Penny's Passion: 2021

Friday, July 30, 2021

Five on Friday - July 30, 2021

Happy Friday friends!  We have had an absolute blast with our five-year-old niece and nephew this week!  We drove to their house on Tuesday night, scooped them up and they have been at our house ever since.  We have had super-hot temperatures outside, but they have been troopers with all our outdoor plans.  My five today is larger focused on things for the kiddos ~

1.  Jungle Cruise
Thank you Disney for releasing a movie the same week we have little ones visiting!  It will be a perfect activity for us to do!  Jungle Cruise releases today and we are planning on catching it before we deliver the kids back home on Sunday.  Here's the summary from Disney ~
Join fan favorites Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt for the adventure of a lifetime on Disney’s Jungle Cruise, a rollicking thrill-ride down the Amazon with wisecracking skipper Frank Wolff and intrepid researcher Dr. Lily Houghton. Lily travels from London, England to the Amazon jungle and enlists Frank’s questionable services to guide her downriver on La Quila—his ramshackle-but-charming boat. Lily is determined to uncover an ancient tree with unparalleled healing abilities—possessing the power to change the future of medicine. Thrust on this epic quest together, the unlikely duo encounters innumerable dangers and supernatural forces, all lurking in the deceptive beauty of the lush rainforest. But as the secrets of the lost tree unfold, the stakes reach even higher for Lily and Frank and their fate—and mankind’s—hangs in the balance.

These alphabet cutters may be popular for all the fondant fans, but I've been using them this week to cut the kid's names out of cheese.  They love it!  It's a fun way to learn letters and spelling.  The cutters will work on anything that is rolled to a thickness less than 5mm.  I just might try tiny cookies next!


I wanted to make sure to have plenty of hair bows on hand for our niece's visit, so I ordered this set of 40 in a rainbow of colors.  The package contains two each of twenty colors.  Each bow is attached to an alligator clip and all the ends have been heat-sealed so they won't fray.  They've worked great this week for the ponytails my niece has been sporting.



4.  Fish Food
I don't know why I haven't done this before, but we picked up a bag of pond pellets at Walmart to feed the fish in the ponds in our neighborhood.  We fill a cup for each kid and walk to the pond after dinner.  They get such a kick out of seeing the fish swarm to the food!  I've learned that feeding fish bread isn't good for them because it contains gluten and yeast, things fish can't digest.  Fun, inexpensive activity!
5.  Time has changed things at the Olympics...


We have a couple more days of fun with the kids, then we'll be delivering them back to their parents.  Eric and I might need a vacation after this week!  Pop in next week for the recap!

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Friday Favorites Linky Party - July 30, 2021

Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:

Jerri at Simply Sweet Home - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

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Jennifer at Busy Being Jennifer - Twitter | FB | Pin | Inst

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You can show your love for this week's favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!

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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Kids Come to Visit

Hello there!  Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday where I talk about something I'm thinking out loud about and invite you to link up and do the same.

Today I'm thinking about the current situation happening at our house - our five-year-old niece and nephew are visiting for a few days.  I have been anxiously awaiting their visit for the last couple of weeks and am thrilled that it's finally here!  Our house has a completely different feel and I'm going to soak up every minute of the giggles, the messes, and all the craziness that two five-year-olds bring.


We kicked off their first breakfast by making rainbow waffles.  It did take a bit more effort to mix all the colors into the batter, but it was so worth it!



I'm so grateful for the chalkboard tablecloth a friend gave me years ago!  It's spread across the kitchen table and the kids love drawing on it while I'm cooking.  It's a great way to have them in the same room with me when I'm working on getting a meal prepared.  If you don't have one of these babies, I highly recommend adding one to your belongings.  


Another thing we are enjoying is playing Connect 4.  I had kind of forgotten how fun that game was to play with the kiddos.  Liam brought his from home and we've played numerous games already in their short time here.   


We braved the heatwave today and visited Grant's Farm.  Tomorrow is the Zoo.  The kids were troupers today and I suspect they will be tomorrow too.   Regardless of the weather, I'm loving making memories with them and will be thinking about it for years to come!

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


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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop - July 28, 2021

Join this week’s blog hop to find inspiration from dozens of bloggers for all things home and family including crafts, decor, DIY, fashion, recipes, fitness, gardening, travel, home improvement, and so much more!

Friday, July 23, 2021

Five on Friday - July 23, 2021

Happy Friday!  Glad we've made it to the weekend.  We are ready to spend a couple days at home.  But before we start that, let's look at my five for today ~

1.  Ted Lasso - Season 2
It's back!  Ted Lasso is back starting today for Season 2.  If you didn't watch the first season, add it to your list!  This show is full of laughs mixed with life lessons.  Jason Sudeikis is perfect for his role as Ted and the supporting staff is amazing.  I can't wait to get home from work and see what Season 2 has for us.
  

2.  2021 Tokyo Olympics
Let the games begin!  I absolutely love watching the Olympics.  I'm fully expecting to spend a lot of time in front of the television between today and August 8 soaking up sports we never watch except for the Olympics (hello ribbon twirling).  And what about those new events in surfing and skateboarding.  What are your favorite events?


3.  National Hot Fudge Sundae Day
Sunday is a day I can definitely get behind - National Hot Fudge Sundae Day!  I'm adding the fixings to my grocery list now so I'll be ready to scoop up hot fudge sundaes to pay tribute to this special day.  Don't forget the whipped cream and cherries for the top!


4.  Echo Dot
Have you seen the new echo dots covered in Diane von Furstenberg's designs?  They are adorable!  They would make a perfect gift for the kiddo headed off to college.  They come in three new designs and are worth taking a look at.  Even though we currently have three dots in our house, I'm looking at these new ones thinking we just might need another one.  

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5.  Thoughts...


Hope you have a wonderful weekend!  I'm so excited about next week.  I'm picking up my niece and nephew and they will be spending a few days at our house.  Lots of planning is going to be taking place this weekend to ensure their visit is a blast!  My daughter-in-law and I are going to a pop-up jewelry sale tomorrow and then out to lunch.  Always love spending time with her!  Hope to see you back next week for the recap!

Linking up with:

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Friday Favorites Linky Party - July 23, 2021

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, July 21, 2021

Gideon's Bakehouse Review

Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday!  Today I'm still basking in the memories of our trip to Disney and am sharing a review on Gideon's Bakehouse. 


Have you heard of Gideon's Bakehouse?  In case you haven't, it's a dessert shop that's famous for apparently having the best cookies in Florida.  The shop also serves up cake and a few drinks.  When we started planning our trip and looking into the array of food options, this "Gideon's" kept popping up and people were saying how hard it was to get in.  Well, if you know me, that sounded like a challenge and I wanted in!

A little background - Gideon's Bakehouse is located in Disney Springs.  They held their grand opening on January 16, 2021.  From the information I found before visiting, I was prepared for the lines to get in to be LONG.  Currently, they are using a virtual queue.  Our experience was very smooth and didn't take as long as I had expected.  We arrived at Disney Springs around 10:45 am and walked immediately to Gideon's to put our name in the virtual queue.  There's a person by the front door taking names and you'll get a text when you're signed up.

Eric's favorite spot is the Ghirardelli ice cream store, so we meandered in that direction once we were in the queue and had a mid-morning ice cream snack.  It wasn't long before we got a text saying we could join the outside line to get in Gideon's.

When we arrived, there were about 50 people in line outside and we joined them.  You are given a menu of what you'll find inside.


The menu was adorable and will probably be in my drawer at home for longer than a normal person would keep it.  (Does anyone else have a hoarding problem?)  It did allow us to make our selections before actually entering the shop.  From the time we put our name in the virtual queue to the time we walked out with our cookies was a little over an hour.  And thirty minutes of that time we were walking around doing other things.  Not bad!



Once inside, you will be in awe!  Every space on the walls is covered with adorable Harry Potter-like decorations.  The lights are dim and the mood is on the haunted side.  






The cookies and cakes are beautiful!  We bought cookies to take home, but if we haven't just filled up on ice cream I definitely would have tried a piece of cake.



We were flying home the evening we made our purchase and I was excited to bring some cookies home to our son and daughter-in-law.  Both love cookies and had read about the prestige of getting into Gideon's.  I was out to impress them!  


The box carrying our cookies fit snuggly into my carry-on bag.  They traveled with us on the plane and reached home in perfect condition.


Now for the review:  We bought 5 total cookies at $6 each.  Eric chose the Pistachio Toffee.  I had the Peanut Butter Crunch.  Ian and Kayla got the Cookies & Cream, Original Chocolate Chip, and Coffee Cake.  Eric and I both thought they were just okay.  Ian and Kayla both thought they were fabulous - especially the chocolate chip and coffee cake.  

Would we go again - heck yes, if the virtual queue was being used and the wait wasn't longer than the time we would be at Disney Springs anyway.  I am so glad we did it this time just to experience the whole situation.  

Have you been to Gideon's Bakehouse?  What did you think?

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


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Click here to enter

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop - July 21, 2021

Join this week’s blog hop to find inspiration from dozens of bloggers for all things home and family including crafts, decor, DIY, fashion, recipes, fitness, gardening, travel, home improvement, and so much more!

Monday, July 19, 2021

Weekending - July 16, 2021

Weekends go by so fast, and this past one is no exception.  I love that things are starting to feel more back to normal.  We were out and about quite a bit this weekend.  Here's the breakdown ~

Friday night we met up with our friends and attended a live music event.  We started the evening by doing a little tailgating.  Then we saw a Rolling Stones tribute band, Street Fighting Band, play the inaugural concert at a new music venue in St. Louis.  The lead singer had Mick Jaguar's struts perfected and they were so fun to see!



On Saturday one of my friends busted out her blow-up pool and we spent the day staying cool lounging in the water catching up.  It was glorious!  Who knew for two years running a blow-up pool would bring so much joy into my life.  


We had our son and daughter-in-law over for breakfast on Sunday.  It gave me a great perfect reason to set a pretty table and pull out the waffle iron.  


After breakfast, we decided to go see the sunflowers at Eckert's.  While we were there, we picked a few peaches too.  It was a fun, spontaneous outing.



The sunflower field was beautiful!  There's something about having that many sunflowers in one place that's spectacular.  


We wandered into their new area serving cider.  Trying a flight was the perfect Sunday Funday thing to do!


Later in the day, Eric and I stopped by the location one of our favorite food trucks was hanging out and grabbed dinner.  Truckeria Del Valle serves up the best street tacos!  


Weekends are so fun!  I'm already looking forward to the next one.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Five on Friday - July 16, 2021

We've made it to Friday!  The week after vacation is always a crazy busy one for me with trying to get caught up at work and at home.  But we've made it through and now have a weekend to regroup!  Let's start with my five for today ~

1.  National Ice Cream Day
Get the ice cream ready for Sunday - it's National Ice Cream Day!  Not that we need much of a reason to get ice cream around here, but it will be a fun day to celebrate.  I'm planning on making a batch of homemade for us to enjoy.  Our Cuisinart ice cream maker makes whipping up a batch the easiest thing ever!  


2.  It's Better This Way
In case you're looking for your next good read, here's a suggestion.  Debbie Macomber's new book, It's Better This Way, came out this week and is ready for you to enjoy.  Here's the summary from Amazon ~
After her marriage ends, one woman’s struggle to pick up the pieces finally leads to a new beginning but is the past truly behind her? #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber explores the powerful intersections of love and family in this poignant novel.

It’s been nearly six years since Julia Jones had her heart broken. After her husband became involved with another woman, she did everything she could to save their marriage, to no avail. Their two daughters continue to stand by Julia in the wake of their father’s behavior—and they’ve had a tough time getting along with the “other woman” who became their stepmother. Distraught after selling the family home, Julia moves into a condominium complex that offers the warmth and charm of a fresh start. Now, having settled into her new community and sold her successful interior design business, she’s embraced a fulfilling new life, one that doesn’t seem to need a man in it. Her beloved father’s trusty saying is ringing truer than ever: It’s better this way.

But when Julia meets a handsome new resident in the building’s exercise room, she can’t help but be drawn to him. Heath Johnson is a welcome change from the men she’s encountered on the occasional—mostly disastrous—dates her sister has eagerly planned for her over the years. As she and Heath, a divorcĂ© himself, begin to grow close, their friendship blossoms into an unexpected love. However, they soon realize that combining families proves to be a challenge, even though their four children are adults.

When a dramatic revelation threatens the happiness they’ve found, Julia and Heath must reconcile their love for their children with their love for each other. If they can’t, their bright future together may be nothing but a dream.

3.  Sob Rock
The wait for new music from John Mayer is over!  His new album, Sob Rock, is out today.  What's John been up to?  I read in Rolling Stone that since 2015, he has been performing as part of the Grateful Dead supergroup Dead & Company.  You might have seen him at this year's Grammy Awards playing guitar for Maren Morri's song "The Bones".  Can't wait to take a listen to his new album!


4.  Ginny & Georgia
Last weekend I accidentally binge-watched the entire season of Ginny & Georgia.  I feel I'm late to the game on this one.  Have you seen it?  We got sucked in and just didn't want to stop watching.  Netflix describes it as, "Free-spirited Georgia and her two kids, Ginny and Austin, move north in search of a fresh start but find that the road to new beginnings can be bumpy."  If you're looking for something new to watch, give it a try.  Then let me know what you think of it!


5.  I'm getting old...


Tonight we're going to a real, live concert and I'm downright giddy about it!  We're seeing the Rolling Stones tribute band Streetfighter.  It's in a new outdoor venue and I'm counting the minutes until the lights go down and the concert starts.  Hope you have something you're looking forward to doing this weekend!

Linking up with:

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Friday Favorites Linky Party - July 16, 2021

 

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!

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop - July 14, 2021

 Join this week’s blog hop to find inspiration from dozens of bloggers for all things home and family including crafts, decor, DIY, fashion, recipes, fitness, gardening, travel, home improvement, and so much more!

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Games to Play with Your Kids While You're Waiting in Line

We are just returning from our vacation at Disney World and there are so many thoughts running through my mind.  We had a blast!  After all the magic, you leave with so many happy memories!


Eric and I met our 30-year-old son Ian and his wife at Disney.  They left after a few days and Eric and I finished off the week alone.  Two adults running wild amongst all the pixie dust.  As you can imagine, Disney was full of families with kids.  The lines were long and it amazed me when I glanced around how few parents were actually interacting with their kids.  


Flashbacks of when Ian was little came rushing back and so did the memories of us playing all kinds of games while we waited in the line.  Some lines can be over an hour wait and that's prime bonding time with your little ones.  Need to put some tools in your arsenal?  Here are a few fun go tos ~

Paper, Scissors, Rock
You know this classic - paper covers rock, rock crushes scissors, scissors cut paper.  Ian and I spent hours playing this one in line.  We would see who got the best out of 10, then start all over.  Hours of fun!



Alphabet Game
Pick a topic, like animals.  Each person names an animal that starts with the next letter of the alphabet also naming all the ones named before it.  For example - I say Antelope.  Then the next person says Antelope and Beaver.  See if you can make it through all 26 letters of the alphabet.  This one can be played with as many people as you have in your group.  

Buzz
This one is great for the little bit older kiddos.  Pick a number.  Then each person takes a turn counting.  The trick is to replace the multiple of the number you picked with the word buzz.  For example - the number picked is 5.  So every multiple of 5, replace with the word buzz.  I say 1, next person says 2, next person says 3, next one says 4 and then the next person says BUZZ.  You say BUZZ at 10, 15, 20, etc.  The game starts over when someone forgets to say BUZZ at the right time.  

Mirror, mirror
One person makes a face and everyone else has to mimic that face.  Try to play this and not laugh!  

Hope these ideas help you not only connect with your family but also help that time standing in line tick away like the speed of sound.