Week In Review (June 30 – July 6, 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:

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Happy July!  I’ve mentioned before how I am a creature of habit when it comes to my general nutrition (with the exception of dining out on the weekends of course) but that my staple meals and snacks change seasonally.  Now that summer is in full swing, I’ve been enjoying some lighter fare, including lots of fresh fruit and cooler foods and drinks.  My go-to breakfast lately is Greek yogurt mixed with a bit of honey, granola, and fresh berries.  My favorite mid-morning snack is pineapple with a side of organic walnuts (weird combination, I know, but I find I process fruit better when I pair it with healthy fats).  While I most definitely prefer drinking tea, I find I don’t consume nearly as much in the summer months, probably because I like it better hot than iced.  Every once in a blue moon, however, I crave a little coffee.  I can’t handle the caffeine, so it’s decaf all the way for me, but still oh-so tasty!  I think the last time I consumed coffee was about this time last year.  When the mood does strike, infrequent as it may be, my favorite Starbucks summer indulgence is an iced decaf caramel macchiato.  If you’re a caramel lover like me, ask for extra caramel (yes, please!).

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Another thing that changes seasonally for me is color and pattern preferences for clothing and accessories.  Currently I am in love with everything mint colored!  I was noticing earlier last week just how much I have surrounded myself with minty blues and greens lately in everything from my running gear, to my planners, accessories, nail polish, and even my dog Winnie’s hair bows!  It is such a refreshing color!  I guess it makes sense that I am so infatuated with it right now when it is hot and muggy outside.  I’m also really into this cute pineapple print from Target that I now own a couple of tops in.  Apparently, I love both eating pineapple and wearing pineapple print!  Another wonderfully refreshing delight for summer.

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We had a jam-packed weekend filled with family, friends, food, and fun!  My brother and his family drove up to spend the holiday weekend at my parent’s house.  We spent both Thursday and Friday nights with the family.  We have so much fun together!  There’s always laughter and lots of good food at our gatherings.  My brother snapped these pics of me and Don.  Of course we had to have a silly (scary?) face one, too!

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On Friday night we celebrated both the 4th of July and a few summer birthdays at my parent’s house.  I brought Funfetti Confetti Cupcakes (recipe by the Little Spice Jar) I baked in honor of the special multi-celebration.  Don made his famous chicken wings, my Mom served up a bountiful feast of tasty snacks, and my Dad grilled burgers and hot dogs.  We walked into town to watch the local fireworks and had a jolly good time!

On Saturday, Don & I hosted our annual backyard summer bash featuring Don’s tasty smoked ribs and lamb.  This year we also served up delightful smoked trout bites, with the fish caught and smoked by my Dad, as well as the most delectable smoked prime rub crostinis and one of the best things I think Don has ever made (and that’s really saying something because I think all of his food is delicious!).  I baked up cookies and mini berry crumbles for dessert and we invited both sides of the family as well as our good friends we’ve known since high school.  It was such a fun party!  Our friends stayed the night and we ate even more delectable food the next morning when Don made buttermilk pancakes and bacon.  We had some bacon left over which inspired us to grill up burgers (yes, again! LOL 😉 ) for dinner Sunday night.  All in all, it was quite the weekend eating fest!

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

I’d love to know how you spent the holiday weekend if you care to share.  I couldn’t imagine a better way to celebrate than with the ones I love.  I hope you had a wonderful weekend with your loved ones as well!

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

38 comments

38 thoughts on “Week In Review (June 30 – July 6, 2014)”

  1. Hi Jen!

    Thanks for sharing your tasty and jam packed weekend! I was intrigued by the shrimp bowls you mentioned that you have been eating for lunch – can you share how you put those together, please?

    Lea

    1. It’s actually a recipe I pulled from a magazine many years ago. It’s brown rice with cooked shrimp and avocado as well as a yummy salad dressing made with rice wine and rice vinegar and fresh herbs. It’s delish!

  2. As someone who is loving blue and green etc currently, the second row of images is pleasing to my eye.

    Those pictures of you and Don are just lovely, so natural!

    I enjoyed all the yummy food you shared in your vlog from the weekend – it wouldn’t be a Jen vlog without food! 😛

  3. Hey Jen,

    Because it was such a food-filled video, I thought I would continue the theme with my question. When you buy salmon, do you get the farm raised or wild? I never know which one tastes better and/or is better for you. What is your preference?

    Also, are you still adding to your Pandora bracelet? I was thinking about getting one (it makes such a nice suggestion if someone’s looking for a gift to give and every charm is so adorable and memorable).

    best,
    Jocelyn

    1. We prefer to buy wild caught. I haven’t bought pandora charms for awhile because my bracelet is overflowing as it is! It’s a bit bulky to wear although I do enjoy putting my holiday charms on it to wear during December.

  4. Hi Jen,
    I love my zero gravity outdoor chair. Do you happen to know what the brand of the leather one in your video is? Many thanks!

    1. You mean the chair from my parent’s house? All I know is that it came from a store called Relax the Back. I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful!

      1. Thanks for the reply. That’s ok. I didn’t know they had leather ones before but I found some cool ones online. Thanks for sharing.

  5. That vlog was overflowing with tasty drooliness. Don’s bruschetta looked delicious. YUM. Thanks for sharing your weekend.

  6. Hi Jen….I have just finished watching your weekend video and was so happy to see that you had Back Bacon for breakfast with pancakes. As I am originally from England and now live here in the US I was hoping that you could tell me where you bought that bacon!!! I will be eternally grateful for an answer as it would be such a treat to be able to get that over here!
    Many many thanks Jen in anticipation for hearing from you…Linda :))

    1. We actually received it as a gift in a quarterly bacon club. I’m sorry we threw out the package so I cannot tell you where it was from 🙁

  7. This has nothing to do with your post but I was wondering if you are going to do another Handbag Charity Auction. I didn’t find you until after you had the last one.

  8. Hi Jen,
    wow, what an amazing weekend you guys had! i thought your cupcakes looked awesome. I will definately make those for my kids. i would love your it if you could share your shrimp recipe and the quinoa recipe too … can you share in a video? i am always struggling to come up with good lunch ideas. thanks, Fleur x

    1. They’re both recipes I pulled out of fitness magazine many years ago. I’ll see if I can find them on the web…

  9. Hi I really love your blog, I also really love ready your weekly review,
    I like how you place your photos together.
    Thanks emma

  10. Rats now Im hungry ! Jen have you ever tried to make Pavlova ? Its a Australian desert , served with fresh fruit and cream and passion fruit . Yum. Thanks for the vlog!!!

  11. It’s my second read of your WIR i really enjoy reading it, you are such a good writer, i feel like i’m reading a delightful chapter of a book… as an old folower I enjoy both blogs, and vids,
    I enjoy the new format of the vids as well, but i can’t help it, i really miss the old vids too, Can you please do : A day in my life ???like the old ones, with you, winny, lunch, home tasks, i miss seen you actually organizing, putting home decors, following you around the house, laundry etc…
    Thank you…

    1. I’m enjoying sharing my weekends right now. Who knows, though, maybe someday I’ll want to do more DITL style again. Never say never!

    2. I too miss the old vlogs where we got to just “hang out” with Jen doing every day stuff 🙂 But of course the weekend vlogs are awesome as well!!

  12. love your new food fantasy vlog that you uploaded, I couldn’t help to drool over don’s prime rib snack bites! Can you please share that amazing recipe. 🙂 thank you

  13. Another great vlog and WIR!

    I love that mint color too! Definitely the perfect summer color!

    Thanks so much for sharing your 4th of July! I was hoping you would even though it was on a Friday 🙂 It looks like you had some wonderful family & friend celebrations for the weekend too and all of that food looked sooooo delicious!

    Does Winnie not get scared of the fireworks? I know you showed Yoda hiding from the fireworks and was just curious whether they bothered Winnie too? My dogs hate the fireworks sounds – they would be hiding along with Yoda 😉

  14. YAY! Looks like you had a wonderful weekend full of delicious food and spending time with your family! Thanks so much for sharing! Thank you so much for your best wishes on my daughter’s nuptials. It was quite busy and time flew by too quickly but my daughter’s wedding was just magical! Everything went perfect but most importantly she is so happy and that is what I wished for more than anything. By chance, I just had to tell you I misplaced my beloved Coach sunglasses I have had for years during that weekend too. It really bothers me also because I normally do not lose things and take good care of the items I have. Even though I can replace the ones I lost it makes me so sad that they are gone. And I just had to buy the mint tank with the sailboats on it on my trip to Target this week. SO CUTE!!! The shrimp rice bowls sound delish! Hope you share! Have a great week!

  15. Jen,

    I know this may sound kinda weird or silly, but you really helped me through a bad time and I wanted to thank you, as well as explain. I was hospitalized on July 4th, and I live alone and out of state from any relatives. I was sitting in the hospital bed, scared, upset and alone. I had my iPad with me and luckily the hospital had wifi. I immediately went to your channel and started watching you videos. Of course this one wasn’t up yet, but I had plenty to keep me occupied, and it is was nice to have something pleasant to pass the time during an unpleasant experience! Also, because I was in the hospital on the 4th, I obviously missed all fireworks, so it was so nice to see this video and get to see some included!

    The whole time I was in, I was really worried about my cat, because he is terrified of fireworks, and I knew they were doing a show where I live right near our apartment! The poor thing was there all alone, not knowing why mommy was gone or when she would be back. It absolutely broke my heart. I also had to really scramble to try to find someone to go in and feed him because I am new to the area and don’t know anyone. It was an extra stress I really didn’t need with all the other issues. I felt for poor Yoda hiding in the shoe closet!

    I know you might think it weird, but you will never know what your videos might mean to someone. Even though I don’t actually know you or Don, because you are so kind to share your lives with us through your vlogs, it is like having a friend. Thank you for helping me through a bad time and for making a scary and unpleasant time a little easier with your sweet, sunny personality! I thank you from true bottom of my heart!

    Also, I am kind of glad this video wasn’t up yet because all of the food looks so amazing and I wasn’t able too eat so it would probably have driven me over the edge. . . Lol!

    Big hugs and thanks,
    Maureen

  16. Hi Jen!! I hope that you enjoyed your weekend. I wanted to say “Thank you” for answering my questions from last week. They were helpful! I have a beauty/fashion-related question for you:
    1. Are pants and shorts and clothing of that sort comfortable to wear? I have short-ish torso with long arms and I also have longish legs (that I don’t like to show off) that look “nice and toned” (LOL!) I’m always told by people that I have nice legs but I never believe them…Anyway to stay fit and toned, I do running, yoga, weights, swimming and martial arts. I used to do competitive swimming, horseback riding and ice skating. When I was in elementary and middle school, I did volleyball and track and field. I’m going to see Katy Perry at her concert with my god-sister and two of my cousins and I was at Aeropostle recently and I bought some high-waisted shorts. I found them comfortable and wore them out and about for a couple of days, but I’m a little worried about a) what to wear as a top and over-layers b) if they’re comfortable to wear for 5+ hours. (The concert venue is inside an indoor ice hockey arena.)
    I also have a technology-related question for you:
    2. I recently celebrated my 20th birthday on June 17th and I want to get a new laptop computer to use at college ( I don’t start until and for general use. and I have my eye on either a Mac Book Air (they’re very lightweight -which is good because I suffered a horrible stairs accident last year and broke my left kneecap- luckily my computer wasn’t damaged-) or a Mac Book Pro (I heard people saying that they’re awesome for video and picture editing for YouTube and blogging. However, I heard that they’re 12 to 13 pounds, and that’s how much my current computer weighs! I would love to know your advice and input on these!
    Thanks so much!
    Love, Katherine

    1. Katherine – For pants & shorts it’s all about finding the right cut and fit for your body type. Once you do, you’ll know it because they will feel comfortable to wear! As for the Air vs the Pro – it really depends on how much power you’re looking for. The Air is great for low processing things like web surfing, writing papers, email, and other basic stuff. If you’re going to be doing things like editing you might want to go for the Pro tho because it can handle those sorts of operations much better. Either way, they’re both awesome computers! Hope this helps 🙂

  17. Hi Jen!

    I was just wondering if you still love that peanut butter smoothie you showed us last year! Do you still like it?

  18. Just wanted to say that i have followed your blog for awhile but just started watching more of your vlogs etc more recently and you rock! also love how sweet you and don are and how excited he is about being involved with your you tube life! what an awesome couple you guys are 🙂 also loving that Don has a Doctor Who shirt on in this video …

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