Week In Review (May 5 – May 11, 2014)

My Week In Review (otherwise known as WIR) posts are just that: a review of my past week.  I post an update here every Tuesday sharing some tidbits of my previous week as well as an accompanying photo recap with selections from my Instagram.  Here’s the buzz from my week:


We flew out to Utah on Monday for our annual spring visit at the family vacation home out here.  I so enjoy the privilege to stay at this beautiful house in this beautiful place!  It truly is our home away from home and we are very comfortable living our daily lives whenever we are here.  Don has set up a work station in the big loftice (my funny word for an office in a loft) so that he can do his work just like he does at our home in Illinois.  I also follow my usual daily schedule same as at home when we are in Utah.  We appreciate the change of scenery, fresh mountain air, and a chance to be reunited with dear friends whenever we come to visit, which is typically once a season.


We don’t treat being in Utah as being on vacation, since we still keep up with our work and usual to-dos while we are here.  That includes, for me, staying on track with the Tone It Up #BikiniSeries.  I’m working towards my #150BySummer which translates to logging about 2.6 miles of cardio per day during the 8 weeks of the series.  I’ve been running 15 miles a week and adding in an extra cardio circuit style workout 3-4 times per week.  I was pretty proud of myself for reaching the 30-mile marker just one week into the series!  I’m cruising along and will definitely reach my goal by the first day of summer.  Exercising here in Utah at an altitude of 6,000 feet is quite different from at home in Illinois where we’re just 500 feet above sea level.  My lungs and heart have to work extra hard to adjust since I am used to a much lower altitude.  There’s nothing quite like finishing a booty-kicking workout up here with a good long stretch and happy endorphins.  Don has even joined me on a workout or two.  We don’t usually exercise together and it’s really fun!  I’m thinking of posting an updated fitness routine soon to share my #BikiniSeries schedule.


We’re still following our current diet plan of eating as clean and healthy as possible during the week and allowing for some splurges on the weekend while we are here.  Don makes the most scrumptious healthy weekday dinners for us.  I’m a lucky girl!  Lately we’re big into lean protein like chicken or fish with two vegetable sides.  I posted the picture on the left on Instagram of a grilled chicken breast with white wine mushroom sauce and steamed green beans we ate last week and received many requests to share the recipe for the sauce.  In Don’s own words:

Slice a whole bunch of mushrooms.  Heat pan to medium and add a small amount of olive oil.  Toss in the mushrooms and let them sauté until they soften and their juices start flowing.  Add some minced garlic (I use the stuff from the tube) and some fresh chopped thyme.  Let that incorporate and add 1/4 cup or so of white wine.  Let most of the wine cook off and add 1/4 – 1/2 cup of chicken stock.  Let it simmer and add salt and pepper to taste.

Don’s parents flew in on Wednesday to spend a long weekend out at the house with us.  We took them out to dinner on Friday at one of our favorite local restaurants, Glitretind, at Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley to celebrate Mother’s Day.  Can you believe they still have snow up there?  Spring in the mountains is quite different from the midwest!  The food was scrumptious and the views breathtaking.  We had our friends over for dinner (otherwise known as an eating fest) on Saturday night.  Don made caesar salad and flank steak with garlic bread.  Yum!  I baked up a batch of Martha Stewart’s Fudgy Chocolate Brownies for brownies à la mode (served with ice cream and whipped cream) for dessert.  It was so nice to be reunited with everyone over good food!


Don’s parents flew home Sunday morning so it was just the two of us for a low key day in the house.  I usually take Sunday off of exercise (rest days are important!) and enjoy a more leisurely paced breakfast.  I love snuggling with my girl while I journal and plan for the week ahead.  I am happy I was able to celebrate with my Mom last weekend with our special outing to brunch and the ballet and with Don’s Mom on Friday night at dinner.  Don surprised me with some flowers and a sweet note from Winnie as well as some candles.  I never expect anything on Mother’s Day, because I am not a Mom, but I thought it was a very sweet gesture.  He’s a very thoughtful guy!

If you’d like to see more about my weekend, check out my vlog:

I hope all of the Moms out there had a wonderful Mother’s Day.  You deserve to be celebrated every single day of the year for the love and support you give to your children!  I can only hope that one day I will know the kind of joy and purpose that motherhood bestows.  Three cheers (and infinitely more) to the women who shaped us and to those who nurture the next generation!


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


31 thoughts on “Week In Review (May 5 – May 11, 2014)”

  1. Jen you are a darling, thank you for all your ideas and inspiration and I wish you everything you wish for yourself. By the way my 5 year old daughter loves you too!!!

  2. Yay another vlog! I really like Don’s OOTD. This is my shirt. These are my pants. Imagine black. hahaha Happy Dogmothers Day! Its a real thing. Celebrated it for years and years before my boys were born. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love the mountains. I live in mountains and there’s something special in the air we you’re in altitude. I loved the food you had with your friends even if I’m in the rare ones who doesn’t like chocolate! In my country we celebrate Mother’s day on the last Sunday of May and I always feel so blessed to be able to spend this day with my mom, my husband and my lovely daughter.

  4. Loved seeing Don having a bigger presence in your vlogs again! You two are such a sweet couple, and you can tell how much love there is between you guys. Thanks for sharing, hope you are enjoying your time in Utah, it looks gorgeous!

  5. Saw that you turned off the comments on your new Vlog. Sorry people are so mean. But I figure this is the next best way to make a request… any chance Don would be willing to do a cook nook on his wings and wing sauce? Pretty, pretty, pretty please.

    1. It’s been almost a year since Don posted on his channel because he’s been super busy with his new job. I always tell him the requests, even though I cannot make promises that he will go back to filming.

      1. Thanks so much, Jen! I have a boyfriend who LOVES wings and those look so incredibly good. And his sauce sounds interesting and tasty. Here’s hoping he finds some time in the future to find his way back to YouTube. (:

  6. Thanks for the vlog! They’re so relaxing and enjoyable to watch.

    Haha, I literally laughed out loud at Don’s “outfit of the evening”. All of it, but especially the where is it from – “Damned if I know”. 😀 He’s adorable.

    Your guy’s food always looks amazing. I have to be careful watching when I’m hungry!

  7. I loved you and Don’s OOTD. “I thought the dress looked nice.” “meh, it was too pouffy in the hips.” Sounds like my husband and i 🙂

  8. What a wonderful place to call home away from home! I have visited the Park City area and it is beautiful. I would love to go back and visit but since that probably won’t happen soon I will “visit” when you show your photo’s and any vlogs you might just happen to share. I am anxious to see your outlet mall haul–I love watching what you purchase. You are a fur baby mom so it was awesome that Winnie gave you some flowers! I hope Winnie enjoyed your shopping day with you! Thank you both for sharing!

  9. Yeah, another vlog!!! Thank you for sharing, I really enjoyed seeing the yummy food and Don is so sweet to thank you for being a wonderful mommy to your fur baby 🙂

  10. You two are th cutest couple! I always enjoy your vlogs and feel like part of your family because you are so warm and welcoming with your life. I don’t like to go out on Mother’s Day but I enjoyed seeing how you spent yours. When (not if) you become a mom, your child/children are going to be SO lucky because they will have the most caring and loving parents. Have a lovely week and thanks for sharing your weekend with us!

  11. Fab video as always!

    DH is from SLC so we visit there quite a lot. He keeps trying to move back there while I’m trying to get us to move back to Minnesota.

    We had lunch at the Stein Eriksen lodge in December. Have you ever tried their lunch buffet? It’s huge and delicious. Even saw Stein Eriksen walk by! I’d love to go there for dinner sometime. Another restaurant we like in Park City is Shabu Shabu House. I think it’s close to the Whole Foods. It’s like a Japanese hot pot.

    If you ever venture into downtown SLC, check out a restaurant at 3rd and Main called Eva Restaurant. It’s open til midnight every night and features high quality, small plate dishes. We also love Pago and Dolcetti Gelato at 9th & 9th

    By the way, have you ever done the Park City Olympic stuff during the summer? We did the zip lines a few years ago and they were loads of fun. We also did the alpine slide, but I found that too scary for me. On the other hand, I loved the bobsled. If you ever get the chance to do it, I’d highly recommend it. You hit 80 mph on the corners and 3Gs of force! It was kind of painful, but such a cool experience. Also highly ironic that the slide safe for 3 year olds scared me, but I loved the ride that you had to sign a waiver to go on.

    You can also ride the bobsled in the winter, but it’s much more expensive ($200+ v. $70) but it sounds even more exciting.

  12. Yay! Makes my heart happy to hear your cheerful “good morning friends”! Love spending time with you and Don and loving Utah! I love all the gorgeous scenery – it so makes me want to go visit Utah one day! What a special treat to have several vlog days too! Thank you Jen!

    I love Jillian Michael’s dvds! They are always the best total body workouts!

    Mmm those brownies look delicious! I’m totally going to make some of those too!

    Oh and please do a haul of what you bought at the outlets – love love love your hauls!

    Looking forward to your next vlog already 🙂

  13. I love your vlogs! I have to say my favorites parts were Don’s outfit & the end, “bye here”. My husband must think I’m nutty laughing out loud at 3am, but I couldn’t help it. I saved the brownie recipe & can’t wait to try it. I’m loving the weekend vlogs.

  14. Just watched you vlog. So much fun, I’ll admit I love the Utah vlog.

    My husband and I have always talked about going to see Utah and will hopefully go next year, your vlogs have made it so much more appealing to me!

    Did I hear you say you were doing an Ireland trip soon? How exciting! you can always call into me for a cup of tea lol ;p

    Hope you share more soon! xx

    1. Not me, my in-laws. Sounds like a dreamy trip tho! I’ve only ever been to Dublin. Hope to go back and explore more someday!

  15. Could you link or post the recipes for Don’s wings and dipping sauce? They looked scrumptious! Thanks Jen!

    1. I’ll ask Don if he’d be willing to share. Maybe this summer in a party prep video and post? We’ll see 🙂

  16. The food for the dinner party looked so good. I’m not even a big fan of flank steak but it looked perfect sliced. And the chicken wings have been seared in my memory. I hope Don can share the recipes sooner rather than later. Look forward to it. Love ya Jen.

  17. Thanks for sharing your fun days in Utah. Outings looked fun and yummy. Don’s cooking is awesome. The meal made my mouth water. I love flank steak. Your brownies looked awesome. Thanks for sharing.

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