Week In Review (November 10 – November 16, 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:


Brr!  Remember last week when I waxed on about the shifting of the seasons and how fall was fading slowly into winter?  Well, that ship has sailed and the winter weather has come full on with sub-freezing temperatures, icy winds, and even a little snow.  We had a beautiful autumn while it lasted and now we’re busy getting ready for winter by turning on the furnaces, putting out the winter quilt, stocking the freezer with homemade soups, and getting our warm coats out of the back of the closet.  As much as I don’t like being cold, I do enjoy the cooler weather (so long as I’m bundled up, of course).  Chilly evenings are a perfect excuse to cozy up under a cuddly blanket with Don and share some hot chocolate.  I love hot chocolate this time of year!  And you know what comes after chilly evenings…nippy mornings!  I’ve never been much of a bed dweller after I wake up in the morning, preferring to jump up and get the day started.  My dog Winnie, however, has different plans and wants me to stay in bed and cuddle her, especially on cold mornings.  How could anyone resist that sweetheart?  An extra five minute of belly rubs for my girl is the best way to start the day in my opinion.


I know I must not be the only one who looks forward to certain cold weather comfort foods when the temperature drops.  My top picks right now include soups and teas.  The occasional grilled cheese sandwich is such a nice treat, as well.  I know that once the holiday season officially hits there will be lots of goodies around, and I do my best to enjoy them without overindulging.  Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t.  Every year I grow more aware of the affect too much sugar and fat has on both my physical and psychological well being.  I strive to keep moderation in mind for the most part, but I catch myself slipping into old habits every now and then.  Watching EssieButton‘s latest video on YouTube about her target=”_blank”>health and fitness journey reminded me of my own journey and how far I’ve come from a less healthy point in my life when my self esteem really suffered to where I am now with considerably more confidence.  I am continually learning and growing in this, and I know this journey is a lifelong one.


Speaking of journeys, I ventured out to The Container Store‘s newest location late last week at Roosevelt Collection in Chicago’s South Loop for their blogger preview.  What an amazing space!  I love that The Container Store has expanded its presence in Chicago with two new locations this year.  So many of you mention to me how much you wish a Container Store would come to your area.  They just might someday!  Their business is growing by leaps and bounds and it’s exciting to see organizational products in such high demand.

The rest of our weekend was pretty low-key.  We drove up to Milwaukee on Saturday night to go to a housewarming party for our dear friends from high school.  Even though it’s a little sad they no longer live in Chicago, Milwaukee is not so far away.  They threw a really nice party with a sea of snacks that were so tasty.  You know how much we like snacks in our circle!  I spent the bulk of yesterday catching up on comments and correspondence and putting the final touches on my holiday gift guide (which will be up soon!).  It’s hard to believe how soon it is until the holidays will be upon us.  I’m excited not only for this season, but also what comes after it.  I will be attending my first ever blogger conference, AltSummit, in late January.  It’s a big step for me out of my comfort zone but I am truly looking forward to it and can’t wait to share my experience with you.

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

As I mentioned in this video, I hope to film a check-in style video later this week to catch up with you guys and keep you in the loop.  There are some changes afoot, but all good things.  This online journey of mine keeps evolving and I with it.  I’m excited to be sharing more with you as we embark on the holiday season and new year.  Take care and keep warm!


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


26 thoughts on “Week In Review (November 10 – November 16, 2014)”

  1. Hi Jen! I’m glad to see that you had a fabulous week, despite the cold weather…I currently live in the eastern part of the continent and we got about 4 inches of snow with ice!

  2. Hi Jen! I’m glad to see that you had a fabulous week, despite the cold weather…I currently live in the eastern part of the continent and we got about 4 inches of snow with ice!

  3. Hi Jen! I’m glad to see that you had a fabulous week despite the cold weather! We had about four inches of snow and then on Monday the temperatures rose and everything melted! I’m glad that you mentioned comfort foods in your blog post as I’ll be eating those this week as I’m going to the hospital to have my last couple of my wisdom teeth removed…Anyhow, I have a couple of questions for you. 1.This is totally random: But how did you come up with Winnie’s name?
    2. I have an organization/time management-related question for you: I’m in need of a new time management schedule as my current one isn’t working for me anymore and I can’t seem to figure out why…Anyhow, I was watching your holiday planner reviews from 2013 and it gave me some inspiration to create my own planner…I went to Staples this weekend and I purchased the ARC Binder from Staples and some presentation paper to create my own design (with less cheery designs) inspired by the ECLPs that the whole planet raves on about… My question is: How do you create a new time management schedule from scratch? I have no idea what to do on how/where to get started and I really need some help…Thanks for answering my questions and take care!

    1. My MIL actually thought of Winnie’s name. As for time management, that’s a very individual thing. I figure out what works for me through trial & error. Once I have something I find myself sticking to, I know I’ve figured it out. Good luck with your surgery! I had my wisdom teeth removed when I was younger and it was an easy & quick recoup. ((HUGS))

  4. Jen-

    Where do you post the giveaway winners?

    I am new to your YouTube channels and blog. I am loving them!

    Thanks for sharing your life with us.

  5. Hi Jen! You always seem so positive and happy- it’s refreshing! What’s your secret? Any advice on how you stay positive (I think this would make for an awesome video BTW)

    1. There’s always going to be sad and tough things in life…my perspective is that dwelling on them doesn’t make them any better (usually just worse), so I encourage myself to look at the bright side and try to enjoy the good moments, both big & small. Life’s too short to be down all of the time and it is within my power and mine alone to bring myself up so that’s what I try to do.

  6. Hi Jen 🙂

    I’m a fellow blogger, and huge fan of your channels…in RL, I just know we’d be great friends…haha. Anyway…I’m reaching out because I’m in need of some pots & pans organizational help. I’m a food blogger, so as you might imagine, I have lots and they drive me insane. Do you have an old video, or any plans of filming a small pots and pans ‘rescue’ video, or tips in the future? If anyone can help me (before the avalanche of pans kills me) I know you can, I’ve tried so many things that haven’t worked…grr!
    I’ll keep an eye out, as I really enjoy your videos…both you, don and your family are such great people. And Winnie too..I have 3 shih tzus…best dog ever! Thanks Jen. ~Amy

    1. Pots & pans can be so tough to organize especially if you’re tight on space. We don’t really have a place for it in our house but a ceiling hook system works well for many. I keep our pots and pans in a deep corner cabinet outfitted with rotating shelves and make sure to keep our most used ones at the front for easy access.

  7. Hi Jen! Are you going to have a Thanksgiving Prep Video or Series this year?
    Also, could you share just a little *sneak peak* into the rest of your Holiday Prep Series or will that all be addressed in your upcoming MHWL Jen Checks In video later this week?
    One last thing – I know you’ve sort of been ignoring this question but whats the plan for VLOGIDAYS?

    1. I decided not to do a thanksgiving prep video this year because it’s the same thing every year and i’ve filmed it before. I will share in my vlogs tho 🙂

  8. Hi Jen!
    That blanket of Winnie’s looks so soft and comfy! My 11 yr. old, Mia, was watching your video with me and thinks Winnie is just the cutest! Hope you guys are staying warm in Chicago! I am in Ohio (Cleveland area) and we were at 17 degrees today with below zero wind chills. I love the snow, but do not love the bitter cold temps. I am looking forward to your check-in vlog…love those! 🙂 I saw your pic on facebook of your magic bands! Very exciting! When will you be there? We are going down in January and I am waiting patiently for our magic bands to arrive. Disney World is my happy place for sure! 🙂

    (((Hugs)))) from Ohio! …~Dawn 🙂

  9. this has nothing to do with this post, but I could not think of another way that you might see this question.
    I was re-watching your early holiday prep video from 2011 or 2012 for about the hundredth time and I did have a question about how you store your seasonal decorations.
    In the video you were putting away halloween and getting ready for thanksgiving and in one of the halloween bins you were packing blankets. I was just curious on if you do anything else special for packing pillows and blankets away so that they don’t smell like a plastic tub the next year that you pull them out?

    Thanks for everything that you do and answering my questions

    1. I don’t find that items packed in plastic tubs at my house have a smell to them. Maybe it’s because they’re not new tubs?

  10. Hi Jen,
    I love to read the WIR. You have a lovely week. Off late I was feeling well, and cannot do my usual works.. from today I think I can go back to my usual routine. You are my inspiration in organization. I’ve a list of container to make. But, when I’m going to start I don’t know. Thanksgiving week is going to be exciting, because of our anniversary, and one of friend is coming with her family to stay with us.
    I Always love to read your blog. It is amazing, that you do every job with so much grace. I love to see the way, that you just glide from one work to another without any glitch.
    Love to read more from you..

  11. Love the vid. We women understand about “those monthly days”, every month I am useless for at least 4 days… well, not really… you still just have to get up every morning and take care of things, unfortunately mine is coming up next week …Thanksgiving and all, we will see, good thing I’m a guest not a hostess for this celebration day. By the way my 36th B’Day is also next week.
    And how funny, I just bought a pair of velvety plush throw blankets for my husband and me to cuddle up in while he watches his NFL and NBA games and I read, but guess who is actually enjoying them…that’s right..the dogs, they have their own comfy beds but who can blame them, the blankets are very yummy. The thing is that my husband came into the relationship with 2 pommies, I came with 5 dogs (German Shepard/Rottie Mix, Rottweiler Mix, Terrier Mix, Lab Retriever, Schnauzer/Poodle Mix) and we just rescued a Pitbull stray dog, so do the math, I am just going to have to pick up more velvety plush throw blankets for all. All of them so loving and well behaved, well the Pomeranians still need work, they are still a bit spoiled by their “daddy”.
    You know, I’m very much like you as far as being very organized and very neat and I just like and enjoy keeping my house clean and comfortable and like you I am very blessed that I can work from home (I am an accountant) and my husband makes a good living. I have a big house in 1 acre lot. Some people can be insensitive assuming that my dogs are a replacement for not having kids, but that is not the case, 4 of my dogs and the Pitt we just rescued have come into my life as strays, I did not go looking for them; they are a lot of work but they have enriched my life with their love (think Winnie x 8 OMG!!!) at least only 3 need to be groomed and they keep me in shape with all of the walking. They are my pets and I respect them as such and I love them and try to give them the best life that I can.
    I have come to understand that you have a choice of how you receive what life gives you- I choose to make the best of it.
    I don’t know why I am sharing all this with you… maybe is hormonal… I might be getting my “days” earlier than expected…
    I wish you, Don and Winnie a Blessed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas and New Year!!!!

  12. Hello Jen,

    Thanks for sharing your week. Sorry you were feeling under the weather! That snuggley blanket looks like just the thing for those types of days. I just wanted to let you know I also really enjoy Essie Button and was delighted to hear you do too. I can see why.

    Sending hugs across the pond,

    Mary X

  13. Great vlog and WIR as usual Jen! Thanks so much for sharing with us 🙂

    Love that you left the camera with Don for his wings too – always love getting to watch him share his recipes and meal ideas!!

    My dogs LOVE the snow too – they will be so happy when we get our first snowfall then!

    Awww you should have taken us along on your outing to Pottery Barn to get that gorgeous new blanket, but of course I understand you might not have been feeling up to filming enroute/there 🙂

  14. Catching up on videos, and noticed you are reading Make Your Own Rules Diet 🙂 Me too! In fact, I was fortunate to meet Tara Stiles unexpectedly in Scottsdale a few weeks ago and she signed my copy 🙂 One of the highlights of my year! I wrote about the class on my blog Awaken & Begin and had to share 🙂 http://wp.me/p3YVUK-14a

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