Penny's Passion: September 2023

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Five on Friday - September 29, 2023

Can you believe this is the last weekend in September?  This month has flown by.  Here's the last Five on Friday for the month ~

1.  National Coffee Day
Rejoice coffee lovers - today's your day!  It's National Coffee Day!  The lines at your favorite coffee joint might be a bit longer today because of the deals they are offering.  Starbucks is offering free coffee tastings in select locations while Krispy Kreme is giving customers a free medium hot or iced coffee or espresso-based drink no purchase necessary.  Dunkin' reward members can get a free medium iced or hot coffee with any purchase.  

2.  Fair Play
If we have time to squeeze in a movie this weekend, I want to see Fair Play.  It's opening in limited theaters this weekend and will be everywhere on October 6.  It's starring Phoebe Dynevor from Bridgeton and I'm excited to see her in this role.  Here's the summary ~
When a coveted promotion at a cutthroat financial firm arises, once supportive exchanges between lovers Emily (Phoebe Dynevor) and Luke (Alden Ehrenreich) begin to sour into something more sinister. As the power dynamics irrevocably shift in their relationship, the couple must face the true price of success and the unnerving limits of ambition. In her feature debut, writer-director Chloe Domont weaves a taut relationship thriller, staring down the destructive gender dynamics that pit partners against each other in a world that is transforming faster than the rules can keep up. Also starring Eddie Marsan, Rich Sommer, and Sebastian De Souza, Fair Play unravels the uncomfortable collision of empowerment and ego.

3.  Enough
Cassidy Hutchison's new book came out this week and I'm curious to read it.  I'm not so interested in the political standpoint of this book, but more about how a 24-year-old felt about January 6.  Here's the summary ~
Cassidy Hutchinson’s desk was mere steps from the most controversial president in recent American history. Now, she provides a riveting account of her extraordinary experiences as an idealistic young woman thrust into the middle of a national crisis, where she risked everything to tell the truth about some of the most powerful people in Washington.

Ever since a childhood visit to Washington, DC, Cassidy Hutchinson aspired to serve her country in government. Raised in a working-class family with a military background, she was the first in her immediate family to graduate from college. Despite having no ties to Washington, Hutchinson landed a vital position at the center of the Trump White House.

Her life took a dramatic turn on January 6th, 2021, when, at twenty-four, she found herself in one of the most extraordinary and unprecedented calamities in modern political history.

Hutchinson was faced with a choice between loyalty to the Trump administration or loyalty to the country by revealing what she saw and heard in the attempt to overthrow a democratic election. She bravely came forward to become the pivotal witness in the House January 6 investigations, as her testimony transfixed and stunned the nation. In her memoir, Hutchinson reveals the struggle between the pressures she confronted to toe the party line and the demands of the oath she swore to defend American democracy.

Enough reaches far beyond the typical insider political account. It’s the saga of a woman whose fierce determination helped her overcome childhood challenges to get her dream job, only to face a crisis of conscience—one that more senior White House aides tried to evade—and, in the process, find her voice and herself. This is a portrait of how the courage of one person can change the course of history.

4.  Halloween Earrings
Halloween is right around the corner.  Show your ears some love with a pair (or four) of new Halloween earrings!  Wearing themed earrings is a fun way to show some enthusiasm for the holiday.  Here are a few of my favorites from Amazon ~

5.  Adulting...

Have a great weekend!  I have a ton of wedding stuff to do for a wedding I'm helping with next weekend.  We're learning to play pickleball on Sunday and then we'll be glued to the TV Sunday night watching the Chiefs to see if Taylor Swift is at the game to see if they can pull out a win over the Jets.  Hope you have a great weekend and we'll see you back next week!

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Let's Make Apple Dip

Hello and welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday!  This is a spot where I share something I'm thinking about the invite you to link up and do the same.  Today I'm thinking about an apple dip recipe I blogged about a few years ago and is one of our family's favorite recipes.  

It's apple season in our part of the country and everyone is posting pictures from orchards with trees full of apples.  After you pick all the apples, you might be wondering what you can do with them.  You have to try this recipe!

Here's What You Need
For Apples:
6 apples (Granny Smith or whatever is your favorite)
1 large can of pineapple juice

For Dip:
8 ounce container of whipped cream cheese
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 ounces milk chocolate toffee bits

Here's What You Do
There are two parts to this recipe.  Let's start with the apple part.  Wash and slice your apples.  I love using my Pampered Chef Apple Slicer.  If you don't have one of these little gadgets, invest in one!  We love ours.

Pour the whole can of pineapple juice into a large container.  I always use my Rubbermaid Cake Carrier, turned upside down.  Who says the container has to just be used for carrying a cake!

Put the lid on and pop in the fridge.  You can let the apples sit overnight or as short as 15 minutes.

Next, let's whip up the dip.  Place all the dip ingredients in a bowl EXCEPT the toffee bits.  Combine with a mixer and then stir in almost the entire bag of toffee bits.  Save just a bit to sprinkle on top so it looks pretty.

To serve, take the apples out of the juice and spread on a platter.  The juice will keep the apples from turning brown while it's sitting out.

WARNING:  This dip is quite addictive!  You will want to make it over and over.  It's a great dish to take to work or a friend's house to share.  It can be made the night before and it's ready to go the next day.  An added bonus is it's so quick to make, you can have it done in a jiffy.


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

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Friday, September 22, 2023

Five on Friday - September 22, 2023

Hello there!  Another Friday is upon us and I'm so excited to have a weekend to do a little catching up.  This week we had something every night plus there's some major construction going on at our house.  They are supposed to be wrapping everything up today and the thought of things getting back to normal thrills me beyond belief!  

Let's get to my five for today ~

1.  National Girls' Night Out
Okay, girls - grab your friends and go out tonight!  It's National Girls' Night Out!  There's something about spending a little quality time with friends on a night out that's so good for the soul.  Pick a fun activity like a painting class, going on a hike or just out to dinner.  I'm meeting a friend for drinks after work.  What's your plan?

Will you be making Halloween treats this year?  These fun candy eyes will easily transfer your cookies, cupcakes and more into fun Halloween treats.  Pick up a pack or two for your stash and be ready!

I'm such a fan of the Skinnytaste cookbooks and am thrilled that a new one came out this week!  I'm hoping it gets me out of my cooking slump.  Here's the summary ~
Gina Homolka knows how tough it can be to put a meal together when she’s tight for time and energy. Skinnytaste Simple is the solution: recipes with minimum ingredients but maximum flavor and nutrition. These game-changing, no-fuss dinners use no more than seven ingredients each, allowing you to put easy, healthy meals on the table with little-to-no effort.

From hearty breakfasts like Chilaquiles with Fried Eggs and Acai Berry Bowls to crowd-pleasing dinners including One Pan Shrimp and Saffron Orzo and Sheet Pan Eggplant Lasagna, you’ll find recipes the whole family will love. Plus, sweet indulgences are a snap with quick-and-easy chocolatey Flourless Sea Salt Brownies and make-ahead Strawberry and Cheese Turnovers. Each recipe features a gorgeous photo, icons that indicate recipes that may suit your dietary needs (such as gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian), and nutritional info, with the most up to date Weight Watchers points available on the Skinnytaste site.

With Skinnytaste Simple, cooking delicious, nutritious meals for your family is easier than ever!

Carrie Underwood's new cd deluxe edition of Denim and Rhinestones releases today!  It includes 18 songs, six of which are new tracks.  When asked about this album, Carrie said "I really just wanted to make an album that felt like fun.".  Who wouldn't want to listen to that!

5.  Some days...

Have a great weekend!  See you next week.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - September 21, 2023

Hello! Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday where I share something on my mind and invite you to link up and do the same.
Sixty-four days ago my world was rocked when my dad passed away.  Today would have been his 85th birthday.  Today will be a day spent thinking about him.

Grief is a funny thing. You can be perfectly fine then out of nowhere, the overwhelming feeling of sadness stops you in your tracks.  I never dreamed that in May when we attended a wedding with my family he would be gone such a short time later.  It’s so true what they say – you never know how much time you have left with people.  Don’t waste it!

I was lucky to be able to spend my dad's last few days with him and had the opportunity to witness several of his friends stopping by to see him. A few were so honest and raw. Saying goodbye to someone who is dying can be an incredibly difficult and emotional experience. It's important to approach this moment with sensitivity, empathy, and understanding. His friends told him the ways he had touched their lives and thanked him for the things he had done. They told him goodbye. I’ve never really done that, but the friends who did that for my dad were great examples of how I hope to be if and when I’m confronted with losing someone. 
There are so many people who carried me through the time leading up to and through his funeral.  Friends brought food, sent cards and gifts, and checked in to make sure I had what I needed.  I’ve found that writing the thank you notes is a lot harder than I thought it would be.  Each one makes me cry and crying is, frankly, something I’ve been trying hard not to do.  So if you’re one of those friends who hasn’t gotten a thank you note yet, it’s coming.  It’s just taking me a bit longer than I wish it would.

Today will be hard.  Thankfully I have so many happy memories to fall back on.  Happy birthday in heaven Dad! 

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

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Tuesday, September 19, 2023

1st Annual Putt Putt Tournament

Last weekend we hosted our 1st (what we hope will be) Annual Putt Putt Golf Tournament.  It was so much fun to plan and play!  My good friend TW loves to play putt-putt.  You might recognize his name from being my wedding helper.  He blows into town every time I have a wedding and works his tush off!  But this trip into town was dedicated to his love of playing putt-putt golf!

The first thing I did when planning the weekend was order a medal for the winner.  This one came straight to me from Amazon.

Years ago I had ordered a turf table runner thinking I was going to do something magical with it at Easter.  As soon as I started thinking about the tournament, I knew I wanted to make the tablescape around it.  I raided Eric's golf bag for some tees and balls and it all came together.  

There is a lady near me that makes the best decorated sugar cookies so I solicited her help in making a dozen golf cookies.  I told her to use her imagination and she knocked it out of the park!

Saturday morning we were up bright and early to kick off the play.  We started at Soulard Farmer's Market to show our friends a bit of St. Louis.  While there, the Bloody Marys looked too good to pass up!

From there, we were off to our first course!  We played Pirate's Crusade in South County.  The 18-hole course had several water elements and fun features.  It was a great course to kick us off!

Eric got a hole-in-one on the very first hole!  He was setting the bar high!

The hole-in-one didn't carry Eric to a victory at course one. The winner was TW! Whoever won the course had to wear the metal while playing the next course. 

After course one, it was time for lunch.  We headed to Crown Candy to show our friends a bit more St. Louis's history.  Their BLT sandwiches and milkshakes are infamous!

After lunch, it was on to course 2 at Puttshack!  We hadn't played there before and thought it was fun.  The course we played was fairly crowded and we only played 9 holes there.

Winner of course 2 was...Eric!

Course three was just up the road at Union Station.  It was a tight course with 18 holes.  Logan was crowned the winner of this course!

We had covered 45 holes of golf after course 3 and we were dragging!  After course three, we journeyed back to our house for some charcuterie and relaxed in preparation for Day 2.

Ian and Kayla joined us for breakfast on Sunday and for our last round of putt-putt.  We picked a course close to our house, Centerfield, and play began!  

Winner of course four...Ian!

The total scores were tallied and the overall winner was crowned.  And the winner of the 1st Annual Putt-Putt Tournament is...LOGAN!!

This tournament was an absolute blast! All the stars aligned - we had great weather, three of the four courses were not crowded and we all had fun.  We are definitely doing it again next year!

Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop - September 20, 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.


Pumpkin Pie in a Jar


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

Friday, September 15, 2023

Five on Friday - September 15, 2023

It's Friday!  This week flew by and it's hard for me to believe that I'm already putting together my Five on Friday post.  Let's get to it...

1.  The Morning Show
Apple TV dropped the third season of The Morning Show this week!  This is one of the shows Eric and I both watch and it's nice to have something we can watch together.  But it also means that we won't be binge-watching it because that's not Eric's style unlike me who blew through the new season of Virgin River last week in a day and a half.  If you're new to The Morning Show, this is Season 3 and it's worth starting from the beginning.  New to the show this season is John Hamm, who joins Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.  Can't wait to watch all the drama!

James Patterson's new book, 23 1/2 Lies, was released this week and this 448-page novel is three books in one.  Each story is a heart-racing thriller!  Here's the summary ~
23 1/2 LIES: Lindsay Boxer's estranged father is gunned down execution-style, and her investigation uncovers life-altering truths. (with Maxine Paetro)

FALLEN RANGER: To Rory Yates, being a Texas Ranger means absolute loyalty to the badge. But he’s put through the ultimate test when an armored car robbery suspect might be an ex-Ranger gone rogue. (with Andrew Bourelle)

WATCH YOUR BACK: When a starving artist is paid to expose his client's cheating wife, can he paint the picture that will save his own life? (with Loren D. Estleman)

3. Starbucks New Fall Mugs
Starbucks is pulling out all the stops with the new fall mug collection.  My fav is the glow in the glow-in-the-dark green slime tumbler.  The skull mug is a close second.  But they are all adorable!  Pop by your local Starbucks and grab one while supplies last.  Don't forget to take it back every time you go to get 10 cents off your order and accrue more Starbucks reward points.

Will you be sitting in the stadium a lot this fall watching sporting events?  Those metal bleachers can get very uncomfortable!  Check out this cushioned stadium seat.  It gives you great back support, is easy and lightweight to carry, and folds up for easy storage.  This would also make a great gift for all the sports parents out there.

5.  Thought...

Now let's get the weekend started!  We have friends coming to stay with us for our 1st Putt Putt Golf Tournament.  I have four courses lined up and it's going to be a blast playing!  Pop in next week to see how it goes.