Week In Review (March 11 – 17, 2013)

This past week kind of went by in a blur.  Being back to almost daily vlogging really fills out my days to the max.  I don’t think many people realize the time that goes into editing videos.  I know I certainly didn’t before I started making them.  Editing vlogs is particularly time consuming because there are so many clips to pull together, cuts to make, and transitions to smooth out.  I’m not trying to complain here.  I actually genuinely enjoy the editing process and being able to share my “Day In The Life/Follow Me Around” videos on MHWL with you.  I hope I’m not coming off as a Mrs. Whiny Pants, because that’s not my point at all!  It’s just that you don’t really know how much time goes into making something until you make it yourself or someone shares that information with you.  Anyway, back to vlogging means back to jam-packed days.  I have to chuckle when someone who clearly doesn’t know me calls me “lazy” and assumes I just sit on my bum all day twiddling my thumbs.  Just ask Don and he’ll tell you straight up – I basically do not stop working on things and buzzing around like the busy bee that I am from the time I wake up in the morning until I lay down to go to sleep at night.  That’s how I function at my best in all honesty.

Starting New Organizational Projects

This week marked the start of my foray back into the land of organization.  I am excited but also a bit nervous about my latest endeavor – office organization.  I used to refer to my office as my craft room, but lately, I use it primarily for work-related reasons, so it’s officially now my office.  It’s actually quite a large room (lucky me, I know!) that is a great multi-purpose space.  Not only does it serve as my office in terms of my desk/computer and filing area, but I also have a dedicated grooming station for Winnie, a sewing desk, bins galore, and more shelves and cabinets than you’ve probably ever seen in one space.  Let’s just say that the total organizational overhaul of this room is quite a daunting task, hence the nervousness.  There’s also this strange stigma that somehow got attached to this room where I feel like I have to put all other spaces of the house before it.  I think this is because it is the only space that is truly 100% my own and as a housewife I feel like I should prioritize the common areas of the house in terms of my time and organizational efforts.  Plus, sometimes it’s just hard to do something that you know is just for yourself.  I feel like many women struggle with making time for themselves.  It’s something I have to work on every single day.  Even though I’m finally at a place where I’m ready to take on my office organization (it only took me over five years to get here!), I still struggle with feelings of guilt and anxiety surrounding this use of time.  I know that ultimately it will not only benefit me directly, because as Don likes to say, “Happy Wife, Happy Life!” and having a functional, organized, and clean space to work in and call my own will make me one very happy wife.

IMG_9149Stay tuned to OLJ for new videos tracking my office organization adventure.  I hope to post the first one in the next few days.

 Back To Books

Whenever I get home from vacation I usually prefer to spend my (almost) nightly tub time catching up on my YouTube subscriptions instead of reading, which is what I usually do in the bath.  I don’t spend a lot of time watching videos on any given day, but I allow myself this luxury when I’ve been away from the internet for a trip or during a particularly busy time.  This past week I’ve been back to books.  I finished two, Neferet’s Curse: A House of Night Novella by P.C. & Kristin Cast, and Beneath The Glitter by Elle & Blair Fowler.  I enjoy reading a wide variety of literary genres, mostly fictional with plot lines and character developments that really bring you in as a reader.  I just posted my first book nook review in a long time on TBBB.  For some reason these types of videos make me a bit nervous.  I hope to become more comfortable in filming them with time.


New Spring Goodies

I’ve done some shopping in the past week, adding new clothes and accessories to my spring collection and restocking my bath and body product stash for the change in season.  (I posted hauls from each category on TBBB – you can watch Clothes & Accessories here and Bath & Body Products here if you’re interested!)  I’m especially excited about my recent discovery of ModCloth.  I stumbled across this website during a search for a blush colored dress for an upcoming wedding I’m standing up in.  I ended up buying five new dresses altogether.  I love the vintage style of the clothes with what I consider to be reasonable prices for the quality.  I know I’ll be returning to ModCloth for more fun additions to my wardrobe in the future!


Spring Treats

I look forward to the return of McDonald’s Shamrock Shake every March.  Even with my hyped up expectations, it never disappoints.  A vanilla shake that’s dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day with a hint of mint?  Sign me up!  One a year and I’m happy as a leprechaun with a pot of gold!  Another treat reappearance this week was the return of Donut Saturday.  I always instagram my #DonutSaturday pics and actually went back through my feed to see when my last donut was.  Nine weeks ago!  I knew it had been awhile, but that’s just too long for this donut fiend!  I think they’re back to stay for a while now.

OJ|MHWL 3:18:2013

I can’t wait for spring to officially arrive this upcoming week.  I know the Chicago weather won’t comply (does it ever?), but it will be nice to know that we’re officially in the season.  As much as I love winter, by the time March rolls around I am more than ready for spring.  I’m considering signing up for the Self Drop 10 spring challenge this year in an attempt to amp up my workout routine now that I’m not worried about my knee anymore and find new, healthy recipes.  I’ll keep you posted!

*I am not affiliated with any of the brands mentioned in this post.  All opinions are my own.*


41 thoughts on “Week In Review (March 11 – 17, 2013)”

  1. Hey Jen. Have you looked at the benefits from eating the Southbeach way? I think you would ease into it no problem. A lot of what you already do is in the way of thinking you would just have to make some minor changes. I did it last spring and lost 25 pounds in a few months. Got off a little for Christmas my birthday etc, but after Easter I am going back. I think you look great the way you are and I would love to look like you(we are about the same height) but since you brought it up 🙂

    1. Don followed that diet many, many years ago! I don’t usually follow a specific diet, but try to eat healthy most of the time with the occasional treat.

    2. Jen,reading your post got me a little offended.You talk about getting up early to spend your days vlogging and how much time it takes to edit those videos.Im sure it does take alot of time to edit but it seem to me you were comparing your days to others that goes out and work.Yes you may get up early and vlog ,edit and shop but I get up early to send my child off to school and get ready for work. I know you look at what you do is work,but you don’t HAVE to do it.If you chose to stop at this very moment you can,I don’t have that choose.I would’nt call you lazy because I don’t know you,and I can’t ask Don if you’re so busy because I don’t know him either.Just don’t try to make your day sound like anyone who is working a 9-5.

      1. I know I am very fortunate to be able to generate an income doing something I love. I generally try not to compare myself to others. Everyone has different needs and priorities in their lives according to their own situation. I try to live my life and spend the time afforded to me the best I can given my particular situation. I don’t see any benefit in comparing how I choose to spend my time with others. I choose to spend my time and energy in other ways.

        1. In other words, having money to pay for gardeners and housekeepers affords you plenty of free time. You aren’t busy with actual responsibilities. I do like your videos but some things you say come off the wrong way. Being humble is something you can’t buy with your husband’s money but it would be a nice thing to see from you.

          1. You now, if you dont like her videos then watch something else i love to watch her.she inspires me to want to get things done..im a mom of 4, 2 of them are twins..so i know busy but thats my life ..you need to get your on life and leave Jenn alone..dont be haten just because you do not have the money she dose. Jenn keep up the good work..thank you

        2. One benefit to comparing how you spend your time with how others spend their’s is that it might give you some sense of perspective. If you considered the fact that many women work full time jobs (or more), care for children, AND still manage to clean their own houses, you might understand why some people find it annoying that you constantly refer to yourself as a busy bee.

          1. I try to live my life in a way that suits my needs and my loved ones. I don’t worry too much about other people’s opinion about how I choose to spend my time so long as I am ok with it and my family is happy.

          2. There’s a difference between worrying about others’ opinions and keeping things in perspective. But if you only focus on yourself (which I knew but am surprised to see you admit), that might be difficult to understand.

          3. I never said I was focused solely on myself. I just choose to live my life and do what makes me and my loved ones happy. I try not to worry too much about what other people think is the “right” way to live. Whatever way works for you and yours is the right way.

          4. Jane you need to go to another web site you are really making me mad …if you dont like it dont watch it,we love all her videos and people like you make it hard for her..get a life please and get off this blog,,

        1. I agree. Find something you like to watch and leave Jen alone. I am nearly 60 and just found jen on a snow day while I was at home, and her blogs have brought me so much enjoyment and comfort. My name means bee, so I feel like a busy bee, too. I am happy to see someone else likes color like I do, and that someone else has a little bedside pouch for traveling. I loved the packing video with the Vera bag. I found an old rolling cart at a second hand shop and love using it as my carry on. Jen has inspired me to start cleaning out and reorganizing my cupboards and spaces as well. Thanks, Jen!

  2. Jen,

    I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your videos, and I am always looking to see if you posted new videos… You’re such an amazing person , don’t let negative people get to you they are just jeleous they don’t have your life… Loves you and keep up being a positive influence to us who love watching your videos.

  3. Are you changing the look of your office or just the organizational aspect of it? Because I love the way it looks! By the way, my daughter was dying to try a Shamrock shake and finally got one yesterday with her friends. She didn’t like it at all! Oh well…
    I saw all your cute dresses from ModCloth and I agree that the yellow color just wasn’t quite right, but all the others were super cute. Hope you have a great upcoming week. 🙂

    1. I’m keeping the structure the same but doing a major “clean up & clear out” and reorganizing drawers, bins, & shelves.

  4. Jen, I’m so looking forward to the office organization videos! This office/craft room is part of your beautiful home, so it’s as important as any other part. I understand though about you feelings of putting it last, but it is very important to allow it just as much time as any other room. Love to you & don! I’ll be watching! And having a ball doing so! Thank you!

  5. Jen,

    This is a great review, thanks for sharing!
    Nodoby who’s been following you can ever think that you’re sitting around all day.just the opposite – you’re always buzzing and it’s quite inspiring seeing you tackle so many tasks without ever complaining. It definitely motivates me to get my own things in order every day..it really looks like you get a kick out of being active and accomplishing things, so keep up the good work 🙂
    All dresses look wonderful on you 🙂 and the one you picked for the wedding is a killer (very appropriate for the occasion and it really suits you)! Don is one lucky man.
    Funny, but I do feel very proud of you for upgrading your personal space to an “office” status 🙂 you are making strides in establishing yourself as a professonal (and yes you have a profession on top of being a housewife) so you really deserve the time and efforts invested in creating an environment that works for you. good luck with the project!

    take care!

  6. I’m so excited to see what you do to the office. I’m in the process of organizing my own desk area and its very overwhelming. I don’t have your skills but i’m breaking it down into baby steps. Every day I do a little more. Looking forward to seeing what systems you have in place for inspiration.

  7. It’s a little bit odd, but sometimes I find myself afraid to try out new ways of doing things, in terms of organization. Your vlogs give me that little extra push I need to be bold & try out new products. I’ve always loved organizing everything & am a big fan of The Container Store. So, just wanted to give you 2 thumbs up on sharing your ideas & say that I appreciate watching them. Maybe that’s corny or whatever, but I love watching, so again, TFS! 🙂 looking forward to the office “mini series!”

  8. Its always so hard to get back into the swing of things when getting back from vacation. I took a little vacation myself, and it was only three days! When i got back to school i definitely went into panic mode. I actually thought to myself “how would Jen approach this” and then wrote a to do list. I find it much better to write everything down and get everything done step by step after a vacation 🙂 Can’t wait to see how your office organization will turn out!

    I never really thought about it until now, but vlogging is much more work than people crack it up to be. You’re a real star Jen,

    How did you find beneath the glitter? I am a fan of Elle Fowler but not entirely sure if i want to go out and pick up her book.

    Always looking forward to your next video.

  9. Great blog post Jen. Thanks for taking even more precious time away from your family to share with us. I fully enjoyed reading about your week and am waiting patiently but, excitedly for the office organization video. In the meantime, I hope you can get in some more “me time” and just relax and enjoy the beautiful and cozy home that you have made. Take advantage of these last few chilly days and light a fire, grab some tea, curl up with Winnie and a good book or journal, or even some editing if you just need to work. P.S. Jen, are you familiar with the company, Annie & Isabel? The gowns would make a wonderful gift for your sister-in-law.

  10. I’m so, so, so excited to see your journey while you organize your office! The office is an area that I feel like I am constantly having to revisit or change or add stuff or whatever. But you always inspire me to tackle the project anyway – so don’t be nervous! I feel like when I watch your videos that you’re supporting me in my organizing journey – so we’re all supporting you in this office journey!

    Plus… your house is so cute and I can’t wait to see what you do with the office!

  11. Hi Jen,

    Great post Jen. I really enjoyed the accompanying Spring (ModCloth) Haul so thanks for sharing. I do have a question…the storage container in the first photo of this post…where did you get it from?

    Many thanks,

  12. Hi Jen!! My name is Elena and i´m from Madrid. I just wanted to tell you how much i love all your videos, especially the organizational ones. It was really funny for me to see that somewhere in the world there was someone like me in so many different things ( i always take a walking pharmacy in my bag as you and with the same things!!).
    Anyway I wanted to ask you if you could post a photo house tour because i love decoration and your home is sooooo beautiful that i would love to see it in more detail.
    I send you all my gratitude (is that right?) for sharing all your life with us, that´s very very generous from you, and of course big kisses ang hugs to you and your lovely husband.

  13. Hi Jen, Don and Winnie!

    Greetings from a rainy Dunmurry, Belfast in Northern Ireland!!

    Just wanted to say Hi and tell you how much I love your Vlogs!

    I started dipping in and out last year when you posted on your Disney World trip but this last while, I have been tuning in more often. I am going to Orlando in October to Disney for 7 days and then a 7 day Caribbean Cruise and I really enjoyed watching the Vlogs from your trip this year, especially a sneak peak of the New Fantasyland!

    We had a public holiday here yesterday March 18th for St Patrick’s Day and after watching some of your different YouTube channels, I started clearing out my kitchen cabinets and drawers…you wouldn’t believe how many out of date spices I threw out!! When I am off again over Easter, I plan to tackle the cloakroom under the stairs…it hasn’t been turned in over 7 or 8 years!!

    Keep up the good work and I look forward to catching up with you soon!

    Love from


    1. Awesome work! Sounds like you have a wonderful trip lined up. WDW in October is great! Don’t miss Mickey’s Very Scary Halloween Party at the MK. You have to buy a separate ticket for it, but the special Halloween-themed parade & fireworks show is worth it! Plus, everyone can trick or treat around the park and the rides are open late.

  14. I’m so excited to see what you do with your office. I first “met” you a couple years ago when I was looking for ideas on organizing my craft room/office and found your craft room videos. I’ve enjoyed watching you ever since!

  15. Hi Jen! I’m looking for a good (but not too pricey) label maker and I’m wondering if you have any recommendations? I see yours in the first picture, which one is that? Thanks!

  16. Oh my gosh, I tried making some videos last year and boy was I surprised how long it took to edit and upload them. That is one demanding routine – I don’t know how daily vlogging peeps do it!

    On a side note, I wanted to let you know that I use to be ‘PreciselyHolly’ around the internet and now I’m ‘MintedPlus’ – sometimes a fresh change is in order. But, I’m the Holly that has sent Christmas cards with my sweet little wiener baby, Chloe, on the front.

    I know you see a ton of user names, real names, and such online. I thought it might help to connect the real person to the online user name. I always like to put a face to a name.

    I’m looking forward to your new office videos. My office needs a kick in the pants! Thanks Jen!

  17. I hope the office organization is going well! I have been putting off cleaning out my son’s room forever now. He’s only 1 year old, so he doesn’t really use it but to sleep, but all the holiday decorations and other things piled up in there is starting to drive me crazy!!!

  18. I can’t wait to see your office organization, I too am working on my office and my office in an ottoman. I hope to share a blog post on my office in an ottoman post and my office organization post soon!

  19. Hello Jen! I’m a fan….. from Malaysia. I always check your vlogs & of course your organizational projects. And I love them!. I need some help Jen, I want to celebate my birthday this year. It will be the first birthday celebration in my appartment which I stayed for 2 years already. Can you advice me how to prepare & organize it? I wanted it to be simple but memorable. Hope you can make a video if possible. More power to all your youtube channels & all your blogs. Always stay happy & healthy Jen! 🙂

    1. Decide what kind of party you’d like to have and what food you’d like to serve. If you’re going to be cooking/baking yourself be sure to go over your recipes in advance and leave ample time to prep, cook, and cleanup before the party begins. If friends and family will be bringing food, arrange it with them in advance so they have plenty of time to prepare as well. And most important of all, relax and enjoy yourself! Happy Birthday 🙂

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