Week In Review (January 6 – January 12, 2014)

Hello, friends!  Long time no chat, I know.  I’ve spent the last two weeks out at the family vacation home in Utah on my winter break, enjoying a little time away from the internet world (with the exception of Instagram, of course.  Can’t do without that!).  I am writing on the plane ride home feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.  I spent the first week of our trip with my husband’s family enjoying some quality time together, celebrating the end of the holiday season and the beginning of the new year.  Everyone else returned home again last Wednesday, but Don and I stayed through Monday for a little extra time in the mountains.

OJ_MHWL_01-14-2014_01I was very much looking forward to some quiet downtime after a particularly busy holiday season.  One of the things I most enjoy when I’m on break is a leisurely paced morning where I take my time over breakfast after my morning workout, catching up on my favorite YouTube channels and reading.  I started Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach once again with the new year.  This is my fifth year enjoying this daily inspirational read.  I highly recommend it to anyone on the path to self discovery.  

I was also delighted to finish two books in the past week.  The first, Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting edited by Ann Hood, is a collection of anecdotes from famous authors on their experiences with knitting that I received in my December 2013 KnitCrate (get 10% off your first purchase by clicking this link!), a monthly knitting subscription service I’ll talk about in an upcoming video on TBBB .  The other, The Chocolate Lover’s Diet by Carole Matthews, is a fun fictional sequel to a book I loved and read years ago (The Chocolate Lover’s Club).  There’s nothing quite like settling into a very bubbly bath with a good book as the sun sets over the mountains!

You can now see what books I’m reading in the “Current Reads” widget on the sidebar to the right

I also enjoyed a luxurious spa outing with my MIL, Suzanne, at the St. Regis Deer Valley’s Remède.  It was. SO. NICE.  I had the most relaxing massage followed up by a pampering pedicure.  And what spa experience is complete without a juicy hamburger and fries!  I had such a lovely time I’m thinking of taking a spa day for my 31st birthday which is just around the corner.

Don and I finally got to see the latest Hobbit movie in theaters, which we both thoroughly enjoyed as huge LOTR fans.  I can’t wait until it comes out on DVD!  And of course, no Utah trip would be complete without indulging in my favorite ice cream!  Candy cane fudge deliciousness!

OJ_MHWL_01-14-2013_02The other pastime I was looking forward to indulging in during my break was a return to knitting.  My Grandma taught me how to knit about ten years ago when I was home from college on a break.  I was immediately hooked (pun intended!), but let my new hobby fall to the wayside when I returned to my busy school schedule.  I was left with three almost finished projects and a penchant for yarn that has stuck with me through the years.  In fact, every time I pop into Michael’s I make my way to the yarn aisle to admire the beautiful skeins just waiting to be turned into something warm and cozy.  Knitting is something I’ve longed to get back into, but have pushed aside for different reasons over the years.  I’ve decided that 2014 is the year of knitting for me and am back into this long lost hobby of mine with two completed projects to show for it already.  I’m currently working on my first ever shawl that requires following a pattern.  It’s a new frontier for me, but I am so enjoying the journey!  Knitting is a wonderful way for the over-thinker worrywart inside of me to zone out for a little bit and I’m trying to carve out at least 15 minutes a day to knit.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress!

In other news, I’m changing things up on MHWL this year by switching over to weekly vlogs.  Welcome to Weekly Wednesdays!  Every Wednesday I will post my WIR here on www.prettyneatliving.com and upload a weekly vlog to MHWL.  I will link to the blog post in the video’s description and include the video as an embedded file on my WIR post.  On that same trend, I plan on putting up a coordinating blog post on www.prettyneatliving.com for most of my YouTube videos across my different channels.  I am looking into integrating my tumblrs (Winnie the Tzu and Positively Polished) here as well.  I want this website to be the best place to find all of my content in one place.

You can check out last week’s vlog here if you’d like:

I have some new and exciting ideas percolating for 2014 and I can’t wait to share my journey with you.  I hope your year is off to a great start!

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


34 thoughts on “Week In Review (January 6 – January 12, 2014)”

  1. Hey Jen, I like your idea about weekly vlogs. It would be so much easier for you. Now you might actually have more time for yourself. Like your knitting, reading and more spa days. You and Don come first. I look forward to Wednesdays !

  2. Hi Jen! I always enjoy watching your videos, especially your vlogs! I am glad you found a format your are comfortable with for vlogging. If you ever feel you want to bump up your vlog content, but not to everyday, I have a suggestion. You could always consider posting a weekend vlog (Friday – Sunday) on Wednesday and a weekday vlog (Monday through Thursday) on Sunday. Maybe you already considered that. I am just happy to see you back after your time off! I hope you enjoyed your vacation! Your kindness, happiness, and motivation inspires me. Have a good week!!

  3. I’m genuinely happy you’ve found a way to share comfortably 🙂
    (Tehehehe… I squealed like a little girl when I saw your video link!)

  4. Glad your back! 😀 I loved your daily vlogs but realise that must be very hard to commit too! I think the weekly vlog is a good idea because it suits you better. By the way I think the idea of answering viewer questions at the end would be great!
    I liked how you sat down and explained your plans at the beginning and end of the video too.
    You seem to be prioritising and really motivated which is great to see. Thanks for all the videos so far and look forward to more to come 🙂

  5. Hi jen, I really missed you !! I love the idea of weekly vlogs .. ! a little chitchat at the end of the video will be great !!
    PS : You looked so relaxed and beautiffull !! glad that you feel good !!
    TFS as always !!

  6. By all means, cut back and just do once a week videos. You need time to yourself and you and Don deserve some time together. And we don’t need to see every day of your life. And I’m sure your family will appreciate less camera time. Enjoy your life and don’t feel like you have to entertain us all the time.

  7. I love the idea of weekly Wednesday! Something to look forward to! I am curious if you’re going to post New Year resolutions like you’ve done in years past? They’re some of my favorite videos, I like to hear what other folks have in mind for the new year, compare them to what I have, and see if there is anything I want to add to my list! I am so so glad you took time off for yourself, its so deserved, you are definitely one of the hardest working youtubers I watch!

  8. Hi Jen!

    I’m a huge fan from Germany!
    I love all of your Videos and appreciate them really much!

    We are Sisters in mind! I finally found someone who is just like me!
    Of course I know that we don’t know everything about you and your personality! But i really enjoy watching your videos!
    You are inspireing me!

    I really appreciate your weekly vlogs! I can totally understand that it is really hard for you to vlog every day! And the most important thing is that you fell good with the things you do!

    So i’m really happy that you didn’t stop vloging at all!

    I’m happily looking forward to every wednesday,


  9. I love the idea of sharing the current books you’re reading. I’m always looking for new recommendations. Thanks for sharing!

  10. It sounds like you had a lovely time with your family in Utah – we all need a break sometimes. I’m glad that you’re back and have thought about what works for you in terms of the content you are putting out on your various media outlets. All of your loyal subscribers want what is best for you, Don, and all your family really. I enjoyed the weekly vlog yesterday! I hope this isn’t too personal but you had a glow about you, it was nice to see you in happy spirits!

  11. Hi Jen! Your weekly vlog was great! Of course I would love vlogs more often but you have to find a balance that works for you! Watch out for those knitting stores. lol I started knitting again a few years ago after my grandmother taught me as a child and went from being completely happy in Joann’s and Michaels to being a complete yarn snob and loving online and local yarn stores that sell fabulous hand dyed yarn. Don’t even get me started on all of the beautiful sock yarn. 🙂 I added you on Ravelry, I am happymama3 there (as well as everywhere). Knitting works wonders for anxiety and once you get into using hand dyed yarn and quality wool…well, don’t say I didn’t warn you! 🙂 Have a great day and thanks for sharing!

  12. Hi Jen! Glad you are back and rested. I was sooooo excited to see a new video(s). The weekly ones are great! I love seeing your vlogs but the weekly one works just as good as a daily one. Just glad you are back. Love your hauls too! Happy 2014! Look forward to seeing what is in store. Thanks for sharing!

  13. What a fun vacation you had! That’s so important to take time to enjoy yourself and your family. I am a knitter too. I find it very therapeutic. My best days include some knitting time. What is your Ravelry name? Mine is Simple.

  14. Jen I have to recommend the Friday Night Knitting club series of books. They are very good and gives Knitting tips throughout the book.

  15. We’ll gladly take a weekly vlog over no vlogs at all if that works out better for you. We were going through withdrawal when you were off and watching old videos of yours just because we missed you so much! 🙂 I really enjoyed the snippets and appreciated that the video was @ 30 mins. Please do what feels right for you; don’t want to see you burn out and stop vlogging altogether. Thanks for sharing and mad respect to you for doing what you do!

  16. So is that an app for knitting on your tablet? Intrigued. My mother taught me to knit when I was young. I didn’t use it for MANY years. My mother passed away 4 months ago and would love to return to knitting. Looking for some help to start again. Not sure how much I remember.

  17. Love the new weekly vlog! Will have to have a look at that book…I recently read ‘Calling Mrs Christmas’ by Carole Matthews and really enjoyed it! Cried at certain parts but in general it is a fab chick lit book! Definitely worth a read if you like her work. Loving seeing Jeff again in your vlog!x

  18. Hi Jen! I would love to know how you learnt how to read knitting patterns?? This is something I find really difficult.…

    1. I actually have a very kind and sweet knitting friend I met through the internet who has been helping me. You can always search on google and youtube for help as well. Lots of informative videos & blogs out there!

  19. Loved seeing you! How are you doing keeping up with your journals ! I’m already disappointing myself not taking the time for myself. I hope you’re oing bettet with yours!

    1. It can be tough to make time for journaling, but I find it so therapeutic I know it is worth setting aside even just a few minutes for each day.

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