Week In Review (April 28 – May 4, 2014)

My Week In Review (otherwise known as WIR) posts are just that: a review of my past week.  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:


Last Monday was the official launch of the Tone It Up #BikiniSeries.  I am so excited to be participating in this 8-week long challenge to get toned up for summer.  I actually kicked off my Bikini Series challenge a week early as I mentioned in my last WIR by cleaning up my weekday diet and adding in a second round of cardio four days a week on the elliptical.  My plan for this year’s series is to follow that kind of plan, trying to eat pretty clean during the week and kicking my booty a little extra four days a week.  I decided to join many other members in kicking off the official BikiniSeries launch with the 7 Day Slim Down, which is part of the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan, for which I am a member.  While the BikiniSeries is open and free to all, there are some added perks for Tone It Up members during the series.  I find that for me a four day version of the slim down is the optimal diet reset.  I am thoroughly enjoying the BikiniSeries so far and feeling great!  Tone It Up is such a great motivational and inspirational community.


Daily life hums along at an even clip most of the time between the daily to-dos, working on my posts, and keeping house.  I find myself noticing the little things and treasuring the small moments even more within the comforting familiarity of routine life.  For instance, just the other day I was working at my desk and happened to glance over at the plethora of mint-colored items all bunched together to my left.  I have this Lace Oval Bin from Target and inside of it is a mint green Jellycat bunny and my kikki. K pocket planner.  I happened to be using my mint-colored LifeFactory water bottle that day as well.  There is nothing particularly remarkable about these items or some deep meaning behind me noticing them, but seeing this cluster made me smile inside and out.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: It’s the little things, you know?  A great read, a sleeping puppy, a tub full of bubbles – this is a small moment relative to others that have happened and will come about in my life, but it is a joy to experience them.  It’s easy to take simple pleasures like this for granted, but this year so far has been a lesson in truly living them for me.  There is so much joy to be found in the small things.

Speaking of joy, I have been enjoying vlogging again here and there and have decided to take the plunge with a high end new vlogging camera.  I originally purchased the Canon PowerShot ELPH 340HS to replace my beloved 330HS that has a scratched lens, figuring it would be the same quality since it’s just the newest model in the line.  I decided to return it after discovering that the video quality was not as good as its predecessor and instead decided to upgrade to the Canon PowerShot S120, which is the model my favorite vloggers, the SacconeJolys, use.  Their video quality always looks amazing and they seem to have less trouble with blurriness, which is my main beef with the 340HS.  I filmed with the S120 for the first time over the weekend and am very pleased with the quality.  I mention all of this not only because some are interested in what cameras and equipment I use, but also as a rather roundabout way of sharing that I am truly digging vlogging again.  I lost my vlogging mojo for awhile there, but lately I’ve been missing it.  I like sharing with you in that casual sort of way.  I am having so much fun sharing again!


Our weekends have been jam-packed with lots of activities and lots of eating lately!  We kicked off the weekend on Friday with a panini party with my parents.  Why are toasted sandwiches so much better?  It might have something to do with the butter, I’m guessing. 😉  On Saturday we headed downtown with Don’s sister and her husband for dinner at Sixteen to mark the end of a friendly weight loss wager between the three of them.  It was quite the celebration!  I took my Mom out for an early Mother’s Day celebration since I will not be with her next weekend.  We went to brunch at Allium, which is one of our favorite ways to celebrate together.  Then, we saw The Joffrey Ballet’s Romeo & Juliet, which is a contemporary choreography.  It was incredibly powerful and we both enjoyed it thoroughly!  Our family sure knows how to celebrate!

As I mentioned before, I am trying out vlogging on the weekends. If you’d like to see more about my weekend, check out this video:

With so much loss and sadness that is a natural part of life, it is important to celebrate moments both big and small with the ones you love.  Wishing you many happy celebrations!


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


39 thoughts on “Week In Review (April 28 – May 4, 2014)”

  1. What a lovely vlog, Jen! 🙂
    I am in the process of applying to dental school and I’ve done a ton of shadowing in dental offices, but I haven’t seen a patient older than 5 who is cavity-free. You are unbelievably amazing for keeping such great care of your teeth! 😀

    1. Hey there Adelina, I had a very small cavity at age 5 and now, nearly 15 years later, I have been cavity-free 😀 Just a little shout-out there… BTW, I happen to have a friend who is also applying at dental school. 😛

  2. Great video and lovely to see you vlogging again Jen.
    When you were driving with your hair up and dark glasses on you looked so much like Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”!! So apt that you were wearing Tiffany jewellery!! lol (and I loved the coat you were wearing!)

  3. Hey Jen. I hear ya with the tooth sensitivity and receding gum line… I used to bush too hard as well… The sensodine tooth paste is amazing!!! I use it as my tooth paste and the one with the sea green cap is the best! Been loving your videos and miss you!

  4. Hi Jen, I have a couple of questions for you:
    1. When you’re returning to Utah, will you still be posting videos there and will be showing us how to organize a smaller wardrobe/cupboard?
    2. How will this new content of vlogging play out? Will you be vlogging every day or every other day?
    3. What are your best pieces of advice for parents of young teenagers/adults who want to make YouTube videos, but they don’t think it’s a realistic idea, that’s it’s too dangerous, or whatever their reasons may be, etc…
    4. How do you best handle the nasty comments on your YouTube videos? Do you ignore it or talk to someone about it?
    5. What was your family’s reaction when you started making YouTube videos?
    P.S.: I wanted to thank you for the wonderful information that you gave me 2 weeks ago! It was really appreciated

    1. I will be keeping up with my posting schedule in Utah. I will be sharing looks at my drawers and closets for my Spring Organization Overhaul series on OLJ. For right now I am trying out vlogging on the weekends only. As for parenting questions, I don’t feel comfortable commenting since I am not myself a parent. I think you need to do what’s best for your family. Nasty comments are unfortunately a routine part of YouTube. It’s best to ignore them. My family is very supportive of my YouTube presence. 🙂

  5. I’M SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!! You came back with the OLD STYLE vlogging!!!! I’m so excited I came here to comment after like 1 minute of watching your latest vlog!!! hahaha I love you so much, I MISSED you so much, you are so cute and lovely and your family is wonderfull. I just hope we will be able to comment soo on your vlogging channel. Keep it up and wish you all the best from Croatia!!

  6. Jen, if you have sensitive teeth, keep using the Sensodyne. I have the same type of teeth you do – soft enamel – and the Sensodyne has helped so much! You can get it at any drugstore and it’s not expensive at all.

    Glad you’re back to vlogging!

    1. I really should, I’ve been talking about it for awhile now. Maybe I will film one for next week 🙂

    2. I was just going to ask the same thing! I would LOVE to see a dental routine video! Please film one 🙂

  7. I’m very glad your tooth sensitivity issue was nothing major. I’ve had sensitive and problematic teeth my whole life. I’ve had several cavities and they are not fun to have or to have fixed. I’ve used Sensodyne toothpaste in the past and it really helped. Of course, if you stop using it, the sensitivity comes back. 🙂

    Thanks so much for sharing your weekend, especially all the shots of your little bunny. Winnie is so cute!

  8. Loved the vlog! So glad that you’re showing us a few glimpses of your weekends. I am so jealous of that dessert table at Allium! It all looked fantastic!

  9. Hi Jen! I was just wondering if you were planning on doing another “Girly Target Haul” for Spring while you were in Utah. I loved your last two Target hauls and I hope you another one! Take care 🙂 -Vanessa

    1. Hmm…well, I was trying to be good, but maybe I’ll make a Target run sometime and we’ll see what comes of it 😉

  10. Hi Jen,
    Truly enjoy following you. Have enjoyed your videos for the past year n a half. Thanks for sharing. Can I please ask you the brand of sunglasses that you are wearing in the vlog where u guys are going out for dinner in downtown. Those suit you a lot.
    Best wishes to you n Don.

    1. They’re Tory Burch – I’ve had them for over 5 years and sadly they no longer carry the model.

  11. You go to all our favorite restaurants. I saw your Blog mentioning Alinea…we’ve been there twice. We’ve been to Sixteen twice as well. Loved them both. Our current favorite is Grace. My husband describes it as Alinea at less than half the cost. Plus, they have a glass wall so you can watch the chefs prepare everything while you eat. And they gave us a tour of the kitchen the first time we were there. That’s my recommendation from another Chicagoland Foodie couple.

      1. You should add ING to your list, too. Less formal, but fun as long as you like the food on their ever changing tasting menu. There are usual Travel Zoo discounts for it as well.

  12. Yay for vlogs! Yay for The Donald being in a vlog! Yay for your dessert plate! lol When you were showing the desserts I was really jealous. Really, really. lol Anyway, I have soft enamel and really love the Sensodyne Pronamel for helping my enamel issues as well as any sensitivity issues that come and go.

  13. The best types of exercises for toning are tabata and high intensity interval training (HIIT). The Tone It Up girls aren’t very toned themselves since they do so much low impact workouts that burn the least amount of fat, so less body muscle is seen.

  14. Happy you are enjoying vlogging again. You vlogs are the most enjoyable to watch when you are having fun. I loved your vlogs last year when you were getting ready for Emily’s baby and showing us gift hauls. Please share with us your gift-giving hauls again…please!

  15. Hey Jen! I am really enjoying your vlogs! Keep them coming. :0) I do have a question for you…you showed us all your spring and Easter decorations (so many cute bunnies btw)! I just wondered how and where you store all of your seasonal decorations?? I was thinking about you as I was putting all of my decorations away and thought to myself…”I wonder what Jen does?” I have learned so much from you and have followed in your footsteps in many areas. Thanks for being such a great role model!!

    Kim~Williamsburg, VA

  16. Yay!! Thank you so much for the weekend vlog! It was so great to see you (and Don too)! I love the dress that you wore to dinner on Saturday! So pretty!
    Brunch with your mom looked divine! Thanks for showing the desserts too – my mouth was watering just looking at all those tasty treats!

  17. I always enjoy your videos and it was so nice to see the drive to Trump tower as I live in the west coast and never see that. Yea Seattle has some awesome buildings but it was awesome to see your drive. It sure looked like an awesome time with your inlaws and with your mom. Always nice to see Winnie. Thanks for your videos.

  18. Thank you Jen. Was wondering what you use the pocket planner for? I have a pocket Filofax which I haven’t used since getting the bigger one (or two!!!). Was looking for ideas what I could use it for…

    1. Right now it’s just something I play around with. I’m not sure if I’m going to make it something I use for a calendar or not yet.

      1. Thank you so much for your reply, maybe I’ll use mine for a work diary, good thinking as always Jen, maybe you could let us know in your next update

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