Week In Review (April 15 – 21, 2013)

I took a week off writing blogs and filming for YouTube aside from editing a few vlogs for MHWL and videos for TBBB.  I know it doesn’t seem to many people that what I do as an OCC (Original Content Creator) is justifiably work, but in actuality it is quite time consuming and takes the kind of commitment a more “traditional” job requires.  I myself even hesitate to call it work, because I derive such great pleasure from the time I spend filming, editing, and writing.  Just as with anything, though, sometimes a little break now and then is a good thing.  So, that’s where I’ve been for the past week, on a break in Utah.  Although it was delightful to step back for a little bit,  I missed my work and I’m happy to be back, sharing as usual.

When Bad Things Happen

Last Monday was a terrible-horrible-no-good kind of day in the world.  Between the Boston Marathon Bombing and the earthquake in Iran there was a lot of tragedy and heavy hearts.  I’m the kind of person who is emotionally affected by tragedies like these even with no actual personal connection to the victims and aftermath.  After tweeting about these sad events, I received some criticism for being “selfish” in my actions.  I don’t think it’s selfish to feel compassion, sympathy, and empathy for those who are suffering in the world.  Whenever I chose to make some public statement about events like these, it is never my intention to bring attention to myself, but to spread love and healing to those in need.  I recognize that even those who aren’t directly impacted by tragic events can still be honestly affected by them, as I am someone who has that same experience.  I decided I should address this here, because I will from time to time comment on incidents such as the sad events from early last week.  We’re all connected on this planet in this life, even more so than we can see or ever truly know.  Every action you take affects everyone and we are all affected by everything.  That is why I place importance on and value in choosing kindness, encouragement, and patience.   You may not be able to choose what happens to you in this life, but you can decide how you feel about your circumstances and how you act in response to them.  It’s not always the easiest path to choose kindness, but it is the most rewarding, because as the famous saying goes, “You reap what you sow.”  Ain’t that the truth!  No one deserves to be a victim and bad things will happen every second of every day to someone somewhere.  There is no shame in feeling sympathy for others’ suffering and sending prayers of love and healing to those in need.  Share love and you will be rewarded with love.

Other Kinds Of Healing

I am thankful for my life and all that it is filled with and grateful for the comforts provided to me, by me, and for me.  I know I am lucky to enjoy the things I do and share love with the ones I am close with.  I am content in my life, but I am also human, just like everyone else, and susceptible to certain stresses and pressures.  I don’t think anyone is exempt from those feelings at least at one point or another in their life.  For all that I share online, I do not share my entire life and all that it entails.  Ok, that was my big disclaimer, because I seem to get in trouble every time I refer to needing a little getaway.  Yes, I know how lucky I am in this life and trust me when I say I do not take that for granted.  On the contrary  I embrace my good fortune, because, as I touched on in my last WIR, opportunity is fleeting, so scoop it up while you can!  The truth is, sometimes I do need a little getaway.  I’m pretty sure this is a common experience at least once in awhile for everyone at some point.  It doesn’t mean I think my life is hard or bad.  I don’t think we can honestly judge anyone else’s experience in life other than our own, because we can only truthfully be ourselves and live our own lives.  That being said, here are some of the things I enjoyed most about my getaway at the family abode in Utah…

Sleeping In

For some reason I can really sleep in whenever I’m at the Utah house.  At home and even other places I’ve traveled to I tend to wake up with the sun every morning regardless of what time I went to sleep the night before or how tired I might be.  I slept until 8 or 9 almost every day last week.  It was glorious!  Another thing I seem to only be able to do consistently in Utah is linger in bed in the mornings.  At home I always hop right out of bed the second I am awake, wash my face, brush my teeth, and start my day.  Oftentimes in Utah I will linger in bed snuggling with Winnie and Don long after I am officially awake.


Relishing The Scenery

I am a sucker for a beautiful view.  There’s a beautiful view practically everywhere you turn at house in Utah.  You can see mountains from the kitchen, the bedroom, and even the bathtub.  For me, views like these are deeply healing on a spiritual level.  There’s nothing like being smack dab in the middle of a gorgeous landscape to feel so connected to everything and everyone on this planet.


Snuggling Galore!

I know I already mentioned snuggling while lingering in bed, but really, snuggling ought to have its own category.  I am extremely fortunate to live with and travel most frequently with two of the best snugglers I’ve ever known.  Between my husband Don and my dog Winnie I always feel very physically secure in love.  Is there anything more healing than a good cuddle with the ones you love dearest?  I can’t imagine anything better!  I benefited from much snuggling over the past week.


Books On Healing

I keep a small selection of duplicate copies of some of my favorite spiritual and emotionally healing books, most notably including the Tao of Pooh, one of my most favorite and cherished books, which I tend to read once a year in Utah.  I also have a copy of Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  I decided to revisit this book this past trip and it turned out to be a very good decision in terms of my needs for healing at the moment.  I’ve actually only read this book once before more than five years ago, but the lasting effect it had on me then motivated me to add it to my small collection in Utah.  I’ll probably film a Book Nook (book review video) on this one for TBBB soon with my thoughts on it, if you’re curious.  In the meantime, let’s just say it suited my needs very well while in Utah and was a great addition to my getaway.  There are many truths to which I personally prescribe to that are laid out in this book.  Revisiting it was a true joy.


And that concludes my thoughts on last week.  I hope you are all well, safe, and happy on this beautiful spring day.  Sending love and hugs to you all!


49 thoughts on “Week In Review (April 15 – 21, 2013)”

  1. You said it Jen. Live life to its fullest, and most definitely “snuggle” when you can! Have a great rest of your week. Deb

  2. Thanks for a very inspiring blog Jen. My personal opinion is that all endeavour is work and if you love that work, that is an added bonus 🙂 A getaway from the every day is so needed, just to get a fresh perspective and recharge your batteries. I like to call it getting my zing back. I too agree with you, we are all connected, what connects is so much more than what separates us. Any good wish and prayer i believe is heard and felt and kindness is probably the quality i most value and aspire to. Sending you much love jen and i am delighted you enjoyed your break xx

  3. I am so happy you got the needed rest. I think some people do not understand like when you were at Disney you were still working. You filmed and everything. So what you.go on a vacation we come along. I am just.so happy you got the vacation you needed. I can not wait.for new videos.( Excited to see your updated filofax)

  4. Thanks for sharing. I love the way that you are able to explain yourself and your beliefs. Sometimes, when I read the comments on your videos, I have to remind myself that some people lack manners, have a difference of opinion, are unable to have empathy or that their view of the world is much different than yours. Yet, I don’t argue with other peoples opinions but I do ponder why they feel the need to say what they say to you. In regards to the “mean/thoughtless” comments I’ve come to realize that most people view their life as the comparison point of everyone else and if your struggle is similar to theirs then “you don’t know struggle or insert whatever topic”. Everyone has a breaking point that is relative to their tolerance and everyone’s tolerance is not the same. Thanks for your explanation on your job/life/breaking point.

  5. Jen, first let me say “thank you” for thinking of the people in Boston. My fiance has family in Boston, and we were not able to get a hold of them for a while. Seeing your tweet, thinking about the people in Boston, was very comforting for me, so “thank you” for that.

    OMG!!! I just don’t understand people. Don’t let them get you down, you deserve all the happiness in the world. If my family had a home in Utah, I would be there as much as I can with my family and alone. Everyone needs time to themselves to re-charge.

    Anyways, you are amazing and wonderfully sweet, don’t ever change!

  6. I tried to write more to express how I felt reading this, but I think I can sum everything up with this is a beautiful post Jen.

    Although I will say that I love the snuggling picture.

  7. I understand how you feel about all the events of last week. You didn’t mention it, but I’m sure you heard of it… The fertilizer plant explosion in Texas. We just recently moved to Texas; about a month and a half ago. Even thought we’ve been here such a short time, I feel such a deep loss and sadness for all that were affected by the tragedy. And I didn’t know a single person in Boston, but my heart goes out to everyone that was there, or that did know someone. Their lives will never be the same. It also saddens me that people worry so much about what other people are doing with their lives. I feel that we should all look for the blessings that we have, and be thankful for them, and cherish them. You never know when they will be gone.

  8. Dear Jen, I am so happy for you, that you were able to get away. We all should take the opportunity whenever we get a chance. I love that you share from your heart. I always wish you the best, and I look forward to all of your blogs, vlogs, tumblers, keeks and twitters!

  9. Most athletes would say that what they do at first is a hobbie and if you are good at it and dedicate most time to it then it can be a career. Obviously youtube can be a hobbie for some people but for someone who puts in so much time (and not to mention money) it is definetely a job. Every girl also needs some alone time once in a while!

    I think people are more concerned with the fact that you could be spending your time in a more valuable way like volunteering. Something as little as a few hours a week could help someone much less fortunate than yourself. People also are confused at why you can go on three vacations yet still have not finished Christmas cards. Real jobs have deadlines and sometimes that means skipping bath time or workout. Having a job means that sometimes you have to sacrifice things that you want to do.

    I don’t think people are meaning you are a horrible person I think they just want you to understand their point of view…just like you want them to understand yours.

    1. How one values their time is an individual and subjective choice. Charity can still be charity but look different to different people. I prefer to keep my charity private. We all give in different ways. It’s still fundamentally giving, which is love by definition. True giving has no strings attached, no need for attention, and certainly no expectations of returns. If you give of yourself purely and freely in this way, you give the gift of love and you receive the gift of love from within in return.

      1. I think part of the problem is you really do come off overly cocky about being “such a busy busy bee” . I’m not saying you don’t keep busy with things in your life and with youtube but you are NO more busy than anyone else so maybe give up the ohhh I’m such a busy bee act and just act normal and maybe then you wont get so much crap about needing “breaks”.

        1. I’m sorry you feel that way. I am the type of person who likes to be active and doing things all of the time, which is why I relate to the busy bee thing. I don’t think I have more on my plate than anyone else and I don’t think being the type of person who likes to be active is in anyway better than anyone else. I am who I am and that’s all I try to share.

          1. Just saying sometimes I think your attitude about how busy you are gets people snarking on you more than whether you are or are not really *that* busy and you would maybe get a lot less snarky comments about your vacations and such if you came off as more of a normal housewife who enjoys an active and busy lifestyle rather than this super crazy busy busy bee who’s so busy everyday from the moment you hop out of bed early in the morning. Obviously keep on being who you are and doing what makes you happy just my opinion that it’s more your attitude that gets you a lot of the comments rather than what you actually do with your time.

          2. Jen I think if you give the to others privately that is still great. You are not rubbing it in others faces. Do not listen to other as long as you and Don are happy that is all that matters. I hope you just stay positive and listen to positive influences

  10. I’m glad you enjoyed your time away; my recommended reading, or dvd, or youtube for you is anything by Eckhart Tolle. I can’t help but feel that you would thoroughly enjoy and understand his teachings. Thanks for sharing; I’ve enjoyed your blog. 🙂

  11. Jen, I think when bad things happen in the world we are all effected. I live in a suburb about 35 min from Boston, so it was / is a huge story here. I think we all need to enjoy every day since we never know what the next will bring.
    Thats great that you enjoyed time off, And you don’t need to explain yourself to anyone! I think you deserve to make your own schedule & thats that. Ignore the people who criticize . And keep doing what your doing! I for one totally enjoy & look forward to all your videos 🙂

  12. Jen,
    That was beautifully put. Everyone deserves a break from there normal life regardless of how wonderful that life is. I sincerely hope you don’t take your critics to heart. I love watching all of your videos you always bring a smile to my face!!!

  13. Last week’s Boston tragedy was horrific. I understand where you are coming from…and I see nothing wrong with being sympathetic for those who are suffering. So glad you enjoyed your time in Utah and were able to relax! The view looks gorgeous! :0)

  14. I truly believe. Love your life because life is short. So make the best of what you got. As a very faithful fan of your channel these negative comments are just unnecessary. I don’t think you should have to explain yourself. But I will tell you what YOU bring to me. I enjoy watching your little world. Inspiration on how your motivation on exercising. Good ideas on number of things. Keep it up!!!

  15. Hi Jen, I love your WIR posts! They’re so personal and enlightening… Anyway I’m so sorry for all of the harsh criticisms you receive, seriously I would emotionally crumble but you just keep on being you & sharing your life. For that I am so grateful! You probaly couldn’t imagine how greatly & positively you have impacted my life on a day to day basis, I’d like to share with you in greater detail with a letter (that will most likely resemble a book)… but back to the point at hand thank you for choosing to be an inspiration, “keep on keepin’ on” 🙂

  16. it’s sad that you have to post a disclaimer regarding your own thoughts and opinions. Although admirable and for your own peace of mind, just ignore the peanut gallery and do your thing. 90% of us “get you” and the other 10% aren’t worth your precious time.

    1. Here, here! What I don’t get is why they keep reading and watching your fabulous vlogs, if they’re getting so bent out of shape. Anyway, I think you’re awesome!

  17. Not everybody has love or someone to snuggle with or to even ever be happy in their personal life. I think the hope of these things & being as positive as possible despite the most awful circumstances takes deep, inward courage. You are a very thoughtful person Jenn & you bring smiles to many people (myself included). I don’t watch the news often since around age 17 as it affects me as well. Despite this, somehow the tragedies of the world always reach me. It takes true kindness to be honestly empathetic towards others my friend & you are truly kind. Glad to see a kindred soul… :0)

  18. Jen, it really pains me to think of someone calling you ‘selfish’ when expressing your thoughts about the tragic events of last week. I too am one of the bazillions of people on this planet who are emotionally affected by the suffering of others. It’s called compassion, and you have it in spades Dear Jen. It must be very trying to have to read comments by people who need more love in their lives. You don’t need to explain yourself, your life, your work, or vacations to anyone who visits your blog or watches your videos. PLEASE just remember that you are valued and appreciated by so many who consider you a wonderful online friend. Sending hugs your way.

  19. I know for me to truly relax and recharge, I need to not be in my own house. Even though I have worked hard to make it comfortable and comforting for all who live here, there always seems to be a chore or task or “I should really…” at the back of my mind when I am home.

  20. Jen, I really think you have a great outlook on life. I enjoy your videos and they actually have made me better with organization, weight control, exercise etc. I even brought out my decorations for Easter and St. Patrick’s, something I have not really done in a while. That added a bit of sunshine to my world that I had forgotten about. I have never seen people criticize for the sake of criticizing until I subscribed to social media. Ignore them there is something very wrong with someone who subscribes to a vlogger and then criticizes them, that comes from a very dark place in them and is about them not you. Please don’t respond to them! You are wonderful!! Enjoy the blessings you have been given, many, many of us enjoy sharing a snippet of you world and enjoy how you see the world and communicate your opinions, we are the majority of your viewers. Lots of Luv and Support !!Sharon and Nicole

  21. There are always going to be people that just feel the need to make other people feel bad about themselves. Please don’t let them get to you. I have learned that through my current job. It used to really bother me, but not anymore. I just let it go in one ear and out the other lol. I wish I had the opportunities that you have! With 2 kids in college, that is impossible right now! I love your organizational videos and the travel pictures! You have helped me more than you know 🙂

  22. Hi Jen!

    It sounds like a lovely, rejuvenating week! I loved seeing all the photos etc of the beautiful landscapes there. I am sorry that people choose to pick at you for everything, just know that they are the ones who feel dissatisfied with their own lives. I appreciate how candid you are. No matter what you do or where you live, everyone enjoys a change of scenery from time to time! I think it is healthy to be able to be content being alone for a little while. I have seen The Tao of Pooh but have not yet read it- I will have to check it out!

    I was also glad to hear that your knee injury is not too serious and that you will be able to run again soon! Hope you have a great week!

  23. This must be my 10th posting about how utterly amazed I am that you have to defend being a nice, compassionate, thoughful and kind person. It’s obvious that you’re appreciative of all you have, that you don’t take it for granted, that your family comes first and foremost, that you love them and they love you. And I am stunned, S.T.U.N.N.E.D. I tell you, that you are constantly criticized for it all. These people are jealous, there’s just no other reasonable explanation, and I’m sorry that they don’t have all you do in your life (and I’m certainly NOT talking about your purses and polishes and trips to Utah). Perhaps if they felt as loved as you obviously are, they wouldn’t feel the need to tear you down for every little thing…

  24. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: What you do IS WORK! I just have two blogs and make updates on my social media stuff and it keeps me busy and I need a break from time to time. It’s only because of its newness that people don’t think of what we do as work. IT”S WORK! Be proud of your hard work and ignore the haters. 🙂

  25. I love your WIR blog posts!!
    I went to a life coaching session a few years back one of the best messages (in a nutshell) was that 30% of people will love you, 30% of people will hate you and 30% of people will be indifferent towards you, and you need to focus your energy on the 30% that love and support you and just ignore and not feed into the other 60% 🙂
    Of course that was just talking about regular life – I know being on youtube puts a whole different spin on things, but I just wanted to share this insight with you, as it is something that I use and reflect back on regularly in my own life.

  26. Hey Jen or anyone who can help me! I am presenting a school project sometime this week. I will be talking about golden retrievers and did a power point. I am very very nervous. I could barely sleep last night and am super worried. 🙁 Please, please, PLEASE anyone who has any ideas of how to help me present or keep myself calm, tell me! Jen it would be so motivating coming from you! Thank you Jen! I am screaming and crying inside I am soooooo nervous!

    1. I used to dread giving presentations when I was in school. I found that I was better off going as close to first as possible so I could have it over and done with sooner. Being as prepared as possible with notes and all of your materials helps as well. Putting a lot of time and effort into making the parts people would see (such as a powerpoint) really nice made me feel better, because even if I stumbled over my words I had a solid presentation to offer. Knowing that the experience would be over soon and that my anxiety over it was temporary helped me to feel less overwhelmed by it. More often than not I was pleasantly surprised at how well my presentations seemed to go despite my anxiety over them.

      1. Thank you Jen! We started giving presentations yesterday. I am going to volunteer to go tomorrow! 🙂 thank you very much for your help. It means a lot.
        Bella 🙂

  27. I love all of your posts, Jen…. And I think you don’t have to defend yourself from others. My motto in life is that as long you are playing fair in life and your intentions are sincerely good, you shouldn’t be worried about what the haters are telling you.

  28. Loved reading your week in review as always :). Your home in Utah is beautiful and I enjoy it when you share your time there with us. Nothing pairs better with a great relaxing trip than some spiritual reading. This combined with baths of course makes for the best rejuvenated healing. Also, I think it is so silly the things that some people feel the need to say. You are on your own personal journey, and sometimes only the person walking will understand their path. However, whichever path you have been taken thus far has definitely worked for you as you and your husband are wonderful people who bring joy to others with what you share.

  29. I love your blog posts and videos, Jen! I’ve been watching you from the very beginning (: One thing I noticed, though, is how when you were explaining that it is a selfless act to send love round (which in fact it is and I don’t believe any other reason for you doing so), in the last sentence you said something along the lines of, “give love and get love in return”. This may seem like a selfish act to some (not to me), and following Ghandi’s words and teachings, there is no such thing as a selfless act. This includes acts of kindness in return for good “karma”, or to feel better about yourself. I know I did not phrase this well at all and it probably sounds confusing, and I want you to know that I do not think this was your intention and you were genuinely trying to be the loving person you are. Hopefully this helps explain the view that some people had.

  30. Whoever commented and told you that it was “selfish” to tweet about the Boston bombing must not be a runner! Everyone experienced the bombing a little differently, but no one is more acutely aware of what the Boston marathon means than a marathon runner (whether we’re talking about someone who “just” runs halfies or runs the full). To know, firsthand, what it took for some of those runners just to qualify for Boston; how close they were to NOT getting in this year; and how hard they must have struggled through that grueling, hilly course – is to imagine how devastated they were when they were stopped short of the finish line. And that is just the lucky runners! While some lost a once-in-a-lifetime moment in Boston, others were absolutely robbed of their leg and even their loved ones. To see the utter devastation forced upon our fellow runners and not offer our condolences would be heartless; for anyone, let alone a non-runner, to even think he or she has a right to determine how we grieve for those runners…now *that* is selfish!

  31. Just catching up on your blog. I went back to take a look at who called you “selfish” for tweeting condolences regarding the Boston Marathon. I can’t believe the nerve of some people. I don’t understand how some people can waste their time and energy with negativity. Have you taken a look at the persons other tweets? If you read a few of their tweets, you’ll understand what type of person this is. Clearly not a happy one. Ignore these type of people Jen. Your positivity and sincerity reaches out the those of us who are worth your time 🙂

  32. Please don’t stop doing haul videos ! I love your haul videos !
    I can’t affort half of what you show or buy, but that don’t makes me upset, quite the contrary actually, I like see review and stuff I wouldn’t have heard if it wasn’t for your videos =)

    I understand why it upset you, it shouldn’t; but I understand, people can be harch sometime.
    Maybe you can still post haul videos, but close the comments under those type of video … ?

  33. Never let anyone make you feel bad about your life, no one knows you completely and if they did or even wanted to then they wouldn’t judge for any reason. I know the feeling of people judging you from the outside when they really don’t know much about what goes on inside your life and its hard to sometimes wrap your head around how people can think that way. To bring you down when you are just trying to be compassionate to those affected in this tragedy any one should be able to care and have compassion for people whether you are directly related to the tragedy or not. I’m glad you enjoyed your time away and i totally agree everyone should take out some time from there every day life even just to clear your mind.
    Love your blog and all your tube channels

    xx Amber

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