Penny's Passion: February 2022

Monday, February 28, 2022

Friends' Weekend

This weekend was the best!  On Friday, four of my friends from Kansas City traveled across the state to spend the weekend having fun with me.  Thank heavens the weather cooperated.  The snow and ice fell a little earlier in the week, so it didn't disrupt our plans.  Here's how it went down ~

Friday was full of anticipation for the arrival of my friends.  Since I'm such a procrastinator, I had plenty to keep me busy getting ready for houseguests.  When they arrived, I wanted to have a few snacks out because dinner was going to be a little later.  

I found someone very near our house that makes decorated cookies.  She had posted a picture of her Mardi Gras cookies on Facebook and I immediately placed an order for the weekend.  How adorable are these!?!  They were perfect to have around for snacks throughout my friends' visit.

After everyone arrived and was settled, we dug into the snacks and tried a new drink I'd picked up at Sam's.  I have no idea if these are new or just new to me, but they are going to be showing up at my house a lot!  They were delicious!

Friday night our dinner location was The Fountain on Locust.  This is one of my favorite spots in St. Louis.  Half our group had been there before and were happy to be going back.  The ones that hadn't been were delighted with the choice.  You can find the most delicious dill pickle soup on their menu!  They are also known for the boozy desserts.  

The atmosphere is fun and artistic.  Pair that with their delicious food and drinks and it makes for a great spot to dine.

Saturday morning we all woke up at our leisure and had breakfast before landing at our first adventure for the day.  We had booked a 90-minute lane at The Ax Company!  This was the first time we had thrown axes and it was really fun!  

We had to sign waivers before the axes started flying.  The attendant went over the rules and gave us a few pointers on throwing.  

Don't we look like a crew of bad ass ax throwers!

I'll be honest, we threw for quite a while before anyone's ax actually stuck in the wall.  I got the first one to stick, but eventually everyone caught on and started accumulating points.

Clearly some of us were way better than others!  My first stick ended up just being beginner's luck.  Regardless, it was a fun experience and one I'd definitely do again.

From there, we did a little retail therapy then headed for someplace to get a snack.  I've been wanting to take everyone to Boarding House Bistro since first going there and Saturday was my chance.  

This place makes the most adorable charcuterie boards!  We didn't want to have a heavy lunch since we would be eating an early dinner, so this afternoon snack was perfect.  

And of course everyone was ready for a cocktail too!  My bourbon-drinking friends all had bourbon flights while I enjoyed a cocktail.

What's brilliant about Board House Bistro is while you can enjoy dining in, you can also get boards and alcohol to go.  They have quite the selection of both liquor and wine.

Time got away from us a bit and we had to rush home, change clothes and hop back in the car to get to our dinner reservations.  Saturday night we were seeing Mean Girls at the Fox Theater and had reservations at a restaurant in the Fox.  I love eating there because you beat the traffic and are there in plenty of time for the start of the show.  Oh, and the food is delicious!

The Fox Theater is a beautiful venue to watch a show.  If you're ever looking for something to do in St. Louis they also offer tours of the building.  

We saved having dessert until intermission.  Delicious!  I think my sundae was big enough to feed half the audience!

Sunday morning we again had a leisurely breakfast around the dining room table and shared stories.  I just love spending time with good friends!  The whole time with them was fun.  We shared stories, recipes, books and tv shows.  It's so good for the soul.  

We ended the time together by popping in one of our favorite stores - Fezziwig's.  When everyone leaves, I'm usually a little sad.  This time we planned another get together so I have that to look forward to!  

Eric and I spent the rest of the day watching television while finishing a puzzle we had started.  Have you seen The Afterparty?  It cracked us up!  Seriously, during one scene I laughed until I cried.  

Now it's back to reality and time to get to work.  My heart feels happy though because the weekend was so wonderful!  Being with friends is just the best and I'm so very lucky to have fun people to share laughs with.  Happy Monday!

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Five on Friday - February 25, 2022

Happy Friday friends!  I'm counting the hours until my friends arrive to start our girls' weekend.  To say I'm excited would be an understatement!  Before the fun begins, let me share my five for this week ~

1.  Inventing Anna
Last weekend we started a new puzzle and while we were fitting all the pieces together, we started watching Inventing Anna.  It's another creation from Shondaland and we are loving it.  I didn't quite binge the entire series, but I'm close.  Julia Garner (I knew her from Ozark) is great as the leading lady.  Have you seen it?  Thoughts?

The author of the bestseller book The Guest List, Lucy Folley, has a new book out.  The Paris Apartment hit the stands this week and is getting great reviews.  Some are saying it's a lot like the show Only Murders in the Building.  Here's the summary from Amazon ~
Jess needs a fresh start. She’s broke and alone, and she’s just left her job under less than ideal circumstances. Her half-brother Ben didn’t sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn’t say no, and surely everything will look better from Paris. Only when she shows up – to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this? – he’s not there.

The longer Ben stays missing, the more Jess starts to dig into her brother’s situation, and the more questions she has. Ben’s neighbors are an eclectic bunch, and not particularly friendly. Jess may have come to Paris to escape her past, but it’s starting to look like it’s Ben’s future that’s in question.

The socialite – The nice guy – The alcoholic – The girl on the verge – The concierge

Everyone's a neighbor. Everyone's a suspect. And everyone knows something they’re not telling.

Eric got me a new pair of slippers for Valentine's Day and they've barely left my feet!  They are so warm and comfy!  The memory foam soles make it seem like you are walking on pillows.  I didn't realize how bad my old slippers were until I slipped these new ones on my feet.  

4.  National Clam Chowder Day
Today is National Clam Chowder Day!  How appropriate is it that on this cold winter day you can warm up with a big bowl of chowder?  My favorite clam chowder recipe can be found HERE.  Whip up a batch to celebrate!

5.  When will Spring be here???

Now let's get this weekend started!  I have a list a mile long of things I hope to accomplish before my friends arrive.  We've got so many fun things planned!  Pop in next week to see what they are.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Mardi Gras Tablescape

Mardi Gras is right around the corner and this year I decided to honor the holiday with a tablescape to celebrate!  That's what I'm thinking out loud about today!

Mardi Gras occurs every year the day before Ash Wednesday.  This year that falls on March 1.  The first thing I did when I decided to decorate was called my friend Carol to solicit her help.  And boy, did she come through!  

Carol created the dining room centerpiece and the decorations on the light using the colors we've come to know as those that represent Mardi Gras - purple, green, and gold.  Purple symbolizes justice, green reflects faith, and gold represents power.

I scoured Amazon looking for accents and found purple placemats and napkins with a fleur dis design. 

A few months ago, I bought the gold-accented china on Facebook Marketplace.  They are perfect for this tablescape!  I think when I bought them, Eric wondered if I would ever use them.  Yes, Eric - I'm using them!  🙂

This weekend I'm hosting a girls' weekend at our house.  I can't wait to have everyone sitting around the table and raising a glass to Mardi Gras!

So that's what I'm thinking out loud about today.  Now it's your turn!  Link up and share ~

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Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop - February 23, 2022

Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop

Welcome everyone to another week of our blog hop!

Here you will find inspiration from dozens of bloggers including recipes, home DIY, gardening, decor, family fun, traveling, fitness, and so much more. A friendly reminder to our guests that as a courtesy to the hosts, we ask that you follow every host on at least one social media channel. If you find something you particularly like, please pin it and even add a comment telling the writer that you love her work.  

Don’t forget to use this hashtag #wwbloghop when sharing our party!

Before we get this party started, let's meet the hosts and check out this week's featured favorites.


Looking Towards Spring Tablescape

Editor's Choice

King Cake Rice Krispie Treats

Be sure to grab our Specially Featured graphic below if your post was featured this week, and hyperlink it to this post on your blog or sidebar. We love showing you off!
wonderful wednesday blog hop
Let's Get This Party Started!

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Friday, February 18, 2022

Five on Friday - February 18, 2022

Happy Friday!  What a week.  We had a couple days of 60-degree temps and then the bottom fell out on Wednesday night and we started getting rain.  The rain became sleet on Thursday when the temperature dipped into the 20s and then was covered by a layer of snow.  Spring, please get here soon! 

Whatever the weather is doing, I'm here to share my five with you.  Here they are ~

1.  The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 4
Have you been waiting for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 4 to begin?  Well, the long wait is over!  The Amazon original will release two episodes a week starting today.  Midge is sure to have plenty up her sleeve this season.  If you remember, the series cliffhanger had her at the airport after Shy dropped her from the USO tour.  Lots to unfold in this season!

2.  February 22, 2022
This coming Tuesday is 2/22/22 - a pretty special Twosday!  Mark the day with a fun shirt from Amazon!  You'll need to act fast to have Prime deliver it to you on time.  Here are a few of my favorites ~

3.  Little Debbie Ice Cream
The next time you're in Walmart, you should check out the freezer section.  There you'll find the new Little Debbie Ice Creams!  The flavors available are Strawberry Shortcake Rolls, Oatmeal Creme Pies, Zebra Cakes, Cosmic Brownies, Honey Buns, Butty Bars, and Swiss Rolls.  I honestly don't know which one I'd like to try first!
I've accumulated quite the stash of teabags.  When I saw this box on Amazon, I knew it was just what I needed to store them in!  I can't wait for it to arrive so I can arrange all my teabags into one place.  This would also be a great gift for the tea lover in your life.  

5.  Cha-Ching!

Have a great weekend!  I've got a few things to do around the house and will be soaking up the last events of the Olympics.  I also need to finish the book we'll be discussing at book club on Monday.  That won't be hard because I'm loving the book - The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell.  See you next week!

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - February 17, 2022

Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday where I share something I'm thinking about and invite you to link up and do the same.  

Today is National Random Acts of Kindness Day and that's what I'm thinking out loud about!  What an awesome day to celebrate.  Everyone is capable of doing a random act of kindness and my bet is after you do an act of kindness, you'll feel as good about doing it as the person on the receiving end.

There's a quote about kindness from Scott Adams that I love.  It's this, "Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness.  Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.".  

Do you need some ideas for random acts of kindness you can do?  Here's 50 from the UK Mental Health Foundation ~

Call a friend that you haven’t spoken to for a while
Send a letter to a grandparent
Send flowers to a friend
Offer to pick up some groceries for your elderly neighbor
Send someone a handwritten note
Offer to babysit for a friend
Walk your friend’s dog
Tell your family members how much you love and appreciate them
Help your parents with household chores
Help a friend get active
Make someone laugh
Offer to cook for a friend or family member
Make a cup of tea for a friend or family member
Help with a household chore at home or for a friend
Host an informal get together and invite your neighbors to get to know each other
Tell someone you know that you are proud of them
Tell someone you know why you are thankful for them
Send a motivational text to a friend who is struggling
Send someone you know a joke to cheer them up
Send someone you know a picture of a cute animal
Send an inspirational quote to a friend
Send an interesting article to a friend
Put a surprise note or drawing on someone’s desk
Contact someone you haven’t seen in a while and arrange to meet face to face
Engage in conversation with a shop assistant when paying at the till
Spend time playing with your pet
Sign up to do voluntary work in your local community
Reach out to spend time with a friend, family member, or neighbor who is experiencing loneliness
Have a clear-out and take items to a charity shop
Make and send a care package to someone who needs it
Make a donation to a charity
Offer to pick up a friend or family member from work
Make a cup of tea for your colleagues
Get to know the new staff member
Lend your ear - listen to your colleague who is having a bad day
Say good morning
Bake a cake for your colleagues
Give praise to your colleague for something they’ve done well
If it’s raining – lend someone your umbrella
Take someone out for lunch instead of eating at your desk
Give up your seat to an elderly, disabled, or pregnant person
Let someone jump the queue at the supermarket
Take a minute to help someone who is lost
Have a conversation with someone who is experiencing homelessness
Help a mother carry her stroller down the stairs or hold the door for her
Let a fellow driver merge into your lane
Pick up some rubbish lying around in the street
Smile and say hello to people you may pass every day, but have never spoken to before
Return a lost item to its owner
Pop into a coffee shop and ask to pay for a coffee for them to give to someone later that day for free

Let's get out there and do some random acts of kindness!

Now it's your turn - what are you thinking out loud about today?  Link up and share ~

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