Penny's Passion: November 2020

Sunday, November 29, 2020

2020 Gift Guide for Tea Lovers

Over the last few years, I've come to love relaxing with a cup of hot tea.  If you have a tea lover in your life, here are a few items they might love getting as gifts ~

1   |   2   |   3   |   4   |   5   |   6   |   7   |   8   |   9

1.  Sips by Subscription Box
Every month I get a Sips By box with four sample teas.  It seems every month I'm finding a new favorite!  This is my number one gift for a tea lover!  You can gift them any monthly increment that suits your budget, starting at just $15.  The recipient will fill out a survey identifying the types of teas they like and Sips by will create a box specifically for them.  I have mine delivered to work and it's such a fun surprise when it appears in the mail.  Then I have 15 cups of tea to enjoy before the next month's box arrives.  Check them out HERE.

2.  Tea Warmer
It's not always easy to finish your cup of tea (or coffee) before it goes cold.  This warmer will keep your beverage hot and just as delicious as the first sip.  The best part - it automatically shuts off after 4 continuous hours so you don't have to worry if you forget to turn it off!

A gift of Ahmed's tea sampler would give the recipient 60 samples of their popular flavors.  The sample pack contains 2 bags of 30 flavors.  Their packaging is so pretty!  The price point for this sampler is $11.99.  It would be perfect to gift to a neighbor or great aunt you just want to give a little something to.

What do you do with your tea bag after it has steeped in the hot water?  You rest it on this adorable tea bag rest!  This particular rest comes with a cute spoon too, making it twice as nice!

5.  Tea Steeper and Pot
Eric and I each have our own one of these and love them!  You put your leaves in, add hot water and let them steep. When your tea is ready, just push down over your cup and the tea is dispensed from the bottom of the steeper into your cup.  Many leaves allow for more than one steeping, so you can just leave them in the steeper and it's ready to go again.  

This is the Cadillac of gifts!  A few years ago we installed a hot water dispenser on our sink and it's been the best thing ever!  Your water is always hot and ready to make your perfect cup of tea.  Beyond tea making, we love it to start our water for boiling pasta and helping clean off that baked cheese in your dish.  You would love it!

What a fun way to add honey to your hot tea!  Use these little honey spoons to stir the flavor right into your cup.  They also come in lavender and blueberry.  You could get all three and give as a set!

This book is just lovely!  Any tea lover would enjoy perusing through the pages.  Here's the summary from Amazon ~

Divided into four enticing sections, this exquisitely photographed volume offers page after page of ideas for making teatime an unforgettable experience. Begin by learning the essentials, from differentiating the various types of tea to learning the “tools of the tray” and how to brew the perfect pot. Recipes for classic scones and the traditional accompaniments, such as lemon curd and clotted cream, are also included. The Celebrations chapter is filled with inspiration, tips, and recipes for planning special occasions, whether it’s a summertime gathering with butterfly-adorned china and a menu that includes delicate lavender cream scones or an outdoor setting to celebrate Mother’s Day, where roses―both botanical and edible―are the order of the day.

Since presentation is such an important part of any event, readers will discover a treasure trove of brilliant ways for creating the perfect tea affair from start to finish. With a basic “tea primer” leading off this section, the visual journey continues with beautiful linens, china, silver, and floral arrangements before addressing the details―those grace notes that make all the difference in a tableau. And for journeys of a different kind, the spotlight shines on some of the editors’ favorite tea destinations, both stateside and abroad. Among the featured venues are the gilded grandeur of San Francisco’s Palace Hotel and the history-steeped environs of The Williamsburg Inn in Virginia and Washington, D.C.’s Willard Hotel. For those whose adventures go beyond America’s borders, they’ll add The Empress in Canada, Ashford Castle in Ireland, and Bettys CafĂ© Tea Rooms in England to their must-visit lists.

Beautifully bound and pure pleasure to peruse, Victoria The Art of Tea is the go-to guide for all facets of tea entertaining.

This beautiful magazine is the sourcebook for all who love tea!  It six issues per year offers recipes, stories, and talk of tea.  I've been getting it for years and look forward to each issue.  Get information about giving a gift subscription HERE.

Hope these ideas help you with the tea lovers in your life.  If you're looking for book lover ideas, check out my ideas HERE.  

Friday, November 27, 2020

Five on Friday - November 27, 2020

Happy Friday!  Are you still in a turkey coma from yesterday?  I'm so glad we have a couple days to recover before going back to work!

Today is a special day - it's my mom's birthday!  Happy birthday, Mom!  In a normal year, we would be out shopping together today.  We'll just have to make up for it once covid is behind us.

Now let's get to my five for today ~

1.  Funfetti Baking Kits
Ready to do some holiday baking with the kiddos?  Pillsbury has you covered!  They have two adorable kits available for your baking pleasure.  Each kit comes complete with the cookie mix, three cookie cutters, frosting, sprinkles, a pastry bag, and a recipe book.  Best of all, each kit also comes with two Pillsbury Doughboy hats to wear while you're whipping up your creation!  Sounds like a great holiday activity!

2.  Season Two of Virgin River
I'm so excited to have Season Two of Virgin River to watch this weekend!  Netflix is releasing the 10 episode season today.  If you have seen Season One, it's worth a watch.  Here's the synopsis ~
Virgin River follows Melinda "Mel" Monroe, who answers an ad to work as a midwife and nurse practitioner in the remote California town of Virgin River, thinking it will be the perfect place to start fresh and leave her painful memories behind.

3.  Frontier Follies
Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, has a new book out and it sounds delightful! Here's the summary from Amazon ~

A down-to-earth, hilarious collection of stories and musings on marriage, motherhood, and country life from the #1 New York Times bestselling author and star of the Food Network show The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond.

In this relatable, charming book, Ree unveils real goings-on in the Drummond house and around the ranch. In stories brimming with the lively wit and humor found in her cookbooks and her bestselling love story, The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, Ree pulls back the curtain and shares her experiences with childbirth, wildlife, isolation, teenagers, in-laws, and a twenty-five-year marriage to a cowboy/rancher.

A celebration of family life, love, and (mostly) laughter, Frontier Follies is a keepsake to curl up with, have a good laugh, and remember all that’s wonderful (and funny) about family.

4.  Dab-N-Seal Envelope Moistener
Are you planning on sending out holiday cards this year?  The part I despise most about the entire job is sealing the envelopes.  No way do I want to lick them!  Each bottle is good for approximately 1,500 envelopes.  These are great for any occasion where envelopes are involved - think weddings, showers, thank you notes.  At $5.50 for a 4-pack, it's a great investment!

5.  How true is this...

Enjoy the rest of the Thanksgiving weekend!  We really don't have anything much going on.  There's one deal on a treadmill I'm hoping to catch.  I do plan on spending some time organizing my thoughts and figuring out what gifts still need to be purchased for Christmas.  Be sure to visit my Instagram page on Monday because I'm participating in a HUGE giveaway!  See you soon!

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Friday Favorites Linky Party - November 27, 2020

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

Amy at A Day of Small Things - Pin

Penny at Penny's Passion - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

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, November 25, 2020

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving!  If you stopping by for Thinking Out Loud, thank you.  My post is going to be short, but feel free to link up and share what's on your mind today.

Today, like many of you, I'm feeling a bit sad that our whole family isn't gathering together for  Thanksgiving.  Eric and I are lucky to have our son and daughter-in-law close and we will be celebrating with them.  For that, we are extremely thankful.  I continuously remind myself that this is temporary and soon we will be able to hug our friends and family again.

Thank you so much for reading my blog and returning, again and again, to see what I'm sharing.  I appreciate you!  Hope whatever you are doing this Thanksgiving, you find ways to make it special and meaningful.

Now it's your turn.  What are you thinking out loud about today?  Link up and share!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop - November 25, 2020


Welcome to the Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop!  Glad you are joining us.  As we prepare for Thanksgiving, we would like to take a moment to say how thankful we are for you.  We appreciate you stopping by each week and participating in the blog hop.  Before we start our main event, let's take a look at our features from last week's party!

Top Viewed

Very Popular

And, now, let's get this party started! We would love it if you would invite your followers to join us. When you do, remember to use the hashtag #WWBlogHop! 













Be sure to grab our Specially Featured button if your post was featured this week to show off on your blog or sidebar!  

Featured Button

  Please TWEET our party ♥
  • Add as many of your family-friendly posts as you would like to. No Etsy shops, adult sites, or blog parties, please.
  • Visit others. Let them know you stopped by!
  • If you are NEW to Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop, let us know in the comments so that we can follow you back. ♥ Help us find your posts – tell us the title.
  • NOTE: party entries appear in REVERSE. i.e. the most recent entry goes to the top! That way all of our guests will have a really good chance to be seen no matter when they arrive.
  • Thanks! ♥

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Let's Make Cheesecake

This year for Eric's birthday he chose my cheesecake over a store-bought cake.  I was thrilled to whip one up for him!  In all the birthday dinner preparations, I didn't get a lot of great pictures of the cheesecake.  But I decided it tasted so good, that sharing the recipe without perfect pictures was the best thing to do.  

This recipe has three parts:  crust, filling, and topping.  DISCLAIMER:  This cheesecake needs to sit in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight, so plan ahead!  Let's start with the crust.  

Here's What You Need
1-1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

Here's What You Do
Combine the crushed graham crackers and sugar.  Pour in the melted butter and stir up.  Press into an 8" springform pan.

Preheat the over to 350 degrees.

Next, mix up the filling.  

Here's What You Need
3 8oz. packages cream cheese, softened
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
8 Tablespoons milk

Here's What You Do
Mix together the sugar and eggs.  In a separate bowl, mix cream cheese and milk.  Combine the two and beat until smooth.

Pour the mixture on top of the crust and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and fifteen minutes.  About 45 minutes into the baking, make the topping.

Here's What You Need
1 pint sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Here's What You Do
Combine three ingredients and mix with a mixer until well blended.

When the cheesecake is done, remove it from the oven.  Cool for 5 minutes.  Turn the oven down to 300 degrees.  Pour the topping on the cheesecake and return to oven for 5 minutes.  

Remove and immediately store in the refrigerator overnight.  When you're ready to serve, run a knife around the edge and release the springform pan side.  Slice and serve!

If you would like a printable version, click HERE.  This recipe has really become a family favorite.  Hope your family loves it too!

Friday, November 20, 2020

Five on Friday - November 20, 2020

Woo Hoo - it's Friday!  This has been a short work week for me, but I'm still pretty darn excited that weekend it here.  Let's get right to the five for today ~

1.  Turkey Information
Turkey Day is approaching!  Have you bought your bird yet for Thanksgiving?  Our Thanksgiving is definitely a lot smaller than usual this year thanks to covid, but we are still going to have turkey and all the traditional sides.  It's sad enough that I won't be seeing my family.  I can't let the day go by without having our Thanksgiving favorites to eat!  If your turkey is 20-24 pounds, you'll need to get that big boy in the refrigerator to thaw starting today.  The below graphics should help with the serving size, thawing time, and roasting time.  

2.  Christmas Chronicles 2
Netflix is bringing us Christmas Chronicles 2 starting Thanksgiving Eve (Wednesday, November 25).  The summary is short and sweet, "Teenager Kate Pierce is reunited with Santa Claus when a troublemaker threatens to cancel Christmas -- forever."  We really enjoyed the first Christmas Chronicles, so I'm looking forward to lighting a fire, making some hot chocolate, and curling up on the couch to watch this one!

Yesterday I shared some fun gift-giving ideas for book lovers (HERE) and I have another idea today.  Look at this Book Lover magnetic poetry kit!  You could use this box of words to leave all kinds of notes for your family on the refrigerator.  Over 200 words come inside the box for you to craft the perfect message.  If the Book Lover set isn't your jam, Magnetic Poetry has 100 different sets like Psycho KittyHappiness Kit, and Kindness Kit.  

Michael J. Fox has a new book coming out on Tuesday.  He is such an inspiration!  Here's the summary from Amazon ~
The entire world knows Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, the teenage sidekick of Doc Brown in Back to the Future; as Alex P. Keaton in Family Ties; as Mike Flaherty in Spin City; and through numerous other movie roles and guest appearances on shows such as The Good Wife and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Diagnosed at age 29, Michael is equally engaged in Parkinson’s advocacy work, raising global awareness of the disease and helping find a cure through The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, the world’s leading non-profit funder of PD science. His two previous bestselling memoirs, Lucky Man and Always Looking Up, dealt with how he came to terms with the illness, all the while exhibiting his iconic optimism. His new memoir reassesses this outlook, as events in the past decade presented additional challenges.

In No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality, Michael shares personal stories and observations about illness and health, aging, the strength of family and friends, and how our perceptions about time affect the way we approach mortality. Thoughtful and moving, but with Fox’s trademark sense of humor, his book provides a vehicle for reflection about our lives, our loves, and our losses.

Running through the narrative is the drama of the medical madness Fox recently experienced, that included his daily negotiations with the Parkinson’s disease he’s had since 1991, and a spinal cord issue that necessitated immediate surgery. His challenge to learn how to walk again, only to suffer a devastating fall, nearly caused him to ditch his trademark optimism and “get out of the lemonade business altogether.”

Does he make it all of the way back? Read the book.

5.  Have you been tested.....

Hope you have a great weekend!  We are going to be regrouping and unpacking from our trip.  We are also going to be dragging out the Christmas tubs in preparations for the decorating to begin!  What's on your agenda for the weekend?  Whatever it is, I hope you have a good time doing it.  See you back here next week!

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Friday Favorites Linky Party - November 20, 2020

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

Amy at A Day of Small Things - Pin

Penny at Penny's Passion - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

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, November 18, 2020

Book Lover Gift Ideas

Happy Thursday!  Glad you popped in for Thinking Out Loud Thursday where I share something I'm thinking about and you can link up and share what's on your mind.

We are back from our little getaway and I've got Christmas gift-giving on my mind.  One of my favorite things to give family and friends is books.  Sometimes it's fun to add something to your book selection or put an entire basket together with fun book-related items.  Here are a few of my favorites ~

The Jane Austin fans in your life will love these coasters.  The set of 6 has a permanent matte finish and can be spot cleaned with mild detergent.

You know that special blend of teak-wood, cedar, and sandalwood that makes you think you're standing in the middle of a library?  Get it with this candle!  The burn time is approximately 45 hours, is hand-poured in the USA, and is made with natural American soy wax.

Remember last winter when puzzles were the thing?  Well, winter is returning and the book lover in your life might love this bookshelf puzzle.  The 1000 pieces will keep both adults and kids entertained for hours.

4.  T-shirt
Nothing screams book lover than having it on a t-shirt.  This one is adorable!

Magnetic bookmarks are my favorite!  I have several sets and always find ways to use them.  Fun to give as a set or break up for many smaller gifts.  

You'll always know which book is yours when you use this embosser to label your books.  I've gifted this personalized embosser to several people and it's always a big hit!

Keep track of all the books you read in this handy journal.  The notebook is complete with prompted pages that will guide you to capture the things that really matter.  

This sleep-friendly light to perfect for using before bedtime by encouraging the production of melatonin and reducing eye strain.  It's also lightweight, portable, and travel friendly.  

Hope these help with your gift-giving to the book lovers in your life.  I know I would love any one of these things!

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

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter