Week In Review (April 21 – April 27, 2014)

My Week In Review (otherwise known as WIR) posts are just that: a review of my past week.  I have moved my WIR posts to Tuesday to accommodate a new posting schedule.  I post an update here every Tuesday sharing some tidbits of my previous week as well as an accompanying photo recap with selections from my Instagram.  Here’s the buzz from my week:


Easter always feels like the real start of spring to me, and the week following it was filled with lots of springtime joys.  I love being able to savor and enjoy the last of the Paska bread that I bake every year for Easter (you can find the recipe here).  It’s perfect lightly toasted and properly buttered up with a nice cup of tea!  I had a slice as a mid-morning snack every day last week.  Yum!  I’ve also been treating myself to a little bit of my Easter candy stash every day.  I started the Tone It Up #BikiniSeries that I mentioned in my last WIR a week early and have been amping up my workouts and cleaning up my weekday diet accordingly with the exception of these indulgences.   It’s all about balance!

In other springtime news, our hyacinths finally bloomed last week, filling our yard with their beauty and sweet fragrance.  I decided to leave my Easter decor out for another week or two since I just love how sweet and festive it is.  I’ve always loved bunnies, but lately they have become my favorite animal.  Bunnies are taking over my office!  I love seeing those sweet little faces.  After I posted the bunny collage above on Instagram someone shared they believed I was a bit too old to have such a collection.  I firmly believe that no one is ever too old to enjoy what they like.  My fondness for little stuffed bunnies does not make me less of an adult.  In fact, I would argue that having the kind of confidence to just be you regardless of what others might think is a true mark of maturity.  I love bunnies and I have a feeling I always will.


Speaking of bunnies, my husband Don had ordered a handmade felted bunny from Etsy to include in my Easter basket this year, but it got stuck in customs in New York for awhile and did not make it in time.  He was pretty cute about it, giving me real time tracking updates a couple of times a day, which we started calling “Bunny Watch 2014.”  When the little guy finally did arrive (all the way from Estonia!  You can find him on MiaPuPe’s Etsy shop), I decided to share him on Instagram and asked for name suggestions.  He was so popular that Don and I decided it would be fun to take him on our travels this year and photograph him in different spots much like the garden gnome in one of my all-time favorite movies, Amélie.  And thus, Bean Bunny (soon to be) World Traveler was born!  Follow me on Instagram to see him pop up here and there. 🙂


Our weekends have been pretty jam-packed so far this spring with lots of fun family gatherings, time spent with friends, and special outings for just the two of us.  On Friday I celebrated my Mom’s birthday with her at our favorite spot for lunch called Abigail’s.  The salmon burger special was delicious!  That evening Don and I joined his side of the family for a dual birthday celebration for Aunt Julie and our brother-in-law Dave at Gibson’s, a great Chicago steakhouse.  We spent the day together on Saturday out on a day-ate (which is just my silly word for a date that takes place during the day).  We headed downtown to the Museum of Science & Industry to see the Disney Treasures exhibit, which is only in town for another week (* Now extended through August 3 *).  I’d never been to this museum before and wish we had allowed more time to explore.  We’ll just have to go back.  The Disney exhibit was fantastic, following Walt and Roy Disney through their building of the company and Disney brand.  Afterwards, we made a pitstop at our favorite Chicago cupcake bakery, Molly’s, before heading to a lovely dinner at Chez Moi, a French bistro in Lincoln Park.  As you can see, we ate very well this weekend!  I work out hard and watch my diet during the week so I can splurge like this on the weekend.

If you’d like to see more about our day-ate this past weekend, check out my vlog:

Although the weather has been pretty chilly and it looks like we’re in for quite a bit of rain this week, I am enjoying the beauty of the season, both indoors and outside.  We have so much fun stuff coming up in the next few months and I can’t wait to share it with you!  I am going to test out vlogging over the entire weekend for next week’s post and see how that goes.  I get so many comments about how much my vlogs are missed and I just want to say that I miss sharing with you in that way, as well!  I hope to find the right balance in sharing these glimpses into my personal life in a way that feels safe, authentic, and enjoyable to me.  I appreciate your patience while I have been sorting things out.  Thanks for sticking with me through it all.  I appreciate you more than you know.  Take care!


This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are genuinely my own. *


46 thoughts on “Week In Review (April 21 – April 27, 2014)”

  1. OMG, you guys crack me up. I love the Museum of Science and Industry. We are like you and get to museums like at 2. And then they close. I can’t tell you how many times we have done this. So we find ourselves rushing in the end. We also buy too many cupcakes and regret it when we get home. Usually one extra is all we need. While we don’t usually partake in the early bird special, we are home earlier and earlier. Thanx for sharing. So much fun. Enjoy!

  2. And we appreciate you more than You know Jen! Loved the vlog. I burst out giggling when Don said he’d leave the box of cupcakes on the doorstep of his inlaws with whom he was having a weightloss challenge! Still laughing 🙂

  3. Thank you for these vlogs lately! I really enjoyed them and I see you are getting more free and natural while vloggin, just like in the old times! I’m watching your from the start and this is the Jen we all love! Keep it up, we missed you sooo much! loveeee

  4. Jen, Did you mean Estonia (not “Astonia”). I was there for one day, and it was amazing.

    On another note – used my first bath bomb this weekend – stayed in there for 2 hours – it was amazing! Now I just need a good book to read – any suggestions?

    1. A 2 hour bath! How lovely 🙂 I have fixed the typo – thanks for the head’s up. I’m currently reading a David Sedaris book. Love his stuff!

  5. Good for you for sticking up for your love of bunnies Jen!
    People are far too quick to say what other people should and shouldn’t do. Who are they to dictate to you??
    It seems to me that too many adults take themselves too seriously! They really should let their hair down and just enjoy whatever it is that interests them without feeling they have to justify it to other people!

  6. Hi Jen,

    I love your week in review posts! It looks like you’ve had a lot of fun and I am glad to hear that you are considering starting to vlog a bit more 🙂
    Are you thinking of going to Italy this summer? It is amazing! I went to Rome last year (don’t know if you’re going there) but a tip is to book all the tours of Vatican City and the colloseum in advance! I’m looking forward to seeing all the places you, Don and Bean Bunny will go to!

    Here’s to another great week!


    1. We are planning a Venice & Lake Como trip. I haven’t been to Italy in 10 years! I’m so excited to go back and to places I haven’t been before this time 🙂

  7. Just checked the MSI website – they announced just yesterday the exhibit has been extended, again, so maybe I’ll be able to see it…which I’ve been meaning to do for the last 6 months…

  8. Hello Beauty,
    Thanks for bringing us along on your Day – Ate 😉 with Don, so much fun! One day my hubby & I plan a to travel to Chicago – looks like such an interesting city!
    Now all I can think of is cupcakes Jen, I’ll have to pop out today and pick some up. :O
    You look so happy these days, back to your old self again – that’s wonderful to see!
    Have an awesome week!

  9. I’m happy to find this site. I’m 49 and so enjoy your videos. Jen, out of all the youtube vids I follow you my dear are my absolute favorite. The longer the better in my opinion. Thanks so much, Bernice

  10. Don’t ever feel for one moment that you can’t do what gives you joy. I am one of your ‘older’ followers, as far as years go. I am 50ish, but my heart, soul and spirit are far younger. I collect children’s books, among other things and even created the dollhouse of my dreams. My husband and I exchange Easter baskets as you and Don do, celebrate all the holidays big time and go on dates, we work hard as well. I think it gave our 6 children a healthy view of what a balanced, healthy relationship and life is. It is a plus to do things when you are grown up and have the money to do things exactly as you want. There are enough hours of our adult lives that we spend doing adult things and dealing with adult problems, it is wonderful to reconnect with our inner child when we can and in a way that gives us joy. Now the adult me has to go work in the garden 🙂

      1. Hi Jen – I loved your day-date! Like Esther, same thing, 50+ish, and have been a follower for a couple of years. I don’t know what mean, hateful things people have said to you to make you pull back so far, but I am really sorry for whatever they said. I don’t normally read comments, but my heart broke for you on the couple of videos where you were explaining why you were changing things up. The way I see it, it’s your life to do as you please — you aren’t hurting anyone — AND you are giving so much more than you receive. It has to be hard though.
        I also have my favorite stuffed animals — that I acquired as an adult, thank you — and they are mine! You and Don are too darn cute and please keep vlogging and doing your videos. I miss Don’s too — he is too funny! Thanks for all you both do and give of yourselves.

        1. You’re very sweet to say these nice things. I did need to pull back for awhile but I started missing vlogging a bit so I am sticking my toe back in the water with weekend vlogs and we’ll see how that goes 🙂

  11. Hi Jen, I recently found your channels and just watched your latest vlog. It is a shame that the comments are disabled, but I just wanted to let you know that as a 30 year old, I really appreciate your content and your perspective. Most vloggers/bloggers around our age are catering to a much younger audience who perhaps can’t appreciate the quality of such great content. Keep it up!

  12. Really wonderful, I got so tuned in at the museum when you showed the sand bit I asked , What is that? but neither one of you answered so had a little laugh at myself. Love seeing different areas . Have never seen Chicago so was very nice. The flowers 🙂 Thank you for taking time to share.

  13. I can’t believe this was your first time at the Museum of Science and Industry. We live in Ohio and have been there many times. Your vlog brought back wonderful memories. You and Don should go at Christmas and see the Christmas around the world exhibit. I think you would really enjoy it.

  14. Hi Jen and Don,
    I loved this vlog!!! You looked like you had an awesome day-date! The cupcakes look yummy! Wish I lived closer, I’d come over and pick them up. 😀 haha Winnie looked so pretty with her combed hair and red bow. She’s a cutie!!!! Thanks for sharing. Love ya…xo

  15. I loved your week in review. As a fellow stuffed animal lover, I believe that if it’s cute and makes you happy, go for it! I’ve got a few friends that have been given to me and they serve as fond memories. A stuffed dog that was given to me as a graduation gift. My favorite though is a stuffed animal my grandpa picked out all on his own when I was born! He has a special place on my desk! The list goes on!

  16. Don’t listen to the haters and do what makes you happy!! I will be 45 next week and still have my Kermit the Frog and my Fozzie Bear my late Mum bought me in 1976 and 1977 for Christmas! I am a Disney fanatic too and am having withdrawal symptoms as cant afford to go back to WDW until 2017!! Looking forward to hearing all your exciting travels to Italy..I am going on a cruise from Venice in November so will be interested to getting you slant on what is there!!

    So glad to have you back …I missed your vlogs as your cheery banter brightens up many an dull day. 🙂


    Clodagh from Belfast, Ireland

  17. Hi Jen, I want to thank you for sharing. I know that I don’t know everything about you but it is so clear….you are such a caring and genuinely nice person anyone would be lucky to have you for a friend. I too don’t have children and no sister, it’s not easy when you get older, so I look forward to hearing about your day. Thanks again….have a great week!

  18. Thank you so much for posting the date vlog! I love watching the two of you together. You give me hope to find the kind of relationship that you and Don have! Please keep vlogging, especially ones with you and your husband, they really do inspire us single girls out there!

  19. Hi Jen !!!

    Hola 🙂

    This is the first time I comment on your blogs / vlogs. I really liked this one ! It reminded me my first time in Chicago, I fell in love with that place! I’m from Buenos Aires, Argentina and I follow your Youtube channels and blogs for over a year.

    Don and you are so cute together !!! I have so much fun with you !!!

    Jen, you are such a great source of motivation for my daily life and work and as a mother of two boys and housewife your organization tips always are very useful !!!

    You are a sweet and great person !!! Sometimes I feel we are friends, It’s crazy because we didn’t even know each other and we are separated by different hemispheres, but is true ! Probably many of your followers feel the same of me.

    Thank you for sharing your life and your good mood with us.

    Hope to see you more often on your channels.


    Greetings from Buenos Aires

    Saludos desde Buenos Aires
    Marian 🙂

  20. Yay! Thank you for the lovely vlog and WIR!
    You and Don both looked so happy – it was sooooo great to see you two having so much fun together 🙂 Thanks for taking us along on your day-ate! I really have missed your vlogs!! Looks like it was a wonderful day – I would have loved that Disney exhibition too!

    I hope that you are able to find a nice balance with vlogging that works for you, so that we are going to be able to enjoy some vlogs from you on a weekly basis – that would be something so wonderful to look forward to every week! But either way thank you so much for this vlog 🙂

  21. Hi Jen, just wanted to say I have read your WIR and I am really looking forward to watching your vlog (I save them for when I have time to concentrate fully!) I am very pleased that you feel ready to do a bit more vlogging at the weekend, and wanted to let you know that I am really looking forward to seeing that too. I have always enjoyed ALL of your content, and realise you have your own reasons for pulling back recently. I will continue to watch regardless. Also, who doesn’t like bunnies? Probably the same people that think disney is “just for kids” :-0 Take care Anne from UK 🙂

  22. Loved seeing Don! Tell him we appreciate him please 🙂 Im soooo addicted to to your vlogs. I started watching your vlogs from 2012 all over again a couple weeks ago and im already on the November 15, 2012 vlog! Ive done this about a thousand times already lol But I can never get enough! Love vlogidays! Thanks for sharing Jen!

  23. Hi Jen, I love your videos, love that you share your weekends with all of us. I really like that you share not only beauty tips or reviews, but we also can get to know you and your wonderful family. To me you seem like genuine person love,love ALL your videos.


  24. I know you posted this a while back, but I just saw the video you made! I live literally a couple blocks away from where you ate dinner, so I got really excited! lol. At first I didn’t even recognize my own neighborhood because now the leaves are out and it’s so much warmer! Anyway, since you like cupcakes, have you ever been to Sweet Mandy B’s? There’s another place on Belden and Lincoln called Swirls (maybe it’s spelled Swirlz?). I like Sweet Mandy B’s the best, though, and highly recommend you try it if you haven’t yet :). They have other things too, like cakes, puddings, and brownies. Oh! There is also a french patisserie called Vanille Patisserie- I have yet to go there myself but I hear their pistachio macaroons are delicious!

    Anyway, sorry for the long comment on an older post! I love your videos! Keep up the good work!!

  25. Oh! I forgot to mention! Since you live in Chicago, and since you like to knit, have you ever been to Loopy Yarns? I REALLY recommend this place, they are SO helpful, and they were the people I went to when I was a novice knitter. Loopy is literally next to the harrison redline stop, and right across the street from it is this awesome bar called Hackney’s that I really recommend. Hackeny’s has a nice atmosphere and awesome food, too. I also recommend Sifu design studio (they carry more local and expensive yarns), as well as Windy Knitty (those are little more north near the Bryn-Mwr and Thorndale redline stops). If you ever find yourself in Lincoln Park again for dinner I would also recommend checking out Sister Arts Studio (a block northeast of Fullerton and N. Halsted). They are a smaller store, but still have a good selection of great sockyarns, and Cascade brand yarns (one of my favorites).

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