Week In Review (September 9 – 15, 2013)

Is it still summer?  Technically, yes.  The autumnal equinox falls on Sunday, September 22 this year, officially marking the change of the seasons. Lately there’s been a fall-like quality to the end of summer.  Or maybe it’s a summer-like quality to the beginning of fall.  Mid-September is one of my favorite times of year for this very reason.  Somedays it’s hot and humid, other days it rains, and a few days are absolutely perfect, just like today.  It’s a beautiful, breezy, and sunny 60° outside, which is the kind of day that makes me want to lie in the grass with my favorite pooch and watch the clouds roll by.  In an effort to be productive,, I chose to film a video outside to take advantage of the glorious weather and get some things down simultaneously.  I enjoy the randomness of what each day brings in mid-September.  Every day is a surprise!

Summer’s Last Push

OJ|MHWL 9:16:2013_2I’ve been running a lot more lately now that I’m fully recovered from the injury that sidelined me from my favorite exercise this spring.  It took all summer, but I finally feel like I’m back to running shape where I can comfortably make it through a 3-miler and am able to push to longer distances.  I really enjoy running outside.  For me, it’s an integral part of my running experience (plus, I just can never get the hang of the treadmill).  Variety is always fun when running, whether it’s different mileages, routes, scenery, or some combination of these.  I was so happy to get the chance to run in the country surrounded by mountains when we spent August in Utah.  It was fun to come back home to my usual neighborhood routes, too.  I even had the rare opportunity to run in downtown Chicago last week.  Don and I spent the night of our 8th wedding anniversary at the Trump Hotel, which just happens to be located near one of my favorite city running routes.  Even though it was incredibly hot (still summer!) I couldn’t help but want to keep going to see more of the lakeside sights.  I was happy and proud of my newest post-injury milestone of 6 miles.  I have the beautiful cityscape to thank for motivating me to push through!  I was hoping to go for 7 miles yesterday, but the rain kept me inside (see face above 😉 ).  I only managed 5 today, but still hope to complete a 7-miler by the end of the week.  The cooler fall-like mornings definitely help!

First Peeks of Fall

OJ|MHWL 9:16:2013_1Even though summer is still hanging on, I’ve been enjoying the little peeks of fall that have pushed their way through over the past week.  The leaves are still pretty green in our neighborhood, but the tippy tops of a few trees have started to turn yellow and red.  The nights and mornings have been cool enough even on the hotter days to leave the windows open and air out the house.  You can find Don watching the Bears football games on television on Sundays.  I’ve started to bring out some of my fall-time bath favorites, including autumnal themed bubble bath, candles, and tea.  I even spotted Halloween candy at Target last week, including a new offering this year – Pumpkin Spice M&M’s!  I bought a bag, but haven’t tasted them yet.  I hope they’re as good as they sound!

Eight Years and Counting

OJ|MHWL 9:16:2013_3My most favorite thing about mid-September is that it is when Don and I celebrate the anniversary of our marriage.  We were married on September 10, 2005.  This year we celebrated our eighth anniversary at a fantastic suite at the aforementioned Trump Hotel in downtown Chicago.  I actually filmed a vlog chronicling our anniversary, which you can see here if you’re interested.  We were surprised by the stunning room the hotel upgraded us to!  We had a fantastic meal at one of our favorite Chicago restaurants, Sixteen, which is located right inside the hotel.  When we came home, Don surprised me with a breathtaking bouquet of pink roses.  The light pink roses with slightly darker tips were what I carried on our wedding day eight years ago.  He’s such a sweetie to remember!  I’m still enjoying their beauty and smiling at the wonderful memories of our special night out.  I count my lucky stars each and every day that I am married to my soul mate.  We grow closer and more in love with each passing year.  There is nothing more dear to me than our bond.  I look forward to many more happy anniversary memories we will make together.

As much as I love summer, I am ready for the joys of fall.  What I look forward to most is crisp morning walks with Winnie, the perfect running weather, cozy sweaters, skinny jeans and boots, mulled apple cider, the beauty of the changing leaves, snuggling on the sofa with Don to watch our favorite fall shows, and spending Thanksgiving surrounded by loved ones.  I’d love to know what you like most about fall if you care to share!  I hope you enjoy the last dog days of summer 🙂


22 thoughts on “Week In Review (September 9 – 15, 2013)”

  1. I love your weekly recaps! I’ve been a YouTube subscriber for a long time but just recently checked out your blog and I love it! You have such great content!

    Thanks for all of the effort you put in to entertain, give perspective, teach, and share with us. For many housewives around your age with children and without you help reinforce that being “just a housewife” is one of the most important jobs there are! What could be better than organizing a loving, comfortable, and nurturing home for your family!

    Best Wishes!

  2. Your wedding pics are stunning! You are such an inspirational couple! My favorite previous fall treat was the pumpkin spiced coffee at Gloria Jeans coffee shop. I always buy a few pounds for the fall. I have recently moved to the mountains of Virginia which is filled with apple orchards so that might change to fresh apple cider! Happy fall and thanks for your posts and videos they are terrific!

  3. First and foremost “Happy 8th Anniversary” Congrats to you both. I love the fact that your love for one another keeps growing. I truly believe as well. Beautiful wedding pictures by the way, thank you for sharing.

    Okay, I am so done with Summer. I can’t wait for fall to hit especially weather wise. California seems to be experiencing summer later (August / September). I don’t do well in heat (health wise). So that is what I am looking for weather change, and of course the baking begins. 🙂

  4. Tried the Pumpkin Spice m&m’s.. not tasting any pumpkin, a little spice after 2, mostly chocolate.. But who doesn’t like regular flavor..It’s all good.. Love pumpkin anything else.. Thanks for helping me try…

  5. Fall is my favorite season in Michigan. It’s absolutely breathtaking. I hear you about the cozy sweaters, boots and tea. Each your I look forward to the seasonal delights-pumpkin pie, candy corn and candles.

  6. Congratulations on your eighth anniversary! It was really fun watching little clips of your day together. The hotel room looked amazing, and you both looked very nice for your romantic dinner. I’m truly happy for you and Don. And I just thought… how wonderful it is to have so many videos of your adventures together… in and outside of your lovely home. When you both get old and grey you can look back on all of these vlogs and reminisce together. Not only are you doing something that you love, entertaining people with your daily life, tips, and tricks, but you’re also creating this computerized time capsule. Anyway! I’m happy for you both, I love what you’re doing, and thanks for sharing!
    P.S. – My favorite thing about fall is driving up north with my husband, looking at the beautiful mountains, lakes, and homes we can’t afford. 🙂 We usually end our fall drive with dinner at one of our favorite places.

  7. Congratulations on your wedding anniversary, Jen! You and Don are the absolute cutest 🙂 Thank you for bringing us along on your anniversary mini trip. I always love your vlogs, and look forward to more after you’ve had a break!

  8. Hi Jen, a very happy anniversary to you and Don. Thanks for sharing those wedding photos you both looked radiant on your wedding day. Glad to have you back vlogging and I thoroughly enjoyed you anniversary vlog. The hotel and views were amazing, glad you got to enjoy some time with Don and also got a run in for yourself.

  9. Happy anniversary!!! I love the beginning of fall too. I just hope we could skip to spring after. Don’t get me wrong I do love the holidays and some snow, but I’m over that 3-4 weeks in.

    I do have random request, on your anniversary blog you mentioned using vinegar to do a lot of house cleaning, can you do a video on that? – i’m just curious how you use them. I’m 38 weeks pregnant and looking to use less chemicals around the house. Thanks!

    Love all your videos and blog posts!

    1. Distilled white vinegar diluted with water is a great AP cleaner! We mainly use it to keep our wood floors clean. You can also use it to keep appliances that use water clean, such as the dishwasher and washing machine. There are lots of helpful tips out there if you google it! 🙂

        1. I find that it dissipates quickly on the floor…you only need a small amount in proportion to water for it to be effective.

  10. Hi Jen!! Happy, Happy Anniversary 🙂 Your wedding pictures are gorgeous.
    Fall, is my absolute favorite season, it always has been and goes by so fast…LOL. I can’t just pick one thing that I love, I love everything about Fall 🙂
    Have a blessed day.


  11. Hi Jen! Happy Anniversary to you and Don! Your getaway looked like so much fun. I am so thrilled that fall is here (almost)! I love the weather, I love all the pumpkin scented things, I love the colors, and I love that it’s the start of the holiday season! Plus, I celebrate my anniversary and my birthday in November.

    Hope you get to enjoy some more good running weather!

  12. Quite simply…Honeycrisp apples. They are wonderful, and they are “fall” to me. Candles in the fall scents. Having the windows open. And, at the risk of sounding like a weirdo, I like the earlier sunsets; it’s just cozier that way. There is just so much I love about fall; it’s my favorite season.

    You were a lovely bride, Jen; you and Don looked so, so happy on your wedding day, and it is so nice to still see that same happiness when the two of you are together. I had been hoping for the longest time that you would share some wedding pictures with us, so thank you! 🙂

  13. Happy Anniversary! TFS your beautiful wedding photos. You look just like a princess in your wedding dress. You both look so happy and in love! I think it’s incredible that Don bought you flowers reminiscent of your wedding day. You’ve got a very special and romantic husband… and he’s got a very sweet and caring wife. Clearly your love continues to grow and shows in all the thoughtful things you do for each other. What a lovely way to celebrate your special occasion at the Trump Hotel. I think it’s so important to keep the romance alive! Kudos and congratulations!

  14. I enjoyed seeing the photos from your wedding day. What a special thing to share.

    This fall I am really looking forward to wearing more sweaters and snuggling under the covers at night. I also love cinnamon and apple scented candles! That always makes me thing of fall and its so cozy. Thank you for sharing!

  15. Looks like you had a wonderful anniversary and your wedding looked fab! I love when the weather gets cooler….much prefer the autumn/winter than the spring/summer lol! Thanks for sharing your week x

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