Week In Review (March 4 – 10, 2013)

I’m not sure if this is just my experience or a more common one, but the week after I’m back from a vacation (and especially a long one) feels kind of like a lost week to me.  It’s not that I don’t get things done, because I most certainly do being the busy bee that I am.  It just feels like the first week post-vacation is a real transitionary time in which it’s a bit challenging to find the motivation to get back in the swing of things.  That being said, I did get so much done this week and am back in the swing of things.  It just feels like I could use a little more help than usual in feeling up to the task in my daily routines.  Does anyone else have a similar experience?

Tea & Honey = Comfort

I was looking back at my Instagram photos from the past week and was a bit surprised to find that I had posted four tea related pics.  To me, there’s few things more simple and comforting than a nice cup of tea with honey.  Add in a bath, a good book, or some YouTube watching and I am one happy camper.  It’s been a bit of a dreary kind of week weather-wise as well, with that winter-is-lasting-FOREVER feel.  That kind of grey, gloomy day is perfect tea weather!  I think I’ll post an updated Tea Time with Jen video on TBBB soon sharing what teas I’ve been loving lately, especially since I’ve been drinking so much of it!

“I don’t feel very much like Pooh today,” said Pooh.
“There there,” said Piglet.  “I’ll bring you tea and honey until you do.”
– A.A. Milne, Winnie The Pooh

OJ|MHWL 3:10:2013

Decorating for Spring

Speaking of winter dragging on, I always look forward to early March when I pull out my spring decorations.  These cheery additions to our home can make even the most grey of days a little brighter.  Spring decorating for me also includes refilling our candy bowls with Easter candies.  I have a tendency to buy more than I need when I find them on sale (usually at Target).  To avoid waste, I’ve discovered that I can successfully freeze candy for up to a year.  Now I only buy seasonal candy every other year.  I use freezer style Ziplocks and always double bag to ensure freshness and ward away freezer burn.  In my experience the candy tastes just as good after a year in the freezer.  I thaw the candy still sealed up in the bags on my counter before distributing to candy dishes and jars.

I find that I don’t munch on our display candy often.  We mainly keep it out for guests and because I like the way it looks as decoration.  I feel like candy dishes give a warm and inviting type of feel to our home.  However, there are particular types of candy that I just can’t resist.  The white chocolate M&M’s for spring are one of those temptations!  To solve my problem of overreaching into that candy bowl, I like to portion the M&M’s out into 100 calorie treat packs using small ziptop baggies you can find at Michaels.  Simple math and a kitchen scale are the only tools you need to create your own special treat packs.

Speaking of white chocolate M&Ms, I searched the internet for a link to them, but could only find them on Amazon.  I wonder if they’re not available this year?  If so, then I’m really glad I had a stash frozen from last year.

OJ|MHWL 3:10:2013_2

Losing Vacation Weight

Even though I like to be as active as I can on a trip, I usually gain upwards of four pounds on a week or longer vacation simply from all of the tasty food I indulge in while away.  I think this is a pretty common experience.  I find that I can lose that weight easily enough within a week of returning home if I follow the simplest and healthiest version of my usual everyday diet.  I cut out my special treat allowances to accomodate this cleaner eating week post-vacation, including Tuesday Treat Day and Sweet Saturday.  I followed this approach to eating for the past week and have already trimmed off my vacation weight.  I even had to refrain from any rigorous exercise this week as I am resting my knee until it’s all better to avoid further injury.  I turned to a basic at home yoga practice instead, using my favorite Tara Stiles This Is Yoga DVD set to keep my body loose and my blood flowing every day.  I was pleasantly surprised that I could still lose the weight in the same amount of time without working up a serious sweat each day.

I tend to eat the same kinds of food on a daily basis for awhile before switching things up.  My typical diet this past week consisted of Don’s special open-faced egg sammies on english muffins and tea for breakfast, homemade chicken soup with a side of Pirate’s Booty for lunch, a snack of hummus and veggies with a few mixed nuts in the afternoon, and quinoa with chicken, broccoli, & mushrooms for dinner.  To satisfy my sweet tooth I brew a double cup of herbal tea with honey for dessert.  This diet is effective and I don’t feel like I’m suffering while on it.  That being said, I’ll be happy for the return of my Tuesday Treat Day and Sweet Saturday indulgences next week. 😉

I’ve recieved so many questions and comments about my IBS that I decided to write a blog post dedicated to the subject, which will be up in the next couple of days if you’re interested.


In summary, it’s been a bit of an iffy week, perfectly reflected by this iffy end of winter weather.  Luckily I have a cuddly hubby and sweet pup to cuddle up with when the grey weather starts to get me down.  I hope that all of you are having a restful and rejuvenating Sunday evening!





39 thoughts on “Week In Review (March 4 – 10, 2013)”

  1. I just got back from Target and saw white chocolate M&Ms in Easter colors. The 100 cal. snack bags are a great idea!

  2. Jen, I get the same way on gloomy days, the clouds will soon pass and there will be sunshine all around. A good cup of tea can cure many ills, especially the chilly kind. Your Winnie has the sweetest face and seems to be a perfect companion on a rainy day. Hope you have a great week ahead!
    Xo Michelle. Thebashfulnest.blogspot.com

  3. I saw the white chocolate m&ms at Target today 🙂 I also saw Dove White Chocolate mini eggs and had to talk myself out of them…

  4. We were separated at birth! LOL Between the social anxiety, IBS and actually the way we seem to do the same things, we are like twins. lol

    I have issues the first week back from vacation. Actually my anxiety is worse that week. I find that i get so used to being on vacation and my surroundings there, that it is hard for me to transition back to my normal schedule. I believe that is anxiety related. I think that when you have anxiety, you have to adjust to your current situation in order to get by. I am enjoying your Disney trip vlogs! It is making me excited to go back in September!

  5. I feel the same way about returning from vacation. Blah! Unfortunately, I am the same way about gaining weight too. But I am many years older than you, so it isn’t so easy to get rid of. Oh well, I’d rather be chubby and happy, than skinny and miserable! 😉 Love the mugs with the little bunny in them. And, of course, love Miss Winnie! Tell her Louie (my little Shih Tzu you have seen in the videos) says hello.

  6. I love the idea of a week of clean eating to recharge your dietary batteries! Hubs and may need to do that next week as a sort of “Spring Cleaning” for our waistlines. I too love to have holiday candy around for guests and typically do a pretty good job of staying out of it, other than the square of Dove dark chocolate I indulge in after dinner most nights. I can’t believe I never thought to freeze the leftovers before, though… I usually end up bringing it to the office for my coworkers to nibble on.

    Anyway, I would love to see a new Tea Time with Jen video! I actually discovered your YouTube channels thanks go a search for reviews on the Perfect Tea Maker and have enjoyed following along with your other adventures and advice over the past few weeks. Thanks for all the great ideas and inspiration you’ve shared over the years! 🙂

  7. Jen, Target has those White Chocolate M&Ms .
    I absolutely LOVE the snoopy mug in the photo w/ your soup. Very cute 😉

  8. Hi Jen, can I ask how you resist reaching for another portion of chocolates? I’m such a chocoholic and have been trying to eat clean, but I really can’t resist chocolate and often overindulge! Thanks for sharing

    1. The thing that’s worked for me in the past when I’ve had bouts of not being able to resist is to remove the temptation, sometimes just to a drawer or cupboard even. Eventually, I find that I stop thinking about it if I can’t see it.

  9. I am a runner and a Pilates instructor and seriously, when I am on vacation I gain a TON of weight. It is a vacation from the normal- so I totally indulge. Sometimes on a weeklong vacation I will gain 7 pounds- even with running every day! Love gaining it…love taking it off when I get home. Lol

  10. This weeks Target ad states that the white chocolate M & M’s are a Target exclusive. Just like the peppermint ones. I’m afraid to try the white chocolate since the peppermint ones were addictive!!!

  11. Looking forward to your tea time post! Could you let us know how much honey you use? I have never had honey in my tea, so I am intrigued! Thanks, Jen! Love following your blogs/vlogs!

    1. I use a heaping teaspoon per cup…you should start small to see what you prefer. You can always add more but can’t take it away once it’s in there 🙂

  12. Hi Jen — just wanted to tell you I am so looking forward to your IBS blogpost. As a sufferer as well, it is hard to politely and appropriately discuss this with other sufferers. I cater my diet to my needs, but always appreciate hearing how others handle it. Thank you for your transparency and willing to discuss this private health issue.

  13. I agree with you about the tea. I love having a cup of tea with honey in lieu of dessert each night. It gives a meal a sweet finish and some comfort with far fewer calories.
    Have you heard of the white chocolate carrot cake flavored m&m’s? They are new this year, but hard to find. I haven’t tried them yet. I also was placing a Dean & Deluca order and thought of you. They have special tea flavored truffles for spring that look absolutely amazing! Have you ever seen them before?

    1. I’m not a huge carrot cake fan so it’s probably something I would pass on. Tea truffles sound yummy! The Easter Bunny usually brings me some goodies from Dean & Deluca. We’ll see what this year’s basket holds 😉

  14. Glad you had fun on your vacation. Btw….what make/model of dishwasher did you end up going with?

    Thanks in advance!

  15. Winter is definitely dragging this year. We had a glimmer of spring last week here in London, but we’re straight back into the icy gloom this week. At least the days are getting longer so I know spring IS coming. Just wish it would get and stay here!

    I always feel strange after coming home from long vacations. Since my family live literally on the opposite side of the earth, we tend to stay there for a few weeks at a time. I think you get used to the holiday routine, and changing any routine can be awkward. Last time, we went straight back to work the day after getting off the plane after a 23 hour flight. Now that was an experience, I’m sure my quality of work was shocking that week! lol

    Target exclusive M&Ms make me almost glad we don’t have Target here. Forced temptation avoidance can be a good thing, especially when it comes to my favourite candy. Also explains why I couldn’t find the peppermint ones when I was last in the US, as I wasn’t staying near a Target. Might have to work it into the plans for the next trip that way.

  16. Nice blog post 🙂 The weather here in Michigan has been gloomy as well. The weather is not looking any better today, I believe we are expecting rain here. Definitely stay inside tea and honey kind of weather! Glad you are settling back into your routines! I have been enjoying your Disney vlogs on YouTube. Thanks for sharing and posting! Hope you, Don, and Winnie have a great week!

  17. I always feel that way after getting back from a vacation! It can really be hard to just get back into your routine.

    I am SO jealous of your Princess Half Marathon mug and cup! I have a pretty big collection of Disney and other fun mugs and was really looking forward to getting the regular mug and the travel cup but neither were there on Saturday when I was at the expo. 🙁 Oh, well. Glad you get to enjoy your tea in yours!

  18. Hey Jen!
    I have the same struggles after vacations. I call it Post Vacation Depression. LOL It is 10 times worse after coming back from Disney! My hubby just agreed to a Halloween Disney World trip for 2014 and I am itching to get some plans laid out (yes, 1 1/2 years away)!!!

    I started decorating for spring, too. Just a tiny bit for now, though. Our AC Moore is having a store closing sale, so I might have to go expand my spring decoration collection. 🙂 Here’s a small look at what I’ve done so far: http://christagraham.blogspot.com/2013/03/spring-is-coming.html

  19. i made a huge batch of semi-homemade version of your soup…i noticed i dropped a few pounds after eating it for lunch everyday for a week…then i went on a trip and gained it all back. 🙁 good thing i have a batch in the freezer, i’m going to eat it for lunch everyday again! it’s really yummy!

  20. Jen, I really enjoy your blogs, the first time I have ever subscribed! I love tea expecially with cinnamon, or honey or lemon and fruit flavored teas so enjoying that you like that too. The house is tons cleaner and more organized since I have been watching you, which is a really good thing! It was hard to balance work, pets, kids and home all of which can be very time consuming so the motivation and tips are very much appreaciated!!! Keep up the good work! Jen don’t be anxious! You are great!! I am having so much fun watching you and Winnie with my 13 yr old daughter Nicole. We adore her.

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