Week In Review (March 10 – March 16, 2014)

Long time, no WIR, I know.  I hope to get back to posting these on a weekly basis after my hiatus over the past few weeks.  Let me start off by sharing this image I regrammed (Instagram lingo for reposted) from @tealeaves a couple of weeks ago…

OJ_MHWL_03-12-2014_01I’ve been in some very hot water for the past couple of months, and let me tell you, I am continually surprised at my strength.  I am not going to go into all of the details about what’s been going on in my personal life and I ask that you respect my decision to keep some things private.  I will say that hardships and tough times are certainly learning opportunities and I’ve been discovering a lot about myself lately.  No one’s life is perfect with smooth sailing all of the time, nor would I want my life to be that way.  I know from experience that my greatest growths come after weathering the storms.  What I am trying to do now from the eye of the storm is be open to learning, changing, and growing.

OJ_MHWL_03-19-2014_02

Life does go on even when bad things happen, doesn’t it?  I’ve been trying to keep up with my posting schedule as best I can.  Don and I took a much needed weekend getaway trip to Arizona a couple of weekends ago (which I shared more about here if you’re interested).  There’s nothing quite like the desert sunshine to help heal!  I’ve actually planned another quick desert getaway coming up soon as a bit of a solo retreat for myself since our weekend was so soothing.  I relish my time with my pup, enjoying longer walks nows that much of the snow and ice has melted.  Don and I have also been enjoying time with friends and family, including sharing meals with our loved ones.  The healing power of food is quite palpable, isn’t it?  There’s something about a healthy, well-rounded meal that nourishes the soul as well as the body.  That being said, there’s also a time and a place for indulgences, such as the sushi feast we threw for my brother’s birthday this past weekend.  I’m also a firm believer in the “spoonful of sugar” theory both metaphorically as well as literally.  Sometimes a little sugar is just the ticket!  I treated myself to a fantastic festive cupcake last Friday in place of lunch, which felt like a deliciously naughty indulgence.  I don’t think it hurts to allow the occasional treat like this so long as I don’t start gorging on cupcakes on a frequent basis.  Emotional eating is a slippery slope and I have spent much of the last decade learning how to navigate a healthier outlook on nutrition.  I am actually proud that even now as I am weathering an emotional storm, I can still manage to stick to the 80/20 rule, which is to try to eat well balanced, clean food 80% of the time and not worry about the other 20%.  This is a vast improvement from my younger self who might have gorged on sweets during tough times!  I’ve also been sticking to my regular yet moderate exercise routine, allowing myself a day off when it seems necessary, but not quitting altogether or going overboard.  Now that I’m in my thirties I do seem to have better control and can avoid going to unhealthy extremes!

FYI – That cute Spoonful of Sugar charm is from shellybelly4evr on Etsy 🙂

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I know without a doubt that “this too shall pass,” and I will weather this storm and be all the better for it.  I know without a doubt that everything happens for a reason and that the new path unfurling before me is the right one.  I know without a doubt that I am loved, not just by my family and friends, but on a higher and deeper level, and that nothing can break that bond.

In an effort to have a little fun, I filmed the TMI tag where I answer some personal questions, which you can watch here if you’d like:

I want to thank everyone that has left me such kinds words of encouragement and support.  This online community means so much to me and I am truly grateful for each and every one of you.  For all of you who may be suffering through your own storms right now, please know that you are not alone and can never be alone and that you are loved, just as you are.  And don’t forget, “this too shall pass” and the sun will shine once more and you will be stronger and wiser as you walk your new path.

((HUGS)) to all!

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66 comments

66 thoughts on “Week In Review (March 10 – March 16, 2014)”

  1. Jen,
    I’ve been going through some things as well and I completely agree with you: you don’t know how strong you are until you go through some hardship in life. I am sure everyone is wondering what is happening in your life and speculate on what it might be. I felt so close to you just by watching your videos that not posting vlogs anymore it will be somewhat a disconnect. I hope you will decide to share your problems with us and go back to vlogging. You should care more about the opinion of the people that enjoy watching you instead of focusing on the negative comments. I truly enjoyed your vlogs. I hope you will keep us posted on your life’s events. Whatever you are going through, never lose hope!

  2. Omgosh – Was that ever fun!! I’m not sure if you get told this often (likely you do), but you are just so darn funny!! You crack me up – not even kidding :D. It was so great to see you today, you’ve been missed! Thanks for posting this, gave me a chuckle. Hugs to you & your sweetie-pie Winnie.
    Have a great day Jen!
    Shaunie Behr

  3. Beautiful post Jen! I will keep you in my prayers as you heal from your struggles. I know with your support system and your positivity, you will come out on top! I spent a lot of time in my past just holding on for dear life as I felt endlessly overwhelmed and incapable of bearing my burdens. Overcoming my personal struggles has transformed me into a strong, confident woman with an endless supply of empathy. Instead of becoming bitter, I made the deliberate decision to become better. I now have a strong sense of peace. I know that for every door that closes, another one opens. Sometimes you just have to hang out in the hallway for a short time. Hugs!

  4. I don’t know you personally but just out of being in a rut myself at 47, and loving to organize and plan I happened upon your charming websites and you tubes. You are a breath of fresh air and a good sweet person. It is hard to be strong at any age and you are more strong than you think because you are inspiring and cheering up others more than you realize. I am a laid off administrative assistant in Michigan along with a MA degree. I hated it when people were mean to you and I am happy you are strong again to be able to share your God given gifts with us again. Smiles make the world a better place and your smiles cheer others up alot! Plus. you have cool taste! Love the Bridgewater mugs…wayyyyy pretty! Anyways I never write on blogs but extra special people deserve a pat on the back too! Keep up the great work and stay strong! God Bless.

  5. This was a neat tag! And I love your WIR post, Jen 🙂
    I must admit that I’m going through withdrawals from your vlogs, but I’m adapting (aka re-watching old ones :D)

    I think that changing the channel’s name is an awesome idea! And even if you change it, the new name would be associated with the old one as well, right? I mean, even though Anna changed her YT from “The style Diet” to “Anna Saccone”, if you type in the YT search bar “the style diet” her new channel comes up 🙂

    You are an awesome person and I hope that this “storm” in your life will go away in no time 🙂

  6. Jen, hang in there, everything will be alright 🙂 And remember – “always look at the bright side of life” 🙂

  7. So sorry to hear you’re going through some tough times Jen. I’ve been there myself and I know how hard it can be sometimes to just get out of bed in the morning and make your way through the day. But we do it, we get up, we go out and me move forward. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason, even if that reason doesn’t seem fair or clear at the time, these things are sent to try us and you will come out so much stronger in the end.

    Keeping doing what you do and know that there’s a HUGE bunch of us out in the world that support you so so much!

    Sarah 🙂
    Saloca in Wonderland

  8. You keep posting that you were in “hot water” and having difficulties, but you won’t share what that means. You have a lot of viewers and readers who would support you with whatever you’re going through. Maybe some of us are going through the same things and could offer advice.

    1. As I mentioned in the post, I choose to keep some things private. While I do enjoy sharing much of myself, my opinions, and my life with others, I have to draw the line somewhere and right now this feels right to me.

      1. But why say anything at all then? You keep mentioning it in videos and on your blog, over and over. Respect your OWN privacy first.

        1. I’m pretty sure I only brought it up in one video (Arizona Trip Recap) and this blog post. I just wanted to share why I am still holding off on posting vlogs and more private content for the time being.

          1. But you’re not saying why. If all you wanted to do was share why, you’d either give an actual reason or you could just say “personal reasons.” But making sure everyone knows you’re hurting over something means that the audience that has this affinity for you will extend lots of love your way but you get to control and manipulate all of it. The people who care about you in your audience get no resolution or even a promise of resolution. You hold all the strings. But because they still feel fondly toward you they will send you well-wishes.

            It’s not bad or harmful to others, what you’re doing, but it is sick in its own way, the way you toy with the people who support you online. Vaguebooking (vague posting and vlogging is I guess what you’re doing) is really manipulative and unproductive for everyone involved.

            I wish you well, Jen, but I can’t watch someone so ill any longer. I hope you ultimately find the genuine love and unconditional acceptance you so desperately seek but given your methods, I fear it’s a long time coming.

      2. Sending good vibes your way Jen! But you’re basically “vaguebooking” blog/youtube style. 🙁 Sorry if this rude but if you truly want privacy quit with the vague mentions of your struggle you’re going though… its bad social media etiquette.

        1. I decided to bring it up only because I felt it explained my distance from posting more of my private life right now.

          1. I understand that but this is your 2nd or 3rd mention? of it and this post is really a bit too much vague information (e.g. very hot water!! but private!!!!)

          2. The thing about posting bits online is that you get to choose what you want to share. I chose to share exactly what I did in this post because that’s what works for me.

          3. The blogs that are most successful are the ones where the blogger is genuine and authentic and in some ways vulnerable. This allows the readers to connect and understand and relate to them. It seems like you have a ton of walls up lately which is counterproductive in allowing the readers/viewers to understand where you are coming from. . Maybe you don’t mean it to come across this way, but it does seem manipulative and like bad social media etiquette to dedicate an entire blog post (after having already mentioned it once in the video) to how you are having a hard time, but you don’t want to talk about it, but you are having a hard time. It explains nothing as a previous commenter said and it just hold your readers at a distance when the point of a blog is usually to connect with readers and draw them in. That is why this is very confusing to us, I think. Anyways, I hope whatever you are going through isn’t too bad and that you come out of it on the other side happier and stronger and more fulfilled. Best wishes.

          4. I understand and appreciate your perspective. However, I still stand by what I have posted and will continue to post what I choose based on how it feels to me. I love to share much of my life and am fortunately allowed to draw the line wherever I chose. I don’t expect everyone to enjoy everything I choose to share nor do I expect anyone but myself to understand why I choose to post what I do. I do listen to feedback and incorporate it into what I do, but I also listen to my heart and try to follow what feels right to me. I apologize if you are confused by what I choose to share, as it is never my intent to put any of my readers/viewers in an awkward position.

          5. I understand that you have to choose what you post based on how it feels for you, but my point is that you should also consider how it feels for us as well 🙂

          6. As I have said before, I do care about how my readers & viewers feel about my content and I take that directly into consideration when choosing what content to post. It is impossible, however, to please everyone all of the time with what I do, which I think is important to understand and embrace as both an online content creator and content consumer.

  9. I just started watching your videos and i watched every single MHWL video in a week. I am planning to work on your other channels a little slower hahaha. I just want to say how much you have touched my life this past week and you have added so much positivity to my life. I was so sad when I watched the changes video but I understand. I am very new to you but I feel like i connect with you so much and we are so similar in how we view the world. Thank you for sharing your life with me and allowing me to have a little joy recently.

  10. Jen, you’re awesome! I’ve been watching your videos for over a year now and it’s always fun to see and hear about your adventures. Thank you for the inspirational quotes. Blessings to you!

  11. I’m so sorry you are going through such a tough time. I don’t comment often, but I wanted to reach out and let you know that 1) I fully respect your need for privacy and to pull back a bit with vloging. For the record, I enjoy your weekly vlogs as well as your Vlogidays, etc. I want you to know that although I am not out there on You Tube, I recognize how tough it must be to share so much and put yourself out there. I don’t don’t read comments often, but when I have read comments on your channel, I’m always amazed people can be so cruel. I know it must hurt and as much as you try to not let it affect you, it still does. I appreciate the content you put up, the effort you put into editing and creating well made videos and blog posts, the way you put yourself out there, and all of the fantastic give aways you do. I haven’t won yet, but that doesn’t matter. The point is, you are constantly sharing and giving back and it does not go unnoticed. Hang in there sweetie and yes, “this too, shall pass.” God has a greater plan!

  12. Don’t feel the need to explain or discuss your personal issues if you aren’t comfortable doing so. Just because you choose to post videos on YouTube doesn’t give any of us a right to an all access pass to your life, emotions, struggles, etc. . . Please DO know that many of care that your are struggling and are praying for you and hoping the hard times pass soon. In the meantime, do what you need to for yourself, after all that is what is important, and it is the only thing you can control anyway. . . Lol! Hang in there and thanks for sharing this fun video with us, you made me smile with your lovely laugh and fun sense of humor.

    Big healing hugs,
    Maureen

  13. TeeHee, I watched your video again & thought it’d be fun to play along 😉
    In Love – Yes, I love my husbanb
    Bad breakup – Who hasn’t right :S
    How tall – 5′ 🙁
    Weight – Pass …. 🙂
    Tattoos – Yes (1)
    OTP???? Thanks for putting us in the Know!
    Something I miss – My Mom
    Age – 50
    Fav Quote: So Many….
    Promise me you’ll always remember:
    You’re braver than you believe, stronger then you seem, and smarter than you think – Winnie the Pooh, – A.A. Milne

    Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind
    “Pooh” he whispered
    “Yes Piglet?” answered Pooh
    “Nothing” said Piglet taking Pooh’s paw
    “I just wanted to be sure of you”
    – A.A. Milne

    Ok – One more 🙂

    Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart – Pooh

    🙂 All done – Night, night
    Shaunie

  14. Hi Jen,
    Your right , not everything is smooth sailing. Life would be boring if it was wouldn’t it be… Whatever you are personally going through ( and let me tell you I am probably not alone in wondering and guessing) will slowly find its place. You will heal and you will be stronger.
    On a lighter note…… You better shove that trip to Australia a little higher upon your bucket list 😉 New Zealand ??? what …just a quick visit need there …hahahah!! Just kidding… Its a little like USA and Canada .. In one of my Child care centres I employed a fabulous Canadian Lady and she is always asked if she is American…
    Oops I am rambling!! Ok well chin up …look after yourself
    See you online here hopefully soon.
    P.S I love the name “Myhousewifelife”
    Your Aussie friend
    G

  15. Hi Jen

    Sorry ure going through a tough time, hoping you can work through it and come out of the other side smiling 🙂 Lovely to read your review…that cupcake looks divine! Hope u have a good week and that ure getting lots of Don and Winnie hugs!

    Take care
    Arline
    xx

  16. There’s another YTuber named Maya (Maya’s World); her tag line is, ‘Just do you, Boo’.
    That’s all we can be and be true to…ourselves. I’m glad that you continue to post that’s to your blog and YT…we affect each other in so many ways. Be true to you…after all, that’s the person (ality) we love & respect.
    PS. So glad you are enjoying the heart mug.

  17. I am sorry that you are going through difficult times. I usually don’t comment , but I just want to tell you how much of an inspiration you are for all of us. I am watching your video’s (of all of your channels) very often, and enjoy them all! Please do not let people discourage you – I know it can be difficult all the negative comments people made, but please try to concentrate on all the people that really enjoys and appreciate your video’s/blogs. I can assure you their is a lot of us that really enjoys your videos and who’s lives you are touching. Even I do not know you, you feel like a friend! I also going to a very difficult time, and it helps to watch positive inputs – as the content you publish! It helps me to feel better – and I am sure I am not the only one. You are not alone, please take care! This will also pass!

  18. Just wanted to let you know I enjoyed your Tag video! It was just what I needed, it’s been a long winter and look forward to your videos with my morning coffee once I get everyone off to school 🙂

  19. Prayers continue for whatever difficulties you are having. As you said, this to shall pass, I enjoyed your TMI video. I laughed when you said your comment about your weight! There are some things that never ever need to be shared! Love Winnie and I always like it when you bring her into your posts. Thanks so much for sharing!

  20. Jen,
    I recently suffered a miscarriage, and am feeling a lot of the emotions you’re describing. I hope that if this is what you’re going through as well that you keep trying. I think you would be a fantastic mom and Don a great dad. I was watching your video the other day and thought about how your feelings resembled my own and wondered if you were going through this to. Hope all is well, or getting betters.

    Hugs from Chicago

  21. Having gone through tuff times myself, I know what a blow to your soul can do to a person. It is so amazing when you come out the other side and see what your plan truly is. It might not be anything like what you originally envisioned, but it will be what is right for you. My husband and I went through infertility issues, then at the end, we adopted two beautiful children. Was that my original plan ? No. Is it what was meant to be ? YES ! I couldn’t imagine our lives without them ! Please hold strong, and keep moving towards your life’s plan !

  22. Jen, I have been watching your videos on all of your channels for a long time and feel like I can relate to you so well as we seem to have a lot in common with all kinds of different things from products we love to how we feel about different things and we seem to have very similar personalities:) When you were talking about going through a rough time in your past couple videos, I just wanted to reach through and give you a big hug! You are really such a sweet, amazing person Jen! I do believe things happen for a reason and “weathering those storms” only makes us stronger. I know I am just another fan, another viewer out of so many out there who also love watching your vlogs, but please know whatever it is that you are going through right now, that I am out here keeping you in my thoughts and prayers and yes, “this too, shall pass.” ((((HUGS))))

      1. Thanks so much Jen for replying and sending hugs back! You made me smile and it lets me know you did get to read my comment. 🙂 I will occasionally comment under some of your videos on YouTube or on facebook once in a while, and I know that you get so many people that leave comments and it is really impossible to reply to everyone, but I always check, just in case and today I was like yay…she saw it! 😉

  23. Desert Healing.
    Nothing like that air, the open land, the mountains in the background.
    Or, Dessert Healing. That works too.
    Have a great next adventure!!!

  24. Happy to see a WIR again 🙂 Thanks Jen!
    And a fun TMI tag video too – a great one to do!

    I have the same mickey socks as you – love them!! 🙂

  25. I recommend you proceed by mentioning nothing further regarding what you choose not to share. No one knows you in real life. So no one will know what you withhold or choose to share. Just say nothing. Then you don’t open yourself up to a woe is me pity party and take charge of yourself and your circumstances. To do otherwise makes you appear to be baiting the reader or viewer. You’re right, we certainly don’t know you and how you live your life, but if you want to remain private just do so. I hope whatever struggles you are going through resolve themselves. Life is worth living in the real world.

  26. Speaking of Tea, What do you think of the Oprah partnership with Teavanna? Will you be trying it? Interested to know your thoughts!!! Be well 🙂

  27. Jen, I loved the TMI tag video! Your candid videos always make me smile. I’m also really proud of you for sharing what you have about your channels and the fact that you took off comments in your videos. Honestly, I found your channels over a year ago (and I’m still a loyal watcher!) and it just makes me so sad when people go out of their way to write terrible, hurtful things to someone they’ve never met. And why not just not watch the video? Just wanted to tell you that you’re a strong, inspirational woman that picks up my spirits regularly 🙂 Winnie also adds to this! Hope you’re having a great day and that the weather is improving in Chicago!

    Hugs,
    Alex Quill

  28. Hi Jen,

    I think you are a class act and I truly hope that you overcome these personal struggles.

    You’re such a strong person to actively share your life in such a public way. I certainly don’t have the guts to put my life out there!

    To those people who left comments about you “vague-booking”, I’d like to point out to them that you have been sharing with us and we are not entitled to anything more or anything less than you wish to share with us.

    Keep your chin up xxxx

  29. I’m SO glad to see WIR will be back in rotation! Those were my favorite posts on your blog. 🙂 They will mean more now that you will not be doing so much daily vlogging on MHWL.

    I’m hoping on your end that things are looking brighter in regards to whatever you and your family are currently dealing with. ::hugs:: I’m sure it isn’t easy, but I commend you for your honesty as well as for your optimism! I know there are many commenters on here who don’t appreciate or understand what you are trying to convey what you shared with us in this blog and in your Arizona Trip recap, but I did and I know there are many others that did as well. The day that I read this WIR for the first time, I was going through a particularly challenging day and your words of encouragement at the end about realizing that we are not alone in our struggles brought such comfort to me. You have NO idea! My situation is far from over, but your post gave me the boost I needed that day.

    For the ten or more naysayers who continue to nitpick your “faults” in the social media world, you have hundreds or more social media friends out there who have deep appreciation for you! You are appreciated because you are authentic and you do not put up a pretense. Even though we may not know the “real” Jen and you may not know the “real” us, there is a part of each other that we do know and that is the part that continues to drive the healthy and encouraging community you have worked so hard to foster.

    Continue to be your authentic self and keep your chin up, Jen!

  30. This was such a cute video. Too funny when you showed us your socks. I had to laugh. Also, It looked like Winnie was trying to communicate with the camera. Cuter than usual. I hope your troubles are clearing up and that things balance out soon. Thanks for sharing!

  31. Hi Jen, I am really sorry to hear you are going through a tough time at the moment and you are in my thoughts. I really hope what you are struggling with works out for you in time. I find whenever I am going through a tough time it is great to have a distraction and a little time to get out of my head. You may already do this but a couple of hours a week away from your normal life might work wonders for you eg volunteer at an animal shelter/ work with disadvantaged children (whatever you feel might be suitable for you). I think it could really help take your mind off things and give you an outside interest. I hope you don’t think I am being rude in suggesting this, I just hate to see people suffering. Wishing you all the best and I look forward to seeing more from you in the future. I really admire you.

  32. Hi Jen,
    A few years ago I suddenly became very ill with mayofascial pain syndrome. When it started, we didn’t know what happened to me or what was wrong. For months I went to doctors, (orthopedics, neurosurgeons, rheumatologists, pain specialists, and more) but no one had an explanation for my pain. It continued. So much so, I had to quit my job and became house bound. The pain was so intolerable, I couldn’t even sleep.
    Someone sent me a card that had the serenity prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr. But, you know Jen, I just refused to “accept the things I cannot change”. There was no way I was going to live that way. I would not accept the extreme pain that plagued me every day. I would somehow make a change.
    I prayed every day for relief from the pain and also prayed to be put in front of a doctor that could diagnose me. I was sent to a physiatrist (nerve, muscle, and bone experts) and she diagnosed mayofascial pain syndrome and that was the day my recovery started. It took me a long time to get better, with a lot of starts and stops. But I did get better.
    Jen, my point is, that whatever ails you, you can get better. If one doctor isn’t helping you, go to another and another. But keep trying. Don’t settle. You don’t have to spend the rest of your life living with what you feel right now.
    I wish you well.

  33. Hi Jen,

    I was watching a video about Kandee Johnson and I suggest you to watch it. httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIbqVXqBm0Q

    Stay strong!

  34. Hi Jen,
    Just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you, and I truly hope everything gets better. Whatever happens, I am a strong believer that time can heal everything. It may not seem like it right now, but as you said, these obstacles and difficult times will make you stronger, wiser and braver in the long run.
    I’m in my first year of college right now (I’m 19-years old) and find it quite difficult to be away from my family, but your videos and updates keep me happy 🙂 So, thank you! You’ve also made me realize that I should not feel stupid for seeing my study as a full-time job, but when I take the time to relax, your videos really help. I hope someday you’ll start vlogging again if/when you’re ready and will enjoy it more!

    Have a good day full of joy and health,
    Evangeline

  35. Jen,
    I’m so sorry that you are going through a difficult time. It makes me so sad to hear that because you’re always smiling and joyful. However, you seem to have a very positive mindset, and I know that that will get you through (as well as the love and support from your wonderful family). Just ask you said, the storm will pass.I hope the sun peaks through those clouds very soon! Sending love your way!

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