Penny's Passion: January 2018

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - February 1, 2018

Hey there!  Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday.  Can you believe this is the first day of February?  Where did January go?!?

I've been busy this week helping coordinate a leadership program.  Weeks like this are truly one of my favorite things.  The presenters are so smart and share ideas and philosophies that are great learning for not only work, but life in general.  Even though the days are long, I always walk away feeling more empowered and energized to live life to the fullest.

One of the lessons that truly resonated with me this week was a message on how body language can change how we feel.  Don't we all want to feel more powerful, more confident?  And what if you could start feeling this way in just two minutes!

Harvard professor and social psychologist Amy Cuddy has some very thought-provoking statistics on how body language can help shape who you are.  Amy's story is pretty remarkable.  She was involved in a horrible car accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury.  This lady has fought back and has wisdom we should all think about in our daily lives.  As a matter of fact, that's what I'm thinking out loud about today.
Quotes about love - It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to. Description from I searched for this on

Have you seen the 2012 TED talk Amy delivered on how your body language can shape who you are?  Grab a drink, sit back and take a peek.  Even if you have seen it before, it's worth a second view.  It is well worth the 20 minutes.

It's amazing to me how a simple stance can change how you feel!  Such an easy thing can make a huge impact in our lives.

Amy's book, Presence, just released in paperback yesterday.  If you would like hear more about what Amy has to say on this topic, click HERE to pick up your copy.

I'm ready to start living a more self-confident life!  How about you?

So what's on your mind today?  Link up below and share your thoughts.  I'd love to hear from you!

Enjoy more Thoughts for Thursday at:

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Five on Friday - January 26, 2018

Happy Friday friends!  I'm ready for a weekend - how about you?  I've got some great things for you today in my five.  Take a peek ~

1.  National Spouses Day
Today being National Spouses Day is the perfect opportunity to send out a great big thank you to my spouse, Eric.  He is no doubt the nicest guy you will ever meet.  I'm so extremely spoiled by him!  My life certainly wouldn't be the same without him and I'm so thankful he loves me as much as he does.  If you have a spouse, don't forget to give them a special hug today.

National Spouses Day - January 26

Every year for Christmas, my friend Tracy gifts me a bag of her favorites things.  I swear every single year she introduces me to things I don't know how I'd ever lived without it.  This year one of my favorites in the bag were these Lil' Scrubbies facial cleaning pads.  After you use these on your face, you will be amazed at how soft your skin is!  The tiny little bristles really wake up your face.  You should try them!  Click HERE to check them out.
Have you ever stood over your kitchen sink and wondered what that not so pleasant smell was?  Plink is your answer!  Drop one of these little balls down the drain, run your disposal and a refreshing fragrance fills the air.  They magically break up build up fat and food particles leaving your disposal good as new.  Pick yourself up some HERE.

4.  Green Giant Veggie Spirals
Have you spied these Green Giant Veggie Spirals in your grocery store?  I'm going to be on the look out for them.  They are made from 100% vegetables and are gluten-free, with no sauce or seasoning added.  What a great alternative to pasta!!  If one of your New Year's resolutions was to drop a few pounds, the new Green Giant Veggie Spirals could become your new BFF.

5.  Tax Season


Enjoy your weekend!  I'm pretty booked for the next couple of days.  Tomorrow morning I'm having a wedding meeting at my house.  Then tomorrow night we're going to the Ritz for Dancing with the St. Louis Stars.  This event is a fund raiser for Independence Center, which is a community-based rehabilitation program for adults with severe and persistent mental illnesses in the St. Louis area.  If you would like to "vote" for a dancer by making a donation, please consider voting for Mark Bulanda.  You can do so HERE.   Then on Sunday I'm visiting a wedding venue and working in the afternoon.  Lots of fun times ahead!  Pop back in next week to hear all about it.  See you soon!

Linking up with:
The Blended Blog
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Friday Favorites - January 26, 2018

Hey there!  Friday is here and you know what that means - Friday Favorites!  Have fun checking out all the features and links today!  Just a reminder for those of you who like to link up.  I have another linky party on Thursday's call Thinking Out Loud Thursday.  Hope you pop back in next Thursday and link your latest post.

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, January 24, 2018

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - January 25, 2018

Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday!  Glad you popped in and hope you share what's on your mind by linking up below.

We got a touch of warm weather last weekend and today I'm thinking out loud about how much I'm looking forward to Spring.  Fifty-four days from today we can officially usher in the next season.

One of the things I miss in the winter is long days of sunlight.  This time of year by the time I leave work, it's dark.  We've turned the corner on that though-- each day after January 7 gains one minute in the morning and one minute in the evening of day light.  I know the progress is slow, but it's still progress.  

I have a couple of winter favorites that makes the cold weather a bit more bearable.  The first of these things is my fleece pj's.  Eric got me the below pair from Kohl's for Christmas and I'm not kidding, they are the softest, warmest things EVER!  And even better - they are on sale right now for $15.99! I'm so tempted to grab another pair while they still have my size.  Want some?  Click HERE to check them out.  Trust me -- you want a pair of these.


Another thing I wouldn't be able to make it through the winter without is my space heater in the bathroom.  I love to keep the house pretty cool when we sleep, but I don't like to get out of the shower when the bathroom is freezing.  This little space heater solves that problem!  We just turn it on before I get in the shower and by the time I get out, the room is much warmer.  This one is only $15.35 and is worth every penny.  Available HERE if you want to keep your bathroom warm too.

                                 Optimus H-1322 Portable 2-Speed Fan Heater with Thermostat

What are some things you do to keep warm in the long, cold days of winter?  

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

Enjoy more Thoughts for Thursday at:

Monday, January 22, 2018

Weekending - January 19, 2018

Oh my goodness -- weekends just go by way too fast!  I took a vacation day on Friday to help my sister-in-law out with a surprise for my brother.  She planned an overnight in Nashville and Eric and I got to watch three of their kids.  Friday morning they dropped off their 1 (almost 2) year old, 2 year old and 7 year old.  My goal was to keep them alive and unharmed for 30 hours and we did it!!  We even managed to have quite a bit of fun too!

Friday we took all the kids to see Ferdinand.  My hope was we would be the only ones in the theater.  The plan almost worked -- there were three other people in the theater.  So close.  After the two little ones got full of popcorn, we headed to the lobby to play while Eric stayed in the theater with the 7 year old, Kayden.  Kayden and Eric gave the movie a thumbs up! 

One thing that really saved me several times was the chalkboard tablecloth my friend Tracy gave me.  The kiddos loved sitting at the table and drawing.  This thing is awesome!  If you want one for your house, check it out HERE.

Saturday morning we fed everyone pancakes and headed to Monkey Joe's.  Have you ever been to a Monkey Joe's?  It's like Chuck E. Cheese on steroids!  The place is full of huge blowups for climbing, jumping and running.  There was a toddler area for the little guys, but it wasn't long before my 2 year old nephew, Liam, was ready to hang with his older brother.  I think his smile in this pictures says it all.

The weather was great in the afternoon so we were able to hang outside after lunch and soak up the sun.  It felt great to be outside and not have to be bundled up in winter wear.  Spring please get here quickly!!

After the kiddos left for home, I lounged on the couch and started watching Grace and Frankie.  I told you on Friday that it was going to take everything I had not to binge the entire season.  I'm so proud of myself for stopping after five episodes!  Just love that show. 

Eric was off work on Sunday so we had a date day.  After church we went to our favorite lunch spot, Peel.  Man, their wings are so scrumptious!  I love the fact that Eric is as big a foodie as I am.  We shared a couple entrees just so we could try more things.  YUM!

After filling our bellies, we headed to the theater to see 12 Strong.  It was good, not super great.  That's not to say that I don't have so much respect for the men and women who are in the military and fight for our freedom.  Some of the scenes were fairly graphic and I can't imagine living through that in real life. 

Sunday evening I started reading a book Kayla gave me for Christmas - Outlander.  I think I'm late to the Outlander party.  Wow -- it's good.  Made me wish I didn't have to go to work on Monday and I could hang in bed and read all day.  It's long and I'm a slow reader, so I might be reading this one for a while.  But I think it will be worth it.  Have you read it? 

Hope your weekend was a good one.  We are only going to have this warm break in winter for a few days and then they are calling for snow again by next weekend.  Ugh!!  So glad I was able to enjoy it while it was here!  

Friday, January 19, 2018

Five on Friday - January 19, 2018

Let's hear it for Friday!  Eric has the day off today so I decided to take a vacation day to enjoy it with him.  Aren't three day weekends just the best!! 

Before we get this weekend started, here's my five for this week ~

1.  Frankie and Grace Season 4 Released
I'm so excited that today Season 4 of Frankie and Grace releases!  There's a new character being added this season - Lisa Kudrow.  She was one of my favorites from the Friends days and she joins Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as Grace's quirky nail lady.  Apparently there's a baby on the way too!  It's going to take every fiber of my being to not plop down on the couch and binge watch this entire season!

2.  National Popcorn Day
Let's celebrate National Popcorn Day today!  Popcorn is seriously one of my favorite foods and I have been known to pop a bag in the microwave and have it for breakfast.  My friend Debbie turned me on to making kettle corn in my Whirley Pop.  Popcorn is also my favorite snack at the movie theater.  We always have to pop in Garrett's Popcorn anytime we're in Chicago too because that popcorn is just too good to pass up.  What's your favorite kind? 

National Popcorn Day - January 19

3.  12 Strong
12 Strong opens today and from the previews I've seen looks like a pretty interesting movie.  Here's the storyline from Movie Insider:  12 Strong is set in the harrowing days following 9/11 when a U.S. Special Forces team, led by their new Captain, Mitch Nelson (Hemsworth), is chosen to be the first U.S. troops sent into Afghanistan for an extremely dangerous mission. There, in the rugged mountains, they must convince Northern Alliance General Dostum (Negahban) to join forces with them to fight their common adversary: the Taliban and their Al Qaeda allies. In addition to overcoming mutual distrust and a vast cultural divide, the Americans—accustomed to state-of-the-art warfare—must adopt the rudimentary tactics of the Afghani horse soldiers. But despite their uneasy bond, the new allies face overwhelming odds: outnumbered and outgunned by a ruthless enemy that does not take prisoners.

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4.  Katie Couric = Winter Olympics
Did you hear the news - Katie Couric is coming back to NBC to co-host the 2018 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony!  She'll be joining Mike Tirico in PyeongChang, South Korea.  And I'm so excited about the Winter Olympics!  The Opening Ceremony will air on Friday, February 9 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time.  It will also be streaming for the first time on the NBC Sports app and  Go USA!!

5.  Cheetah...
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Have a great weekend!  I'm going to be hanging close to home this weekend.  If all the stars align, I'm going to get out our Valentine's decorations.  We FINALLY have our Christmas decorations down (thanks mostly to Eric) and I'm anxious to decorate for the next holiday.  See you next week!

Linking up with:
The Blended Blog
This post contained affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase.  Thanks

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Friday Favorites - January 19, 2018

Hello!  Hope everyone is staying warm and toasty.  What's better than staying cuddled on the couch and reading blog posts?!?  Enjoy the features and the links today!

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, January 17, 2018

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - January 18, 2018

Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday!  This week has been a blur of activity and it's hard to believe we're at Thursday already.  I'm still thinking about what fun I had last weekend and that's what I'm thinking out loud about today.

Friday I took off work and headed to Kansas City.  The predicted weather had been sounding fairly ominous for Thursday night, but thankfully come Friday morning it wasn't as bad as the forecasters thought.  I got an early start on the day, stopped at my parents for lunch and arrived at my friend Linda's house in plenty of time for us to go see a movie.

Linda and I had both been excited to see the movie Lady Bird.  Have you seen it?  It had been getting such great reviews.  For me, it just wasn't all that.  I liked it, but definitely didn't LOVE it the way I had thought I would.  

When we got home, we started watching the series Divorce on HBO.  Loved it!  Let's just say that by the time I left on Sunday, season one was successfully watched.

Saturday was the main reason I made the trip to Kansas City.  I met with a couple in the morning about helping with their wedding later in 2018.  The meeting went great and I'm excited to be helping them make their wedding dreams come true.  You know you'll be hearing more about this as their date gets closer!

Then it was time to celebrate my friend Jodie's big 4-0 birthday.  Her husband, Patrick, had orchestrated an entire day of activities - all of them a surprise to Jodie.   The group assembled was Jodie's close friends from high school, college, and family.  Patrick - job well done!  The day was perfect! 

One thing that helped add to the fun of the day was Patrick had arranged a limo service to take us from place to place.  Everyone could kick back and have a great time without the worry of having to drive.  Carey Limousine Service had the perfect coach and driver for us.  If you ever have the need to use them, I highly recommend asking for Joe Boschert be your driver.  He was professional, fun and the perfect fit for our group.

Jodie's brother, John, had even traveled into town as a special surprise.

We started at Pinstripes where we had some pretty competitive games of Bocce ball.  The measuring tape had to be brought out more than once.  

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Then it was on to Amigoni Urban Winery for a wine tasting before going to dinner.  Amigoni's is a great gathering spot.  They even had a few board games you could enjoy while sipping on your wine.

Then we were off to dinner at Garozzo's Italian Restaurant where the portions of pasta were huge and the wine continued to flow.  Look at this birthday girl -- no way does she look 40!

With very full bellies, we loaded up in the limo after dinner and headed to The Green Lady Lounge to listen to some jazz.  We were lucky enough to snag a table in the basement and enjoy the music.  Great place!

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The night continued on to John's Big Deck.  Nothing like a little dancing to cap off a wonderful evening.  Jody definitely ushered in this decade of her life in style and I'm so grateful I was able to be a part of it!  You can see why I'm still thinking about it!

What are you thinking out loud about today?  Link up and share!  I'd love to hear from you.

Enjoy more Thoughts for Thursday at:

Dear Jane

My dear friend Jane,

Today marks two years since I sat in church and got the chilling phone call from your sister letting me know you had joined the angels in heaven that morning.  Two years.  In a way it seems like only yesterday and in other ways it seems a lifetime ago.

Through your death, you taught me so much about living.  I no longer take for granted that there will always be a tomorrow.  I feel a sense of urgency to look at my bucket list and get things checked off.  Far too many people wait around their whole lives to do even the simplest of things and then suddenly it's too late.  I've learned to seize the moments and make things happen.  Thank you for that. 

Thank you, too, for all the memories we shared together.  The road trips, baseball games and concerts.  It's hard for me to realize that there will be no more pictures of us laughing and being silly, but makes me treasure the ones we have even more. 

Your family donated a bench in your honor to be placed at work.  Debbie and I have enjoyed wine while sitting there listening to Bon Jovi.  The deer and turkey roam by it adding to the tranquil atmosphere of it's location.  Today there's a thin layer of snow on the seat -- so appropriate since snow was one of your favorite things.

I wish I had told you how much your friendship meant to me while you were here on earth with us.  Yet another lesson you have taught me -- tell people how much you appreciate them.  As my pastor reminds us frequently, you are fine - no, better than fine, you are GREAT - in heaven.  It's just us left here on earth that are sad you're not here too.  I imagine you among the angels holding your dog Molly with your sister Jill by your side smiling down on us.  Probably with an occasional eye roll! 

You are thought of daily and we miss you Jane.  Until we meet again...

Friday, January 12, 2018

Five on Friday - January 12, 2018

Happy Friday!  Glad you stopped by to see my five for this week.  So with no further ado, here you go ~

1.  Daily Wisdom for Women - 2018 Devotional Collection
I love starting my day by reading a devotional before my feet even hit the floor.  For the last several years, my go-to has been the Daily Wisdom for Women collection.  Each day features a powerful devotional reading and a prayer.  They are short, quick reads that leaves a message that will resonate with you throughout the day.  Such great food for the soul!!  It's on sale right now at Amazon for only $9.99 for the Kindle version or $10.83 for an imitation leather one.  Trust me - it will be the best $10 you spend all year!  Click HERE to check it out.
2.  The Commuter
I'm such a sucker for Liam Neeson movies.  He has a new one releasing today - The Commuter.  It looks very suspenseful!!  Here's the recap from Movie Insider, "In this action-packed thriller, Liam Neeson plays an insurance salesman, Michael, on his daily commute home, which quickly becomes anything but routine. After being contacted by a mysterious stranger, Michael is forced to uncover the identity of a hidden passenger on his train before the last stop. As he works against the clock to solve the puzzle, he realizes a deadly plan is unfolding and is unwittingly caught up in a criminal conspiracy. One that carries life and death stakes, for himself and his fellow passengers."

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3.  National Kiss a Ginger Day
If there's a red head in your life, today's the day to smack a big kiss on them because it's Kiss a Ginger Day.  If you could pick any red head to kiss, who would you pick?  Mine would definitely be Ed Sheeran.  Yes -- definitely Ed.

Kiss a Ginger Day - January 12

4.  Arla Cream Cheese Spread
Last week at the grocery store I grabbed a tub of this Arla Herbs & Spices Cream Cheese Spread and took it to work to have on my morning bagel.  OMG -- it's fabulous.  They describe it as, "Herbs & Spices Cream Cheese brings a tasty burst of flavor to the classic cream cheese experience. The natural blend of onions, paprika, dill and garlic are the perfect complement to a whole-wheat bagel or crackers for a savory breakfast, wholesome snack or naturally delicious lunch."  I describe it as YUM!
                              Herbs & Spices

5.  Christmas present notice...

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Hope your weekend is wonderful!  I'm headed to Kansas City to celebrate a friend's birthday and meet with a couple to potentially work on their wedding.  Talking wedding and partying with friends - sounds like the perfect day to me!!  Hope the weather allows all that to happen!  I'll be back next week to fill you in on the details.

Side note -- thanks to everyone who linked up on Thinking Out Loud Thursday!  I'm excited to see some new faces linking up and hope to see even more this Thursday.

Linking up with:
The Blended Blog
This post contained affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase.  Thanks

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Friday Favorites - January 12, 2018

We've made it to Friday!  It really felt like the holidays were over this week.  Now if only all my Christmas decorations were put away! 

We have some fabulous features for you today.  Check them out!

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!

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - January 11, 2018

Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday!  Hope you join the fun by linking your post below and sharing what you are thinking out loud about today.

It's been fun seeing everyone's goals, resolutions and word of the year for 2018.  Did you make any resolutions?  Have you broken them yet?!?

I for one just love a new year!  It's like a fresh new start, a clean slate.  And I love some good motivational quotes too!  That's what I'm thinking out loud about today.  Let me share some of my favorites ~

Motivational Copper Wall art / You will be exactly as happy as
Quotes Of The Day - 14 Pics

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LARGE A3 Copper Foil Print Kindness is free by PeppaPennyPrints
What are some quotes that keep you motivated?  

Now it's your turn.  Link up and share what you're thinking out loud about!

Enjoy more Thoughts for Thursday at: