Week In Review (March 24 – March 30, 2014)

Well, I can’t say that spring has decided to grace us with its presence quite just yet but we’re making do with a lot of sunshine and a little rain all the same.  We need the rain to wash away all of the dust and grime leftover from the snow melt!  I wonder if it’s spring where you are.  Chicago has to catch up with the season!


I was tagged this past week on Instagram to participate in the #HappyTag, which I thought was a really nice thing to pass along.  If you don’t follow me there, here is what my Happy List looks like:

10 Things That Make Me Happy 🙂

❤︎  Seeing my loved ones smile
❤︎  Good food with good company
❤︎  Reading in the tub
❤︎  Tea with honey
❤︎  Walking in a winter wonderland
❤︎  Feeling the sun on my face
❤︎  Cuddling with my loves
❤︎  Sharing & spreading joy
❤︎  Creating with my hands
❤︎  (Happiness is) A warm puppy

I would love to know what your Happy List is, if you care to share!  Thanks again to @addictedplanner for tagging me!  Sharing like this is so much fun! 🙂


Speaking of my Happy List, I thought I’d share some of the tidbits from this past week that made me happy:

❤︎ Shopping with my SIL and her beautiful baby Grace for some fun spring and summer outfits.  I love going to Janie & Jack to buy beautiful clothes for the little ones in my life!

❤︎ New tea from Teavana in fun spring/summer flavors.  I think these will taste great both hot and cold!

❤︎ Checking out the fun cakes on display at my local Whole Foods.  They have such an incredible bakery at our store.  The bunny stuck in the cake is my favorite!

❤︎ The funny and cute accessories we keep on our bathroom counter that make me smile every time I see them.  Don actually uses the Nosy Glasses Holder (which are apparently actually called Eyebods) I put in his stocking for Christmas this year.  It’s very handy so he always knows where his glasses are when he wakes up in the morning.  I’ve been loving my elephant ring tree that came in my March PopSugar Must Have Box.  I no longer worry about my rings somehow falling into the sink and going down the drain when I take them off to put lotion on even though I’ve always been extremely careful.  Seeing these little cuties everyday makes me smile.  Plus, they’re both cute and functional!  Winner!  It’s the little things, you know?

❤︎ Going to a new restaurant in town for Date Nite with Don.  We love trying new places!  The Curraugh is an Irish Pub style restaurant.  We loved the live music and tasty mozzarella sticks.

❤︎  Other things that I didn’t happen to snap for Instagram include rinsing the winter dirt from my dog Winnie’s coat leaving her white and fluffy (happiness is a warm and clean puppy), sleeping in until 7:30 on the weekend (rebel!), enjoying tea in my rather large bunny mug (bigger mug = more delicious tea), playing with my new tarot cards (more on this later), meals with family (joy is sharing good food with good company), and trip planning with Don (it looks like we’ll be sharing some fun adventures this year!).

I love hearing from you, as always, and enjoy reading your comments.  Please keep them coming!   I hope you are well and finding joy in everything you can, both big and small.


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


52 thoughts on “Week In Review (March 24 – March 30, 2014)”

  1. Hi Jen! Glad to see you back! I really miss your daily vlogs and hope you return soon with them. I hope all is well with you, Don and Winnie. I was wondering if you are able to post the recipe for the paska bread, I was thinking of trying it for Easter and every time I watch your 2013 Easter vlog it looks sooo yummy!! 🙂

    Cheers and Take Care,

    1. I usually make it the day before Easter so it would be hard to get a video up in time….baking it ahead to film is tricksy because then we’ll just eat it! LOL 🙂

      1. Could you possibly post the recipe without filming it? I know it is your mother-in-law Suzanne’s recipe, if she doesn’t want it on your blog then maybe you could email it to me 😉

        Cheers & Take Care,

        P.S. Thank you for replying!!

      2. I wonder if your reader was not asking you to film making paska bread… but to just please post the recipe. Posting the recipe would be a very kind and responsive thing to do. Happy Easter!

          1. Thanks so much Jen, your fantastic 🙂 I really do wish you’d come back to vlogging 🙂

            Cheers & Take Care,

          2. Thank you, I will be checking back up on this too. I remember last year you said you might be able to share and I have been waiting for a follow up! I even checked out some recipes online but was intrigued by yours because it’s an older recipe. I hope you’re able to share, I would love to make it for my family too! Thank you for asking!

          3. I saw that you Instagrammed a picture of your bread. Did you, by chance, ask your MIL if you could share the recipe?

          4. Oh my gosh, thank you so much! I had been thinking about it since last year, ever since you MIL said that it’s so good because of the amount of butter in it, haha. That has to be a winner! Sorry to hear that you killed one of your mixers. 🙁 I recently had to replace mine too. It lasted me over 10 years of serious use though. Wasn’t happy about replacing it but I did get a new, fun color! 🙂

  2. Good morning Jen! Spring is definitely springing in Georgia. Sunny and in the 70’s here on the west side of Atlanta. Baby Grace looks adorable! Praying for you during this difficult time! Hope to hear from you soon! Take care and Happy early Easter!

  3. This is fun! Here’s my list (in no particular order):

    1. My relationship with the Lord!
    2. My husband and “doing” life with him
    3. Disney World
    4. My family (parents, siblings, nieces and nephews)
    5. My church
    6. My job
    7. Michael Jackson songs
    8. Planning weddings
    9. My new car
    10. Did I mention Disney World?! 🙂 Well, planning Disney vacations (real and imaginary! LOL)

    1. Hmm, I’m not really an expert. Maybe I will dig around and find some resources to share in my next Tea Time post.

  4. Oh what a great idea! This is fun!
    Happiness is …
    Watching our kids living happy & successful lives
    Being in a beautiful, loving marraige <3
    Morning snuggles & kisses with my sweetheart puppy Sophia
    Seeing the world wake-up after the long winters sleep
    The return of the Hummingbirds at our summer cabin next to the river
    Packing a pic-nic and floating down the river in the summer
    Painting & Scrap-booking
    Hot bath, cup of tea & candles
    Date night with John – doesn't really matter what we do
    Finding a new recipe & cooking for my family
    Geez what a yummy way to begin the week …..
    Life is amazing …. So grateful
    And, and seeing your bright eyes, and cheerful self Jen! You bring joy into my days too 😉
    Have a great day!

  5. I love the little glasses holder and ring elephant – too cute! I was thinking about getting a similar version of the glasses holder for my bedside! Looking forward to hearing about your upcoming travel plans!

    Sarah 🙂
    Saloca in Wonderland

  6. @ddenisemm ‘s Happy List
    1. Family/BF/Barstow-baby dog
    2. Traveling/Exploring new cities – my most memorable trips so far are Puerto Rico, Philippines, Beijing, Kauai & Oahu, Hi!
    3. Trying new food – the more exotic the better… can’t top eating fresh wood worm! Tasted like oysters! 🙂
    4. Piloxing – my fave workout, combination of Pilates and kick boxing! Really makes me sweat!
    5. Waking up early in the morning and realizing I’m off from work!
    6. Patients or patient’s families randomly recognizing me in the hallway to say hi and ask how I’m doing. (I get embarrassed when I don’t remember some of them… but it makes me happy that they remember me!)
    7. Cooking and discovering new recipes with my BF (He’s the better cook! Definitely!)
    8. Fresh flowers in my home! 🙂
    9. Making party favors for friends and relatives… and setting up parties (this is my version of knitting! kind of my hobby that I really enjoy!)
    10. Realizing my family/friends and I are healthy and blessed. 🙂

  7. Happy List

    1. My Hubbie
    2. Spending time with Family
    3. My baby God-daughter
    4. Crafting
    5. Good Food
    6. Cooking/Baking
    7. My Annually Cookie Exchange Party (all the prep-work, décor, baking, invitations, favors, you name it)
    8. My job
    9. Fireplace burning with hot cocoa
    10. Listening to music from the 80’s and 90’s.


    1. Is the annual cookie exchange a holiday thing? I used to throw a holiday cookie party for my family and would bake half a dozen different recipes and divvy them up in cute packages. We don’t have the cookie party anymore but I still give tins of cookies to my loved ones during the holidays.

  8. I love your list! These are the things that make me happy. They are in no certain order.

    1) My relationship God.
    2)My family and friends.
    3)The color pink!
    4)watching daily vlogs and tutorials on youtube (especially yours)
    5)reading a good book
    6)watching a good movie
    7)helping others
    9)my church

  9. Hi Jen…hope you and yours are all well!

    Here are my top ten happy things

    1. My beautiful daughter Rebecca, she is 23 and training to be a solicitor (or as you would say a lawyer!) and I am so proud of her;
    2. My family and their health and happiness, they are my support system;
    3. My close friends and the joy they bring to my life;
    4. Planning my next holiday, I am going on a Mediterranean Cruise in November;
    5. Reading my cookery magazines or going on-line to find new recipes;
    6. Going for a drink with friends (I am Irish after all and it would be rude not to!!)
    7. Turning up the radio to a good song and dancing around the house while doing the cleaning (makes it more bearable!!);
    8. Watching TV in bed with the electric blanket on when it is raining and blowing a gale outside (again, this is Ireland after all!)
    9. Fantasy shopping on Amazon; I have over 500 items in my Save For Later Basket (someday I will buy them!); and
    10. I am happy that I have my health and I have people in my life who love and care for me!

    Hope you are enjoying the start of Spring in Chicago! The clocks went forward for Spring here yesterday and it was so lovely to come home from work this evening and it was still bright outside!

    Are you enjoying your break from Vlogging? Sometimes you need to take a step back to recharge your batteries and you’ll come back refreshed! Don’t stay away too long though!

    Clodagh xo

  10. My Happy List 🙂

    1. Getting my 4 children off to school on time in the mornings; the quiet after their gone.
    2. Blogs and Vlogs like Jen’s.
    3. Date nights and lunches with my husband.
    4. Teaching children’s etiquette classes and watching their faces light up as they learn.
    5. Hot Tea
    6. Hot Coffee
    7. Phone calls from my sweet little nieces and nephews.
    8. Family game night – Taboo, Monopoly, Parcheesi, Uno, and Sorry
    9. Shopping
    10. Candles

  11. My Happy List:

    1. Serving my Lord and Savior.
    2. Having a wonderful husband and children to take care of.
    3. Talking to my mother on the phone. ( She lives in Ohio)
    4. Keeping my home clean and organized makes me smile!
    5. Baking!!! I love the challenge of turning recipes into gluten and dairy free!
    6. Decorating my home for Christmas the way my mother always did, she made it so special. 🙂
    7. Writing a letter to someone.
    8. Praying for peoples needs.
    9. When the first leaves of autumn begin to fall.
    10. My love for drawing, animation, and everything Mickey Mouse. 🙂
    ….to name few!!!

  12. Hi Jen! Ok…here is my happy list…in random order. 😉

    1. My 2 kiddos (I have a daughter, 11 yrs. and a son, 8 yrs.)

    2. My husband

    3. My furry child (aka my golden retriever)

    4. Disney World (Being there and all the planning to go there! My heaven on earth! 😉

    5. All things Disney (the movies, the music, the merchandise, all of it!)

    6. Christmas ( My favorite holiday!)

    7. Spending quality time with family and friends

    8. Retail Therapy (Love to shop a lot as long the places I am at are not crowded, don’t like crowds)

    9. Music (all kinds, I love music!)

    10. My 2 favorite seasons, Winter and Spring:)

    And of course Jen, watching you on YouTube and following your blogs make me so happy! There really are so many more things as I am very blessed! On another note, here in the Cleveland area of Ohio, we, like you there in Chicago have similar weather and spring is struggling to break through here as well! We will get there though! 🙂 I am looking to take a trip to Chicago sometime this spring or early summer to visit my cousins out there and of course to do some shopping! You guys have all the good stores out there!:)

  13. hmm 10?

    2. Church
    3. My family (MOM!)
    4. Me and my dog watching TV on comfortable clothes.
    4. Is this love (song) for some reason makes happy, I think brings me good memories. httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHekNnySAfM
    5. Ice cream!!
    6. Fresh Pedicure and Manicure….
    7. Lent and Advent
    8. Listen to the rain at night with the window open while I’m on my bed.
    9. New shoes! perfume! make up! clothes!
    10. Smell of pine trees

  14. So glad to hear you’ve had a good week. We still have lots of dirty (but melting slowly!) snow up here in the Twin Cities area, and more’s predicted to fall tonight and tomorrow. I got all excited about a chance of a thunderstorm too. I’m strange, but I find it nice to be snug and cozy inside and enjoying the rumble, rumble outside.

    My happy list:
    1)The sweetness of my son even though he’s hurtling toward the teen years faster than I can accept — he’ll be 12 this summer. Last night I re-introduced him to the Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoons to cheer him up about the end of the weekend. He didn’t like them when he was younger and we first tried. He doesn’t even remember that, but he really enjoys them now.
    2) Getting back into making cards for loved ones, and simply to be artistic. I’m grateful to people like Kristina Werner and Jennifer McGuire for sharing their passion and skills via YouTube. JM is fantastic teaching live too — I was lucky enough to have a class with her at the Mall of America.
    3) Chocolate. How can we not be grateful for chocolate?
    4)Organizing my house little by little and watching it emerge from its messy cocoon.

  15. My happiness is:
    1. Seeing my grandchildren every week and giving them a million kisses
    2. Spending time with hubby.
    3. Having family dinners with the whole tribe, husband, kids, grandchildren, mom, sister and all the in laws.
    4. Warm sunny days, flowers galore and green grass and trees.
    5. Spending time with my girlfriends
    6. Shopping/decorating/ planning parties
    7. Bubble Baths
    8. Thanking the Lord for all we have.
    9. Vacations
    10. Crafting, Scrapbooking, making Baby Diaper Cakes for Baby Showers

  16. Oh my gosh I can’t believe I left her off my list.
    Loving my Maltese pooch Leah, whom I liove with all my heart, she is my baby!! I also give her a million kisses a day! She will be 6 in December and I can’t imagine life without her.

  17. Glad you had a great week! We enjoy trying new places, too! 😀 Hope spring arrives in your area soon – it’s finally spring in the south and I spent a lot of time outside this weekend, soaking up the sun!

  18. Great WIR! I love the gorgeous spring cake Whole Foods has! Good thing we don’t have a Whole Foods around here – I wouldn’t be able to resist buying their beautiful cakes and cupcakes all the time!

    Here’s my Top 10 Happy List:

    – Playing board/card games with my husband
    – Cuddling with my husband & dogs
    – dog sports with my dogs
    – doggies kisses and smiles
    – a challenging hike (even better when done with friends or family)
    – a good strong cup of coffee
    – Christmas (and everything that goes with the season – especially the Christmas carols and the snow 🙂 )!
    – travel planning
    – warm sunny days
    – online shopping

  19. Jen – your Happy blog post has put a smile on my face! I am happy to say that Spring arrived in Germany 2 weeks ago and my tulips are blooming! That definitly makes me happy!
    Have a great day!


  20. Things¹ that make me happy.
    1, My walk with the Lord, he sure has a sense of humor.
    2. The 41 years of marriage to the love of my life.
    3. Cuddling and feeling special.
    4. Trying on silly hats my my precious granddaughter
    5. Beach combing , love my beach treasures especially agates.
    6. Ice cream. Yummy.
    7.My 2 awesome Shih Tzus. They make me smile
    8. Kauai, sad we gave up our time share, Memories linger on and are good.
    9. My job as a nurse for almost 30 Years
    10 Just being alive makes me happy. What a journey.

  21. hi Jen i just commented on your instagram about the 10 things make you happy. But i also want to do a blog post do you mind if i mention your name, because i find this from you.
    1. family
    2. friends
    3. shopping/ fashion
    4. cup of tea
    5. creating things
    6. reading,
    7. music
    8. painting my nails
    9. sleeping
    10. Relaxing
    Thanks Jen im a big fan Emma 🙂

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