Penny's Passion: June 2023

Friday, June 30, 2023

Five on Friday - June 30, 2023

June is almost over!  I'm shocked at how quickly this month has flown by.  Here's my last Five on Friday for the month ~

1.  National Postal Worker Day
Saturday is National Postal Worker Day.  If you are thankful for the men and women who bring your letters and packages to your doorstep, this is a day to say thanks!  Leave a little note in your mailbox expressing your gratitude.  Or go big and leave a treat!  

Danielle Steel's newest novel was released on Tuesday just in time for some summer reading.  It sounds like a real page-turner.  Here's the summary ~
After her parents perish in a tragic accident, Cosima Saverio assumes leadership of her family’s haute couture Italian leather brand. While navigating the challenges of running a company at twenty-three, Cosima must also maintain the four-hundred-year-old family palazzo in Venice and care for her younger siblings: Allegra, who survived the tragedy that killed their parents with scars and a spinal injury, and Luca, who has a penchant for wild parties, pretty women, and poker tables.

Cosima navigates her personal and professional challenges with a wisdom beyond her years, but her success has come at a cost: Her needs are always secondary. She’s married to the business, and her free time is given to those who rely on her . . . until she meets Olivier Bayard, the founder of France’s most successful ready-to-wear handbag company. A brief conversation on her palazzo’s terrace turns into a tour of the Saverio workshop, and, fifteen years after her parents’ deaths, Cosima has found a confidant.

Now the business is financially stable and generating enough income for the Saverios to live comfortably. Then Luca loses a hefty sum at the casino, and his debt must be repaid with money or his life. Cosima, forced to bail him out, is given an impossible choice: List the palazzo, sell a third of the family business, or let Luca fend for himself. But is there another way to save everything she has fought for before it goes up in flames?

In Palazzo, Danielle Steel delivers a striking tale of family roots, ruin, and renewal.

3.  Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Who would have thought that 42 years after the first Indiana Jones movie came out, we'd see another installment in that series?  Opening today is Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.  I'm crossing my fingers that all the good stuff isn't in the previews.  I feel like since I've seen all the other ones (4 in total), I need to see this one too.  Here's the summary ~
Daredevil archaeologist Indiana Jones races against time to retrieve a legendary dial that can change the course of history. Accompanied by his goddaughter, he soon finds himself squaring off against J├╝rgen Voller, a former Nazi who works for NASA.


4.  Beauty Brands Liter Sale
I don't know how much longer this sale will go on, so hurry to Beauty Brands for their $17.98 liter sale!  Many of their liter-size shampoos are included and the savings are phenomenal!  Grab one of your tried and true favs or spring for something new to try.  Either way, get them while you can.


5.  I'm spinning...


Have a great weekend!  Do you have any early Fourth of July celebrations to attend?  I want to get a little organized for an upcoming trip we're taking to Door County, Wisconsin in a couple weeks.  Other than that, I'm hoping for a relaxing weekend.  See you back next week!

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Trip to Savannah and Tybee Island - Part 4

It's Thinking Out Loud Thursday today on the blog!  I'm going to share something I'm thinking out loud about and invite you to link up and do the same.  Today I'm wrapping up a recent trip to Savannah and Tybee Island.

My friend Linda and I took a few days in May to visit a place we'd never been before - Savannah and Tybee Island.  If you've missed the first three parts of my summary, they can be found here ~

Part 1     |     Part 2     |     Part 3

Today I'm thinking about the very last day of this vacation.  We woke up early on Tybee Island to take a final stroll on the beach.  The sunrise was magnificent!  


It was indeed one of the most beautiful sunrises I've ever seen in my life!  We both were sad that this was our last day at the beach.  I can't wait to take Eric back there and walk along that seashore again.  

After our walk, we went back to the condo.  We got ready for the day and packed up the car to head back to Savannah.  Our flight wasn't until later in the afternoon, so we were going to hit a few more places we hadn't spent much time at before we left for Tybee Island.

The drive from Tybee Island and Savannah is short.  It took about 25 minutes to go the 18 miles and you're right back in the heart of Savannah.  We parked and started walking to the destinations we still wanted to check off our list.

First stop - lunch at Clary's Cafe.  This destination was mentioned numerous times in the book Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil.  We wanted to see if it lived up to the hype.  There was definitely some interesting memorabilia on the walls and it was fun picturing the real-life characters sitting at the bar.  The food was fine.  Nothing to get too excited over.  


Not far from Clary's is the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the BaptistThis Roman Catholic cathedral is a minor basilica located in Lafayette Square at 222 East Harris Street.  


What is a minor basilica you ask?  We had to look it up because we had no idea.  For the record, a minor basilica is "a church of historical and architectural value which was particular important for the liturgical and pastoral life of some place.  The designation of Minor Basilica may be granted for architectural beauty, historical significance, liturgical renown, or for any combination of these attributes."  Whoa - that's a mouth full!


Bottom line - this church is spectacular!  I could have sat in there for hours just soaking up the beauty.  If you are in Savannah, take the time to step inside this masterpiece!





From there, we wanted to hit one more iconic Savannah location - Leopold's Ice Cream!  It was as creamy and delicious as we can hoped!


Our plane was late leaving Savannah and we barely made our connecting flight.  If you happen to have seen two women RUNNING through the Nashville airport on Saturday, May 13, it's a good chance it was us!

When we arrived back in St. Louis, there was that same beautiful sun we had started the day off with showing off again at sunset.  Great ending to a fantastic trip!


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

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Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop - June 28, 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
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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.

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Thursday, June 22, 2023

Five on Friday - June 23, 2023

Coming at you with Five on Friday today! 

1.  Too Late by Colleen Hoover
 Colleen Hoover's newest book, Too Late, is coming out on Tuesday.  I loved her novels It Ends with Us, It Starts with Us, and Verity.  This one sounds like a winner too!  Here's the summary from Amazon ~
Sloan will go through hell and back for those she loves. And she does so, every single day. Caught up with the alluring Asa Jackson, a notorious drug trafficker, Sloan has finally found a lifeline to cling to, even if it’s meant compromising her morals. She was in dire straits trying to pay for her brother’s care until she met Asa. But as Sloan became emotionally and economically reliant on him, he in turn developed a disturbing obsession with her—one that becomes increasingly dangerous every day.
When undercover DEA agent Carter enters the picture, Sloan’s surprised to feel an immediate attraction between them, despite knowing that if Asa finds out, he will kill him. And Asa has always been a step ahead of everyone in his life, including Sloan. No one has ever gotten in his way.

No one except Carter.

Together, Sloan and Carter must find a way out before it’s too late…


2.  No Hard Feelings
I'm looking forward to seeing the new movie with Jennifer Lawrence.  It opens today!  No Hard Feelings is said to be a "raunchy and heartfelt" film.  Sounds like a fun way to spend two hours!  Here's the summary ~
Maddie thinks she’s found the answer to her financial troubles when she discovers an intriguing job listing: wealthy helicopter parents looking for someone to "date" their introverted 19-year-old son, Percy, and bring him out of his shell before he leaves for college. But awkward Percy proves to be more of a challenge than she expected, and time is running out before she loses it all.
Is there a trip to the beach in your future?  Going to the pool?  Check out this waterproof case for your cell phone!  I have one and it makes being close to the water so much more comfortable when you're carrying your phone.  Get a pair to throw in your beach bag!



The Fourth of July is going to be here before you know it.  Get your pair of festive earrings ordered today so you'll be ready!  These beaded baubles are lightweight and will look adorable on the Fourth of July.  They would also make an adorable hostess gift if you're going to a friend's house to watch fireworks.  



5.  Ever have this thought...


Now let's get this weekend started!  I'm having a girls' night out tonight and working at a PRIDE event on Sunday.  In between all that fun, I hope to get a few things organized around the house.  Hope you have a wonderful weekend and we'll see you back here next week.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Trip to Savannah and Tybee Island - Part 3

Welcome to 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 continuing to think about my recent trip to Savannah and Tybee Island!

We flew into Savannah on Monday evening and spent all day Tuesday exploring the city (HERE). Wednesday morning we got up and continued our exploration until just after lunch (HERE). Then it was time to head to Tybee Island and check into the condo we had rented for the next few days.


 A rental car hadn’t been necessary while we were in Savannah, but we thought we wanted one for our time on the island. We got an Uber from our hotel to take us back to the airport to pick up a rental. I swear our Uber driver was the twin of Dog The Bounty Hunter! He shared a wealth of information about the island and we picked up the names of a couple restaurants to try.

The easy drive out to the island from the airport took about 40 minutes. We were excited to have a few days of total rest and relaxation! On our way to the condo, we stopped at the Tybee Market IGA to pick up a few necessities. Our plan was to eat out for most meals, so we only needed a few snacks, coffee, and wine. Word to the wise: If you’re planning to cook anything halfway elaborate, stop at a larger grocery store before going to the island! Otherwise, the small IGA market will be fine.

We found our condo and were pleasantly surprised at how perfect it was! The condo was booked through VRBO, but next time I’ll probably go directly through Island Vacation Rentals. Our main focus when choosing our spot with a nice balcony. The balcony on this condo was excellent! I need tall chairs or I spend the entire time looking through the rail. It’s also nice to have a table outside in case we want to eat al fresco. This condo allowed us to check both of these items off the list.


If you’re going to Tybee Island, know that the police are on top of their game when it comes to enforcing the speed limit and parking tolls. DON’T SPEED! And remember to pay the meter AND put the receipt on the dash of your car. You’ve been warned!

I realized when I got home that I really did a poor job documenting this part of our vacation.  The ocean breeze and the sound of the waves captivated me and I just didn't snap a lot of pictures.  But don't let my lack of pictures fool you into thinking we didn't have a good time at the beach!  We took daily walks and sat on the balcony reading.  It was heavenly!  Both of us were sad we didn't have more time to spend here.


Steps away from our condo was the walkway to the sandy beach.  Let's take a minute to talk about the sand.  It's one of my favorite beaches because the sand was hard and you could walk for miles.  The crowds were moderate during the day, but in the mornings and evenings, there were hardly any people.


Daily we walked to the pier and beyond.  The pier was a great place to grab a snack or cocktail.  Fishermen were fishing off the end.  Music filled the air.  Really cool atmosphere!


The best food we found on the island came from a little place just down from the pier called Fannie's On The Beach.  You can sit inside or out.  They also have a take-out window.  When we go back, I'm definitely eating at Fannie's again!


There was also a breakfast place I'd eat at again called The Breakfast Club.  They are open every day except Wednesdays from 7:00 am to 12:30 pm.  Nothing super fancy, just good breakfast food.


We went out for dinner two of the three nights we were there.  One night to A-J's Dockside and the other to Pier 16.  Both were fine, but nothing I'd go rushing back to.  


The best pictures came from our last morning there.  We wanted to get up early to see the sunrise on our last day and boy did we get a spectacular show!  Not only did we see the sun as it slowly made its way into the sky, but we also were entertained by a pod of dolphins playing in the water near the shore.  It made our last morning absolutely perfect!





I've got one more day of this vacation to share with you and that will be coming to you next Thursday.  In the meantime, what's on your mind today?  Link up and share!

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Friday, June 16, 2023

Five on Friday - June 16, 2023

 Happy Friday!  So glad you stopped by Five on Friday today.  Let's get right to it ~

1.  Father's Day 
Here's your friendly reminder that Sunday is Father's Day!  I'm blessed to have a wonderful father and we are excited to spend the day with him on Sunday.  The day is set aside to not only honor fathers, but father figures in our lives.  Hope you have a great time celebrating the father figures in your life.

Last weekend at girls' weekend, I had the opportunity to see firsthand how wonderful this red wine stain remover was!  We had a little incident with a bottle of red wine spraying across the room, covering two people's shirts, and getting all over the ceiling.  My friend, Sharyn, got the wine completely out of the shirts, and her husband, Eric, made the ceiling look a lot better.  I'm getting a bottle of this magic juice to have at my house just in case we have a red wine incident!


3.  Mexican Street Corn Cheetos
I have no idea how long Cheetos has been making their Mexican Street Corn flavor, but I do know we love it!  Eric brought home a bag this week for us to try and it was a hit!  It has the perfect combination of citrusy lime followed by a bit of heat.  I hope they stay on the shelves for a while!


4.  Outlander Season 7 
Hey, Outlander fans - are you excited about Season 7 starting today?  I keep hearing how wonderful this show is, but we haven't jumped on the bandwagon watching it just yet.  Maybe this will be my next binge-watching show.  Do you recommend it?


5.  Definitely me...


I'm looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow!  Three evenings this week was Vacation Bible School at our church and I helped teach the first graders.  To be able to do that I had to get into work early so I could leave a little earlier than normal.  That meant I was up at 4:30 am.  Not tomorrow!  I'm going to sleep until I wake up with no alarm clock assistance.  We have some fun things planned for the weekend.  Stop in next week to see what they are!

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Trip to Savannah and Tybee Island - Part 2

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

Last Thursday I posted about a recent trip to Savannah and Tybee Island (found HERE). Today I’m continuing with our second full day in Savannah and up to our arrival on Tybee Island.

Wednesday morning, we got up ready to walk the streets and see some more of Savannah! When we went to the hotel lobby to check out, guess what we saw. A pirate! Right there in our lobby was a pirate, drinking out of a flask, first thing in the morning. Oh, the life of a pirate!


We crossed over the love lock bridge on our way to breakfast and I spotted a lock from St. Louis! These kinds of bridges always intrigue me and I love reading the things people write on their locks.



There were a couple spots we saw on the trolley tour we had taken the day before that we wanted to return to for a more up-close view. One of them was the iconic fountain in Forsyth Park. This fountain sits in a 30-acre park in the historic district of the city. Besides the fountain, there you can find walking paths, a children’s play area, a fragrant garden for the blind, and other recreational areas.  We sat down on a bench near the fountain and just soaked it all up!


From there, we walked over to the Mercer Williams House Museum. As soon as we decided to go to Savannah, I picked up the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Have you read the book or seen the movie? It’s basically about a murder that took place in this very house. During the tour, you actually get to stand in the room where the crime was committed! If you haven’t read the book, I recommend it. It has a lot of detail the movie skips over.



After the house tour (and shopping in the gift shop), we walked to a bookstore that was on both my and Linda’s list of things we wanted to do on our trip. If you like bookstores at all, the E. Shaver bookstore is one you need to visit! It’s absolutely adorable! 


Inside, besides a ton of books, we found a couple of their resident cats curled up amongst the books.


They also have a typewriter set up in a quaint little corner where you can type a message and pin it to the wall. How adorable is that!



On our way to the spot we were having lunch, we passed another bookstore and had to go in. The Book Lady Bookstore is also one you should hit if you’re a bookstore lover.



We had planned lunch at Paula Dean’s restaurant, The Lady and Sons. Guys, I’ll be honest – it was not that great. It was ok at best. The gift store was cute, but I’d skip the restaurant and eat someplace else. Even the desserts weren’t worth the calories.  Big disappointment!

 
Savannah is such a walkable city we decided to not get a rental car until we were ready to head to the beach portion of our vacation. After lunch on Wednesday, we went back to the hotel to gather our luggage and took an Uber to the airport to pick up our rental.
 
The next part of the trip to Tybee Island was fantastic! Stay tuned. I’ll cover that in a future post!

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

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