Penny's Passion: 2023

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Five on Friday - December 29, 2023

Hello!  Hope you have survived Christmas with enough energy left to get through the new year.  We took a little trip to Orange Beach.  Just hearing the ocean and feeling the sun on our faces was a great way to reset and relax.  Now we're back and I'm ready to get back at it.  Let's start with my five for today ~

1.  Ferrari
Ferrari opened Christmas Day and it's definitely a movie we are looking forward to seeing.  I love Adam Driver and am excited to see him star in this film.  Here's the summary ~
Ferrari is set during the summer of 1957. Behind the spectacle and danger of 1950's Formula 1, ex-racer, Enzo Ferrari, is in crisis. Bankruptcy stalks the company he and his wife, Laura, built from nothing ten years earlier. Their tempestuous marriage struggles with the mourning for their one son. Ferrari struggles with the acknowledgement of another. His drivers' lust to win pushes them out to the edge. He wagers all in a roll of the dice on one race, the treacherous 1,000-mile race across Italy, the iconic Mille Miglia.
Our son and daughter-in-law gifted us the coolest puzzle.  The 2 Million Dollar Puzzle is a 500-piece puzzle that when put together is a QR code.  Scan the QR code to see what dollar prize you won!  I'm so excited to get this puzzle together and see what our prize will be.  Everyone wins something.  Winnings are between $1 and $1,000,000!  If you're thinking this would be a fun gift for yourself or someone else, keep in mind that the last day to scan your code is February 28, 2024.  We are going to start our puzzle this weekend!

Click HERE for link

3.  2024 Total Solar Eclipse
Guess what's happening in 2024 - a total solar eclipse!  That's right, on April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will cross North America.  Safety is important when viewing a total solar eclipse so plan ahead.  Get your safety glasses now before they are totally sold out.  

Click HERE for link

Need some luck in 2024?  Black-eyed peas are considered to be a symbol of good luck and prosperity if eaten on New Year's Day.  Our favorite recipe that includes black-eyed peas is Texas Caviar.  We love making this dip and having it with tortilla chips.  The recipe is available HERE.  Whip up a batch and see how much good luck comes your way next year!


5.  Hmmm...


Have a great weekend and start to the new year.  2024 is going to be awesome!  

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

2023 Christmas Card

In case you've lost track of days this week - it's Thursday.  Thanks for stopping by Thinking Out Loud Thursday where I share something I'm thinking about and invite you to link up and do the same.  Today I'm thinking about Christmas cards!

I love going to the mailbox this time of year and pulling out the mail to see letters from our friends in the form of Christmas cards!  I cherish peeling back the envelope flap and pulling out the card to read the message tucked inside.  It lifts my spirits every.single.time!  An added delight is when the card has pictures.  Seeing how much the kids of our friends have grown and changed each year makes me feel more connected to them.   

Some years I spend hours making our cards.  Other years I take the easier route and have them printed.  This was one of the years I took the easy route!  After doing some quick price and delivery checking, we decided to go with Photo Affections.  (This is not a paid ad for them.)  They did not disappoint!  The cards came quickly and the quality was good. 

Because I don't have all of your addresses, please consider this my card to you ~



This year I did something I've never done before.  Before dropping our cards in the mail, I paused for a moment to say a blessing over them for all the recipients.  It's so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle this time of year.  Pausing to say the blessing was a way for me to connect back to the reason for the season.  

I hope your holiday season is joyous!  I'm so grateful that you stop by my little corner of the internet and appreciate your comments and connections.  Thank you and happy holiday!

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

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Friday, December 15, 2023

Five on Friday - December 15, 2023

Hello!   We are days away from Christmas and I'm starting to feel the pressure of getting all the things done.  This weekend is huge at our house.  We are picking up our niece and nephews today after work and are going to have a fun, action-packed weekend with them!  Before we head out, here's my five for this week ~

1.  The Crown    
The final six episodes of The Crown were released yesterday on Netflix.  We have been captivated by this series from the very first episode.  Now after six seasons, the show is coming to an end.  Guess I know what I'll be binge-watching over Christmas break!

We were having such a hard time using items that got pushed to the back of our refrigerator shelves.  I took to Amazon to find a solution.  And I found a winner!  I ordered this Lazy Susan and it works like a charm.  Now I'm ready to invest in more so every shelf has one.  It gave me a head start on my goal to get things more organized in 2024!


It's crunch time if you're still looking for gifts to give co-workers.  How about a blank journal?  This one made me laugh out loud!  The price point is great too.  Give one to everyone on your team!


4.  National Film Registry
This week the Library of Congress announced the 25 features that will be added to the National Film Registry.  I love a good list and the challenge of doing everything on the list, or in this case watching.  The criteria for making the National Film Registry is the film has to be at least 10 years old.  The selections are made each year for their cultural, historic, or aesthetic significance to preserve the film heritage of the US.  Of the 25 films added this year, I've only seen a few.  Looks like my list of films to see just got longer!  How many have you seen?

This year's 25 films in chronological order:
A Movie Trip Through Filmland (1921)
Dinner at Eight (1933)
Bohulano Family Film Collection (1950s-1970s)
Helen Keller: In Her Story (1954)
Lady and the Tramp (1955)
Edge of the City (1957)
We’re Alive (1974)
Cruisin’ J-Town (1975)
¡Alambrista! (1977)
Passing Through (1977)
Fame (1980)
Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)
The Lighted Field (1987)
Matewan (1987)
Home Alone (1990)
Queen of Diamonds (1991)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
The Wedding Banquet (1993)
Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision (1994)
Apollo 13 (1995)
Bamboozled (2000)
Love & Basketball (2000)
12 Years a Slave (2013)
20 Feet from Stardom (2013)
5.  Yep...


Have a great weekend!  See you soon!

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Elf On Our Shelf

Happy Thursday friends!  Thanks for popping in Thinking Out Loud Thursday, where I talk about something on my mind and invite you to link up and do the same.
 
I know many of you are struggling to keep that crazy Elf on a Shelf moving around this time of year.  When our son was little, the Elf wasn't a thing.  The thought of doing something with an elf of our own was so intriguing I started doing it every day for Eric, my husband, in hopes of bringing some holiday magic into our empty nest home.  Our elf is named Sparky and this is what he's been up to...

Sparky made his entrance this year when he showed up on our ring.


One of the challenges I face with the Elf is not having any toys to use as props, so each day ole Sparky is on his own.  









When Eric leaves in the morning for work, I get Sparky in place to be found.  When Eric gets home, he scours the house until he finds Sparky.  Honestly, it's a lot of fun!  

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

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Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop - December 13, 2023


Welcome to another week of the Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop!  We are so glad that you are here.  This will be our last link-up of the year.  We will be back on January 2 to kick off 2024!

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 are a blogger, then be sure to link up below. You may be our next feature! 

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

MEET THE HOSTS
  1. Bev – ECLECTIC RED BARN | FB | IG | PINTEREST
  2. Penny – PENNY’S PASSION | FB | IG | PINTEREST
  3. Sinea – DUCKS ‘N A ROW | FB | IG | PINTEREST | TWITTER
  4. Tammy – MY LIFE ABUNDANT | FB | IG | PINTEREST | TWITTER
  5. Tara – STILETTOS AND SHIPLAP | IG | PINTEREST
  6. Denise –THISISMYEVERYBODY | FB | IG | PINTEREST | TWITTER

TOP VIEWED
DIY Chunky Yarn Christmas Wreath

Christmas Oreos

EDITOR'S CHOICE
Peppermint Candy Cookies

LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTED!

Please follow all hosts on AT LEAST 1 of their social channels.

Add as many family-friendly posts as you would like to. NO Etsy shops, adult sites, or blog parties please.  Visit others. Caring is sharing. Like, comment, and pin posts.

Party entries appear in REVERSE. This way your entries will be seen no matter when you arrive. Please TWEET our party and invite others to join.

Let’s Party!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Five on Friday - December 8, 2023

Happy Friday friends!  I know that this time of year you don't have a minute to spare, so let's get right to my five for today ~

1.  National Christmas Card Day
Today is National Christmas Card Day - a day set aside to remind us to get our stamps, envelopes, and cards together so you can share your holiday cheer.  We took the easy road this year and ordered photo cards to send.  They got here yesterday so I'm going to be getting them out over the weekend.  In case you're wondering, a postage stamp is costing 66 cents this year for an envelope and 51 cents for a postcard.  


2.  Holiday Favorites E-Book
Looking for some help with holiday meal planning?  Taste of Home is partnering with Theta Drop to offer a free, exclusive Holiday Favorites e-book.  With it, you'll also have access to videos.  It all becomes available today!  Get yours by signing up at tasteofhome.com/holiday-favorites/ 


A friend of mine wore this jacket to work recently and I loved it!  I wish I would have found it first.  It comes in two colors and I'm very seriously thinking about ordering the other color.  The fabric was nice and it has a stylish patch on the elbows.  And you can't beat the price!  You could dress it up or wear it with jeans.  Yep - I'm definitely going to order it.


My niece and nephews will be spending the weekend with us soon and our kitchen will be the hub of activity.  I'm putting this tablecloth on our table so the kids can color and play games while we're getting meals ready.  We've had these before and they are a big hit!  Do you need one for your table?


5.  My thoughts exactly...


Now let's start the weekend!  We have my company holiday party tonight and we're going to see Train in concert tomorrow night.  I'm hoping to sneak in watching my nephew's basketball game and then on Sunday we're hosting a dinner party for a couple friends.  Busy, fun weekend ahead!!  See you next week!

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

What I Read in November 2023

Hello friends!  Thanks for popping in to read Thinking Out Loud Thursday where I talk about something on my mind and invite you to link up and do the same.  Today I'm sharing what I read in November!

In November, I completed four books.  One was a re-read, two I listened to, and the other one I read on my Kindle.  Let's take a look ~


This was my re-read.  I loved it the first time I read it and recommended it to my book club.  It was selected and I decided to read through it again so the story would be fresh in my mind.  It was just as good the second time around!  Can't recommend this book highly enough!  It's a story that took many unexpected turns.  Here's the summary ~
Set amid Colorado’s wild beauty, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story of a resilient young woman whose life is changed forever by one chance encounter. A tragic and uplifting novel of love and loss, family and survival―and hope―for readers of Great Circle, The Four Winds, and Where the Crawdads Sing.

“Beautiful . . . A striking first novel of love and strength and growth, set against the forests and rivers of Colorado’s high country. Read is a gifted writer, and the book is a literary triumph.”―Denver Post

“With gorgeous descriptions of the great outdoors, an illicit love story, and an unforgettable protagonist, Go as a River offers something for everyone.”―Real Simple

Seventeen-year-old Victoria Nash runs the household on her family’s peach farm in the small ranch town of Iola, Colorado―the sole surviving female in a family of troubled men. Wilson Moon is a young drifter with a mysterious past, displaced from his tribal land and determined to live as he chooses.

Victoria encounters Wil by chance on a street corner, a meeting that profoundly alters both of their young lives, unknowingly igniting as much passion as danger. When tragedy strikes, Victoria leaves the only life she has ever known. She flees into the surrounding mountains where she struggles to survive in the wilderness with no clear notion of what her future will bring. As the seasons change, she also charts the changes in herself, finding in the beautiful but harsh landscape the meaning and strength to move forward and rebuild all that she has lost, even as the Gunnison River threatens to submerge her homeland―its ranches, farms, and the beloved peach orchard that has been in her family for generations.

Inspired by true events surrounding the destruction of the town of Iola in the 1960s, Go as a River is a story of deeply held love in the face of hardship and loss, but also of finding courage, resilience, friendship, and, finally, home―where least expected. This stunning debut explores what it means to lead your life as if it were a river―gathering and flowing, finding a way forward even when a river is dammed.

Truth be told, I was not a fan of this book.  I have read a couple of books (The Four Winds and Winter Garden) by Kristen Hannah and loved them.  When our book club was looking for a holiday book I boldly introduced Comfort and Joy.  Now I'll have to explain to them why it wasn't my favorite.  The story was just so unbelievable to me that I had a hard time getting into it.  Anyone else read it?  Thoughts?  Maybe I'm missing something.  Here's the summary ~
Joy Candellaro once loved Christmas more than any other time of the year. Now, as the holiday approaches, she is at a crossroads in her life; recently divorced and alone, she can’t summon the old enthusiasm for celebrating. So without telling anyone, she buys a ticket and boards a plane bound for the beautiful Pacific Northwest. When an unexpected detour takes her deep into the woods of the Olympic rainforest, Joy makes a bold decision to leave her ordinary life behind—to just walk away—and thus begins an adventure unlike any she could have imagined.

In the small town of Rain Valley, six-year-old Bobby O’Shea is facing his first Christmas without a mother. Unable to handle the loss, Bobby has closed himself off from the world, talking only to his invisible best friend. His father Daniel is beside himself, desperate to help his son cope. Yet when the little boy meets Joy, these two unlikely souls form a deep and powerful bond. In helping Bobby and Daniel heal, Joy finds herself again.

But not everything is as it seems in quiet Rain Valley, and in an instant, Joy’s world is ripped apart, and her heart is broken. On a magical Christmas Eve, a night of impossible dreams and unexpected chances, Joy must find the courage to believe in a love—and a family—that can’t possibly exist, and go in search of what she wants . . . and the new life only she can find.

This book was a very pleasant surprise!  It was free on Kindle Unlimited and my expectation of the free books usually isn't very high, but this one was really good!  It literally made me laugh out loud several times and the story kept me totally engaged.  Add it to your list of to-be-read books!
When Marilyn Kleinman is caught making out with the rabbi’s son in front of the whole congregation, her parents ship her off to her great-aunt Ada for the summer. If anyone can save their daughter’s reputation, it’s Philadelphia’s strict premier matchmaker. Either that or Marilyn can kiss college goodbye.

To Marilyn’s surprise, Ada’s not the humorless septuagenarian her mother described. Not with that platinum-blonde hair, Herm├Ęs scarf, and Cadillac convertible. She’s sharp, straight-talking, takes her job very seriously, and abides by her own rules…mostly. As the summer unfolds, Ada and Marilyn head for the Jersey shore, where Marilyn helps Ada scope out eligible matches—for anyone but Marilyn, that is.

Because if there’s one thing Marilyn’s learned from Ada, it’s that she doesn’t have to settle. With the school year quickly approaching and her father threatening to disinherit her, Marilyn must make her choice for her future: return to the comfortable life she knows or embrace a risky, unknown path on her own.

I loved this light-hearted novel!  I'm not sure how it ended up on my list, but I'm glad it did.  The story was entertaining and moved along fairly quickly.  This would be a fun book to read on vacation.  Here is the summary ~
It seems lately that Poppy Lively is invisible to everyone but the IRS.

After her accountant absconded with her life savings, newly bankrupt Poppy is on the verge of losing her home when an old flame, now a hotshot producer, gives her a surprising way out: a job in costumes on a Hollywood film set. It’s a bold move to pack her bags, keep secrets from her daughter, and head to Los Angeles, but Poppy's a capable person—how hard can a job in wardrobe be? It's not like she has a choice; her life couldn't get any worse. Even so, this midwesterner has a lot to learn about the fast and loose world of movie stars, iconic costumes, and back-lot intrigue.

As a single mom, she's rarely had time for watching movies, she doesn't sew, and she doesn't know a thing about dressing the biggest names in the business. Floundering and overlooked, Poppy has one ally: Allen Carol, an ill-tempered movie star taken with Poppy’s unfiltered candor and general indifference to stardom.

When Poppy stumbles upon corruption, she relies on everyone underestimating her to discover who’s at the center of it, a revelation that shakes her belief in humanity. What she thought was a way to secure a future for her daughter becomes a spotlight illuminating the facts: Poppy is out of her league among the divas of Tinseltown.

Poppy must decide whether to keep her mouth shut, as she's always done, or with the help of a scruffy dog, show the moviemakers that they need her unglamorous ways, whether the superstars like it or not.

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, December 5, 2023

Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop - December 6, 2023


 Welcome to another week of the Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop!  We are so glad that you are here.

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 are a blogger, then be sure to link up below. You may be our next feature!

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


MEET THE HOSTS

  1. Bev – ECLECTIC RED BARN | FB | IG | PINTEREST
  2. Penny – PENNY’S PASSION | FB | IG | PINTEREST
  3. Sinea – DUCKS ‘N A ROW | FB | IG | PINTEREST | TWITTER
  4. Tammy – MY LIFE ABUNDANT | FB | IG | PINTEREST | TWITTER
  5. Tara – STILETTOS AND SHIPLAP | IG | PINTEREST
  6. Denise –THISISMYEVERYBODY | FB | IG | PINTEREST | TWITTER

TOP VIEWED

VERY POPULAR


EDITOR'S CHOICE
Nesting

LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTED!

Please follow all hosts on AT LEAST 1 of their social channels.

Add as many family-friendly posts as you would like to. NO Etsy shops, adult sites, or blog parties please.  Visit others. Caring is sharing. Like, comment, and pin posts.

Party entries appear in REVERSE. This way your entries will be seen no matter when you arrive. Please TWEET our party and invite others to join.

Let’s Party!



You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Friday on Friday - December 1, 2023

Oh my goodness - it's December already!  Glad you stopped by to see the first Five on Friday for December.   Let's go~

1.  Santa Hotline
If writing a letter to Santa isn't your style, maybe you could try calling the big guy on his hotline and leaving a message at the beep.  The phone number for Santa Claus in 2023 is 605-313-4000.  As soon as Santa answers, you'll hear the jolly St. Nick give a cheerful message and then you'll have an opportunity to leave your wish list after the beep.  His voice is full of cheer and the kids will love hearing him!


2.  Virgin River - Season 5 Part 2
If you're a Virgin River fan and already watched the first 10 episodes of Season 5 - SURPRISE!  Two more holiday-themed episodes just got released!  Will Charmaine ever have those twins?  What's going to happen to Preacher?  I'm sure I'll be able to answer all the questions on Monday because this weekend I'm going to devour those two new episodes!


We bought a new vacuum a few weeks ago and dare I say, I love it!  Honestly, I never thought I'd feel that way about a vacuum of all things.  It works on both our carpets and hardwood floors, plus the canister unhooks and you can use it to do steps.  The lightweightness of it is wonderful too!  I bought it at Kohl's and got a great price plus some Kohl's cash to spend later.  Win win!


4.  Wine Glass Charms
Look at these adorable wine glass charms!  They are perfect for helping guests know which wine glass belongs to them.  And how perfect would they be for a hostess gift!  This is the type of thing I like to have on hand in case I need a last-minute gift too.  There are several different design sets to choose from so grab a couple!


5.  The fun group...


Okay - let's dive into the weekend!  I'm going to finish up the little bit of decorating I still have left and hopefully start wrapping some gifts.  See you back next week!