of new things beyond the few recipes that came in the box with it.  If one of your resolutions for 2019 is to eat healthier, the air fryer might be just what you need!


I know most of us still have our Christmas trees up, but just in case you're looking forward to Valentines Day -- check out these adorable color in socks!  There are a craft project AND tangible pair of socks all in one!  They come in all kinds of designs so you are sure to find one that matches the recipient's personality.  Each set comes with a pair of socks and 4 fabric markers.

5. Just sayin'.........

Big ol factssssss 😂

Have a great rest of the year!  We had "clean the basement" on our 2018 goals and are going to use the last few days of the year to try to cross that one off the list.  Nothing like waiting until the last minute!  

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Thursday, December 27, 2018

Friday Favorites Linky Party - December 28, 2018

Here's the last Friday Favorites Linky Party of the year!  Thanks so much for stopping by and checking out all the fabulous links.  We appreciate you more than you know!  We are looking forward to an even better 2019.

Now, here's this week's features ~

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
Penny at Penny's Passion - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Kelly at Under a Texas Sky - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL
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, December 26, 2018

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - December 27, 2018

Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday!  If you are like me, I'm having a hard time figuring out what day of the week it truly is.  I typically take off from Christmas through New Year's and during that week the days become blurred.  So I'm fairly impressed with myself that I even remembered that today was Thursday and I needed to do a thinking out loud post!

Today I'm reflecting on my holiday bucket list.  My blogger friend Leslie from Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After suggested some of us share our lists and I'm so glad she did!  I love having a list to check off and it seems to keep me more focused.  Here's how my list shaped up ~

Ring Bells for the Salvation Army
I've done this for years and it's such a rewarding experience!  Years ago, it was such an eye opener how people react to bell ringers.  Most of the time people try to scamper past you, pretending you're not there.  Since my first experience with that, I've learned to at least say Merry Christmas to the ringer even if I'm not dropping some change in their buckets.  So I'm challenging you this year to do the same.  
Checked this one off twice!  The company I work for signs up for an entire week of bell ringing at a store near our office.  This year I filled two spots and rang bells with my friend Tammy the first time and my friend Peggy for the second.  Doing this volunteer project truly warms my heart and adds something special to the holiday season.
Image may contain: 2 people, including Penny Talbot Struebig, people smiling, people standing and shoes

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Enjoy Making Cookies with Friends
My friends in Kansas City have a cookie day every year and I have yet to make it.  This year I'm hoping to break that cycle and show up!
Well, I made it to Kansas City and spent a wonderful day with friends.  But I didn't make a single cookie!  I watched Jodie and Janet make hundreds of delicious treats.  I also had a blast playing games all day and being present at this gathering.  I'll take that as successfully completing this one!

Have a Gathering at Our House
Entertaining is a true passion of mine and what a better time to have people over to our house than when it's all decorated!  
I had a gathering, but it was for a bittersweet occasion.  My friend, MaryLou, is moving to her home state of New Jersey and I hosted her going away party.  The party was fun and I believe everyone that attended had a wonderful time.  With that said, we all are going to dearly miss our friend.   

Make Fruitcakes for My Dad
My dad is one of the rare people who love a good fruitcake.  For years, when my son, Ian, was little we would make Grandpa's fruitcakes together.  He would stand on a chair next me and we would work chopping the nuts and mixing the batter.  Since he's grown up and left the house, making fruitcakes has been kind of hit or miss.  Well, this year I hope to make it a hit!  Even though I don't have my son here to help, my dad still loves fruitcakes so I want to make some for him.
Checked this one off just in time for Christmas!  I left work a bit early on Friday, December 21 to come home and whip out three fruitcakes for my dad.  
Mail Christmas Cards
This is a process I make way harder than it should be.  First, I literally think about the picture on the card all year long.  We tried to get pictures when we were on vacation in Cancun, Rome and Indiana.  Just this morning I put Eric through a 45 minutes photo shoot that was truly painful.  I need to just pick a picture already and get the darn cards ordered!!  And just about the time I think I have a good picture I start second guessing myself about even doing a card with a picture of Eric and me.  Is it weird for two grown adults to do a picture card?  I love getting picture cards - but does anybody really care to see pictures of us?  See, I make this way harder than it should be.
After all the hassle of trying to get a picture for our Christmas cards, I ended up going with a picture we had taken in front of the Trevi Fountain while we were in Rome.  Thanks to our photographer, Linda, for helping us out while we were there.  She gladly agreed to go to the fountain one morning at the crack of dawn so I could take pictures without a lot of people in the background.  

Did you have a holiday bucket list?  How did you fare?

Now I'm turning my focus on my 2019 Bucket List.  Most years we go to Kansas City to celebrate New Year's.  On the road trip there, we talk about things we would like to accomplish the following year.  I'll be sharing some of the items with you after the first of the year.  Pop in on January 3 and link up what's on your 2019 Bucket List.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Weekending - December 21, 2018

Happy Christmas Eve!  It definitely doesn't feel like a Monday and we just had a weekend.  Here's the recap of what I was up to ~

I sneaked out of work a bit early on Friday to come home and make fruitcakes for my dad.  I know there's not many people that enjoy fruitcakes, but my dad loves them.  The recipe I use comes from the 1982 Southern Living Cookbook and makes three loaves.  The concoction consists of 64 ounces of candied fruit, 6 cups of nuts, 10 eggs, plus flour, sugar, butter and flavoring.  I've been making them for about as many years as the cookbook's age.  When Ian was little, he used to stand on a chair beside me at the counter and "help".  He would chop the nuts and crack the eggs.  I'm sure a couple of years the fruitcakes had the added ingredient of egg shells!  Regardless, making them with my son is a memory I'll always cherish and it makes me a bit sad when I make them without him now.

Friday night Eric and I ventured to my mother-in-law's house to visit with Eric's sister and nephew.  They were in town for just a few days and it was great we got to spend some time with them while they were here.  We used the opportunity to snap a few pictures and have a few laughs.

Saturday morning I packed up and journeyed to my home town to celebrate Christmas with my family.  Watching the faces of my niece and nephews open their presents was so fun!

Besides celebrating Christmas, Saturday was a special day for another reason.  My parents were celebrating 56 years of marriage.  Happy anniversary Mom and Dad!

I made it home just in time to meet up with Eric and join some of our neighbors for a Christmas carol sing-along  It was the first year our subdivision gathered at the community gazebo and belted out some Christmas tunes.  It was fun and hopefully the start of a neighborhood tradition.

Sunday morning we had just enough time to sneak in a movie before Eric had to run off to work.  We chose Mary Poppins Returns.  It was beautifully done!  Emily Blunt did a fantastic job.  Have you seen it yet?

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Our is going to be very low key.  We got a couple great kitchen items as presents and I can't wait to open those boxes and put them to use.  One is an air fryer and the other is an indoor grill.  From the ads I've seen recently, I bet there are going to be a lot of air fryers under trees this year.  Let me know if you have one and what you love to cook in it.

Merry Christmas!  

Friday, December 21, 2018

Five on Friday - December 21, 2018

Okay guys -- the days before Christmas is getting shorter and shorter.  I'm not ready - yet.  All week I've been working on a day-to-day basis.  So far I haven't been late with anything, but I certainly haven't had a lot of time to spare either!  Before I head off to wrap, bake and clean, here's my Five on Friday for today ~

1.  Winter Solstice
Today marks the shortest day and longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.  So after today, the days will slowly begin to get longer.  HALLELUJAH!!  I have to admit, I'm not a fan of the short winter days.  I'm looking forward to the sun setting on its' summer schedule.  Today we're rounding the corner and each day will be a little longer than the one before it.  Summer - we're coming for you!

WINTER SOLSTICE – Day Between December 20 and 23

Have you guys heard about Joanna Gaines's new book Homebody:  A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave?  It hit the stands in November and sounds like the perfect read for anyone wanting to makes a few changes in their home.  Here's how Amazon summarizes the book:
In Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave, Joanna Gaines walks you through how to create a home that reflects the personalities and stories of the people who live there. Using examples from her own farmhouse as well as a range of other homes, this comprehensive guide will help you assess your priorities and instincts, as well as your likes and dislikes, with practical steps for navigating and embracing your authentic design style. Room by room, Homebody gives you an in-depth look at how these styles are implemented as well as how to blend the looks you're drawn to in order to create spaces that feel distinctly yours. A design template at the end of the book offers a step-by-step guide to planning and sketching out your own design plans. The insight shared in Homebody will instill in you the confidence to thoughtfully create spaces you never want to leave.
Want one around your house?  Click HERE to purchase. 

3.  Mary Poppins Returns
If you're like me, you're planning on seeing a movie or two during the holidays.  As I mentioned last Friday, Mary Poppins Returns is definitely on our list to see!  The previews looks fabulous and the reviews are positive.  This flick is very well cast too -- Emily Blunt, Dick Van Dyke, Colin Firth, Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury.  Is it on your list to see?  Some other movies I'm hoping to view over the holidays is The Mule, Second Act and Vice.

4.  New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve is right around the corner.  Do you have your party supplies ready?  In case you need some help, here's a few things from Amazon you can quickly order and then sit back and wait for them to arrive.  Don't let this fun night sneak up on you!  Order today so you can sit back and enjoy the week after Christmas without having to rush around shopping for party supplies.

5.  Merry Christmas....

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Have a great weekend!  I'm travelling to my home town tomorrow to celebrate Christmas with my family.  So excited to spend the day with them!  Then on Sunday I hope to finish the wrapping and do some baking.  It's going to be a wonderful few days.  See you soon!

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Thursday, December 20, 2018

Secret Santa Mug Swap 2018

Because of my true love to open the mailbox and see a surprise package inside, I sign up for every swap I come across.  San, from The In Between Is Mine, hosted a Secret Santa Mug Swap and I was in!  San also happened to be the person who sent a package to me!

Look at the adorable mug that was nestled in my box ~

I just love that my beautiful mug came with a little dish to rest my used teabag in!

San also packed my box with other goodies and a thoughtfully written note ~

Thanks San for the spectacular box of goodies!  I love the mug and everything else you put in the box.  Now, if you'll excuse me I'm going to enjoy a nice cup of honey vanilla chamomile tea and a sea salt caramel or two.

Friday Favorites Linky Party - December 21, 2018

It's Friday!  Can't wait to see all the links today.  I'll be honest, I probably won't be looking at them until I have all my wrapping, baking and cleaning done.  But hey - it's great to have something to look forward to!  Hope you enjoy them also!

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
Penny at Penny's Passion - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Kelly at Under a Texas Sky - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL
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!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop - December 19, 2018

One week until Christmas! We are so glad you came by for the final party of 2018! We will be taking next week off from our party to spend Christmas with family and friends. Our blogs will be featuring a collection of great holiday crafts and recipes by our hosts. Mark your calendars to come back for our next blog hop, on Tuesday evening January 1, 2019!

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Santa mugs and hot chocolate
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Peanut Butter Layered Fudge by Delightfully Made
Pepperoni pizza Trisket tray

Editor's Pick

Nativity Theme DIY ornaments

  So, let's get this party started! This week, come on by our blogs and subscribe. You will find out when our parties have started!
Blog hop - Wonderful Wednesday
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Monday, December 17, 2018

Weekending - December 14, 2018

Mondays.  Wow - do they roll around quickly.  And just think, in one week we'll be celebrating Christmas Eve.  This is going to be one busy week getting ready for Christmas!  But before I start looking forward to that, I'd like to look back and reflect on the weekend.

Friday morning I loaded the Amtrak train for a five hour trip to Kansas City.  It was Cookie Day on Saturday at my friend Jodie's house and I was pretty darn excited to be able to join the fun.  To make the weekend even more special, I decided to take the day off so I could arrive early on Friday to spend the afternoon and evening with my friend Linda.  It was going to be a fabulous weekend!

Now, let's chat about the train trip.  I thought it would be great to cross the state by train.  I would be able read, catch up on email and enjoy the trip without having to watch the road and drive by myself.  Amtrak called bright and early to let me know there had been a slight change of plans.  Due to a train derailment, we would climbing on a bus for half the trip.  Ugh.  I really wasn't that excited about not being able to take the train the entire trip, but I was still excited about spending some time with my friend.

I'll be honest -- I took enough stuff with me on the train that I could probably have gone coast to coast a couple of times and still not gotten through half of what I brought with me to do.  What I did get done was finish reading a book I had started.  I love to pick up a holiday themed book this time of year.  This year's pick with Christmas in Good Hope by Cindy KirkIt's like a good Hallmark movie with the romance kicked up to an R rating. Good Hope is located in one of my favorite places - Door County, Wisconsin.  And this is the first of a seven book series so I have lots of reading to do! 

Christmas in Good Hope (A Good Hope Novel Book 1) by [Kirk, Cindy]

Linda was waiting for me when I rolled in on the bus and we shopped our little hearts out in downtown Lee's Summit.  There were so many quaint little boutiques to meander in and out of.  

We had reservations at the speakeasy called The W.  We'd been there before but I had struggled to find a drink there that I loved.  Linda's favorite is a smoked bourbon drink and bourbon just doesn't do it for me.  After a brief chat with our waiter discussing what I typically like and don't like, he suggested a drink that was a winner!  I wish I could remember the name of it, but it escapes me.  What I do remember is that it was GOOD!

From The W, we headed to dinner at Pearl Tavern.  It's a seafood joint and if you go, I suggest getting the calamari for an appetizer.  YUM!  Linda had the crab cakes and they were okay.  I had the lobster roll and requested it be served hot (instead of the cold that is their typical way of serving it).  Their lobster roll was a close second to my favorite roll served at The Peacemaker in St. Louis.  If you're in the KC area and looking for seafood, this eatery is definitely worth checking out.

Saturday morning was cookie day!  We loaded up all our ingredients and cooking essentials and headed over to Jodie's.  When we got there, cookies were already going in and out of the oven and the mixer was spinning up batter.  Linda and I decided to sit out for a while and play some games.  I learned a new game - Azul.  This is a fun, family game that can be played with 2-4 players age 8 and up with the typical game taking about 30-40 minutes to complete.  If you're looking for a family game to add to your collection, I strongly recommend this one!  You can get it HERE.

Literally hundreds of cookies were baked on Saturday and I didn't bake a single one of them.  The game playing was so much fun I did that all day long.  The fun was just being there with my friends.  The guys were in the another room playing games and watching football.  The kids were running in and out playing with their cousins.  All the while, the scents of freshly baked cookies filled the air.  The atmosphere alone made the trip worth it.  Maybe next year I'll actually do some baking.  

Sunday morning I traveled back home to work on my to-do list.  I'm having a going away party for a friend from work on Wednesday and things needed to get done!  Plus all the wrapping.  Jeez - that's a never-ending job!  Oh, and the baking I didn't do on Saturday. 

Now we're at Monday and Christmas is getting closer and closer.  I better get busy!  See you back here soon!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Five on Friday - December 14, 2018

Hello!  Friday is here and Christmas is getting closer and closer.  Are you ready?  If not, don't worry.  You still have 10 days.  You can get a lot of stuff done in 10 days!  You got this.

I know everyone is hustling and bustling, so thanks for popping in to Five on Friday.  Here's my five for this week~

1. Mary Poppins Returns
This is a busy time of year, so I'm giving you a little heads up on the release of Mary Poppins Returns. It will be in the theaters next Wednesday, December 19. The previews just look wonderful and we're excited to see it. Here's the movie summary from Rotten Tomatoes:
Directed and produced by Rob Marshall, "Mary Poppins Returns" also stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer and Julie Walters with Colin Firth and Meryl Streep. The film, which introduces three new Banks children, played by Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh and newcomer Joel Dawson, also features Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury. The film is set in 1930s depression-era London (the time period of the original novels) and is drawn from the wealth of material in PL Travers' additional seven books. In the story, Michael (Whishaw) and Jane (Mortimer) are now grown up, with Michael, his three children and their housekeeper, Ellen (Walters), living on Cherry Tree Lane. After Michael suffers a personal loss, the enigmatic nanny Mary Poppins (Blunt) re-enters the lives of the Banks family, and, along with the optimistic street lamplighter Jack (Miranda), uses her unique magical skills to help the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives. Mary Poppins also introduces the children to a new assortment of colorful and whimsical characters, including her eccentric cousin, Topsy (Streep). The film is produced by Marshall, John DeLuca and Marc Platt. The screenplay is by David Magee based on The Mary Poppins Stories by PL Travers with Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman writing all new songs and Shaiman composing an original score.

2.  Rocketbook Wave Smart Notebook
This product has me so intrigued!  A friend from work got one and I just can't stop thinking about it.  Here's how it works:  Download the rocket book app.  Write in the notebook with an erasable pen.  You can then blast your notes to Google docs, Dropbox, iCloud, Evernote and email.  Pop your rocket book wave in the microwave to erase and reuse your notebook up to 5 times.  All for under $25!  How cool is that?!?  Click HERE to get one.

3.  Burger King's Peppermint Oreo Shake
Need a little treat while you're out and about this holiday season?  Pop into a Burger King for one of their Peppermint Oreo Shakes!  Burger King takes their soft serve ice cream and whips in peppermint syrup and real Oreo cookie pieces to create this cheery creation.  Then they top it off with a dollop of whipped topping.  You might want to grab a spoon because word on the street is this masterpiece is thick!

4.  Storm Glass Weather Predictor
Still looking for that special gift for the hard-to-buy-for person?  I just might have the answer for you!  The storm glass weather predictor is a unique way to forecast the weather.  Once the weather changes, the crystals in the bottle will also change.  It can sensitively predict weather changes like sunny, cloudy, storm, fog and snow.  What a cool thing to have on your desk!  Need one to put under your tree?  Click HERE for more info.

5.  Bedtime.....

Have a wonderful weekend.  I'm boarding the Amtrak this morning and heading to Kansas City to see my friend Linda.  My KC friends are getting together tomorrow for cookie day and I'm excited to be able to participate this year.  I'm also pretty excited to have 5 hours on the train to read and catch up on emails.  Check back in on Monday to read all about it.

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