Week In Review (July 21 – July 27, 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:


This weather is So. Stunningly. Beautiful.  This is definitely some good karma from that very long and cold winter we endured out here in the midwest.  I’ve heard some people complaining it hasn’t been hot enough.  I myself very much enjoy this more mild summer.  My dog, Winnie, loves it, too!   While we’re both winter girls at heart, there’s nothing quite like a stroll on a gorgeous, breezy summer evening hand in hand with my love and my little pup on the end of the leash.  It sure beats the heat and humidity we usually have to bear this time of year.  This is the kind of weather you can lie out under a tree on a blanket and read for hours without being bothered by sweat or swarms of bugs.  It’s wonderful!


A few ends and odds that have been happening here at the Ross residence last week:

After thinking about it for a couple of years, I finally installed a floating shelf above our kitchen window.  This blends in so seamlessly with our built-in cabinets, my husband couldn’t pick it out when I told him something was new in the kitchen (although this might say more about his observation skills when it comes to home decor 😉 ).  I’ve had these three beautiful Mary Engelbreit ceramic canisters since we moved into our first place together, a condo, ten years ago and had them stashed away in storage when we moved into our house until the perfect place appeared to display them.  I know I will certainly take advantage of this new ledge come Christmastime to showcase more of my treasured seasonal decor.

Something else that’s been brewing in the kitchen recently is my new fondness for baked fruit.  I’ve been working on further reducing my sugar intake and was on the hunt for easy to make sugar-free desserts.  I finally decided just to experiment by slicing a couple of plums, drizzling them with a bit of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon, then popping them in the oven at 400 degrees for thirty minutes.  I added some granola (sugar-free, as well – you’d be surprised how many granola blends are packed with refined sugars!) for a bit of texture and,voila!  Perfectly scrumptious, not-so-bad-for-you dessert.  I’ve since tried this with berries and experimented by adding the granola in for the last five minutes of baking with great results.

Lastly, I finally wrapped up my clothing and accessories organization series on OLJ with my vanity.  I finalized updated organization by clearing out outdated makeup and rearranging my jewelry collection.  I’ve had so many requests to show my makeup, I figured I’d mention the tour here in case you’re interested in having a look and don’t follow me on OLJ.  You can see more here!


Don and I shared our weekend with both sides of the family.  On Saturday, we took my parents out to dinner downtown at Trattoria 10 and then to the Goodman Theatre to see Brigadoon.  This was actually a gift we gave to my Dad for his birthday a couple of weeks ago.  We enjoy exchanging the gift of dinner and theater with my parents, because it is something all of us can enjoy while spending time together.  On Sunday, we headed over to Don’s parent’s house for lunch with his side of the family.  It had been a few weeks since we were all last together due to family travel and it was so nice to be reunited.  I feel so blessed to be able to spend time with my beautiful family!

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

While I did talk about this in the Couple’s Q&A Don and I posted last week, I wanted to again address the question of Vlogust.  if you’re unfamiliar, “Vlogust” is where you film and post a vlog every day for the month of August.  I have done this for the past couple of years.  I have decided not to do Vlogust this year, but will be keeping up with my WIR posts and weekend vlogs.  I appreciate that so many of you miss my more daily style of vlogging, but this is working best for me right now.  As for the holidays, I am not certain at this point about Vlogidays (vlog everyday between Thanksgiving and New Years), but I am considering it carefully.  I very much appreciate your enthusiasm for my vlogs and enjoy sharing these looks into my life with you.  Thank you for your continued support and encouragement!


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


31 thoughts on “Week In Review (July 21 – July 27, 2014)”

  1. Great WIR Jen! Looks like a really enjoyable weekend with both of your families! Your dad is too funny!! 🙂

    That blue dress looks gorgeous on you! That blue is such a beautiful blue colour that really looks beautiful with your skin tone and hair!

    I hope that you will do some type of Vlogidays, they are my favourite as I just love the holidays and seeing what you are doing for holiday shopping, decorating, get togethers etc! Hopefully you will be able to find a way to make Vlogidays work even if you modify it a bit in that you film something every day but only post once or twice a week… Or maybe you only film 3 times a week instead of every day. I’m sure filming every day gets very draining… Or you could do a condensed vlogidays in that you just film every day the week leading up to Christmas and the other prep stuff that you are doing ahead of time you can show us just from the weekend vlogs… Anyway I’m keeping my fingers crossed that by the time November rolls around you will be able to figure out something that could work for Vlogidays 🙂 as I really enjoy your vlogs!

  2. Hello! I just found your channel and was watching a video of yours. You disabled your comments, but I had to answer you when you said “name that movie” in the video “We’re Old Fashioned (Weekend Vlog / June 6 – 8, 2014)”.
    “you like raisins” The movie is “Better off dead” (one of my favorite movies by the way!).
    So, just because you said that and know that movie I had to subscribe. Just wanted to let you know!

  3. i just got caught up on your videos and was wondering… your family are big supporters of the theater (love)… do you or Don have any bucket list dreams of doing any community theater? BTW Dons due for some new Dress clothes… so proud of his discipline with his weight loss, it hard for us…who love food.

    1. Neither Don nor I have aspirations of being up on stage. Just thinking about it makes us chuckle a bit! LOL

      As for the clothes, I know he really needs some new ones but he won’t let me buy him anything until he feels he’s where he wants to be.

  4. I am not a huge fan of bare mineral , but it works really well to cover breakouts. After your apply the cc cream but before the setting powder , use a small concealer brush and dab it on but don’t blend… Use your setting powder to blend it in ..I feel your pain 🙂

  5. Hi there, greetings from Belfast!

    Glad Suzanne and Big Don had a great time here in the Northern Ireland. But I did scream when she said we were part of England…that’s like saying you in Chicago are part of Canada!! Lol

    But Suzanne was right, we wouldn’t have Baked Beans as part of our Ulster Fry breakfast (sausage, bacon, fried egg, potato bread, soda bread and optional black pudding) but we would have beans on toast for lunch. You should try it Jen…it is a nice but filling easy lunch option (and full of fibre!!) 🙂

    I am looking at getting the Erin Condron Life Planner but as you have said on your blog, the international shipping is nearly the same price as the planner!! I think I may put it on my Christmas Wish List instead!!

    I love your blogs, vlogs, posts and especially your hauls…I have purchased so many things on your recommendation! Don’t listen to the haters…they are just jealous!! We, your true fans, love you! <3

    Love from Clodagh xo

  6. Jen, So glad to hear summer is going well. I enjoy your WIR posts and weekend vlogs , I also very much enjoy that on some of your videos you have turned off the comment section, it makes for a much more peaceful place to visit & I’m sure a nicer experience for you also. Sometimes silence is golden in the comment section 😉
    Have a great rest of the summer & thanks for sharing. p.s. Your niece Grace is growing so fast ! So adorable 🙂

  7. Jen, Gracie looks like a mini version of her grandma Suzanne! 🙂 She is so adorable – it totally made my day to see her in your vlog 😀

  8. Dear Jen, I always enjoy your vlogs, seems my day is not complete unless I sit down in the evening to watch one of your vlogs! Doesnt matter old or new I enjoy them just the same! Now if we let you off the hook for August you most certainly have to vlog during the holidays. Your holiday vlogs give me so much insperation and advice on decorating, gift giving, and baking,the holidays just wouldnt be the same without you!! Thanks for sharing your weekend with us and tell Don thank-you too!!

    1. If she does not vlog during the holidays, you can always refer back to her previous years! She uses the same decor in the same places and prepares the same dishes each year. We really wouldn’t be missing out on much if she did not vlog..

  9. You said the dress you wore on Sunday was a Prada Sarafina Dress. I can’t find it. Could you please double check and let me know where to buy it? Super cute 🙂

  10. Wonderful weekend Jen! Look into a cheese slicer from Ikea, so practical and easy to use for slicing cheese 😀 TFS

  11. Hi Jen, just wanted to say that I’ve been enjoying your weekend vlogs very much. Admittedly I don’t also read the blog posts as it seems somewhat redundant, but I did want to comment to you and this is the only way to do it! 🙂 Sounds like you guys have a lot of fun things coming up soon and I’m specifically looking forward to your videos in Utah. I like the Utah videos especially in the Fall. I hope you will consider doing Vlogtober. Also think the pic above with you and Winnie is really cute! Hope you have a great week!

  12. Hi Jen!! I’m glad to hear that you’re enjoying your summer holidays. I have a couple of video requests for you:
    1. For your travel series this year, would you be able to show us how you would pack for your trip to Utah? I’m sure that some of us probably have a cottage or a vacation home, or something of that nature, where we can leave things. Maybe explain how to make some sort of list?…
    2. Now that you’ve completed the organization your wardrobe, would be willing to show us a new handbag and purse (wallet in the UK) collection video? I watched the most recent one from 2011, but most of those items, you no longer have them.
    I have a cousin who is a dermatologist, and she has told her patients that the best way to get rid of acne like yours, could be a sign of some sort of skin irratation and she has also said: 1.Quit using whatever product is causing the acne. 2. See a dermatologist right away. Hope that helps

    1. I don’;t really bring much of anything to Utah except for projects I’m working on for posts or personal (like knitting). I keep a running list of things I need for my next visit on my phone. As for the purse/wallet collection video, I am considering it. 🙂

  13. Here in the United Kingdom we’ve been enjoying some glorious weather this month… But I’m already looking forward to the colder months. Autumn and Winter are definitely my favourite months! It’s good to hear that summer is treated you well in Chicago.

    Both you and Don looked lovely and dapper on the evening you shared with your parents. The new dress highlights your figure in a beautifully subtle way.

    I know some have been asking about daily vlogs, and whilst they are greatly enjoyed by many – me included, you just carry on with what makes you happy! These are your channels after all!

    Lastly, have you done a video on ‘getting in to running’ at all? We all know you are a keen jogger, and it is something I am interested in starting but feel kind of lost. Or perhaps you could share any relevant links if you haven’t done such a video.


  14. Hey Jen!
    I’m a huge fan of your vlogs! My husband and I both enjoy watching them! I love the new WIR post. With a new baby at home its hard to catch up on all my YouTube channels so I love knowing when your WIR videos go up so I can make sure I make some “me” time to watch them. I did notice you mentioned the necklace you were wearing was from your late grandmother. Was this the same one you made the shawl for? I’m so sorry for your loss. Losing a loved one you hold dear to your heart is always hard. My granpa will has been gone for 20years and on certain days that I miss him, I feel like it’s just yesterday. I hope I don’t overstep my boundaries by asking you that question. I know you’re very private, I just wanted to offer my condolences. Sending you lots of blessings from Texas.

    1. The necklace is an heirloom from my namesake (my great grandma) that I inherited from my grandma many years ago. She actually passed several years ago. The grandma I made the shawl for is alive and well 🙂

  15. Sadly, yes I know how it feels to suffer from hormonal acne. I have both PCOS and Endometriosis, and I get breakouts if I’m stressed out or if I eat certain things (dairy is the worst) and also during certain parts of my cycle. It absolutely drives me mad, but I have yet to find anything that keeps it under control apart from a strict diet (there are MANY foods that I stay away from) and regular exercise.

    BB Cream and a good color corrector help to cover it up…. I feel your pain, though.

    BTW, Well done to Don on the weight loss!!

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