Week in Review (January 13 – 19, 2014)

The new year feels like it is in full swing to me now that I’ve been home for a bit and am settling into a new schedule.  New year, new schedule actually pretty accurately sums up last week.  One of my goals for 2014 is to find a better balance between the different facets of my life.  Implementing more structure around my work feels like the most important place to start.  Working from home and for yourself can lead to some major blurring of boundary lines in my experience.  I think it’s important to have some space between my online endeavors and my personal pursuits.  I am giving myself a few weeks to settle into this new schedule and it’s not necessary that I stick strictly to it, but so far I am enjoying the rewards of my efforts in this area.  My goal at the moment is to (eventually) work weekdays only from about 10 AM to 6 PM.  I figure this will leave me time for some of my housewifely duties and personal endeavors in the pre 10 AM and post 6 PM time frame on weekdays as well as leave weekends free to split between household projects, family togetherness, and me time.  I hope to talk more about my time management schedule in an upcoming video and coordinating blog post on OLJ.  Stay tuned for that if you’re interested!

OJ_MHWL_01-22-2014_01So, what’s happened since last week’s WIR?  Well, we returned home from our two week holiday spent out at the family abode in Utah.  We were so lucky to have traveled in-between terrible Chicago weather!  I miss Utah and those mountains, as I do all of the time that I am not physically there, but I do feel like I got my “fix” for the time being.  I’ve settled into a pattern of spending a minimum of two weeks out there once a quarter (every season).  How luxurious, I know!  It’s so nice that we have a family house there with all the comforts of home that makes traveling there a breeze.  I can also carry on with my usual daily to-dos and work while I am there, if I so chose.  After a trip out, though, I look forward to returning to my Sweet Home Chicago, my house, and my extended family.  I am so grateful to have my home away from home in Utah in addition to my lovely place in the Chicagoland area.  Life is good!

OJ_MHWL_01-22-2014_02The Utah weather was pretty mild during our early January stay with, to my great disappointment, very little snow.  The return to Chicago has been just the opposite, however, with icy, chilly days and so much SNOW!  I love it!  I’ve become a huge fan of winter in recent years.  I know many others are pretty sick of winter by now, but I am so enamored by the beautiful peace of it all.  Something else I love about winter is the opportunity to eat some warm comfort food.  I love winter squash, tea and cookies, and hot baked oatmeal crisp!  Winter is a delicious season!

OJ_MHWL_01-22-2014_03One of my biggest goals of the year and anytime, really, is to work on being more present.  “Living in the moment” by Jason Mraz is my theme song this January!  For me, this means not dwelling too much on the past that I cannot change or a future I cannot predict.  Whether I am storing holiday decorations, shopping for groceries, writing a blog post, or reading a book in the bath tub, I strive to experience what I am doing in that exact moment.  This does not come naturally to me, but over the past few years with concentrated effort I have made massive improvements.  My life is and has been, on the whole, a very happy and blessed one, and I am grateful for it every day.  Just because I have been fortunate to live the life I have so far, however, does not mean that my experiences are impervious to the negative affects that anxiety can impose on even the happiest of occasions.  Being more focused on the here and now helps me to keep my anxiety and its mean-spirited nature at bay, which leads to a better quality of life overall.  I have to keep a constant vigil for when I start to slip and pull myself back to the present when I start to drift into the what ifs and what could have beens that never have a satisfactory answer.  This is the most powerful and beneficial journey I have ever embarked on and I suspect it will last a lifetime.  In fact, I am counting on it, because I find there are endless opportunities to learn and grow on these life journeys.

OJ_MHWL_01-22-2014_04One of the things I find necessary in striking a more balanced experience is quiet down time.  I’ve mentioned many times in the past how sacred my tub and reading time is to me, which it continues to be.  Lately, however, I’ve found an additional activity that calms my overactive imagination (otherwise known as my worrywart brain) and soothes any frayed nerves or unresolved tensions I may be experiencing.  I mentioned last week how I’d taken up knitting and I hoped my reclaimed hobby would last.  I do believe it will this time.  I’ve officially caught the knitting bug and I am delighting in it!  I’ve started to poke around more on Ravelry, an online fiber arts community.  I even started an OrganizedJen online knitting group of sorts there called Bliss Knits.  Please feel free to check it out and join if you care to.  It’s open to anyone, not just knitters.  I love sharing my experiences with you and knitting just seems to be the sort of thing that’s perfect for sharing.

Speaking of sharing, you can watch last week’s vlog here if you’d like:

As I mentioned in the video, I have a little giveaway to share this week.  The Weekly Wednesday Sigma Giveaway will run until Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6 PM CT.  The giveaway is open internationally.  All entrants under the age of 18 must have parental permission to enter.  One person will win the Sigma Paris Palette and set of five brushes pictured below:


You can enter by following the directions in the Rafflecopter widget posted below.   I’ll announce the winner on THIS blog post and contact them directly, as always.  Good luck!


Congrats to Melissa on being selected as the winner of my Weekly Wednesday Sigma Giveaway!

The Poll Results for *What should I include in addition to vlog footage in my Weekly Vlogs?* out of 3334 entries:

Share both mail & answer a question (1089) 33%
Answer viewer questions (976) 29%
Nothing else, just vlog footage (898) 27%
Showcase mail from the week (251) 8%
Something else (leave a blog comment with your suggestions) (120) 4%

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you’d like to learn more about my goals for the year please check out my 2014 New Years Resolutions post.  I hope you all are having a wonderful week and staying warm if the winter chill is wherever you are!


* Post contains affiliate links. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are genuinely my own. *


161 thoughts on “Week in Review (January 13 – 19, 2014)”

    1. I almost always share when I do shop! I’m doing another big sweep of my wardrobe and am looking to update my basics so I should have more hauls this year 🙂

  1. At the end of your weekly vlog you could ask for suggestions on videos that your subscribers would like to see you do , take a poll and consider doing at some time in the future your most requested videos.

  2. You could share your current knitting project, how your new planners are working out, or anything that you already share is absolutely fine. Love ya and keep up the great work.


  3. I like the idea of mail at the end of your video in the hope you may do the occasional Q and A video like you used to 😉

  4. Jen,
    I messed up on my youtube username! I accidently put it in as MyLifeAsBri but it’s MyLifeAsBri1. What do I do?

  5. Jen

    I like the new version of vlogging but I still kind of miss the old way. I guess it’s just going to take time for all of us to get settled into the new version. I like the idea of a Q&A after your WIR. Thanks for all your hard work.

    Carrie O

    1. I agree, Carrie. I used to watch in the morning (and throughout the day catching up on the vids from the beginning) while having my coffee – sort of like catching up with a friend.

  6. Jen,
    I love your video’s and feel that you should continue with what your doing and if you choose to share more then you decide what you want to share. You are a very thoughtful and giving person. Wishing only the best for you.

  7. I really enjoy your vlogs and new format. I would like to see at the end maybe a week sum, how you felt about the week etc I think maybe a monthly viewer questions would be great.

  8. Thank you Jen for a chance to win your giveaways. You are so generous to your fans! Most Youtubers would just keep their gifts and fans never know the difference.

  9. i think you have 4 weeks a mo- why not do something a little different each week ? mail 1 week questions another and at LEAST once a week share your CRAFTS !!!

  10. Hi Jen,

    I’m a fairly new subscriber to your YouTube channel and your blogs. I just wanted to say how much I enjoy watching and reading them. Seeing your organized home makes me want to get my own in order. Thank you for putting yourself out there and sharing so much of yourself with others. You are truly an inspiration. I had an organizedlikejen-athon, and sat here for like 4 hours watching you decorate, wrap gifts, and organize etc… and just had a relaxing time in doing so. I’m hooked! LOL

    Thanks again and keep up the good work!

    Debbie Mize

  11. Hi Jen,
    I find it very important for you to share what you are comfortable sharing. I adore you and really look forward to seeing your smiling face. It’s very rare that you find people who are so positive in life and always try to find the positive in something negative. Also, please don’t fret about turning 31. It’s your day to celebrate and you deserve to celebrate to the fullest. I’m sending you love, hugs and positive energy your way. Thank you for sharing your life with me.


  12. Hi Jennifer,

    Happy New Year!

    Thanks for sharing your life and your organizational talents with me. I look forward to seeing you in 2014.


  13. I think you should mix it up. Whenever you want to do mail, do it. If you want to add a baking segment, do it. If you receive lots of questions, answer some. I think it really needs to be what you feel good about. I really think the viewer who enjoy your vlogs will watch it no matter what the content may or may not hold. Ps , thanks for the giveaway. 🙂 mona

    1. I agree, I love all of your vlogs but enjoy the ones where you are comfortable. I really liked this weeks vlog as there was no hesitation, back to your old style 🙂 I do enjoy when you share little ways you keep organised during the day 🙂

  14. I am loving your new format and I love that you are sticking to what YOU want to do! I live a similarly charmed life and its overflowing with blessings. I have not wanted or needed sympathy in my life, just a friend to talk to from time to time. I found very early on that there are others that feel as though you aren’t entitled to your problems because they are not as pressing as theirs. What people don’t understand is that its all about perspective. By the same token, there is another individual who may be experiencing more struggle than those who have no empathy or understanding and to that individual, they’re not entitled to their feelings, etc… The world is just a better place when we love and support one another and refuse to let envy or other ugly emotions take hold. I see the good in you and that is why I am a subscriber/reader. I see the courage you have to share your story with others. I see the encouragement that you give to your community as well as your loved ones. Thanks for sticking it out through the tough times and for continuing to be a presence on the internet. You better get over whatever negativity you’re feeling towards your birthday and enjoy it! My birthday is the 27th of January and my hubbys is the 1st of February. I can’t remember your exact dates but I remember they were really close to one another. We are going on a weekend ski trip along with our twins and our friends so I am really looking forward to it and I will be 34 so don’t fret about being 31. Its still super fabulous! lol

  15. Weekly Vlog – Including Something Else:
    I would love for you to focus on your eating and exercise. You are such a model of moderation when it comes to eating and a source of motivation when it comes to exercise. What an opportunity to use your gifts to encourage a healthy lifestyle by modeling your own! Thanks so much!

    1. Ooo I would love this too – or even if you do it seasonally (like 4 times a year) maybe you could incorporate your favourite workout clothes for that season as well!

  16. I would really love to see more about your fitness routines/goals/thoughts/etc on your weekly vlog footage — what I would REALLY love is to see a “fitness with Jen’ type thing, but even a recap of your goals and whether you feel as if you met them or what you would do differently/the same would be so great to watch.

  17. I love the weekly vlogs! I can see you don’t feel pressured to entertain and you are more yourself! I think you should include things we did not get to see you do that week at the end of the vlog. Maybe crafts, movies, tv shows, knitting projects you have done over time! I would love to hear about that!

  18. Hi!! I think something to add to your weekly vlog would be a tea combo or maybe your favorite of the week? BTW…I’m a very schedule oriented person and I love knowing when…down to the time…I can look for your posts. THANKS!!

    1. I’m working on finding a posting time I can set for all of my future videos…I’m hoping to establish that in the next few weeks.

      1. (…I feel like I’m telling you what to do…HA!) You could even add it to a blog post if you don’t have space/time in a video. Not that we don’t want to see your smiling face! As an EXPERT, what do you thing is the best tea maker/brewer? I’m trying to remember, but, correct me if I’m wrong, I’ve seen a couple of different ones in your videos.

        Switching gears a bit…I’ve been thinking of starting a youtube channel to motivate myself to lose weight…a substantial amount of weight… and also to document some personal health issues. After reading some of the nasty comments and arguments viewers have posted, I’m VERY leery. Hats off to you for sticking with your mission for so long and ignoring the haters. After all…haters gonna hate!!

        1. I use the Breville One Touch tea maker, which is just about as fancy as it gets. Having a variable temperature electric kettle and the Teavana Perfect TeaMaker is a great less expensive option for the tea enthusiast.

          1. Thank you! There is a Teavana store in a nearby town. I think I’m going to buzz in there next week. I like the idea of them suggesting combos based on a person’s taste, etc. I’m totally bored with green tea. I probably drink 6-8 cups on any given day. EEEEPP!! I’m SO excited!

  19. Jen, you should do a book talk on whatever you’re reading that week or show what you’re knitting . . . or answer questions. I miss book nooks! I really like the weekly format, though I hate waiting! <3 ya!

    1. I’m considering bringing the book nooks back…also there will be a new monthly knitting video on TBBB, first one next week!

  20. I can’t imagine how hard it is to do a daily blog, I couldn’t even keep my blog caught up lol. I totally understand it must be so much work but I do miss your daily blogs so much! Your blog to me was what “It’s Judy’s Life” to you lol. Had my coffee with Jen every morning! Your gramma is the cutest ever and God bless her, almost 93 years young!! I would love to see a whole video with you interviewing her about how life was when she was young! My grandparents passed away when I was in my 20’s and I so wish I had the curiosity about their past when they were alive as I do now.
    Have a great week!!

  21. Hi Jen!

    I checked the “other” box on the first question. So here are my thoughts! Maybe you could wrap up the vlog each week (or so) by talking about your favorite part(s) of the last week – what you loved the most, what you were most thankful for. Then, maybe you could also talk about some of the things you have planned for the next week or some of the goals you want to accomplish in the near future. You don’t have to be super specific. Just a “I loved getting to…. last week. It was so much fun/relaxing/exactly what I needed!” or “I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to stick to a schedule over the past week because I got to …..” or “I’m hoping to…in the next week.” You know, just a short summary to tell us how life is going for you (not just showing parts of your life).

    I also just want to say – thank you so much for continuing to put yourself out there. I know it can’t be easy when people can be so mean and terrible. It definitely would have been enough for me to give up. Just know that there are a ton of us out here who love you and enjoy watching you document snippets of your life. Someday you’ll be able to look back at them too and remember what life was like during this point in time: how much fun Christmas was, how funny your Grandma was, how cute Winnie was, how much you loved Don and maybe (hopefully) how much that love has grown and deepened over the years. The haters won’t matter then. 🙂 And those of us who love you won’t matter either, but at least we’ll have joyfully gone along for the ride! Thanks for sharing.

    Take care!

  22. I love how you decorated your home. I would love if you could talk more on home design and how to decided on what to paint and why you decided in the colors for your home. I am horrible at picking color. I would love information like this on your videos.

  23. I think you should end the weekly vlogs with what suits you that week. Maybe answering FAQ’s, sharing mail, or discussing random topics that you feel passionate to discuss! Whatever the case I definitely like the idea of you popping in at the end and sort of wrapping things up! You’re such a giving person! Thanks for sharing your sigma goodies!

  24. How about sharing a favorite recipe. Maybe something you had during the week. thanks for sharing. Wish we could buy sigma products in Australia in a store

  25. Do you know what I really like. I like when you share advise on the everyday things. Geez I’m probably not being descript enough, sorry. But I really like it when it feels like we are just a couple of girlfriends chatting about wife things. About everyday things. Gosh this isn’t the best comment I know … but I’m hoping that you kind of know what I mean.

  26. Jen,

    I am loving your vlogs, you are so upbeat and sweet! It is fun to get a peek at your daily life and your Grandma is soooooo cute! I miss mine so much, so I will borrow yours if that is alright?!


  27. I really like your new format! As always, you are truly generous. Loved seeing your spunky grandma again. Have a beautiful snowy week.

  28. Hey Jen,

    I really like the new weekly vlog format! It seems like it is easier for you to manage and more organic which is also nice. You asked for suggestions of what to add to the weekly recap vlog. I was thinking what might be interesting is anything special that might of happened that week. A favorite meal or tv show or movie, just something simple that made your week better or extra special.

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  29. Hi Jen,
    I am one of those viewers who follow you only on you tube. I do not read your blog. It is not personal, I just do not have the „ time“ ,I enjoy more seeing you. So foe us….youtube friends…why not to share some of you feelings and thoughts at the end of the video….some bits and bytes that are already shared trough blog.
    Hugs and kissessss

  30. Your Grandmother is so cute. My husband and I bowl in a league with a lady who just had her 96th bday. We love her so much, she is truly an inspiration to me.

    I just wanted to say that I am loving the new format and I was so looking forward to today and your new video. Great job by the way. Have a great week and hope that Winnie is still feeling good. As a doggie parent myself I know how we worry about them.

    See you next wednesday.

  31. Hi I think you should ask people to give a topic they want to talk about each week. I also think on organizedjen you should have people ask for advice on organizing a space or a project.

  32. Hi Jen!! I love the new format of your weekly vlogs and that you are incorporating everything into the website. It make so much sense! I hope your new work schedule is working out for you. It is so hard to separate things out. Having a 2 year old at home makes it hard to blog during the day (which I should be spending with him anyways!!) and then I’m too tired to do it most nights. I need to be better at carving out time for specific things. I’ve been so spacey and forgetful lately and I think it’s because I’ve got a million things going on all the time! (Thanks for the giveaway, too!)

  33. Your new vlogging schedule is working out well. All things in moderation is always a good plan. You’re definitely on the right track for a more balanced work, personal and family time. I wish you the best and appreciate the time and effort you take to maintain vlogging and blogging.

  34. I would love an update on your what current organizing and project you re currently working on. Progress on resolution and I miss update regarding your exercising. Love everything you do!

  35. At the end of your weekly vlogs you might try Tips of “Wisdom” that you have learned from the week or in general. Thanks. I do wish you would do at least a monthly vlog that includes one Day in the Life video.

  36. Oh goodness your grandma is so stinkin cute. Great blog and I think you have all your ducks lined up in a row. I’ve learned one day at a time with my “ocd” lol and anxiety, you’re doing awesome! 🙂

    Have a wonderful week 🙂

  37. Oh and by the way I would so buy one of those scarves from you. My 14 year old daughter LOVES scarves and she would absolutely fall in love with that one, it’s so pretty. Anyhooo I’m glad I found your blog and videos, I enjoy them and you are always so sweet, happy and sometimes goofy which makes it fun. Ok enough of me blabbing take care! 🙂


    1. You should give knitting a try! Once you learn the four basics – casting on, knit stitch, purl stitch, and binding off – the sky’s the limit!

      1. You know what I’m going too 🙂 My family loves personal gifts like that and the one you made is beautiful. I’ll let you know how things go 🙂 Thank you! 🙂

  38. Hi Jen,
    it will be really interesting to know in the end of your weekly blogs how do you find your week over all? do you feel you accomplished your weekly goals? Do you feel satisfied from your work during the week? What was the most interesting day trough the week? why? Pls don’t feel like you have to answer all of this question .. This is only suggestion and I would be happy of course if you find them useful..
    best regards from NZ:)

    1. I make a point to pick up the high traffic areas of our home every day, which prevents things from piling up and getting messy.

  39. Oh my goodness, your Grandma is so cute and spunky! You are very fortunate to have all of your family so close to you! Enjoy the time with them as it goes by way too fast! 🙂

  40. Hi Jen,

    I’m loving the weekly vlogs but also am missing your daily vlogs it’s nice to take a peek into someone elses life that is different than your own. I took the poll and honestly miss your Nail Videos, I would always make a list out of the polishes you shared but I understand how busy you are. I emailed you last week about my dog, Bailey having surgery and you responded on Instagram; it truly made my day, thanks for acknowledging me. Hope this week is a fantastic week for you, Don, & Winnie!


  41. So glad to see you back! Enjoying your weekly vlog format and I’m sure it’s much easier on you! I just discovered your channel a bit ago and I believe you are the most genuine and generous person I have seen on You Tube! Your channel is delightful and your giveaways are beyond giving! Be true to yourself! 🙂

  42. Oh my goodness how adorable is your grandmother? She reminds me so much of my grandmother who lived until her mid 90’s. I miss her so much and used to love to just sit and talk with her about life and especially what life was like when she was growing up. Such interesting times and stories! 🙂

  43. Jen,
    Since you’ve mentioned mindfulness a number of times just in your last few posts, it occurs to me that you might be interested in reading some of Thich Nhat Hanh’s books. He’s quite prolific, and mindfulness is a huge topic of many of his books. Although he’s not Western, his books read as if he was. By that, I mean that the logic is linear rather than circular like that of most Eastern writers. This makes his books so much easier to understand for us. I’m Buddhist, so I have quite a lot of experience reading both Western and Eastern books, and there is quite a difference!
    Meditation will also help you with your mindfulness and stress control. You mentioned that you want to establish a regular yoga practice, and that is also good for these things. Meditation is also practiced by yogis, so this works in there as well. I practice insight meditation, but there are all types of meditation. You might check some out to see what works best for you.
    I’ve always said that my little dog is my best teacher since he’s the perfect example of mindfulness. Winnie might do the same for you as well!

      1. OK – my last comment of the day!!! I too have a couple of authors to recommend. These are crime novels, so if that’s not your ‘cup of tea’ (see what I did there???), then I would pass. Tami Hoag and John Sandford have some of the best books I’ve ever read. I’m from MN and they are both local authors. All/most of their stories stem from the Twin Cities area. IF I start my youtube channel, I’m going to start reviewing the John Sandford Prey series right away. Some of them are a little bit slow, but some are absolute PAGE TURNERS!! I read Mind Prey in one day. I suppose I should disclose that, if you get into the series, it will be a commitment…there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 24 books in the Prey series, and he has a couple of other spin offs.

  44. Thanks for taking us along with you for the week again Jen. I really enjoyed this week’s vlog, particularly when you featured your Grandma – reaching 93 is a real achievement and she is so adorable, not only that but she looks so good for her age too! One can only wish to reach such an age and be so lucid.
    It’s nice to see that the new year is treating you and your family well! Thanks for sharing.

  45. I’m really looking forward to your updated Time Management video! I find videos/posts like that very inspiring. And, I totally agree with you about the quiet down time with books, baths, and hobbies. It’s so important to keeping up energy and productivity during the week.

  46. Hi Jen

    Know what you mean about the beginning of the year, I always enjoy getting into a new routine or making new resolutions. I gave birth to our first child two weeks ago…not sure where that time has gone!…and am nervous but also excited about my new routine and challenges that I will face this year!

    Loving your Emma Bridgewater mug and understand what you meant in your vlog when you said you missed it! I always go to my Emma Bridgewater mugs when I want some comfort…sounds daft I know!

    Loving the new weekly vlog and glad it is working for you 🙂 Hope you enjoy the snow but make sure you all keep safe!

    Looking forward to keeping up to date with you over the next year!xx

  47. I think you should maybe share your highlights of the week .. maybe a little overview of how the week went for you .. a few of you thoughts and feelings .. and maybe you can share what you hope for the following week.

  48. i really enjoy your vlogs and all your videos..your one of my favorites to watch. You have a very calming voice and i like to see your family and what is going on in your life overall so thank you for continuing the vlogs in a way that works for you. I really enjoy watching you and Don cook…and i think it would be fun if you did more recipe start to finish vlogs or random recipe uploads from you or Don or your family even included in the cooking. Just an idea!

  49. Sorry Jen, I am just not a fan of the new vlog format. It jumps around too much and doesn’t really let us know anything about your life other than what you ate, that you walked Winnie, went to your Grandma’s bday, etc. I’m sorry to say I will probably become disinterested after a few weeks of this. I had a hard time making it to the end of this one. I really enjoyed your old vlogs, but also understand you being uncomfortable putting so much out there. I just think when people really see your day to day life it lets them know you and that is why we follow you. Just my 2 cents!!


      1. I lied…one more comment. 🙂 They don’t call me Chatty Cathy for nothing! Lisa, I thought something similar when Jen announced her new schedule, but then I imagined filming throughout my day…every day…editing it down to a few minutes and posting it online…every day. I totally understand her decision. I like to look at things from a ‘walk a mile in their shoes’ point of view. Hope you hang in there, Lisa!! 🙂

  50. Happy Thursday Jen!

    I just wanted to thank you for your videos, they are my favorite way to relax and unwind with a cup of tea after a long day. Don, Winnie, and you are just such a delight to follow and I truly appreciate you opening your life & sharing a piece of yourself with us viewers.

    I love taking baths & I’m not sure if you’ve ever tried it, but I like to put a couple bags of honey vanilla chamomile tea in my bath & a sock filled with oatmeal. It helps my skin from feeling dried out after a bath and the tea has a calming effect. 🙂 It’s probably weird to do, but I love it!

    I hope you’re having a great day!

    Warm Regards,
    Deanna 🙂

  51. Hi Jen! Hope you’re doing well! I just wanted to say thank you for sharing all that you do with us! I’m really missing your old style of vlogging but honestly I understand how it could become time consuming and overwhelming to share as much as you do! I will be sticking with you until you no longer want to do videos, and will enjoy anything that you post on any one of your channels! I truly feel so sad at how much time and energy people put toward commenting hateful things on your videos, I feel bad that it affects you and I also feel bad that they feel the need to put out so much hate! I’m sure it is hard to do but just try to ignore the mean people. As long as you’re happy with your life and being true to yourself, pay the haters no mind because they don’t matter! Those who mind, don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind! That’s what I always try to think! And actually even those of us who are “fans” of yours, we really don’t matter either because your husband and family are who’s most important in life! I also know that you try hard to please your viewers, and we appreciate that very much, but just post anything you want and is fans will enjoy it regardless! Anyway…this got to be a little bit long haha. My point is, don’t let people who serve no importance to your actual life, bring you down because I can tell you’re a wonderful caring person! Hope you’re having a great day Jen! 🙂

  52. Your grandmother is adorable and Winnie was cracking me up! Hope you are doing well and thanks for doing the giveaway!


  53. Dear Jen,

    Thanks very much for writing about your ideas to “stay in the moment”. It is one of my goals as well this year in order to keep my anxiety on a more manageable level. I had dinner with a friend last night who is going through very challenging times as her husband has a brain tumor and they have a two year old son. It put so much into perspective for me and I am trying to be grateful for everything I have instead of worrying so much about what might happen. It is very difficult though and I constantly have to “catch” myself. It is most certainly a life long journey!

  54. I think it would be cool to include at the end maybe your favorite moment of the week or what you have to learnt that week. I think this would be a fun and/or insightful way to see what was great in your life or how you have grown.

  55. I think you shouldn’t be too strict on the vlogging front….vlog when and if you want to, no need to make it an appointment with your viewers, we have tv for that (and we don’t watch it so much in this day and age)…
    as for giving back your earnings, i find it very generous, but i would dissuade you from it if i could: you should keep YOUR money, as you are giving us your time, some of your privacy, and a lot of love and we appreciate it as it is.
    thanks for everything Jennifer!

  56. At the end of your weekly updates, I would love to hear about what you are reading and loving- books/magazine article etc. Or if you have found a new and fun youtuber to watch or website to check out. Or a short update on knitting projects. I loved “Knitting Yarns” and am curious as to what you thought and if it has added to your own enjoyment of knitting. Wanted to pass along my own latest find- I have been getting daily emails from Organizedhome cleaning challenge and have been enjoying them- gets me to think about different projects that are not on my radar. I have printed off their Holiday Challenge in years past and enjoyed that too. Love your new format!

    1. TFS! I’ll have to check OrganizedHome out. I do share things like what I’m reading & watching in my miscellaneous monthlies video on TBBB so I’m afraid that would be redundant if I talked about them on MHWL, too. I’m actually starting a monthly knitting video series on TBBB as well (first one will be up next week!). Loved Knitting Yarns!

  57. Hi Jen, I love reading your reflection on your week- you have such a nice way with words. Whilst I thankfully do not suffer with anxiety I am also a worrier about the future and I dwell on the past which I know is so unhealthy. I really hope I can take control over this and looking at your little inspirational quotes on Instagram definitely keep me present. Thank you x

  58. Maybe you should share with us your “hits and misses” for the week. It could be anything! Hit and miss things that you did, shows you watched, products you like, food you tried. My family does this when we gather for big family dinners and we always have fun with it.

  59. Hi! I really liked the hair twist you did for your evening with your grandmother — very pretty!

    I must admit that for very selfish reasons I hope you still do some of your more traditional blogs when you travel because those are my favorites! In fact, I think that’s how I first found your video channels. I was looking at packing videos, and got hooked on your Disney trip posts. It makes total sense though if you’d prefer to enjoy your trips instead of having to film. Although you can also think of your videos as a visual scrapbook you can enjoy in the future.

    As for the weekly blogs, they are fun but I prefer them when they stay at or under 30 minutes. Otherwise, it’s tough to watch them at one sitting when you’re busy, and it can be confusing or tough to watch them partway through, and then come back to them because you lose the train of thought. Thanks! Hope you’re staying warm. I live up in the Twin Cities area, and the wind chill was so cold up here that they had to cancel school again today. (-19 with a -35 windchill when my son would have had to walk over to the nearby school). This has been the coldest winter since I moved here in ’95 and we’re still barely in January.

    1. Hang in there, Beth! I’ve lived just south of the cities my whole life. We’re basically through January, February is SHORT & March is the home stretch! I have faith that, unlike last year, spring will TOTALLY be worth the -35 temps this year!

  60. I enjoy your vlogs. I would like to see more outings if possible. Whether its daily outings. evenings or weekends….its always fun to see all the fun places you go. Also love seeing Winnie and how she responds to the things you have taught her. She is sooooo cute!!!

  61. This is the first time I’ve actually watched one of your MHWL videos and then read the blog post! Normally I watch your vlogs and comment on youtube. Ah new things! I like the blog posts too and will start coming here to read them along with watching the vlogs. if that makes sense:)

    Super glad that you are feeling comfortable with the weekly updates. I enjoy them as well. Your grandma reminds me of mine, and they are so adorable! i love grandmothers! they are very cute!

  62. Hi Jen! Thanks for answering my questions from last week’s blog post on OLJ! I’m a little confused about the new lineup with MHWL, will you be blogging when you go on trips (i.e. Disneyworld, Pebble Beach, Las Vegas) and on special occasions (i.e. your brother’s family in town, your birthday, etc…)? That part left me a little confused. Also, I have a video request for OLJ, could you please do an updated look at your master bedroom wardrobe/closet?
    Thanks for being such an inspiration for myself and my family!

    1. I hope to tackle my closet organization this year, actually, as it needs some attention. I’ll definitely share when I do! I still plan on vlogging during trips & such. Not sure if there would be special daily travel vlogs or just stick with the weekly vlog format just yet.

  63. Happy Thursday Jen! I too can be a worry wart at times. So many what if’s, why not’s , why me’s…etc. It can get pretty crowded in my head up there…:-) I have also begun to be intentional about “living in the moment”, not worrying about what happened earlier that day or what will happen tomorrow, just focusing on the moment I am in. I’m not fully there, but I find when I do focus on the moment, the worry wart in me is silenced. I have also found reading to be quiet calming and am going to try knitting as another tool to combat the worry wart. Prayer and words of affirmation also help as well to soothe my nerves. Believe it or not, your vlogs are also quite relaxing as well…in a good way. 🙂 I have heard other subscribers pay you that compliment as well. Thank you for always being so open and transparent with your viewers and readers. We appreciate you…especially us worry warts 🙂

  64. Hi Jen – I love your hauls. I have purchased many things at your recommendation. I created a walking pharmacy, am LOVING my Origins skin care and the Orla Kiely line at Target. I went to 6 stores trying to find the train case and finally purchased it on e-Bay.
    Please don’t stop sharing your great finds.

  65. Hey there. I put other so just thought I’d share my thoughts. I’d love to see more of what exercises your currently doing or more about your food, basically the health and fitness of Jen. 🙂 maybe not every week but pick a topic or thing each to discuss, I.e. Fitness, healthy eating, latest reading material, etc.

  66. I miss seeing you most days but understand the need for weekly vlogs. I like that they are longer. I would love to see and hear different things at the end of the weekly vlogs. Maybe your weekly highs and lows. Answer questions, share thoughts, some mail. Switch it up so its not always the same. Just some thoughts. I enjoy watching your videos. I’m so happy that you have found a balance that works for you and hopefully your enjoying the videos again too! You seem to be. Love your Grandma 🙂

  67. loving the weekly vlogs–i think it would be easier to keep track of each day if you put up a whole new screen as the day switched, as i have a hard time keeping track of the dates! haha

  68. Hi Jen, I like the new format for the videos in the youtube channel – myhousewifelife. I want to ask you how do you cook the broccoli? I`m absolutly not expert in the kitchen at all. Besides I want to say I love the organization videos, please do more of these and two more things…..a) I love the mail videos when you share with us all people sent you, b) I love haul videos in places like supermarket and craft store, I will like to see you using your craft room more.
    Regards from Buenos Aires, we are in summer and it is terrible the weather, is like to be in the stove all day, I want to be in groenlandia right now!!!!

    1. Mostly we steam broccoli, but sometimes Don will roast it. Add chopped up garlic, season to taste, drizzle with olive oil. Bake until it’s the right doneness for you 🙂

  69. I love the new format, however I do miss your daily vlogs. I have a big respect for what you are doing! You are truly an inspiration for me! Looking forward to the new year with you!

  70. Jen, Will you please included recipes in your blogpost. I love having different recipes for my family and what you and Don have for dinner always looks amazing. I like the idea of mail and of you just filling us in on things that happened during your week. Thanks for the little breaks (my alone time) each week. Be Blessed! — Sonja

      1. Jen, would you mind asking Don for the recipe for the dill sauce for the Salmon. If you don’t want to post it to the blog my email address is sjhullett@gmail.com. Thanks so much. I enjoy watching and learning from you. You are a great inspiration for those of us who are unorganized. I received my first Erin Condren planner and I am a bit overwhelmed. I can’t wait to see your video on how you have set up your planner. Do you pay your bills, plan your week and schedule all of your appointments in the same planner? This is making me stressed try to figure out the best way to go about the process. Thank you again for everything you do for us!!! Be blessed-Sonja

        1. I’ll ask Don about the recipe. As for my Life Planner, I use that just for planning blog posts & videos. I use my Filofax for my daily to-do list and general calendar.

  71. Love your weekly videos!!! I will like to see more :), like hauls, cooking videos, make up, tea time and places where you go!!!!!
    I enjoy a lot watching your chanel!! Good luck Jen!!! :)<3333

  72. I am interested in content on HOW TO ORGANIZE MY DAY (time management). I would like to have some structure ideas to help me have self discipline my the hours in my day so that I can get into a regular productive housewife routine. Thanks

  73. I found you while searching for Disney vlogs. Many vacation vlogs are boring and non-informative but yours are great and I was hooked! Started watching all your videos on your various sites and have enjoyed them very much! So, my suggestion would be to keep the vacation vlogs, talk about favorite food places, add something different that viewers wouldn’t know about…things like that! Thanks! 🙂

  74. No matter how you end your blogs, it will be good and enjoyed my most of your viewers. Because your viewers are so varied and have so many preferences, why don’t you plan on giving us “surprise” endings. Don’t announce if it will be Q&A, mail, crafts, highlights of the week, a housewife confessional, mini cook nooks, a quick ending with just a question for your viewers, quote something you found inspirational during the past week, nothing but a goodbye, etc. Just let it be a surprise and it will encourage your viewers to watch until the end to see what surprise you have in store. Keep some mystery… get us hooked on the surprise and that will help keep it fresh for you because you can mix it up however you desire. You can repeat the same type of ending several weeks in a row, mix it up and do a different one each week, pick it randomly out of a hat, put all the suggestions you like on a list and do a different one each week, or do whatever actually “fits” best with that particular week’s vlog, just do whatever feels right and works at that precise moment. In other forms of media, like TV shows, movie trailers, promotional ads, etc… they never give away the endings… keep the suspense and make us anticipate the next (episode) post! Just have fun with it and make it suit you.

  75. Jen:

    Jen, I really enjoy the new format it seems a bit more streamline for you. As a reader, I feel the new format convey’s the intended message while giving you more time to produce other material you enjoy or time to explore other interests. Nice value-added business decision while considering your audience. Good Work!

    You mention changing up things that no longer work. To stay inline with that, feel free to change the ending up from time to time. Maybe you could pick a few of your favorite Instagram follower pics from the week you enjoyed viewing…or come up with a hash tag for viewers to use (#RossWeekly)…LOL….

    Thanks for sharing!!!

  76. At the end of your weekly vlog you could speeak about what did you most like about that week and what you didn’t like, what you learned something like this, like a tea talk .

    1. Hi Jen, thank you for having another great giveaway!!!! I’d really love it, if you’d do some baking & maybe show us some of your crafty side!!! -.* xo!!♥

  77. I love that your doing weekly Vlogs. I would be sad if you didn’t have them any more. You made me want to try the apple crisp oatmeal. :> I cant wait to see what is in next weeks blog.. :>

  78. Hi Jen,
    My ‘other’ suggestion would be to do a chat summary of the week, Q & A and the odd mail share, but to alternate them xx

  79. I think the weekly vlog is genius. I like when the vlogs are at least 20 min. long. Weekly is enough to get my fix. You cover all the things I like. You introduce me to so many new things from organizing, beauty products, recipes, fine dining, shopping and knowledge. I admire you and what you’re doing. Just keep up the good work.

  80. Hi Jen,

    At the end of your weekly vlog, maybe you can include what things you liked that week like books, magazines, websites, teas, etc.
    Would love if you would bring book nooks back as well as go to look videos you used to do. And of course I love your hauls, whether it is makeup, skin care, whole foods, container store, target, they are all very useful to me. Will you consider doing your in depth dental routine video. I feel it would be helpful for a lot of people to learn. I remember you mentioned before, you got a lot of good recommendations from your dentist on how to keep your teeth in top shape. Really enjoy all your videos. Thanks for sharing!

  81. I always enjoy your daily and/or new weekly vlogs, plus all of your other channels that showcase a separate feature. Also, enjoy Tea Time with Jen. Not a fan of sharing mail which I would probably fast forward through. It is sweet, but I don’t have a lot of time to watch so must watch my favorites. Also, please tell Don we are missing his channel where he shares his wonderful recipes.

  82. Hi Jen,
    I love it when a video has one main focus. For example, a video with only your weekly vlog in it. Your Q and A videos should be a separate video and the same goes for mail. The reason for this is because every time I go on YouTube, I am always in the mood for q&a videos. With vlogs, it depends on if I’m in the mood . I usually skip mail videos because I have to prioritize (otherwise, if be on YouTube all day)

  83. Ok I thought I’d just let t you know that I’m enjoying the new format I’ll admit I miss the old format but I’ll take what I can get lol 😀

    Here’s what I’ve been doing to make up for it though (don’t laugh!) I look back to your old vlogs and rewatch the old ones from the specific day etc. It’s interesting to see what you did this time last year lol.

    I will also admit that I missed a new video on you packing away the christmas decorations and I’m quite sad to think we may not get anymore decorating videos??

    Anyway keep up the good work

    Ps love your grandma!

    1. I try not to film things that are too similar to things I’ve already posted, although there is some obvious overlap. I ted to decorate and store decorations in the same way fom year to year which is why I haven’t posted new videos on those topics recently.

  84. Hi Jen
    Hope you’re fine.
    I really enjoy watching your video. You make a great job!!
    I am wondering if you can make a video on your make brushes for explaining what type of brush vs. products.
    Thanks in advance.
    Merci beaucoup yes I am French and since December I live in the USA.

  85. I would like to see Errands Tuesdays back in the vlog. I love seeing you’re recommendations for different products.

  86. I agree with what another person suggested about doing a summary of the week to close out the video. Just pick out some highlights of the week you want to go into more detail about. Also, maybe give a hint of what’s to come in next weeks video. I like the Q & A and mail videos separate. Maybe if there are some questions about the previous weeks video you can answer those.

    I do have a suggestion for a packing video that I don’t think you have done yet. How do you pack up your stuff at the end of a trip to head back home? Do you just put the dirty laundry bag on top of the packing cubes then pack stuff around it?

    By the way, I love your videos! Found your channels last Summer when I was searching for Disney packing videos and went back to watch your videos from the beginning. I have now watched a large majority of them! Love seeing more!

    1. I sort the laundry before packing up to go home. I put socks & undergarments back in the laundry bag and pack that but I fold our other clothing for maximum space saving.

  87. Jen, nice vid. You really share your renewed passion for the craft of knitting. To find out about pronouncing “skein”, you could go to one of the online dictionaries such as free Merriam-Webster Dictionary to hear the word. I think you got it right already. That’s great how you are carrying on what your Grandmother shared with you. TFS! 🙂

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