Week In Review (July 14 – July 20, 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:


July has been so sweet to us in the midwest so far this year with gorgeously sunny days and glorious sunsets.  I have been relishing the weather lately as it has been more mild than usual and certainly less humid, which is nice.  There are gorgeous flowers everywhere, both outside which I enjoy while walking my dog, Winnie, and inside from my sweet hubby.  He’s been on a lily kick lately and I’ve really been enjoying these long-lasting beauties.  My favorite time of day to be outside is dusk, which right now falls between 8 and 9 PM.  It is quiet, calm, and beautiful, plus the sunsets have been amazing lately.  I know it’s important to relish this now before the typical midwest humidity strikes, and trust me, I am.


I’ve gotten some fun things in the mail in the last week that I’m super excited about.  Deborah Harkness has just released the third book in her All Souls Trilogy called The Book of Life.  I absolutely loved the first two books, so you can imagine my excitement for this final installment.  My new Erin Condren personalized phone case showed up on my doorstep last week as well.  If you follow my OLJ posts then you’ll know I’m a wee bit obsessed with all things Erin Condren right now, including my fabulous new Life Planner.  I love this case in the party pops designs!  I also received a surprise press kit from Sigma with the new Standout Eyes gel liner collection.  These are gorgeous!  I can’t wait to play with them.


I posted a lot about my planners on Instagram over the weekend.  I’ve been working on making the jump from using an A5 Filofax to a pocket size planner.  I want a more portable option for my day-to-day calendar, which is why I’ve decided to give this a go.  It’s no easy feat for an A5 lover like me, but where there’s a will there’s a way!  I still use my Erin Condren Life Planner for my posting schedule.  It helps me keep on top of my longterm plan and short term goals.  I do have a great fondness for my planners and journals, which I use my handy Reisenthel Market Basket to tote up and down the stairs as needed.  These baskets are great to have on hand for carrying things around a multi-level house.


Don and I shared a wonderful day-ate (day date) together on Saturday with a full day downtown.  We enjoyed the gorgeous weather by eating lunch al fresco on the patio at RL Restaurant on Michigan Avenue.  We did a bit of window shopping on the Magnificent Mile before heading over to Museum Campus to go to the Adler Planetarium.  It was my first ever visit and Don’s first since grade school.  We both love learning about solar systems and the universe, and the planetarium is a great place to do so!  We meandered through the exhibits and saw two shows, which were both excellent.  Afterwards, we headed over to Frontera Grill for dinner at our favorite Mexican food restaurant in Chicago.  We ate and ate and then ate some more!  Savoring some Mexican hot chocolate was the perfect ending to not only the meal, but a wonderful day together.

Every once in awhile Don and I like to enjoy a weekend without the camera, so we took the weekend off of vlogging.  We did, however, film a Couple’s Q&A video with questions you submitted in last week’s post:

I hope you are all enjoying the season, good food, and good company wherever you are!


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


47 thoughts on “Week In Review (July 14 – July 20, 2014)”

  1. I love your week in reviews and I even though you aren’t planning on doing vlogust, I hope you’ll consider vlogidays. I think the reason you received so many questions on children (other than people thinking that you both will be great parents) is because of MakeupByTiffanyD’s baby announcement!

  2. Hi Jen and Don,

    Just wanted to leave a comment to let you know how much I enjoyed watching this. I felt as though we got to see a more personal side to you both (even more so than seeing your daily lives in vlogs). The love you share for each other, Winnie, your family and even your house is just so refreshing to see. This was a lovely pick-me-up after a not so lovely day. So thank you for continuing to share. It’s greatly appreciated 🙂

  3. I wanted to comment in reference to yall’s response regarding dealing with let downs and not focusing on the negative and Jen your belief in fate. I know you guys don’t speak on religion on your channel as it is a rather private topic and I completely understand just wanted to give my input. Don’s and yours, reaction to circumstances like these to me equates to my idea, as a Christian, that everything happens for a reason and a good reason. That reason being God’s will. I can understand how at the time not getting into Duke could’ve seemed like a let down and a disaster and yet today you both can see and appreciate how blessed you are and to me that’s simply God’s will being done. Anyways I’m sure yall get my point and I’ll try not to preach but I really enjoyed this Q&A and your thought out responses!!

  4. Hi Jen, thanks to you and Don for being honest when answering the questions. It seems y’all had a lovely weekend date! God’s creation is sooo amazing! It blows my mind how a lot of people believe that something so vast and miraculous as the universe and life started from a Big Bang. I mean, have you ever seen an explosion create something beautiful? Dogs don’t produce cats, apes don’t produce humans. Anyway, thanks for sharing your week! You continue to be on my prayer list. God has a GREAT plan for your life! Take care!

    Genesis 1:31, 2:2 And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

  5. I absolutely love you both! I had a little chuckle throughout the video! Your are the best! Thank you Jen for sharing and opening up your life (or bits and pieces) of. I wish you only the best.

  6. It was a wonderful video, I stayed up to watch it and really enjoyed seeing you and Don together. I appreciate that the weekend vlogs are working for you, so I’ll try not to be disappointed about vlogust/vlogtober, but I really hope you’ll still consider vlogidays as a special holiday treat. It’s my favorite time of year, and I enjoy so much the flood of daily vlogging around youtube as people celebrate the season. Course it’s still 3-4 months away. I’m surprised by how fast this year has gone and yet I feel it’s the same way every year.

  7. Thank you for sharing. Loved this vid. 2 things are funny and odd about dudes to me. One is the socks allover the place. I have the same thing. I don’t know if he planned to put them on his feet and changed his mind. Then, there are the used ones that seem to leave his feet but haven’t made it upstairs yet. Cracks me up. Socks everywhere. The other is the smelling of the armpit in shirts. That’s how guys know if they can wear a shirt. What I love most is the look when it is deemed unwearable and gets toss back into a crumple. But, I am thankful not to have to deal with underwear everywhere. I know some women have that. Loved this video. We are from your neck of the woods and understand both the familiarity of the midwest and home and family and stability and the sun and expansiveness of the west. We chose the latter but know it is hard to be away from home and family. Love the flowers in your blog post. I remember them.

  8. Aloha Jen & Don, I wanted to tell you that I am from Maui and love that you spent your honeymoon there! Thank you for sharing your lives – I really enjoy your videos. I just recently found them on YouTube so I am catching up! It takes a lot of courage to share so much of your life with the “world” and I admire you for taking the plunge! Please keep posting! I look forward to your adventures in Utah. Winnie’s appearances always brighten my day!

  9. Glad your are having a great summer.Soon our little family will be going to visit my family! I am so excited!!! We only get to see them a couple times a year. Enjoying all of your vlogs, Jen. Takr care, my dear. Val ♥

  10. Hi Jen and Don! fun video – you guys are adorable!!! I don’t need to wish you a long and happy marriage because you are already heading in that direction! I’ve been married for 34 years and I see glimpses, from all your videos, of similarities in your relationship that have kept my hubby and me happily together (and yes you have to continue to work at it no matter how many years!lol) Have a fantastic weekend – Sincerely, Jeannette

  11. Dear Jen and Don, Thank You for the Q&A, I really enjoyed it. You two are the cutest couple and really seem to love and respect one another! Even after 10 years of marriage you seem to keep your relationship fresh and fun. Now adays you dont see that to often! And by the way Don, did I tell you that you are very handsome and have beautiful eyes!!

  12. Just wanted to say what a lovely video that was. It’s beautiful seeing two people in love, and the way you and Don look at each other just emphasises that.

    And Winnie of course, with her Ood face, too cute for words.

  13. I loved watching this! You two really seem to have the marriage thing down, and I don’t mean to say that you two are perfect (because I know that no marriage is perfect!). Also, as a fellow Northwestern alum, I have to say, GO ‘CATS!

  14. just curious if you finished reading the book of life yet?
    I’m saving it for a 10hr plane ride in a few months, but I was curious to know if you liked it as much as the first two books.

    love your weekend vlogging and the Q+As. 🙂

  15. I had to comment on the Q&A video with you and Don. I LOVE the interaction between the two of you. It is so obvious that you deeply love one another and have great respect for one another. It is very nice to see, especially in a time when so many people are disrespectful of their spouses or say unkind things. It is a joy to watch you together. Also, I got such a laugh out of Don burping at the beginning of the video, so typical male and so real. . .lol!

    Thank you for allowing us into your lives. Don’t ever feel that you need to justify your decisions to anyone Jen, you do this out of the goodness of your heart and you don’t OWE us anything. You have every right to be private about things, to not do daily vlogs, etc. . . And people need to understand that they aren’t paying you and they should not expect you to have to answer their questions or cater to their personal preferences. Do what makes you happy!

    Lastly, I am so impressed by the fact that both you and Don are so humble and grounded, and not at all showy even though you are blessed financially (which I know you have both worked hard for). Thank you for understanding that not everyone is as lucky, but for not apologizing for it either. I was impressed when Don said, “I’ve been shot in the keister with good luck”. So sweet of him to be humble about the good things, even though I am sure he works hard for what you have.

    Well, sorry for the LONG comment. I wish you both the best and thank you for your videos. They truly make me happy.


  16. Love the Q&A. I totally understand about you wanting to keep your family plans personal. I had to laugh, though, when you said that you would let everybody know eventually when the time is right. In my mind I was picturing a vlog where you confess to having a half a dozen children all along that none of us knew about. LOL.

  17. Hi Jen and Don!

    I loved the Q&A video! It’s so cute to see you and Don together and see how you are both so genuine; I love that about your videos. Don is very sweet too, he makes me laugh because my husband acts the same way! I’m always smiling and laughing with your vlogs though Jen, you’re too cute/funny! Thanks for always putting up such fun content 🙂

  18. Your Couple’s Q&A video was absolutely darling! Your relationship and love for each other is so inspiring. I have learned so much from your channels; it’s as though you’ve been a mentor or sister of sorts 🙂 And I have to say as a “sister”, I totally respect and understand your decision to keep some information private. I couldn’t imagine telling all my friends about my fertility or baby making details, YET ALONE THE INTERNET. Keep shining light, and radiating positivity. Thank you for sharing this season of you life. Your joy is contagious!

  19. Hi Jen and Don love you guys are so good and right for each other .Thanks for sharing this video .I was wondering if you would do a Q&A about the beautiful Winnie if so I have some questions since I also have a SHIH TZU. By the way I love to see her in the background on all videos she’s so beautiful…like what made you get her ? what made you choose her breed? how and or why did you decide to keep her with long hair ? and I have more so if you decide to answer any of these or email me or anything I would appreciate it . Thank you for your time

    1. I’d wanted a dog for 26 years and then it happened to be Winnie who came into my life. It was fate. I did some research on breeds and decided a Shih Tzu sounded perfect for our little family. My parents had a Shih Tzu before I was born so I was definitely influenced by their stories about him. Also, they kept him long, which probably influenced my decision to do so as well, but a lot of it was actually the research I did on the breed. She is my angel. My very fluffy angel 🙂 Hope this helps.

  20. Hi Jen and Don,

    I love the video! I love how Don is right by your side to be apart of the video and the weekend videos. You too are just too cute together. Jen I have been watching your videos for a while and was sad when you moved to weekend vlogs, but I have grown to love them. I love them more because you turned back into the sweet, happy, and positive Jen I feel in love with and look to for positivity in the world. Every time I see a vlog now all I keep saying is “She is back to my happy Jen.” Don on the weekend vlogs is a bonus!! Don philosophy in life is how my husband and I live our life. Let him know “I see you”. Take care.

  21. You two are so incredibly cute together and so grounded. Your videos are so uplifting and inspiring. Thank you for sharing your world with us.

  22. I was SO looking forward to this Q&A, and it certainly didn’t disappoint! I love when we have the chance to watch both you and Don field some questions- you are SUCH a great couple. Have a great week! 🙂

  23. Jen and Don. (Winnie too)
    Great Video. Gotta be difficult to answer some ?s. My hubby was born and raised in Chicago, Love going there in July but January…that’s a different story. ha-ha (as you WELL know) It was sweet to see you in the video together. My hubby and I will celebrate 20 years in August. I agree fully with the advice you’ve given. Always let each other know when you feel like one is giving more than the other. Also, most men like a nice home but not many want to shop or decorate it. Cheers and look forward to DisorganizedDon gift ideas (hopefully) at xmas. Cheers. ~Jess

  24. I love you guys so much! You and Don remind me so much of me and my husband! Please do vlogidays…it’s my “program” during the holidays!!

  25. You and Don are such a joy to watch. It’s honestly such an incredible
    feeling knowing that love like yours exists. You two are clearly so crazy about each
    other and you’re both such good people as well. Jen, I’m so thankful that I learned about your blog/channel
    several months ago. You’re amazing.
    Amber 🙂

  26. *THIS COMMENT IS NICE I PROMISE* I must admit, when I heard last week you and Don would be doing a couple’s Q & A, I wasn’t interested. Nothing against you two as a couple, just not my cup of tea. But this evening, as I was perusing my “What to Watch” section on YouTube, the video popped up. Because I adore you Jen, I decided to give it a shot anyway – am I ever glad that I did! What a treat it was to see you and Don together in this style/atmosphere. I’m so used to the vlog-style (which are my favourite of yours) and I guess I just became so used to seeing you both together in such a fixed way. Am I making sense? Haha, I don’t think. Apologies.

    The point I’m trying to make is that it was a delight to see you both interacting together like this. I loved hearing about your story, and your relationship. Not to mention you two are just adorable! I just adore this channel, and I am so grateful for you Jen. You can truly feel the love you share as husband and wife, and as best friends. Thank you so much for sharing and continuing to share on My Housewife Life. I look forward to more, and I hope you have a wonderful week.


  27. Jen, you are a joy to watch and your happiness is contagious! I always feel happy and inspired after watching your videos. I would say from reading the comments you receive, I am not the only one. Would you consider a week per month of daily blogs if a month is too much? Take care 🙂

    1. Do you mean vlogs, not blogs? Sometimes autocorrect does that. If you meant vlogs, right now I’m very happy with the weekend vlogs format. That’s not to say I won’t change my mind in the future, but for now it’s working well for me so I’m going to stick to it 🙂

  28. Enjoyed reading your WIR – sounds like a great week and weekend!

    Loved your and Don’s Q&A too! Thank you guys for doing one! You and Don are so cute together <3

    I'm so glad that you addressed how other people reacted to your being a stay at home wife… I get a lot of backlash from my life/work choices too and it's encouraging to hear that I'm not the only one 🙂

    Lol I had to laugh throughout some of the Q&A, it's like you could be my twin – our lives and life story are so very similar!
    My husband and I were talking/dating long distance too and our first date was an 8 hour date in a different city than we both lived at the time and was also in 2002, but Sept 2002! And we also honeymooned in Maui!
    I also didn't have any pets growing up because my family was always on the move so we couldn't have a pet, but I had always wanted a dog! Now I have 3! 🙂

    I totally understand about Vlogust! I think it's the right choice – the weekend Vlogs and WIR on here are awesome and I think the perfect format for August too! Can't wait to see Utah Vlogs again too!!

  29. Hey, Jen! Loved your Q & A video. Just wanted to comment about the issue of kids and “starting a family.” You have a family. You, Don, and Winnie are every bit a family as any family with kids. My husband and I don’t have children and the two of us and our pets are a family together. People bugged us for years about it, but it’s a personal thing and I respect your decision not to share. Love your channels! –Jennifer

  30. Hi Jen,

    Your phone case in so great, unfortunately no iPhone 5c size for me for the moment.
    I really love your basket, always try to search a look alike here.

    Let me tell you that I always enjoy to see Don and you. Love, respect and tenderness are all around you. It’s a blessing you both deserve and, trust me, even through the camera, here far away in France, I feel your happiness.

    Take care. See you in your next video.

    Hugs from France

  31. Hi Jen!
    I loved your Q&A with Don. It is so refreshing to see you two head over heels for each other even after being together for almost 12 years. I am also loving your weekend vlogs. I always enjoyed your daily vlogs because it actually made my elliptical workouts enjoyable because I looked forward to going on an adventure with you. Love you lots!

  32. Hi Jen – your Weekend Vlogs – WIR Blogs are great! Question, was that your first time at RL restaurant? did you like it and what did you order – I love that spot. It was one of the first restauants I went to on my first business trip to Chicago. I heard Oprah loves it too 🙂

    1. I’ve actually been there a couple of other times before with my Mom but not in a few years. I had the lobster roll. It was divine!

  33. I really admire you two! I hope to have a relationship like yours one day! I love Don’s cooking videos! They don’t have to be perfectly edited, we promise!

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