Week In Review (October 21 – October 27, 2013)

It feels like the holiday season starts with Halloween to me.  I think this is because there’s so much festiveness surrounding Halloween in my experience.  Everything from decorating my home, putting together Halloween treat bags for my nieces, and spending time with family feels very much like the holidays.  So, why not let it be?  I know some people may think of Halloween as a silly holiday just for kids, but I don’t see why adults can’t enjoy the lighthearted nature of it as well.  I love the magical feeling surrounding Halloween and find my appreciation for it only increases as I grow older.

Visiting Family

OJ|MHWL WIR 10:28:2013_01Don and I drove down to St. Louis for a long weekend with my brother and his family.  The timing of our trip was centered around a special annual open house that the school my nieces attend hold for family.  We had an amazing time at school with the girls.  It was great to be able to experience what their school is like in person.  Don and I split up so we could both spend time with each of our two nieces in their respective classes.  He started with the youngest, Jaidyn, who is in 2nd grade, and spent time reading, solving math problems, and playing outside during recess with her.  I started with the oldest, Emma, and was able to watch her class give thorough and interesting presentations on Greek gods, goddesses, and some of the major towns of ancient Greece.  We were both able to sit with the girls throughout the day and interact with them during their lessons.  We swapped midday so that Don could go to science class with Emma and I could spend art class and more reading time with Jaidyn.  I don’t know of any other school that lets your Aunt & Uncle come hang out with you (plus we were invited to come back whenever we like, no open house required!).  What a great experience!

It also just so happened that the World Series (baseball) started the very weekend we were in St. Louis with the city’s team The Cardinals playing Boston’s Red Sox.  My brother and SIL are huge Cardinals fans and we had fun hanging out at their house eating yummy food and watching the games together.  Their dog, Oscar (pug shown above) spent most of the games split between trying to cozy up to Winnie and vying for ear rubs from us spectators.  There was much laughter exchanged, as usual!

We had such a good time with our family, which we always do when we are together.  It was also nice to be in St. Louis during the cooler fall for a change as opposed to when we usually go visit during the summer heat!  I can’t wait to see them again at Christmas.

Fall Treats

OJ|MHWL WIR 10:28:2013_02It’s hard to avoid seasonal treats that pop up when Halloween rolls around (yet another reason why it feels like the start of the holiday season to me, which is a constant onslaught of tasty goodies).  I mentioned about a month ago that I was working on cutting down the amount of sugar in my diet, which I feel I have succeeded in doing thus far.  I think some people misunderstood what I meant by that, which was not that I hoped to cut all sugar out of my diet.  I simply wanted to reduce my overall sugar consumption.  I have allowed myself a few treats along the way, including a cup of the delicious new Pumpkin Brûlée Oolong blend from Teavana and a couple of pumpkin pie shakes while we were in Utah.  Just this past weekend while in St. Louis I indulged in a taste of The Cup’s amazing cupcakes and I even got my donut fix in!  Just because I had a couple of treats this past weekend, however, doesn’t mean I’ve fallen off the wagon.  I love sweets and I wouldn’t want to totally deny myself the pleasure of enjoying them occasionally.  Life is short, right?  I am proud of my progress in consuming less sweets in general, however, and feel like I enjoy my indulgences even more when I have them now less frequently.

I am looking forward to family Halloween festivities and togetherness this week and sharing the magic with loved ones.  I hope your Halloween is Spooktacular!  😀

13 comments

13 thoughts on “Week In Review (October 21 – October 27, 2013)”

  1. Hi Jen!
    When you reduced your sweets intake did you find yourself going through withdrawals? Do you have any advice for dealing with it if you did?

    1. I didn’t have much of an issue. It’s not like i was eating a huge amount of sweets before. I expected to have more cravings than I did. I think my mindset about it helped a lot. I find that a nice cup of tea with a little honey does the trick whenever I start feeling a craving coming on. Peppermint tea seems to work best for me for that specific situation. Hope this helps!

  2. Jen, Will you do another video on your Halloween candy prep,etc. I loved your video last year. I was AMAZED at
    how many trick or treaters you get! We only have 5 houses on my culdesac so we only get like 2 kids 🙁

  3. I really enjoyed watching you with your nieces. It’s good for children to have Family surrounding them! Lovely Family to watch.

  4. Halloween is definitely the start of the holiday feelings for me. I love Halloween, but Christmas is definitely my favorite. We don’t get much trick or treaters in our area anymore, the kids are pretty much all grown up. :(. Jen, it was really nice that you and Don attended your nieces school. I love the fact that you both are so close to your families. It is truly lovely to see. 🙂

  5. Hi Jen,

    I was wondering if you would do a whats in your travel work bag? either on your blog or video. As I am always looking for a way to carry all of my work together when I travel. Also what Kind of bag do you recommend for Blogger and Student?

    Btw… love all of your videos and blog post!!

    1. When I was a student I always carried a backpack. It’s not that fashionable, I know, but I was more interested in protecting my back, neck, & shoulders from injury than how I looked. Backpacks are great if you’re on foot a lot, because they evenly distribute the weight of your bag. For travel I alternate between a backpack and a wheeled bag when I am packing my computer and cameras to save my body from the stress of a heavy shoulder bag. I used a shoulder bag on our most recent road trip down to St. Louis, because I knew I wouldn’t be carrying the bag much since we were driving. Hope this helps!

  6. Jen, I would love to see a detailed post of ‘what’s in your travel work bag’. I need some inspiration for my work bag and how to carry it all in just the one bag. Thanks

  7. It was lovely of you to share your time spend with your brother and family, it was apparent you had an enjoyable time. It can sometimes be hard with relatives living in various cities and such so it’s great that you can set that time aside to see them regularly – the holiday period is a great excuse for that!
    I’m glad your cutting down on sugar has been working well for you… I have such a sweet tooth, I can’t imagine how hard that is! Keep up the work/willpower on that front… I’m sure you’re reaping the health benefits!

    Jade 🙂

  8. Hey Jen,
    Love the WIR post. Glad you got to spend the time with your brother and his family and get to see the girls school.

    I for the past year have cut down the amount of sugar also in my diet. When I buy stuff I try to only do the most between 4 to 8 grams of sugar. I totally cut out soda’s (did go thru a little withdrawal on that) but for the most part I was good. I now only drink water and unsweetened ice tea.

  9. Hi Jen,

    There is a company called ONA that sells some snazzy camera bags. I know it is not related to this post but I saw a comment above that reminded me of it. They look nice. I don’t know much else about them but they are attractive. A bit spendy but attractive. I placed it on my magical wish list.

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