Week In Review (August 4 – August 10, 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:


If you can’t tell from the pictures, we’re back in at the family vacation home in Utah for our summer visit.  Huzzah!  I absolutely love coming to Utah for extended stays, which we’ve been doing seasonally for a few years now.  Summer is a beautiful time in the mountains and I feel so blessed to be here!  Of course, I love going anywhere I can take my pup and Winnie feels right at home here, just like me.  We’re very much enjoying being back in our favorite place!


We flew out Sunday evening with Don’s folks, Keith and Suzanne.  We spent most of the week getting settled and prepping for our house guests for the weekend.  My parents flew in on Thursday to spend the long weekend with us.  Friends of Keith and Suzanne’s from Tokyo drove in from California that same day.  We had a full house for a couple of days!  It was fun to co-host everyone.  We planned several excursions and, of course, lots of good food for our guests.

On Thursday night Don put together an awesome meal of flank steak, caesar salad, and garlic bread.  What a way to kick off the weekend!

On Friday, we went on the Timpanogos Cave National Monument hike.  In order to reach the caves, you have to hike up 1,092 feet of incline.  Luckily, this path is designed with switchbacks and is paved for easy footing.  It’s still quite the hike (pun intended!), but includes breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valley.  You buy tickets for a specific cave tour time, since access is limited due to the fragile nature of caves.  While the hike itself can be quite toasty (we lucked out with a cooler day), the caves temperature averages around 45 degrees.  The tour is guided by a park ranger who informs you on the history of the cave and geological facts pertaining to it.  It’s an awesome tour and I highly recommend it.


We hosted a gathering at the house for our guests and our local friends on Friday night.  Don made delicious smoked pulled pork.  I baked the always popular cornbread pudding and Suzanne put together a fresh cucumber and tomato salad.  Yum!  There’s nothing like good food to bring people together.

On Saturday, our friends from Tokyo headed back to California for family gatherings of their own.  My Mom, Suzanne, and I drove up to Sundance for lunch and to walk around the beautiful grounds.  Unfortunately, a summer storm came through cutting our walk short, but we enjoyed watching the rain from the safety of the porch.  That night, the six of us went out to dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants located at The Blue Boar Inn.  The menu is a combination of Eurpoean and American influences, with a German/Swiss emphasis.  It was a delectable meal!


We drove up to Deer Valley on Sunday to ride the chair lift, which gives great views of the surrounding mountains and valley.  You get a breathtaking 360 degree view at the top!  We had brunch at Stein Eriksen Lodge, which is one of my personal favorite things to do food-wise whenever we visit.  The bacon is divine!  It’s nice to sit out on the porch and enjoy the mountain air and views while you dine.  After brunch I took my Mom to Park City for a walk around and a little shopping.  She hadn’t been in over thirty years and was interested to see how it had changed.  That night, we made a feast out of all of the delectable leftovers from the previous nights and relaxed outside until the sun set.  It was the perfect ending to a wonderful weekend together.

If you’d like to see more from my weekend, check out my vlog:

I loved being able to spend time with loved ones, including both family and friends old and new this weekend.  Do you have any special family gatherings or trips with friends planned this summer?  I’d love to hear about them if you care to share.  It is always so special to spend quality time with the ones you love.  I hope that you have the opportunity to share good conversation, laughter, and memories with your loved ones this summer.


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


18 thoughts on “Week In Review (August 4 – August 10, 2014)”

  1. Your videos of Utah make me want to visit there again. I’ve only driven through at night so haven’t really seen much of it’s beauty!

    I loved the earrings and necklace you had on at then end of the video!

  2. I am so envious of you being in Sundance and Park City! Beautiful area and it so much to look at and do! I am glad you took us on your chair lift ride because when I visited I was way to scared to go on it. Now I see what I missed and I think I will have to make a trip back just to go on the lift..:) Thank you for sharing! Enjoy Utah….

  3. Another vlog enjoyed! It’s great that your parents came out to Utah and you got to spend some time with them as well as Don’s family, and several other loved ones by the sounds of it!

    The place you went to for the hike and cave tour looked really beautiful, and interesting too! I’m not sure if you’ve been there before, but regardless, its always great to get out and explore local hotspots when in familiar surroundings as some things can easily be taken for granted. I’m a Londoner originally, and moved to another country within the UK – Wales – a year or so ago, and when leaving London it was amazing to think of how many places I had taken for granted as they were just there, a part of my surroundings, and never visited beyond the realms of passing by on my daily commute.

    Thanks for taking the time to share with us on your family holiday!

  4. Wow! How awesome to spend time with your family in such a beautiful place. I’ve always heard it’s nice out there but your photos and video really captured the beauty!

  5. Utah looks beautiful!!
    The story about your dog made me smile as I always give my dog Holly a treat if I have to leave her on her own but she never touches it while I am out and instead saves it for when I get back. It is so cute 🙂

  6. Hi gorgeous,
    I have been watching some of your organisation videos and I wish I could bundle you up and bring you to me in Queensland, Australia.
    But first, I know it is never polite to ask a lady their age, but when do you plan to turn 21? Every time I watch you, I swear that your hubby must be the luckiest guy to have such an organised and together teenager/20 yr old girlfriend.
    What’s you secret…tell me…tell…tell…..tell…….lol
    By the way do you offer one to one (over the net) counselling in getting organised and staying that way??????
    Gentle Hugs, Stacey

  7. Jen, you have a beautiful family and I sincerely admire how close you guys are.

    I also wanted to thank you for last week’s WIR vlog, more specifically for showing your new small planner. I am 25 and for the past 10 years (or more) I’ve been looking for the “perfect” planner for me, but still hadn’t found it. But seeing you make some DIY things for your new planner, as well as the small version, I finally realized that the tiny size would be perfect for me (bc I could easily carry it with me – that was a previous problem of mine as I was using a too-large-and-heavy agenda and I was always avoiding it and not properly managing my time and to-do’s). I also made monthly calendar pages myself and now I have the perfect planner.

    Jen, you’ve helped me reach “PLANNER PEACE”! Thank you, thank you, thank you! 🙂

    1. Feel free to share pics via Twitter or my email if you like once you’ve got it all done. I love seeing other people’s planners 🙂

  8. Hi Jen, hope you are enjoying your break away. I am a bit muddled…what is Don’s Dad called, Don or Keith and at one stage was your Don called Keith?? Lol

  9. Thanks for sharing another great vlog! Love seeing Utah! And how lovely that your parents were able to join you guys for a bit too!!

    Sundance is so beautiful (as is Deer Valley too of course)!! Those rolled newspaper dog statues were awesome!!

    And that hike that you guys went on looked really fun! Did Winnie stay home alone or did she hang out with Don and his dad while the rest of you were on your hike?

  10. Jen,

    Utah is absolutely gorgeous! Glad you got to spend time with family and friends! Your parents seemed to enjoy themselves! Funny about the religious debate part at the end. Sounded like a good one. My family likes to have deep debates about politics and religion….they say those are two topics you don’t discuss at family functions…lol….I love it! I would love to have participated! Take care and enjoy the rest of your time in Utah,

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