Week In Review | March 23 – March 29, 2015

Happy Monday, friends!  I wanted to share some tidbits from my life last week as well as an accompanying photo recap with selections from my Instagram feed with you.  Here’s the buzz:

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It’s hard to believe that we’re already embarking on the second quarter of the year with the end of March.  Life sure zips along quickly!  The way I slow down time is by taking a moment to appreciate the little things.  Some people find this quality juvenile and in some sense of the word it is.  Do you remember how slowly time ticked by when you were a kid?  How come it seems to pick up the pace so much once we enter adulthood?  It’s no trick.  Most of us were able to appreciate the little things when we were children, because we hadn’t yet been taught that it’s a “waste of time” to do so by our culture’s laser focus on productivity (read: making money).  My secret to stretching out and holding onto time when I feel it revving up to an almost frantic pace is through finding joy in the little things: the rich color of an herbal tea, spring snow clinging to tree branches, nibbling on cookies while reading a good book, the beautiful bubbles and patterns in the tub from bath products.  The list could go on and on.  I do all of this and still manage to be pretty darn productive in my opinion.  I wish everyone could know this secret and that it is not a waste of time to enjoy the little things.  It is, in fact, a gift of time.

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While I’ve always been the kind of person who delights in what others may find small and inconsequential, I have struggled in my adulthood with finding the joy in everyday nutrition.  Don’t get me wrong, I love food, particularly when it comes to individual things, such as pickles, chocolate, berries, avocados, peas, and ice cream, just to name a few of my favorites.  I’ve noticed over the years that I don’t take the time to appreciate the complete picture of my nutrition even though I do make an effort to eat mostly healthy fare.  I often find myself eating a meal without really thinking about it.  Common meal time distractions for me like watching YouTube videos, flipping through catalogues, and surfing the web don’t help, either.  Every so often I realize I’m not paying attention to the actual act of eating and will work on bringing my attention back to it, but it’s never sticked before and I think that’s because I don’t treat my meals, mainly breakfast and lunch, as special.  You might be scratching your head wondering why I’m going on about this, but consider how important food is to our well-being.  It’s literally what fuels us.  So why not treat every meal with respect and attention?  While I generally stick to my 80/20 rule of healthy vs. indulgent nutrition, which is a healthy balance for me, I have a feeling really committing to this principle of eating with awareness will make a big difference in my general health.  I’m going to give it a real go and I’ll report back once I’ve given it some time.

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My weekend was packed with lots of prep work as I prepared this week’s content in advance since I will be traveling most of the week.  I’m excited about my upcoming posts and can’t wait to share them with you!  I also posted a couple of times this past weekend, including a new Book Nook and a Cook Nook where I share the recipe for paska bread, an Easter tradition in my family.  I’m feeling so energized about posting here and on my YouTube channel lately and am working on falling into a better routine with it.  From what I gather in the comments, you guys are enjoying my content lately, too.  This brings me great joy and I hope to continue to be able to share in a way that makes us feel connected.

You might have noticed I’m feeling rather introspective in this post and that definitely reflects my current mood.  Last week I spent some time at my Grandma Betty’s condo with my family for the last time.  She’s moving out to San Diego this week to live with my aunt and uncle.  I applaud her courage and enthusiasm to take on this new chapter of her life at 94 years young, as she likes to say.  Grandma wanted us to come by and pick things we’d like to keep of hers, since she’s not taking much with her.  Going through her things and talking about the stories behind family treasures was a bittersweet experience, as I am sad we won’t live so close anymore but am also so happy she’s finally going to be reunited with her daughter on a permanent basis (they get along like two peas in a pod!).  I am so grateful I’ve been able to spend time and get close to my Grandma and can’t wait to visit her and the family in California.

I vlogged a bit from my day with Grandma and the family last week if you’d like to “meet” this special lady:

I’d love to hear from you if you care to share your favorite kinds of small moments and little things.  I find it fascinating to learn what brings others joy.  We’re all different in our preferences, opinions, and feelings, and yet the same in so many ways.  In sharing our differences within the context of our broader similarities we are able to develop connections that can cross borders and barriers of all kinds.  Sharing is caring.
I hope you all have a wonderful week filled with small and big moments that bring you joy!

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

30 comments

30 thoughts on “Week In Review | March 23 – March 29, 2015”

  1. This was such a joyful video Jennifer. I enjoy most in life the sharing of friend’s favorite memories of their loved ones. The happiness that can be seen on their face is so uplifting. Your Grandma Betty is a treasure, and be sure and tell here there are those who do know who Lionel Barrymore is and that he was known for his etchings on gold foil.
    Thank you for sharing yourself with us!

  2. Hi Jen! I know, I can’t believe April is right around the corner either! You are so right that enjoying and appreciating the little things actually slows down our perception of time and allows us to get more accomplished with a calmer energy. I almost always meditate for 20 minutes a day. There was a time when I thought I didn’t have time for this practice. Now, knowing how frantic I can feel when I don’t take me time, I consider my meditation time as my greatest secret weapon against that feeling that there is not enough time.

    I am totally with you on being more mindful while eating too. I catch myself eating faster than necessary for no good reason, and often have the same feeling that eating slower and more mindfully would be better for my health. I look forward to you thoughts on mindful eating and thank you for the reminder to work on that. Happy week!

  3. Thanks Jen for sharing, it was so very sweet to see you and the family visiting with your grandma. My grandma was my favorite person and I loved spending time with her and building memories. I think it’s so great that you were able to pick a few family heirlooms to keep with you. I wasn’t as lucky to get any family heirlooms that I could have memories of my grandma about and pass down to my children so it is always so nice to see people share family history. Thank you for letting us visit with your grandma. My daughter who’s going to be 11 this Thursday and myself got to cuddle up and watch a little bit of you and your family so we enjoyed thank you. Keep sharing, as you’re an awesome person to get to know.

  4. Hi Jen!

    I loved the video with your Grandma Betty! She is such a cutie and I wish her much luck, health and happiness as she starts her newest chapter of life in California. You are definitely going to have to vacation in Cali and visit her! Thanks for the tour of her condo; I loved her explaining her most valued treasures!

  5. Happy almost-April Jen! I wholeheartedly concur that we should all strive to slow down and appreciate the “small” things. Life is comprised of all the “small” things and not taking the time to focus on all of those blessings causes us to miss out on all the things that our day can offer. Now, some days I could do without noticing all the dirty socks, spilled cereal milk, and tiny lego pieces strewn about my house. 🙂

    Mindy
    http://www.thesuburbanlife.com

  6. Loved reading this Jen. While generally a happy person, I don’t think I really appreciate the little things enough, or as much as you do. However in the past few years I have realised just how blessed I am and it kind of takes my breath away. The weather really affects my mood sometimes, especially good weather which is better. I find myself wishing to soon live in a hotter country again as I grew up in Spain 🙂 Thanks for sharing 🙂

  7. What a beautiful vlog. You are so so lucky to have your grandmother. I wish her all the luck in her next adventure! I inherited my Grandmother’s hope chest among a few other things and I treasure them all. I love to look at them and think of her. I totally agree with you about appreciating the little things and life in general. I believe that we are lucky to be here so we should truly enjoy it. I am so loving your content lately! Thank you for sharing your life and thoughts with us.

  8. This was such a sweet, reflective piece. Your thoughts on food and eating are similar to my own habits. I’ve always felt that nourishing your body with the heathy foods it needs, yet indulging ~20% of the time keeps the body and mind balanced. I also try to think of all the amazing things the body does with those foods – antioxidants sopping up free radicals, fiber and protein providing sustained energy, vitamins and minerals building stronger bones, organs and tissues. All of this in order for us to live our lives to the fullest. This more than anything makes me excited about healthy eating.

    I’m going to attempt paska bread for Easter this year – any tips for baking it at altitude?

    1. I still haven’t quite gotten the hang of altitude baking, but I’d probably bake it lower (325F maybe?) and keep a close eye.

  9. this was great actually brought me to tears. she reminds me of my grandma who I lost when she was 94. Then five months later lost my mom.thank you for sharing your family.

  10. Thank you for sharing! I am very close with my in-laws, and they are in the process of selling their home and retiring to texas from San Diego. Our grandmother (My husband’s grandmother) with be moving with them so it’s a bit bittersweet – helping them pack – as it is for you. I’m incredibly happy for them, but will miss them a great deal. I don’t think we’ll be able to visit more than once a year. But your video had reminded me that I take pictures occasionally of everyone, but no video! I’m going down to san diego again on Wednesday to help them pack more and will be bringing the video camera this time! thank you for the nice reminder!!

  11. Hi Jen,I believe time went slower when we were children because time is relative. When you are 5 year old, one month seems like a very long time because you have only been around for 60 months altogether.
    As we get older the majority of us take on responsibilies, we have children, we have a career etc. and have very busy lives. It is nice to take a minute to stop and smell the roses when we have a chance.
    I first read about the concept of ‘mindful eating’, in the book ‘At home with Madame Chic’.

  12. Hi, Jen! What a great video of you and your Grandmother Betty. She is such a beautiful lady and doesn’t look her age at all. My Mother had to downsize and move into a basement apartment with my brother & his wife. She still wanted her independence so that worked out great for her. I wanted her to move in with us (I was sad for a few months when she didn’t), but I’m just glad she is safe and sound living in a place that she is happy. Something is different about you! You just look extremely happy. Whatever the cause, I’m glad you are enjoying life and the simple things we often call insignificant. Happy Easter!

  13. I’ve already posged on your grandma’s condo tour how much I enjoyed that video but I wanted to respond to a couple things you mentioned in this post.

    I’ve always enjoyed your content…you and Yoon are my favorites that I follow. While you are both privileged beyond many, you both connect to your subscribers in real and ordinary ways that we can relate to, someone we could share a cup of tea with and just chit chat. I could go on…but no need…just keep being Jen.

    You mentioned being a child and enjoying little things. So true…I absolutely love watching my 2 little grandsons that I take care of at least once a week if not more often. Watching them discover things is just priceless! A pretty rock found as we are walking becomes a treasure, watching a bird gathering nest making material becomes a constant chatter of questions, taking a bath is non stop squealing at creating funny things from bubbles and how the water pours from one vessel to another and on and on. They help me see a whole different world that I might otherwise miss out on.

    It does seem time marches on faster and faster as we get older. It is good to be reminded to do what we can to slow down our hectic pace on a regular basis and take time to “see” “feel” and “enjoy”. Thanks!

  14. What an enjoyable “movie” 😉 I loved every moment your grandma was speaking- such a wit and memory at 94! You’ve got good genes, Girl! Thank you for sharing- you must have shut off the camera to cry.
    Wishing you, Don and your families a wonderful Easter.
    Oh, It is clear you have not spent much time in Flordia mobile home villiages or you would not have been so surprised by the plastic cup light decoration- LOL!

  15. Sweet Jen! I’ve read your blog for awhile and have gotten absolutely addicted to your videos over the last few months! 🙂 Just wanted to encourage you and tell you thank you for your sweet spirit and how willing you are to create videos and blog posts. I know it takes time and work (even though it’s all about things you enjoy), and they are so enjoyable to watch.

    You and I are very similar in personality and taste, and it’s like spending time with a friend. Oh, and my husband is a HUGE fan of Don’s! 🙂

    Take care!

  16. What a darling Grandma you have, must be hard to see her move so far away after having her so close for so long. I hope this moves bring much joy to such a special lady!

  17. Great blog Jen! I’ve been guilty of multi tasking during meals or not savoring it. Have you read Lessons from Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott? She’s a blogger as well and I think you would enjoy it. Thanks for always inspiring.

  18. Hi Jen,
    I came across your blog thru your video of konmarie method of cleaning out your closet that was posted on Tumblr. I loved it! I read her book last year but wasn’t ready to tackle my house, hopefully in a few weeks I can get started. But I wanted to recommend a blogger that talks about enjoying the everyday. Her name is Jennifer Scott of http://www.thedailyconnoisseur.com. It seems that you and her share similar ideas of living. I’m so glad I found your blog and look forward to future posts.

  19. Thanks so much for a great WIR and I just LOVED the vlog at your grandma’s! She seems like such a wonderful person and it was so much fun to just get to hang out with your family – seems like you always have a fun time when you get together!
    I really love all the shell items your grandma made too that you were showing!

  20. Moving to another place takes major guts and courage and your grandma has them both! SD is a great place to live and I think that she will feel fine there. Wish you all the best, Man With Van Watford Ltd.

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